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Shellac - Type And Cut?


law_kid
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I'm ready to take the plunge and restore a couple of (inexpensive) old Esties. The instructions/videos I've seen suggest using ":shellac" to adhere the new sac to the nipple, and I know some of the supply places sell small bottles of it.

 

However, as a woodworker, I have multiple types of shellac flakes sitting around.and I'd rather not pay relatively big $$$ for a small bottle of something I ordinarily make by the quart.

 

Can anybody tell me the type of shellac used (waxed vs. dewaxed, does orange vs blonde matter, etc) and also the strength or "cut" of the shellac i should use (e.g. a one-pound cut vs. a three-pound cut)?

 

Thanks!

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Some suggest a 2# cut, but in my experience cut really doesn't matter. You're not trying to finish wood, you're putting some stuff on the sac nipple to get the sac to stick and seal better. If its too thin, it'll thicken as the alcohol dries out of the mix over time. I usually end up adding alcohol to the bottle because it gets thicker before I finish off a 1 oz bottle. I've also found that the expiration date doesn't make a heck of a lot of difference either, though I do try to avoid using stuff that's more than 3 years old.

 

I use Zinsser orange shellac which is a 3# cut, though I have clear for some applications. This is what Sheaffer used - I talk about it in this blog post.

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Ex woodworker hobbyist in a former life :) the shellac I used to slap on wood pieces before polishing the heck out of them was usually quite dilute, like the consistency of water.

 

Whereas on this side of the fence I've cheated - I've bought shellac from pen fixers, mainly because they sell it in nail varnish bottles :) DIY could've been cheaper, but I wouldn't have the patience to decant it into little bottles with handy inbuilt brush ;)

 

Pen shellac is a bit thicker, like syrup. Yeah it's easier to work thicker shellac as a glue, the thin stuff would probably dry too fast.

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  • 2 months later...

MAKING SHELLAC.

 

1. Small Vial (I use an old contact lens vial)

2. Syringe with milliliter markings (I used a 12 mL syringe)

3. Digital Scale, sensitive to .1 gram

4. 10 Pieces of Dewaxed Shellac Flakes

5. 4 mL Denatured Alcohol (Methylated Spirits).

 

Ground up the Shellac Flakes, as small as possible.

A mortar and pestle would be useful.

Grounding up the flakes makes dissolving easier.

 

Measure out 1 gram of grounded Shellac Flakes.

 

Pour the 1 gram grounded Shellac Flakes into the small vial.

 

Measure 4 mL of Denatured Alcohol (Methylated Spirits).

 

Add 4 mL Denatured Alcohol (Methylated Spirits) to the 1 gram ground Shellac Flakes.

If you are unable to measure out 4 mL of Denatured Alcohol (Methylated Spirits),

you can approximate the amount of Alcohol to add by using 2/3 Alcohol

by volume to 1/3 Shellac Flakes by volume.

 

Stir the Alcohol/Flakes mixture, then cap the vial.

The Shellac Flakes will take 3-6 hours to completely dissolve before being ready to use.

It's important to keep the vial capped, as the alcohol will evaporate rapidly.

You'll have enough shellac glue to repair a dozen pens.

The shelf life to the shellac is approximately 6 months to a year,

if you keep it capped and store it in a cool dry place.

Words flowing from the soul and conveyed to paper, require the touch of a fountain pens soft carress.Distinct and individual like a lovers touch.

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Buying shellac:

 

Go to the hardware store,

Buy a can (half pint is enough)

Put some in a bottle with a brush.

 

.

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Please use email, not a PM for repair and pen purchase inquiries.

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