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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com

Dumb Shellac Flake Q

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by dannew02, Jun 29, 2017.

  1. dannew02

    dannew02 Friend of Leo's

    Apr 2, 2010
    Erin Prarie, WI
    Ok so I want to make some Garnet Shellac to finish a couple projects. I have a pound of the flakes, a gallon of alcohol, and a couple Prevals to spray it with. Now.... uh, what do I mix the stuff up IN? A bucket? The preval jar? Something specific I don't know about? Oh, and just at room temp, or do I have to heat it up to get it to mix?
    Thank you guys.
     

  2. scott74

    scott74 TDPRI Member

    8
    Nov 9, 2014
    Washington
    I mix my shellac flakes in a clean canning jar with the lid and ring. That way I can swirl the solution to promote faster dissolving. When all the flakes are dissolved you want to strain the shellac into another clean canning jar using a fine paint filter. Shellac is made of bug secretions, and sometimes very small bug parts within the flakes are caught by the filter. Here is a mixing chart:

    https://www.shellac.net/PoundCutChart.html

    I brush instead of spraying my shellac, but am guessing you would want about a 1 1/2 pound cut for the Preval. There's no need to heat the mixture. Once dissolved, shellac does better if stored in a cool area (basement).
     
    bender66 likes this.

  3. dannew02

    dannew02 Friend of Leo's

    Apr 2, 2010
    Erin Prarie, WI

  4. MM73

    MM73 Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    44
    Feb 24, 2015
    South Lyon, MI
    Home Depot and Lowes sells 2 pack quart mixing cups with lids for about $2.

    I just got into the shellac mixing game, and the larger cups work great for mixing and stirring. I then just pour what I need into the 6 oz preval bottle. I also picked up a cheap coffee grinder on Amazon or Ebay to grind the flakes before mixing. Mixing is super easy after the flakes have been ground up. I borrow my wife's kitchen scale to measure it out precisely.

    For the last build, I mixed 8 oz of 1# cut, but only needed 4 oz for 2 coats using the Preval. I'm not sure how many coats most people spray. I was looking for a barrier coat to separate a tinted lacquer base coat from opaque colors that were being sprayed next.
     

  5. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    61
    Mar 19, 2006
    Gilbert, AZ (PHX)
    I find garnet by itself it too orange. I use a mix of + or - 70% blonde flakes + 30% garnet flakes.
    Test on scrap as you may need the mix thinner or thicker to spray with a preval.
     

  6. dannew02

    dannew02 Friend of Leo's

    Apr 2, 2010
    Erin Prarie, WI
    Hey thank you guys
     

  7. Danjabellza

    Danjabellza Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 22, 2014
    Pahrump, nv
    Follow up question from myself: what cut is preferred for guitar finishes?
     

  8. dannew02

    dannew02 Friend of Leo's

    Apr 2, 2010
    Erin Prarie, WI
    Well my plan was make a 1# cut so I can build the color up slowly... I read lots of different opinions about what cut was best.
     

  9. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Age:
    65
    Mar 2, 2003
    Lawndale CA
    What alcohol did you get? Denatured is highly recommended. While Isopropyl will work the flakes dissolve slowly, and it has water in it which can sometimes cause undesirable reactions with other materials - and raw and/or stained wood.
     

  10. Engraver-60

    Engraver-60 Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    65
    Jan 6, 2008
    Franklin, TN
    I use DNA but I've read that PGA is purer, dissolves the flakes faster and is cheaper at the liquor stores (Everclear). I had Garnet flakes left over from my jewelry/engraving days, but I also prefer the super blonde flakes from shellac.com. Lat time I bout a pound it was $16 plusa couple extra for shipping. I use it in my own home brew of friction polish. DNA/SBFS/Johnsons paste wax; way easier to make than running to Woodcraft to buy Doctor's Woodshop friction polish, and it works well.
     

  11. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Age:
    65
    Mar 2, 2003
    Lawndale CA
    BTW - all the info about mixing shellac is available on the internet. Google is very useful.
     

  12. trev333

    trev333 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    I mix it in a salsa jar... those short, big mouthed ones....

    sit it in the sun while the flakes dissolve in DNA, then use it the next day after straining it through a cloth.... into another salsa jar...

    I don't mix big batches....
     

  13. Vizcaster

    Vizcaster Friend of Leo's

    Sep 15, 2007
    Glen Head, NY
    There are several reasons why a mason jar with a gasket lid is superior to a plastic mixing cup. The main thing is that denatured alcohol mixes so readily with water that it will absorb moisture from the air and the mix needs to be kept tightly sealed. The other thing is that I'm clumsy and the plastic snap on lids don't do anything when the pail gets knocked over. Seriously, though, make sure you're using fresh alcohol or the shellac will not dry completely. Mason jars from the hardware store come in so many sizes you can figure out the smallest batch that makes sense for you.

    Also, if your flakes are 'dewaxed' then you just have to let them dissolve and strain them. If the flakes aren't 'dewaxed' then you have to let the mixture sit and the wax separates out for you to decant or siphon off the good stuff.
     

  14. ndcaster

    ndcaster Friend of Leo's

    Nov 14, 2013
    Indiana
    use DNA *not* iso

    mix in a mason jar

    strain through a coffee filter

    snip the little filter thing off the bottom of the Preval tube -- you don't want it to get clogged up with anything or you'll end up with orange peel

    relax and enjoy yourself
     

  15. dannew02

    dannew02 Friend of Leo's

    Apr 2, 2010
    Erin Prarie, WI
    Thank you everyone
     

  16. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2011
    Tucson
    And don't mix it all at once - only mix what you think you'll need plus a little extra just in case.

    And one other thing - I keep a electric coffee grinder I got at a yard sale for only this purpose, and run my flakes through it after weighing them out and before adding the DNA. This gets me very quick and complete dissolving, then I stain as indicated. There may be a downside to this but I have not encountered it - any thoughts from more experienced guys here?

    To save time on your next job, drop your measured but unground flakes into the DRY jar, and put a indelible line on the outside where they come to for the amount of DNA you plan to add, and label it. Put another mark where the whole solution comes to after adding the measured DNA. Then when you do it next time there's no need to weigh or measure, it's all pre-marked.

    Cheers,
    Rex
     

  17. old wrench

    old wrench Tele-Meister

    I've never sprayed shellac with a Preval or any other spray rig, but I've brushed it on and wiped it on with cloth (a lot!). Wiping it on is "almost" unbelievably easy. You can wipe it on heavy or you can wipe it on light. You can wipe it on and get a polished, finely finished surface. In fact, if you manage to F' up and you don't like the direction the finish is heading, you can wipe it off and start wiping it on all over again! Natural, renewable, and non-toxic, too.

    Geo.
     
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  18. old wrench

    old wrench Tele-Meister

    The advice the other members have given on DN alcohol is good. I prefer the "green" version of the usual Striptease brand. It costs about fifty cents more per quart than the regular industrial DNA, but for some reason it seems to dissolve the shellac a bit quicker.

    Depending on it's cost in your area, EverClear PGA (my "clear" favorite, if everything fails and goes to hell, you can always drink your shellac :lol:!!!) is another option that works exceptionally well. Just make sure you get the 190 proof high-test, not the 160 proof that is usually sold. Believe it or not, at my local state store they don't keep the 190 proof on the shelf, you have to ask for it special because they keep it in the back storage room. Hazardous for dummies, I guess.

    And really, there are no dumb questions about shellac, other than the ones you don't ask, that is!

    Best Regards,
    Geo.
     

  19. dannew02

    dannew02 Friend of Leo's

    Apr 2, 2010
    Erin Prarie, WI
    So wait, I'm pretty sure you were joking, but... you can't really drink Shellac, even when it's made with Grain alcohol, right?
     

  20. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Age:
    65
    Mar 2, 2003
    Lawndale CA
    roflmao! Man, I love spell check sometimes!

    :lol:
     

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