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Zinser shellac

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by buddastrat, Nov 27, 2011.

  1. Flakey

    Flakey Friend of Leo's

    What no one has mentioned is that for best flow out rubbing on shellac from a can is that its better to dewax it first. This makes the finish more durable. What I do is take a mason jar pour shellac from the can into the jar and pour an equal amount of denatured alcohol into it and seal the jar. Let it sit undisturbed for about a couple of weeks and you'll notice the wax settling onto the bottom of the jar. Now take the contents of that jar and pour it into another jar WITHOUT disturbing the settled wax.

    The idea is to leave the wax in the first jar so you might want to use a paper strainer to catch any wax that gets kicked up during a pour. Now you can use the shellac that you just poured into the second jar for you rub.

    When I do french polishing I mix my dewaxed shellac to the consistency of a spit coat which a 1 part shellac to 4 parts alcohol. For my charge pad lubrication I use baby oil VERY SPARINGLY and to keep the pad moving in different areas all the time other wise you'll reactivated the previous thin layer of shellac you put down. If your pad starts to grab the surface then you've reactivated the shellac and its time to stop or move to another area of the piece. You should see the alcohol "Flash" as you wipe on the shellac (a wet film of alcohol left behind the pad then disappear as you move it over the area) What its doing is evaporating.
     

  2. Flakey

    Flakey Friend of Leo's


    For the body I would mix dye in the lacquer and spray until you get the depth of color you want. Basically thats what Gibson does to get their wine red color and Gretsch does for their orange.

    For the neck again get some tinted lacquer and do the same.
     

  3. buddastrat

    buddastrat Tele-Meister

    376
    Apr 22, 2005
    I'm just interested in the neck's color/ finish. Those guitars were oil finished, and I like that dry, wood feel and no gloss look. Lacquer gets sticky when I play it, even satin. I hope someone can give me a suggestion on which stain/dye gets me that browned amber, just like in that pic. It's not too orange/yellow. I've decided shellac seems like too much work and messin' around.

    Will the Reranch neck toner get me this neck color, if I don't put too much on? Some posts have said it's very yellow.
     

  4. Laurent Brondel

    Laurent Brondel TDPRI Member

    93
    Aug 5, 2011
    West Paris, ME - USA
    Greetings everybody.
    Zinsser SealCoat is dewaxed, it's available in quarts and gallon at HD and Lowe's. If you are going to spray any finish over the shellac (and avoid possible adhesion issues), the dewaxed SealCoat is what you want. Otherwise the amber or clear are fine. IMHO shellac is too soft for an electric guitar finish, but it's an excellent sealer and barrier, probably the best. I do not notice a difference in quality between good flakes and SealCoat BTW, SealCoat can be French polished without issue if that's your thing. It can also be sprayed, which I do all the time. I would recommend against spraying the non dewaxed shellac: the wax will clog the gun's nozzle in short order.
     

  5. buddastrat

    buddastrat Tele-Meister

    376
    Apr 22, 2005
    Hey guys, I'm off the Zinnser, I just want a suggestion on which stain and process will get the color of the neck above, I'll slap a coat of oil on and call it a day. No shellac. I don't want to screw around with all that.
     

  6. Laurent Brondel

    Laurent Brondel TDPRI Member

    93
    Aug 5, 2011
    West Paris, ME - USA
    There's a gunstock finish called TruOil, essentially a mix of polymerised linseed oil. It will give that brown/amber look and won't feel like lacquer if you apply only a couple of coats. Application is the same as any oil. Not very protective though, but that maybe what you want.
     

  7. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Age:
    65
    Mar 2, 2003
    Lawndale CA
    Oil stain would be a better way to deepen the color anyway.

    If you want better penetration sand the surface to open it up a bit - Danish oils (depending on the brand) can harden the wood making stain penetration very difficult.

    But this comment -
    ...has me confused. What would you have to "strip"? You only mention the oil, not a finish...and you don't "strip" stains.

    As far as your inconsistent peghead - I don't think it's clear to us what you started with, especially when you mention stripping it *again*. That tells me the neck was a finished neck that you stripped and stained.

    If so, you may have sanding sealer on the peghead, or finish that penetrated the grain, or a filler, or just about anything.

    It may also be the reason you didn't get a very dark color out of your stain - you applied it to sealed wood (that you didn't think was sealed).

    I think we all got on the "shellac bandwagon" and missed that part.

    So let's back up - what did you *start* with, how was it "stripped" (did you skip the peghead?) and exactly how did you go about preparing the surface/applying the stain?
     

  8. Colt W. Knight

    Colt W. Knight Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Jan 21, 2007
    Tucson, AZ
    Flaminco ( did I spell that right?) guitar builders have been going to using lacquer on the backs and sides or their guitars because the french polished shellac wears off too quickly. They still use French polish on the top, because they believe in the shellac/thin finish voodoo.

    When I finish things in shellac, it wears much quicker than similiar items I have built finished with lacquer or oil based varnishes.
     

  9. buddastrat

    buddastrat Tele-Meister

    376
    Apr 22, 2005

    Yeah I can see how you can get confused. I was going in a lot of directions with the shellac and all.

    This neck had a shellac sealer on it when new. I wanted to do the watco golden oak, so I wiped it down with Denatured alcohol, sanded, and did the watco. All sealer was gone, the Watco golden oak won't penetrate maple that much. I've read this many times, and found out for myself.

    I Didn't like the headstock being darker, even stripped, so I bleached it. The neck has been oiled with a mix of Tru oil, or watco and then sanded down and redone trying to get it where I want.

    I like the Watco, just want a bit more color like the charvel neck. Right now, the neck has a couple coats of Watco. I want to get some tint and either mix with the oil or if I have to, strip the neck and stain it, then re-oil. That's where I'm at now.
     

  10. buddastrat

    buddastrat Tele-Meister

    376
    Apr 22, 2005
    Tru oil doen't give a color even close to above neck pic. It just adds a bit of color, and barely. Also, I just saw a neck I Tru oiled 10 years ago. It still hasn't aged anywhere near to the pic above. So I want a stain to get that.
     

  11. Laurent Brondel

    Laurent Brondel TDPRI Member

    93
    Aug 5, 2011
    West Paris, ME - USA
    Get 3 bottles of TransTint: amber, red and brown. Add a tiny drop of amber in a bit of TruOil (or whatever finish you want to use) and try on a piece of scrap maple of the same colour and texture of your neck. Add red and/or brown to suit taste if the amber looks too yellow. Try on scrap, always. Those colours are extremely potent, so a tiny bit goes a long way. When you have a couple of coats of the colour desired on the neck, finish with a couple of clear coats.

    Edit: Transtint colours are compatible with any alcohol and petroleum based solvents, even water if I recall.
    Any oil or oil based varnish finish can be thinned with turpentine, naphtha or mineral spirits (not the green version, it's crap). Denatured alcohol is the solvent for shellac, lacquer thinner for lacquer.
     

  12. Colt W. Knight

    Colt W. Knight Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Jan 21, 2007
    Tucson, AZ
    Transtint is not recommended for oil based products.

    This is a pretty good read on the use of transtint
    http://www.joewoodworker.com/transtints.htm
     

  13. buddastrat

    buddastrat Tele-Meister

    376
    Apr 22, 2005
    That's what I wanted to do, but keep reading that it doesn't work. Putting some tint in the oil, would be WAY easy too. Doesn't anyone make something that will work in the tru oil/varnish type as an all in one thing? So much easier!

    A few months ago I finished my wife's cabinets with the oil/stain. I wiped it on and it was incredible, took literally minutes. They look awesome. Dry in minutes and that was it. Why can't it work with a friggin' neck!!!? arggghhhhh.....

    I also might try the RR amber toner, and then do another coat of oil over that. Buying a bunch of dye to experiment with.
     

  14. Laurent Brondel

    Laurent Brondel TDPRI Member

    93
    Aug 5, 2011
    West Paris, ME - USA
    I mix Transtint dyes with oil varnish all the time without issue. Of course it is a tiny amount, I never tried to add a massive amount of colour like I would for a sunburst, I use shellac for that.
    For the amount of tinting the OP wants, a very small amount of amber, red and brown Transtint in Tru Oil would work. Try on scrap before committing to a neck…
     

  15. buddastrat

    buddastrat Tele-Meister

    376
    Apr 22, 2005
    Seriously? that'd be great.
     

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