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Mineral oil in shellac (Read 174 times)
 
Steve Schmidt
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Mineral oil in shellac
Nov 5th, 2020 at 11:21am
 
I've read where finishing with shellac with some mineral oil is preferable to shellac alone. Is there a preferred amount of mineral oil added to say 8 ounces of a 1 lbs cut of shellac. Ten or 20% mineral oil or more? Thanks for your input. Steve
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Ed Weber
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Re: Mineral oil in shellac
Reply #1 - Nov 5th, 2020 at 12:37pm
 
I don't know where you heard or read that but I don't think it's a good idea.
Mineral oil doesn't actually ever dry or fully cure. Your resulting finish might be soft, if it cures enough at all.
Shellac flakes are dissolved in alcohol, if you want to add a little oil, a drying oil like Tung or boiled linseed oil and some others would probably be better.

Always test your new finish recipe on some scrap before committing to your final product.
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Don Stephan
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Re: Mineral oil in shellac
Reply #2 - Nov 5th, 2020 at 7:51pm
 
Padding on or French polishing shellac is a rather intensive process for wiping on very thin layers of shellac, generally on a flat surface, eventually to build up a glass smooth gloss finish.  If I remember correctly on the last day a drop or two of mineral oil is added to the "rubber" (applicator) to help the last application or two be even more uniform and smooth.  Could that be what you were reading?
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Steve Schmidt
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Re: Mineral oil in shellac
Reply #3 - Nov 5th, 2020 at 8:58pm
 
Yes Don, something like that. One reference was making paduak pop. Each layer of shellac had oil. After drying, mineral oil was removed with naphtha followed by another layer of shellac with oil, building 3-4 layers followed then by several coats of WBPU with scuffing between layers. Thought it was an interesting approach. But no reference to % mineral oil. Hence, the question I asked.
Also, noticed that Wyomingwoodturner had mineral oil in his shellac used for French polishing some turnings. I wanted further information from other turners on this use of mineral oil. Thanks
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Ed Weber
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Re: Mineral oil in shellac
Reply #4 - Nov 6th, 2020 at 11:29am
 
Mixing the oil and the shellac is a bit risky IMO
You really need to have some experience before you commit to it.

From my understanding and experience applying shellac in the french polish method, the oil has less to do with the look, though it will be different and more to do with application.
Rubbing on shellac is easy until it starts to dry, at which time it gets sticky. Putting a drop of oil on the rubber adds a tiny amount of lubrication so the rubber doesn't stick to the finish as it starts to dry out. This allows you to put more shellac on per session before you need to re-charge your rubber.  So, in this way, the type of oil doesn't matter since it's not really part of the finish, just a finishing aide. Traditionally, olive oil was used later mineral oil.

You can use a drying oil but it's not going to be the same look and some may say it's not traditional or kick up a fuss for some reason.
A drying oil will add some alcohol resistance and some flexibility to the finish but it will also change to look of the shellac. Walnut oil is often used for this.

Shellac can be tricky to work with, there are many different types and colors. As mentioned, different oils will change the look and also the properties. of the finish. The type and quality of the alcohol can also change the color and the application process of shellac. (some types dry quicker than others)

You can apply a drying oil finish, which will penetrate the wood. Once it's fully cured, you can apply a shellac finish on top of it. This method is easier, although the final look will of course be different.
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Don Stephan
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Re: Mineral oil in shellac
Reply #5 - Nov 6th, 2020 at 7:54pm
 
Steve

You might search the Internet using "french polish" and any article or video by Jeff Jewitt, Bob Flexner, or ____________ (sorry, drawing a blank) another wnell known and well regarded finishing author, will explain the process.  It is time consuming, requires a lot of practice before moving to the piece, but is actually relatively easy once the technique is mastered.

I used it several years ago on a couple table tops and legs/turned pedestal.  But I don't remember enough of the fine points to discuss further.
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Re: Mineral oil in shellac
Reply #6 - Nov 6th, 2020 at 8:46pm
 
Don Stephan wrote on Nov 6th, 2020 at 7:54pm:
Steve

You might search the Internet using "french polish" and any article or video by Jeff Jewitt, Bob Flexner, or ____________ (sorry, drawing a blank) another wnell known and well regarded finishing author, will explain the process.


A couple of things,
Dons suggestions are good ones but I want to point this out.
French polish is a process NOT a product.
If/when you perform a search, there will be all sorts of formulas calling themselves "french-polish", they are not.

Don, you made me laugh and almost ruined my keyboard.
You literally drew a blank  Grin

I'm not sure if this is who you meant but Michael Dresdner is another person skilled in finishing.
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Don Stephan
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Re: Mineral oil in shellac
Reply #7 - Nov 7th, 2020 at 6:44pm
 
Didn't see the pun, so I don't deserve the laugh credit.  But I'm not proud and will take it.

Michael Dredsner was the person whose name was escaping me.
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Ed Weber
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Re: Mineral oil in shellac
Reply #8 - Nov 7th, 2020 at 7:32pm
 
Don Stephan wrote on Nov 6th, 2020 at 7:54pm:
or ____________ (sorry, drawing a blank)


Look, you actually drew a blank         

Well I laughed anyway
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