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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-15-2012, 10:23 AM Thread Starter
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Default Storing shellac

I've decided to try mixing up my own shellac (I've only used pre-mixed before) so I ordered a pack of 3 different shades of shellac flakes from an ebay seller. It came with a sheet of hints and tips, but I was struck by the recommendations he gives with regard to storage, which seem to contradict what I've read elsewhere.

The seller says that the shellac flakes will polymerise over time and become less soluble, especially the de-waxed ones, so they should be dissolved as soon as possible. All the other sources I've seen say that the shelf life is better if left in flake form. Also he says that if storing the flakes, they should be kept below 15C (59F). Any experienced shellac users out there care to comment? Are this seller's recommendations off-base?
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-15-2012, 12:30 PM
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Hi Andy

My old man used to French polish quite a bit. He generally wouldn't keep mixed shellac for more than 6 months or flakes/buttons for more than about year. Either way they were kept in the cool, in airtight brown glass bottles or jars so that neither light nor heat would affect them (the meths they are dissolved in evaporates at a very low temperature). He always tried to buy only enough product for the job at hand because he reckoned that fresh polish went on more consistently and dried better. My own take on it is that I don't want large quantities of a very inflamable liquid in the house so I'd rather not keep big bottles of made-up for any longer than I need to

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-16-2012, 09:31 AM
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Hi Andy - take a look @ Jeff Jewitt's ARTICLE HERE as a starter; some excellent information and advice.

For myself, shellac flakes should be stored in a cool, dry place, and should last at least several years (or more) - testing is simple (see Jeff's advice). Once mixed, the shellac should also be stored in a similar fashion, even in a refrigerator (TRUE - I actually was going to order some mixed shellac from Jewitt but was worried about longevity - he answered an email of mine & suggested storage in a frig up to a year).

But, I usually store my mixed shellac in the same cool, dry place as the flakes, and discard after 6 months - really no use to 'ruin' your project w/ a finish as inexpensive as shellac - good luck! Dave
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-19-2012, 05:05 AM Thread Starter
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Well I found out why my e bay seller advised dissolving the flakes as soon as possible - one pack was past its shelf life already, and won't dissolve
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