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Learn How Shellac is Madecomments (4) December 14th, 2010 in blogs
We've asked Vijay back to share a bit more about his favorite finish and he responded with the video you see below. For anyone interested in the origins of what is perhaps one of the most traditional finishes out there, it's a must-see.
Shellac Origins and Manufacture
By Vijay Velji
Shellac as a finish is quickly catching on with many woodworkers. The many myths that were propagated are slowing proving to be wrong, Woodworkers are realizing that shellac is an easy to use finish that can stand on its own merits.
Since the release of my French Polish Like a Pro! DVD, I have been receiving many questions about shellac. The books at my local library, or even at the Library of Congress, are old and outdated. Therefore I decided to go to India and document the production process. Fortunately I had personal contacts that helped me tremendously. I met with the villagers who cultivate lac, and with the factory owners who process it. It was an exciting and interesting trip.
This video highlights the cultivation and processing of hand and machine-made waxy shellac. Manufacturing of dewaxed shellac is a trade secret that most processors do not want to share. I had the privilege of witnessing it without taking photographs.
Apart from the documentation, I also spent time at the National Library and Asiatic Society in the city of Kolkata to verify the history of shellac. I was able to trace it back to 1500 B.C. This was some 400 years before Ramses III was ruling Egypt. Although I am sure that the use of shellac goes beyond that!
I hope you enjoy the video. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
posted in: blogs, shellac, buttonlac, lac, shellac production, India, French polish
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