Mixing Shellac

brian forbes westfarthing woodworks author biography about me experience

Mixing shellac from dry flakes can be a little intimidating for the new wood finisher, but the process is a lot easier than it looks.  Once you understand the weights and volumes to achieve the desired cut of shellac, making a batch will be easy.

Shellac is sold in flake form at many woodworking stores or online, and it can last a very long time in this form if kept dry.  When needed, smaller batches of shellac can be mixed.  This saves money because only the amount needed is mixed.

Mixing Shellac is about proportions, and the video explains this well.  The cut of shellac refers to the density of shellac in the alcohol, with the larger cut numbers meaning more shellac in the mixture.

For most applications in fine woodworking, a 1.5-2.0 pound cut is perfect.  It is thick enough to lay down a layer on the surface, yet thin enough that it wont get like syrup.  You can always try it out and add either more alcohol to thin, or more flake to thicken.

Mixing shellac does take a little time, as the flakes need to dissolve in the alcohol and create a solution.  This can be sped up by grinding the flakes into smaller pieces before adding them to the jar.  After that, swirl the contents of the jar more often to help mix everything.

For more finishing videos, take a look at my Finishing With Tru-Oil Video.  I love hand applied finishes, and Tru-Oil is one of my favorites.  This is a traditional finish with a modern adaptation for drying quicker.  It sets up as a film, so it offers protection as well.

Does anyone else who already mixes their own shellac have any tips or tricks they want to share?  If so, please leave a comment and everyone can benefit from your experience.

 

Post Author-

brian forbes westfarthing woodworks llc owner

  • 20 Years Experience in Woodworking
  • 7 Published Books Available on Amazon
  • 750+ Helpful Posts Written
  • 1 Million+ Words Published
 

You Can Find My Books on Amazon!

woodworking and guitar making books
 

Filter:AllOpenResolvedClosedUnanswered
Forum Guidelines (Please Read)
ClosedWestfarthing Woodworks asked 4 months ago • 
466 views0 answers0 votes
Tru-Oil question
AnsweredWestfarthing Woodworks answered 1 week ago • 
71 views1 answers0 votes
Vinegar Steel Wool Stain
AnsweredWestfarthing Woodworks answered 2 months ago • 
239 views1 answers0 votes
Clear Coating Over Stain?
AnsweredBrian answered 4 months ago • 
415 views1 answers0 votes
Do I Need a Clearcoat Over Stain on Furniture?
AnsweredBrian answered 4 months ago • 
315 views1 answers0 votes
Does Tru-Oil Have a Natural Look?
AnsweredBrian answered 4 months ago • 
370 views1 answers0 votes
What Finish is the Easiest to Apply?
AnsweredBrian answered 4 months ago • 
300 views1 answers0 votes
How do I finish a Cutting Board?
AnsweredBrian answered 4 months ago • 
246 views1 answers0 votes
How Thick Should I Apply My Finish Coats?
AnsweredBrian answered 4 months ago • 
266 views1 answers0 votes
Lacquer Drying Time?
AnsweredWestfarthing Woodworks answered 4 months ago • 
271 views1 answers0 votes
Filling the Grain Before Applying Tru-Oil?
AnsweredWestfarthing Woodworks answered 4 months ago • 
518 views1 answers0 votes
Tinting and Dying Tru-Oil?
AnsweredWestfarthing Woodworks answered 4 months ago • 
345 views1 answers0 votes
How to Get a Really High Gloss with Tru-Oil
AnsweredWestfarthing Woodworks answered 4 months ago • 
433 views1 answers0 votes
Sanding Between Coats With Tru-Oil?
AnsweredWestfarthing Woodworks answered 4 months ago • 
376 views1 answers0 votes
Thinner for Tru-Oil?
AnsweredWestfarthing Woodworks answered 4 months ago • 
283 views1 answers0 votes
Can You Stain Wood Before Using Tru-Oil?
AnsweredWestfarthing Woodworks answered 4 months ago • 
275 views1 answers0 votes
Does Tru-Oil Need UV Light to Cure?
AnsweredWestfarthing Woodworks answered 4 months ago • 
283 views1 answers0 votes
How do You Clean Off Steel Wool Residue?
AnsweredWestfarthing Woodworks answered 4 months ago • 
245 views1 answers0 votes
Can You Use Tru Oil Over Oil Based Stain?
AnsweredWestfarthing Woodworks answered 4 months ago • 
301 views1 answers0 votes
What does BLO mean?
OpenWestfarthing Woodworks answered 5 months ago • 
329 views1 answers0 votes
What is Wiping Varnish?
AnsweredWestfarthing Woodworks answered 5 months ago • 
276 views1 answers0 votes

An Exclusive Member of Mediavine Home

Westfarthing Woodworks LLC is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.