Workshop Tip: Shellac conversion tables give ratios for small amounts
Tables give guidelines when you're mixing shellac in small portions
Like many woodworkers, I mix my own shellac from fresh flakes to ensure top performance. Because mixed shellac doesn’t keep well, I mix up only as much as I need for a project and discard the unused leftovers. The trouble is that most shellac mixing tables don’t provide ratios for small amounts.
Further, I often mix up a heavier “cut” and then dilute some of it into lighter mixes for certain coats. That raises a second question: How much denatured alcohol must I add to turn a heavy cut into a lighter one?
I came up with these simple tables as a quick guide. Copy them and hang them in the shop. Then all you need is a scale to weigh your supplies.
—DAVID LEVENBERG, Elizabeth, N.J.
Illustrations by Dan Thornton
From Fine Woodworking issue #280