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Shellac Question
Posted By Dave (Arlington, VA)
Date Monday, 28 November 2022, at 12:37 p.m.

Hello -

I am trying to mix up some shellac from flakes.  It's been some time but I've done this before and it's worked fine.  I'm using newly acquired 200 proof denature ethyl alcohol and garnet shellac flakes.  I've been aiming at a 2 lb cut.  I don't need much so I've used 1/4 cup (i.e., 2 fluid oz.) of the alcohol with .5 oz garnet shellac flakes.

I have a magnetic stir plate so I've been using that to dissolve the flakes.  This is has been going on for probably 8 hours per day for each of the past couple days, and while there are no longer any flakes that are visible, the solution is not "clear" (i.e. that is, clear but with the reddish tint one would expect from using garnet flakes) as with my previous batches of shellac.  It's kind of murky.  You can't even see the light of a flashlight when you hold it up behind the shellac.

At the risk of answering my own question, I will acknowledge that the flakes are somewhat dated though I can't recall when I got them.  However, they have been double sealed in zip lock bags and stored in a dark place that's around 68 degrees year around....in our basement so it's not particularly humid either.  I would also say this about the condition of the flakes: they look perfectly normal, that is, just like I got them.  That is there is no clumping as one might expect if they'd absorbed too much moisture from the ambient air.

I would also note that I can't find a date on the bag of shellac flakes.  So, if the age of flakes is an issue, how would one know how old the flakes might be when you get them?  Do others get their flakes from vendors with dates on the bags?

Thoughts?  Thanks in advance.







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