Interesting Woodworking Link

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Episode #73 - You Can Make the Cut with Shellac!


This is a video follow-up from Episode #71 - Shellac, Can You Make the Cut? Well, tag along with me in the shop and you will see in fact you can make the cut and add this fascinating finish to your reportaire. This episode covers mixing shellac from dry flakes (1# cut amber shellac) and reducing a premixed cut to a thinner cut (1/2# cut spit coat).

Download a shellac chart for your shop and consider using shellac on your next project.

Be forewarned . . . the only thing more boring than watching someone mix shellac is watching a pot of water boil or perhaps watching your lawn grow!

• • • UPDATE 10/07/08 • • •

The following tips are paraphrased from an email by Jeff Scharver, an organic chemist and fellow woodworker.
  • Use Zinsser SealCoat as a 1# cut as a wash coat prior to finishing to help prevent blotchiness in cherry and uneven stain/dye absorption in soft woods like fir and poplar.
  • Dewaxed Zinsser SealCoat is warranted to have a 3-year shelf life after which it may begin to degrade (chemical jargon is esterification). Zinsser has a proprietary formulation which slows down degradation.
  • Plain household aqueous ammonia is perfectly fine for cleaning up syringes, containers, brushes, and wipe on rags. It's a lot cheaper than denatured alcohol for this step.
Thanks Jeff!

• • • • •

Coming up in future Folding Rule episodes:

  • Why you might want to consider getting a hot water pot for your shop.
  • A primer on safety & first-aid for the woodworker.
  • A review of my current sharpening system.

Got an iPod, iPhone, Apple TV or just want to see a better quality video on iTunes? Well check out The Folding Rule Podcast! I am slowly posting new and previous video content in a format appropriate for the Apple iPod, iPhone and Apple TV.


Vic Hubbard said...

YEAH!!! He is BACK!!
I was seriously jonesing for a new episode, David! If it's any consolation, I've been too busy to post anything of decent content myself. (not that what I post comes close to your site - someday, maybe)
Anyway, glad to see ya back. How's the Blanket Chest with your son goin'?

David Pruett said...

Vic -

I have to say you put a big smile on my face! I greatly appreciate your support . . . it means a lot to me.

I have been remiss. I say your posts on the beautiful hardwood floor you are installing . . . and the teaser of expected shop equipment. Very cool!

This summer was a course not of my design. As you know I had a couple of events that put me off course. Well, I am back in the shop and I have a honey do list . . . more on that in a future episode(s).

The kids are back in school and we are hosting a German foreign exchange student. Things are very hectic here but very enjoyable.

Matt is full into homework, Boy Scouts and playing trumpet (a new player!). I am trying to squeeze some shop time from him.

Thanks for stopping by!


Vic Hubbard said...

I completely forgot to tell Sylvia about your exchange student. She'll get a kick out of that. We should host a German student someday. Maybe I'd finally learn a decent amount of German if that was all that was spoken in the house.

David Pruett said...

Vic -

we are having a great time with Karo. Kelsey & Matt are excited to have "a sister" and another member of our family. You bring up an interesting point about learning and speaking German at home. The whole point of her visit is to immerse herself in American culture and speak English! Perhaps you and Sylvia need to host a German exchange student and then make a trip to Germany. I should stop now before I get into trouble with Sylvia!

Anonymous said...


Glad to see your hand has healed. You did a great job as always on the shellac video along with great tips. May I suggest a video on how to properly apply shellac by both brush and spray. I always apply with a brush, even though I know better I'm alway tempted to go over the the shellac with the brush a second time.

Vic Hubbard said...

We get to Germany quite often (at least every year) The problem is that most of my wife's friends speak English and we're not there long enough for me to be forced into immersion. I'm too busy here with my work, honey-dos, shop, and, lately
expanding our local Energy and Environmental Expo, to focus on learning how to "sprechen zie duetsch".
That's probably even wrong. Karo can tell you.

Doug Brummett said...

Nice episode. Thanks for posting it up. I have been using the measuring cup method for finishes in the garage lately, but may have to go back to syringes for shellac.

Unknown said...

Hey David..........I feel bad about it, but I just tossed my old trusty piece of a ripped card board that referenced my shellac cuts. I'll miss it, but my newly printed Folding Rule Shellac Mixing Chart is an awfully pretty replacement.

I'm somewhat surprised that you couldn't get Dr Pruett's Premium BeesWax Screw Lubricant to sponsor the Mixing Chart. Maybe down the road :^)

That's good information David!!