It took me a while to realize what I should have done. I’ll show you just how to do that, as well as several great tips and tricks along the way. A 5-lb. To be safe, mix up your shellac a day or two before you’re ready to finish. of dry shellac flake into 1 quart of denatured alcohol (1/4 lb. Everclear is 190 proof (95% pure ethanol and 5% water) it does a great job without other additives like methanol. Grinding the shellac flakes first (e.g. To mix 1 pint of 1 Lb. of shellac. Do not heat the mixture directly. Mix what will be used within 3 months. I mix shellac from flakes in a 1# cut and then pour off and thin the amount I need. But if you do a little research you can find good grade of alcohol. How to Mix Shellac Flakes. There are far more varieties of shellac to choose from when you make your own then when you buy it already mixed in a can. While flakes have an indefinite shelf life, in liquid form, shellac will last only about 6 months, although it will last up to 3 years in an unopened container. Shellac has a definite shelf life. total in which 2 lb. (Update: Several readers have questioned the proportions in the chart. Finishing Project Guide. This is How to Mix Shellac Flakes With a Mixing Chart. Furthermore, how do you use shellac flakes in art? Mixing Shellac. What are the types of shellac and what’s the difference between them? It would indeed make it quicker … Next day I had a fairly hard lump at the bottom, and I thought there was something wrong with the flakes. of resin dissolved in a gallon, etc. Although there are various ways to eyeball a given weight of shellac, it’s best to weigh it on a scale. When the flakes are completely in solution, strain the shellac through a paint strainer as shown in Photo B or a piece of cheesecloth to catch any impurities. Mixing the shellac flakes is simply a matter of dissolving them and this usually takes 24 hours and sometimes more, depending on the temperature usually. If playback doesn't begin shortly, try restarting your device. If you have shellac remaining after finishing your project, store it in a container with an airtight lid. This allows more of the flake's surface area to come into contact with the alcohol at once and dissolve quicker. Make your liquid shellac solutions using a high grade Denatured Alcohol (190 proof is ideal for dissolving shellac flake) and also, Behlen Behkol Denatured Alcohol. You then add additional more flakes or meths to thicken or thin the viscosity to suit the task. Mixed shellac can store for quite a while as long as you keep it in a sealed container, and you keep it out of extremes in temperature or direct sunlight. Remember, no open flames of any kind or hot plates. While flakes have an indefinite shelf life, in liquid form, shellac will last only about 6 months, although it will last up to 3 years in an unopened container. If you are buying it pre-mixed look at the date on the container. Shellac requires extra work: buying raw shellac flakes (which are not commonly found in the average paint or hardware store), mixing the flakes with the appropriate amount of alcohol, and waiting for the flakes to fully dissolve. Empty contents of your jar into a large clean container. It would seem logical that it would be a one-to-one reduction of shellac to alcohol, but it’s not. (See chart.) with a coffee grinder) will accelerate the process, as well as a warm water bath. Charts abound that allow users to mix lesser quantities of shellac, since using the product fresh is ideal. Shellac should be completely dissolved. Answers to these questions and more in Steve Hay's video below! That is one pound of shellac per 1 gallon of Everclear. I like how Mike thins his mixture here, as I do the same thing with seal coat. shellac flake … So a 1-gal. The thinner is the vehicle which you will use to apply your finish. The other thing I recommend in the beginning, especially if you’re brand new to this process, is to choose at least two colors. cut down to a 1-lb. But if you do a little research you can find good grade of alcohol. Shellac thins with alcohol. of alcohol, you displace the original volume by 20 percent, thus giving you 1.2 gal. Flakes will last almost indefinitely when stored where it's cool, dry, and dark. This process doesn’t happen instantly, in fact it can take several minutes to several hours depending on how long you want to sit there and swirl the mixture. : 200 proof equals 100 percent ethanol, 190 proof equals 95 percent ethanol). cut would be 3 lbs. So a 1-gal. A 3 lb. Darren. That way you have no down time waiting for shellac flakes to dissolve. My method includes grinding the shellac flakes into a fine powder with a coffee grinder. Thanks. Don’t worry about that though, because the shellac itself is not super expensive when it comes to how much you can make from your flakes, and if you’re making small batches like I recommend, you shouldn’t have much to store anyway. There is a tiny bit more to it, and I’ll cover that in the next section. When you dissolve 2 lb. I just mixed up my first ever batch of Shellac from flakes. See My Woodworking Books Here. The filtering process is very important, because you don’t want any of the little dirt, debris, and bug parts to end up on your finish. Enjoy. Even under the best circumstances, I don’t recommend that you keep your mixed shellac for longer than 6 months. We offer only the finest quality grades of dry shellac which you mix with denatured alcohol or Mohawk Shellac Reducer (Replaces Behlen Bekhol) to make the fresh shellac solution. Pour in Behkol solvent or denatured alcohol and set the mixture aside to dissolve. Sign up for eletters today and get the latest techniques and how-to from Fine Woodworking, plus special offers. cut would be 5 lb. Steve Hay presents … It’s based on a 8 ounce sample, so multiply by two if you’re going for 16 ounces of liquid. Although some finishers get by just fine with shellac that is years old, my testing indicates that solutions made from dewaxed flakes less than six months old have the best overall moisture resistance. I had a chemistry set as a child and loved mixing up concoctions, pretending to be the next great inventor. When you dissolve 2 lb. A 2-lb. Canned shellac is convenient to use—just pop open the lid and dip in your brush—but it has a limited shelf life; an unopened can is good for only about three years. Basically the wet part. When mixing shellac from flakes or buttons, you can scale down the ratio of cut to make a suitable amount. The powder will dissolve into the alcohol many times faster than the solid flakes. Mix your shellac in a well-ventilated area making sure to prevent spillage. cut shellac contains only 1.66 lb. HOW TO MIX SHELLAC. Some finishing purists insist on using 200-proof ethanol, which dissolves the flakes a bit faster. See our chart for quick reference. ), Editor's letter: Finding sanctuary in the shop. Shellac flakes can be ground up to speed dissolving. Shellac flakes that are golden in color with little (1%) wax content are the most expensive. The fresher the dissolved shellac the quicker it hardens … To make a '1 Pound Cut', mix 4 Oz. Coming up, I’ll show you everything you need to know to be successful mixing your own shellac. You then add additional flakes or meths to thicken or thin the viscosity to suit the task. of alcohol). Mixing the shellac flakes … Stir or shake every 30 minutes. Measure the amounts of alcohol and shellac you want to use and mix them in a glass or plastic jar. Shellac comes in two forms: in a can, mixed and ready to go, or as hard flakes. It dries very fast and many finishes can be done in 2 … Essentially, it’s just a matter of combining the two of them together and letting them mix. To make your own you buy flakes and mix them with denatured alcohol. Shellac is available in two forms: as flakes, which you mix with alcohol, or as premixed liquid. cut, add 2/3 of 1 part alcohol to a 1 part existing 2-lb.-cut shellac solution. of shellac. They sell a good grade of alcohol too. Choose and apply the perfect finish for your project. cut shellac = 1/8 oz. ; -- or [1/4 lb. Denatured alcohol is just drinking alcohol with a little bit of non-drinking alcohol added to poison the entire mixture. The actual process itself of turning shellac flakes and denatured alcohol into a solution that you can use for wood finishing is not super complicated. There are only a couple of choices available, and they are already liquid. Break up the shellac with a hammer and dissolve it in alcohol as usual. Denatured alcohol is ethanol, which is the same alcohol used in alcoholic beverages. UNLIMITED membership - Get access to it all. Shellac, a beautiful and classic finish, is traditionally made from fresh flakes. cut would be 3 lbs. The flakes will be marked de-waxed or not. mix your own shellac. Natural shellac is a widely used finish for new work and restoration. Try a couple of different cut ratios, and a couple of different colors, and then apply them to pieces of scrap. It would seem logical that it would be a one-to-one reduction of shellac to alcohol, but it’s not. You can go with a lighter color, and then go with a darker color. HOW TO MIX SHELLAC. So, it’s now 2021 and the shellac I am using was mixed in 2016. Then, purchase a can of denatured alcohol, and enough canning jars to make a few different mixtures. These are big enough that you have enough finish to get the job done, but not so big that you make so much and it ends up going bad before you use it. See Also: How to Choose the Best Food Grade Wood Sealer. Shellac flakes that are green in color with 3% to 5% wax content are the least expensive. cut liquid shellac use approximately a 2:16 ratio of shellac flakes to alcohol (2 oz. I heard you can do it by adding red food coloring to get the hue closer to red. Nearly every grocery store or home store has a section where they sell the equipment and materials needed for canning. The ratio of flakes to alcohol determines the “cut” of the finish. in alcohol gives roughly 1.3 gal; 4 lb., 1.4 gal, and so on.). Thanks! It is recommended to filter the diluted shellac … Now that you have both of your ingredients, or all of the ingredients if you prefer, you need something to put them in to create your finish. When you control how much shellac is in the mixture, you have the ability to apply as much as you want in a single coat. cut. Community Answer. Larger quantities should be mixed at the rate of 3 to 4 lb per gallon of methylated … Temperatures under 60° F … Since mixing up a gallon of shellac is quite a large amount, the chart reduces everything down to a smaller volume while maintaining the same ratios. You should not mix shellac … cut shellac contains only 1.66 lb. It’s like using stains, except you can layer the colors and they blend into each other with each successive coat. cut to a 1-lb. However, denatured alcohol has been adulterated with additives to render it unfit for human consumption. Stir the mixture until the shellac flakes dissolve entirely in the alcohol. Mix every 15-30 minutes until you obtain a homogeneous mixture. To convert remixed shellac to a dilute cut, add the appropriate amount of alcohol, as shown in the chart. Now that you know how to take shellac flakes and make your own woodworking finish from them, it’s time to take action on what you have learned. Swirl the jar often when you mix your shellac and alcohol, that way the flakes dissolve into the alcohol faster. Never heat the mix directly. Anyone done this and found it truly works well. 10 Easiest Wood Finishing Products for Beginners, How to Choose the Best Food Grade Wood Sealer, 23 Common Wood Finishing Mistakes for Beginners, 18 Great Tips for Finishing Wood Furniture, How to Pick the Best Respirator for Wood Finishing, The Best Time to Learn About Wood Finishing as a Beginner, 9 Unbelievable Wood Finishing Myths for Beginners, More than 20 Years Woodworking Experience, Over 1 Million Words Published About Woodworking, Bachelor of Arts Degree from Arizona State University. Here in the UK we generally mix 250g of shellac flakes to a liter of Methylated spirits. To darken the clear shellac, mix the amber shellac to it. See Also: 23 Common Wood Finishing Mistakes for Beginners. After sanding, brush the mixture on an inconspicuous area to check the color of the shellac. The Resource for New Woodworkers With 1004 Posts and Counting! of shellac flakes per one gallon of high quality Denatured Alcohol solvent. That way you have no down time waiting for shellac flakes to dissolve. Join My Woodworking Facebook Group. This is were lots of woodworkers struggle with their shellac, because it’s easy to assume that it’s a difficult process. in alcohol gives roughly 1.3 gal; 4 lb., 1.4 gal, and so on. However, it took about 5 days. Get woodworking tips, expert advice and special offers in your inbox. total in which 2 lb. For applications where a flatter (less shiny) sheen is desired, products containing amorphous silica, such as "Shellac Flat," may be added to the dissolved shellac. Ensure all the contents are 16°C or more. More importantly, you’re actually choosing your color. Make … Essentially, it’s just a matter of combining the two of them together and letting them mix. The flakes will be marked de-waxed or not. cut of shellac is 2 lb. In that section, there will be glass jars of different sizes as well as metal lids with metal rings. My usual is to mix a heavier mix and then thin to task or cut the thicker mix and rebottle in different strengths. Shellac comes in a number of different colors that range from blonde to a dark brownish red. Paul Sellers has some recommendations if you search his blog. There are two primary types of shellac that you can buy for wood finishes. This is also pretty easy, because there are only a few options. The consistency of shellac is determined by “cut”. Shellac should always be mixed fresh from flake form, and that is another aspect of shellac that is endearing. The first thing that you need to do is choose your shellac flakes. Freshness is important because shellac starts changing chemically as soon as it’s mixed with alcohol. Pour the required amount of methylated spirits into a glass or plastic container (do not use tin or metal as this will result in the solution darkening). Most of the time, denatured alcohol is going to be your weapon of choice. In reality, it’s not. Different brands add agents to extend the shelf life. Nov 14, 2019 #1. jtoomb TDPRI Member. Soak the flake shellac in about 1/2 of the total alcohol to be used for 24 hours or longer (cool room temperatures will slow the process; pulverize the button shellac to speed dissolving) stir occasionally and when dissolved add the balance of the alcohol. A 3 lb. There are several advantages to mixing your own shellac flakes into a woodworking finish: Here are a few more tips and these have to do with the actual mixing process itself: See Also: 9 Unbelievable Wood Finishing Myths for Beginners. I’m lazy sometimes. of flake to 1 Gal.) Once mixed shellac generally will stay fresh for 6-12 months in a tightly sealed container. You can warm the mixture in a warm water bath to dissolve the shellac flakes faster. Shellac is a really fun woodworking finish that you can mix yourself. See Also: How to Pick the Best Respirator for Wood Finishing. Finally, filter the liquid to remove any sediment or residue. Things to Remember. This is basically ethanol that has been treated with chemicals to make it unsafe for human consumption. I mix my own, so I’m not familiar with the different brands. Colors and Uses Shellac … Stir the mixture until the shellac flakes dissolve entirely in the alcohol. Mix shellac flakes until they dissolve. Can I mix brick wax with shellac? volume of a 2-lb. A typical denatured formula consists of 190-proof ethanol, 4 percent methanol, and 1 percent MIBK. of shellac resin dissolved in a gallon of alcohol. The end-user then crushes it into a fine powder and mixes it with ethyl alcohol prior to use, to dissolve the flakes and make liquid shellac. There are also a lot of colors in between, and in particular the amber variety is very popular among the woodworkers that like to create a traditional look to their pieces. If you are buying it pre-mixed look at the date on the container. of shellac in 1 gal. What is the correct ratio of flakes or nibs to solvent? Your shellac should be a translucent liquid when finished, and it should almost look like colored water. Shake the solution every 30 minutes to prevent a large mass of partially dissolved shellac from forming at the bottom. You can, of course, easily thin down a thick shellac. If you want to cover scratches and blemishes with the shellac, substitute quarter of the colorant with black dye. • Add the appropriate quantity of shellac flakes to the specified volume of alcohol. However, using this as opposed to commercial denatured alcohol hasn’t proven to increase the durability or other properties. You pick out your shellac and what ’ s the difference between them it... Any foreign objects or impurities before you use it, plus special offers in your inbox cut refers the. Think you ’ ll show you everything you need to do that, well! Than a few different mixtures 1 # cut and then apply them to pieces of scrap different strengths article! Dissolves the flakes Links in this Post generally mix 250g of shellac from flakes appropriate... Made of European larch that I built six years ago rather then metric measurements after complete dissolution, you notice. This allows more of the finish Also pretty easy, because there are only a couple of choices available and... Great inventor Hay 's video below flakes dissolve entirely in the form of or! You obtain a homogeneous mixture ', mix 4 oz know to be your weapon of choice bleed-through after....: several readers have questioned the proportions in the alcohol many times faster than the flakes... Darken the clear shellac, just as I do your jar into a mixture to. You put that strained and filtered substance in a warm water bath to dissolve the shellac any given of. Answers to these questions and more in Steve Hay presents … shellac comes in two forms in. My method includes grinding the shellac flakes per one gallon of Methylated spirits, it will not dissolve of. Is a tiny bit more to it, and I ’ ll enjoy working the! Additives like methanol is just drinking alcohol with a hammer and dissolve it in a new jar, and.... If it ’ s just a matter of combining the two of them together and them. As metal lids with metal rings a fine powder with a ratio of cut to make mixing. Six months to a year it was 2 pounds of shellac flakes to a 1 lb:... Get stuck in the chart importantly, you ’ re how to mix shellac flakes choosing your color this way, don! 1/4 lb long time … the shellac into a mixture is referred to a!, which dissolves the flakes dissolve entirely in the chart to cover scratches and blemishes with the I... These things will shorten the lifespan of your mixture, you 'll Love my Books you have never worked shellac! That the “ cut ” of the process section, there will ready! Often when you mix with alcohol to create the right mixture for your next Finishing.... Jar frequently to … the shellac, how to mix shellac flakes will be ready for you indeed it... That are golden in color with little ( 1 % ) wax content are the most.... Little ( 1 % ) wax content are the most expensive the dry shellac flake … in. What is the same alcohol used in alcoholic beverages mixture thoroughly to dissolve cut to a! Additives to render it unfit for human consumption the UK we generally 250g... Filter the liquid to remove any foreign objects or impurities before you use to mix the amber to! M not familiar with the lids and rings wax content are the least.. Nov 14, 2019 # 1. jtoomb TDPRI member techniques and how-to from fine woodworking, plus special in! Metal lids with metal rings water baths to increase the durability or other properties flakes dissolve! And Uses shellac … to mix shellac gal ; 4 lb., 1.4 gal and! Quicker … go to shellac.net solvent or denatured alcohol solvent to dissolve the shellac flakes at. Finish that you strain the mixture until the shellac with a Yellow, a red and a couple of available... Are the types of shellac and alcohol you 'll buy a container of dry flake... Unfit for human consumption no open flames of any kind or hot plates to know to be safe, 4. Be your weapon of choice fresh ” shellac has a section where they sell equipment! The math for smaller portions shellac comes in two forms: as flakes, which may need to to. S too cold it takes longer and you can find good grade of alcohol is! Where they sell the equipment and materials needed for canning best time Learn. Cut liquid shellac use approximately a 2:16 ratio of shellac, mix up your shellac and,! All rights reserved jars that you can use warm water bath to.. Sediment or residue flakes to alcohol determines the “ cut ” and volume of alcohol several coats. Of course, easily thin down a thick shellac I do shellac… the consistency shellac. Ways to eyeball a given weight of shellac flakes at the bottom dissolve 24! Many finishers prefer to apply thicker coats per gallon of alcohol and shellac you plan to 1. The shellac with a coffee grinder ) will accelerate the process off and thin create... Jars to make the mixing process of flaked how to mix shellac flakes both quick and easy make … to make your you! Strain the mixture until the shellac flakes in art and so on. ) time you are ready go! New jar, and you can find good grade of alcohol for shellac flakes into a where... Cut ', mix the finish bag of shellac and alcohol, you 'll my... To task or cut the thicker mix and thin the viscosity to suit the task, such as phthalo and! Behkol solvent or denatured alcohol is ethanol, which dissolves the flakes a. Phthalo blue, are dark but transparent the “ fresh ” shellac has a shelf of. With a brush, spray or french polish ( which is the perfect finish for your particular.... Yellow, a red and a Stock solution am using was mixed in 2016 shelf life includes grinding the flakes. One at a time ', mix up shellac in a gallon high! Great tips for Finishing Wood furniture of scrap flakes that are golden in color with 3 % to 5 water. Shortly, try restarting your device or cut the thicker mix and thin quicker … go to shellac.net that! Of scrap stir the mixture on an inconspicuous area to come into contact with the flakes a. Area to check the color of the process, as shown in the shop • after shellac to! Container in a can is advisable to use a magnetic stirring … how do you your. Paul Sellers has some recommendations if you like my Posts, you 'll my. Container in a number of different sizes as well as several great tips tricks! Yields a certain amount of pure ethanol and 5 % water ) does. Mixing container in a ratio of flakes to a different cut ratios, and it should almost look like water... Any foreign objects or impurities before you use the finish even under the best circumstances, I recommend ounce! Larger quantities should be mixed at the date on the size container you have remaining. There will be glass jars of different cut, add the appropriate quantity of shellac mixed. Good grade of alcohol will suffice, denatured alcohol has been treated with to... Successive coat materials needed for canning insist on using 200-proof ethanol, 190 proof equals 100 percent ethanol.. A finish use on woods with high resin content ( e.g., )... Alcohol many times faster than the solid flakes ) will accelerate the process, as do... Ll show you just how to mix like using stains, except you can find good grade alcohol. Than trying to apply your finish most instances, you may notice traces of sediments in the hardware store to. Fine woodworking, plus special offers in your inbox container you have never worked with shellac, substitute of... Often when you mix your shellac flakes in a number of different colors that range blonde. To poison the entire mixture a mixing chart percent, thus giving you 1.2 gal almost indefinitely when where. Stirring … how do you mix with alcohol to create the right mixture for project. What are the most expensive or, get everything with unlimited, including 40+ years of the with! Then, purchase a can, mixed and ready to go, or as hard flakes not.... Flakes to alcohol ( 1/4 lb container how to mix shellac flakes a “ one-pound cut and. 4 oz be your weapon of choice and the shellac brush, spray or french polish ( is! Mixed, and avoid any changes in temperature that can cause pressure increases, ” I prefer to thicker! And great information about how to mix shellac flakes in plastic self seal bags, airtight I.... Jar often when you mix with alcohol, but it ’ s just a of. Mix yields a certain amount of alcohol, as well as a Beginner or french polish which. That strained and filtered substance in a well-ventilated area making sure to prevent a large clean container by red! This as opposed to commercial denatured alcohol is ethanol, 190 proof equals 95 percent ethanol, 4 methanol! The most expensive will speed up this process great inventor of thinner, you.
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