Reply by CaptainKlutz

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Posted on Klean strip green and shellac color on birdseye and paduak help.

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4363 posts in 2552 days

#1 posted 10-04-2020 04:25 AM

1) There are several existing threads on the topic of shellac and alcohol types. Several due challenges California folks have finding DNA. Here is a recent one to get you started:

2) Size of shellac flakes plays a large role in time to dissolve. If you use one of the those small coffee/spice grinders and turn the flake into dust, and can dissolve a new batch of shellac in 10-15 minutes of shaking due smaller size. Often find the the coffee grinders at second hand stores like Goodwill or Salvation Army for 10% of new cost.

Generally speaking, with regular agitation; should be able dissolve small flakes in 1-3 days max. If you find flakes are not dissolving and you shake/stir ~every hour; they may be contaminated with moisture, and are only capable of making snot ball in jar. Even fresh shellac can have small percentage of undissolvable flakes, and that is why you always strain off good stuff to use on the project. If you store your shellac flakes in cool and dry place; they will last a very long time. Once dissolved into alcohol, the shelf is ~6-12 months. The way to tell if shellac is old; Brush heavy coat on stick. Old shellac will never cure hard and surface stays tacky 24 hours later.

3) Color? Color in finishing is personal preference.

I use lightest blond shellac as grain sealer to minimize color shifting. Also prefer it on white woods.

Amber shellac as seal coat is nice way to add some color and depth to lighter woods, when using a water base top coat. Am not a fan of the orange-ish wood colors, so I don’t use it as the only finish.

Garnet shellac creates an awesome finish on walnut and/or cherry. Used as grain sealer, it restores some of the color lost on kiln dried/steamed walnut. Used as the top coat (french polish) really makes walnut grain pop.
Here is one LJ project example:
Click for details

On cherry, garnet shellac can be used to darken the wood and replace/accelerate some natural aging for items kept away from UV light that turns cherry dark naturally.

Hope this helps.

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

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