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Question
What is the best product for dissolving shellac flakes?
i've heard denatured alcohol,denatured alcohol green,everclear,etc..but not sure what is best.i've been told you want what has the highest percent of ethanol.but labels tell you nothing.

don't know if it matters.but i'll be spraying the shellac on sculptures an cabinets.using a Binks Mach 1SL HVLP sprayer.

         Thanks,Martin

Answer
Hi Martin, the best is a product from Behlen called Bekhol. Denatured alcohol has water in it and all alcohols will absorb water readily from the air...but I only use Bekhol to cut flake, and then after I have a cut fully mixed and strained through cheesecloth, I add denatured to get the final viscosity, usually for padding.Many people get very scientific when mixing dry shellac flake, using a scale, etc...I usually use a glass jar, and fill it 1\3 - 1\2 full of dry shellac and then fill it all the way with Bekhol.That's usually a good starting cut for restoration work, and padding, brushing, etc...but your mileage may vary, and typically less refined shellacs are thicker and need more straining......Bekhol is more expensive, but dissolves faster and is a superior product. Hope that helps- Regards- Greg

http://www.amazon.com/Behlen-Behkol-Quart/dp/B003CMTWXY  

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Greg Scholl

Expertise

Questions on Woodworking, wood finishing and refinishing of all kinds, repairing furniture and wooden objects, Architectural details, Woodturning, carving, tool usage, product usage, some chemistry as it applies to woodworking and related interests,cabinet making and furniture construction/design, etc. I have experience with all manners of colorants, finishes, paints, stains, dyes, glazes, and coatings, wood species recognition and usage,tool recommendations, blade types and recommendation,techniques and methods for many Woodworking related issues, etc.

Experience

Fine furniture restorer and cabinet maker for over 30 years,serving high end Antique dealers, Interior designers, Collectors in the CT area. Consulting for area Painting/Decorating and Building contractors on non painting issues..(staining, wood prep.,clear finishing, floor restoration and architectural detail restoration and repair, etc.) Sold, built, serviced, setup Home, Industrial, and Commercial stationary woodworking tools for a major tool retailer in CT. for three years, sold hand and power tools , provided knowledge, parts replacement, service, and on site service, Trade show Demo, and training as well.

Publications
Published in Fine Woodworking Magazine (12/97), included on Fine Woodworkings first "Best of Fine Woodworking" CD-ROM (2002) ...("27 year compilation of expert know-how")

Education/Credentials
Art School at Silvermine Guild in Norwalk, CT., 9 year apprenticeship in a European run Cabinet and Restoration shop in CT., various classes on subjects having to do with the field. Seminars from major Tool manufacturers, Skil/Bosch, Delta, Powermatic, Ritter, Porter cable, Milwaukee, Dewalt/B&Decker, Performax.

Past/Present Clients
Many varied clients including work on Martha Stewarts' Westport, CT. show house, many fine Antique dealers and private collectors in and around Fairfield County and in Woodbury, CT. (the Antiques capital of CT.), Golden Age of Trucking Museum,Consulting for area Painting/Decorating and Building contractors on non painting issues..(staining, wood prep.,clear finishing, floor restoration and architectural detail restoration and repair, etc.), local Museums and Historical Societies. For the last two years I have been employed with Schwenke Auctioneers Inc.- Woodbury Auction LLC., as a staff photographer,IT tech,and doing restoration and repair work as well.

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