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Subject:
Scorched Earth Advice on Shellac

David Weaver
I've taken a fascination in shellac lately, because I've started french polishing things that I just don't feel like spraying and rubbing out (mostly instruments, but I'm going to pad the inside of a piece of cabinetry and do a quick french polish to the outside).

When I was looking for information about performing the process of french polishing, I came across some gurus and their articles about things and I just wonder why they feel the need to express some definitive opinion about something that's probably not that definitive in reality.

One of the topics was dewaxed shellac. "there's no reason to ever buy anything other than dewaxed shellac", and a subsequent discussion about why waxed shellac is actually inferior.

Fast forward, I have some of both - blonde to garnet in dewaxed, and kusmi and light pure button lac (the latter is pretty cheap and works great for french polish).

I can't tell a great deal of difference in any of them when I don't need a consideration for another finish. The polish is my top coat - I don't care that much about compatibility with other finishes.

Perhaps it's fun to write articles for beginners that outline a very specific set of rules, without delineating between those that really matter and those that don't. I don't favor it nearly as much as experimenting and getting actual experience, though.

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