Juicegoose, cutting shellac is really dependent upon how you want to use it. A three pound cut is pretty hard to get a good finish with- especially if you are brushing or padding it on. A two pound cut flows on much easier.
Another reason to cut it is to tailor it for a specific use. A 1/2 to 1 pound cut, for example, could be used as a sizing application prior to staining for woods that are prone to blotching- pine, poplar for example. A two pound cut makes a good seal coat to prevent stain lift off or bleed into the finish coat. And I have used a two pound cut to build a finish as well.
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