Shellac Mix ratio

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  • #673931
    Matt Sims
    Participant

    Folks,

    I know this isn’t critical at all, but I’m curious….

    When speaking of a “1 pound cut” using shellac, I know this refers to 1lb of shellac dissolved in 1 gallon of alcohol… for the sake of the purist, is this a US gallon or imperial gallon?

    Matt

    #673951
    deanbecker
    Participant

    on my shellac bag it said to mix 1-4 and talked of 50 ml to 200 ml of alcohol That should be easy to extrapolate from I used a gram scale for the dry and a liquid measure for the alcohol . Hopes this helps.. Dean

    #673979
    Matt Sims
    Participant

    Thanks… Yes I could work out what was needed… it was just a question for the purists… i.e. What is a gallon in this “cut” language, US or UK??
    Matt

    #674004
    deanbecker
    Participant

    If shellac is made in europe you would use an imperial galloon, if made in the USA
    The directions will be in the english measurement thus using the american gallon.
    However if you buy it off ebay and it comes from europe then once again the shellac must be cut with imperial measurements if the directions are presented that way. Unless you use an english scale to weigh with,then once again you would need to use the american gallon

    #674020
    Selva
    Participant

    You may find it hard to come up with a consistent definition of “pound cut”. The term itself is supposed to be introduced by manufacturers in different era and probably never had a clear definition. Zinsser, one of the leading manufacturer who popularised shellac in the US, in their 1913 publication of “The Story of Shellac” only state vague descriptions of “cuts” like X pound of of shellac in a gallon, without saying whether its US or imperial gallon. In those days many such products were sold in the US and Canada and it was common to label products in both U.S. gallon and Imperial gallon. So we cant just assume that a publication from New York just took gallon to mean U.S. gallon.

    Until now I had just assumed its US gallon as that also matches well with the 1:8 ratio one sees mentioned all over the place. But think about it, it could be imperial gallon as that saves them money. In more modern documents Zinsser says a 3-lb cut has 29% of shellac but don’t say whether that’s by weight or volume or a mishmash of both.

    Not that any of these have any real consequence for use of shellac for finishing… Just adjust the ratio until it feels right..

    Selva

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 3 months ago by Selva.
    #674042
    P McC
    Participant

    Like Paul, I pour out a little shellac, pour out some alcohol, mix it a bit and start brushing. Seems to work out ok. Buy it premixed 3 pound cut.

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 3 months ago by P McC.
    #674072
    Sven-Olof Jansson
    Participant

    Please, here’s a link to a Shellac ‘Pound Cut List’ using US units.

    https://www.shellac.net/PoundCutChart.html

    The “standard” two pound cut was too heavy for me. The much thinner ready-mixed Chestnut Sanding Sealer has been both easier to apply and left better results, at the expense of one more layer. Filtering the two pound one helped a lot, but still needs more alcohol, I think.

    (A, probably redundant, small tip to those who can find 99.9% alcohol [UK=176 proof, US=200]: Five seconds in the microwave oven will break the weak bonds, and make it more efficient).

    Sven-Olof Jansson
    London, UK; Boston, MA

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 3 months ago by Sven-Olof Jansson. Reason: Grammar
    #674140
    Larry Geib
    Participant

    People need to get away from the idea that the USA ever used Imperial measurement.

    We didn’t ever, and almost all our measurements are based on the measurements before 1775 and metric system since USA standards were developed. They may look Imperial, but they aren’t . British kings weren’t even Emperors back then. They didn’t get promoted yet.

    We rebelled before imperial measurement (1824) existed. There was no way in hell Americans would have adopted a system based on the whims of some fops in Oxford or Greenwich, or wherever they thought those things up after a second war of independence formally ended 9 years earlier even if crazy George was dead. For all we knew the next Imperial majesty would have a change of mind. It took 40 years to purge the monetary system.
    It turns out that in 1965 our concerns were justified.

    Americans used Queen Anne’s , Dutch ( new Amsterdam) and Spanish measure until they adopted the US customary system, which are all defined by metric measures You will see those measures with USCS or USC or UNÍ or USS after them sometimes. Some are a little different, so we lied about unified. Sue us. We didnt include whitworth. ( almost) The rest of you folks were using lines and vara back then.

    Before the 1824 imperial standard, the Brits had ale, gallons, wine gallons, dry gallons. Corn gallons, Winchester gallons, And probably a couple others. They were all different size gallons. There were Troy ounces, dry ounces, London ounces, tower ounces,, apothecary ounces, avoirdupois ounces — lots of ounces, all different. I assume each guild set its own standard. Before the revolution , the fluid item most imported to the colonies was wine. We weren’t stupid. We could make beer and distill it. We just hadn’t invented the Napa valley back then. The Brits defined it as 231 cubic inches. I have no idea why. Maybe they wanted to be able to even divide it by 3,7, and 11. Who knows how they think? The ale gallon was something like 281 cubic inches. That’s prime. There’s no decent way to split that up. Go figure.

    So we picked the wine gallon, also known as Queen Anne’s gallon and used it for everything. We were probably too frugal ( puritans) to throw away a wine barrel and just filled it with ale. Yeah, I know….yuck. We drank so much ale that in a week no one would know. The thing had been washed out 6 times by then. George Washington, America’s biggest brewer and distiller got rich. Sam Adams probably picked his brain in the Green Dragon pub when they were in Boston throwing the Brits out.

    Presumably it was defined in Annes Reign. Elizabeth1 and Henry VIII also stuck their noses in, I’ll let you research that. But we were loyal subjects using a system defined by a monarch, until we all became traitors to king GeorgeIII , that is.

    Then we didn’t want to be tied to the Brits, so we defined the gallon by the new French system in 1793. So the USA gallon is exactly 3.785411784 litres., making the USA a metric country about 180 years before Britain. That’s about 8 pounds US , but not exactly, and the Gallon definition has nothing to do with a pound or an inch, except incidentally. You can round to 948 ml per pint.

    We also metrified the currency at about the same time. No more shillings, quid, pence pound, groats, whatever silliness went on across the pond. We picked the Spanish dollar and divided it into 100 cents. We have a dime (French) which is a tenth of a dollar. Other coins are multiples of 5 or 10. Larger bills are also in multiples of five or ten.
    (in fairness to the Brits, it took maybe 40 years for advertisements to completely eliminate £ from prices quoted. England will understand)

    The Brits went on to unify their system in 1824 around the ale gallon. I guess they didnt want to get cheated at the pub, and the wine drinking Gentry got more wine in the glass. a win-win for them.

    Here in the US, we got cheated by 4 ounces at the pub until micro brewing, which added the four ounces in many pubs just to differentiate from the booze joint down the street. (look! Ours goes up to 11! )
    A proper British pint here is 20 fluid ounces USC . I think that’s actually about the beer in the head more than an actual British pint, so win for us, except in those pubs that really use a 19 oz. glass. ( I’m on to you guys). A usc oz is about 4% larger than imperial, but if I go into that both our heads will hurt, so another time.
    The Brits defined their gallon as 10 pounds, whatever a pound is defined as – probably something to do with the Kings thumb or something.

    A Little stroke of luck still makes a pint a pound the world around ( nearly) in our world, anyway.

    So add 3 oz of shellac flakes per pint in the US and you have a I pound cut.

    You poor guys in the U.K. are going to have to measure abut 25% more shellac flakes to get the same ratios or just be satisfied with a thinner 1 pound cut. Left open In about a half hour it’ll be thicker anyway.

    Or use a liter instead of pint. That’s only 5% more watered down From USC. Let it stand 3 minutes. You”ll be fine.
    Go bang out metric and Use 90 grams of shellac flakes, you’ll be even closer.

    Next lesson, the USC metric inch and pound.
    ( hint – Pirates! )

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 3 months ago by Larry Geib.
    • This reply was modified 2 years, 3 months ago by Larry Geib.
    #674144
    P McC
    Participant

    @LORENZOJOSE Bravo!

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 3 months ago by Izzy Berger.
    #674148
    Larry Geib
    Participant

    I blame Covid.

    #674155
    Selva
    Participant

    Thanks for that lesson on gallons.

    <quote> So add 3 oz of shellac flakes per pint in the US and you have a I pound cut. </quote>

    BTW, I think you meant 2 oz.

    Selva

    #674168
    Larry Geib
    Participant

    Yeah. I made two errors. First I typed 3 oz. later I saw that was wrong and my brain said “wait, 60 grams is only about two oz “ so I changed that to 90 grams.instead of changing the oz.

    Both are wrong. The correct numbers are 2 oz USC per pint USC and 60 grams per liter.

    Editing timed out, so the only way I see to change it is to delete and post again correctly. I’m not even sure that works.
    ( nope)

    That’s why we blew up a satélite.

    #674186
    Larry Geib
    Participant

    Good lord.
    Three, no four mistakes. You shouldn’t drink pints when talking about them.

    A quart is 948 cc . Not a pint. A pint is a puny 474cc. (0k,ok. 473.176473 ml, if you need exact)

    So a close all metric pound cut is 60 grams of flakes to half a liter.

    #674198
    Benoît Van Noten
    Participant

    The SI of units is the primary legal system in USA.
    The US customary system is derived from the SI units and is thus a secondary system kept for the convenience of people who like it.
    The SI units are themselves derived from nature fundamental constants which can be used (with a proper lab) anywhere in the universe and is no longer based on artifacts conserved in Paris (France).
    see:
    https://www.bipm.org/utils/common/pdf/si-brochure/SI-Brochure-9-concise-EN.pdf
    To see US contribution to SI development and refinement, visit the NIST site.

    #674216
    deanbecker
    Participant

    So we have apparently abused Matt by avoiding answering his question and beating the worlds measuring systems to death. To arrive at a place where there probably isnt a complete and consice answer to the question. I must apologize to him for getting a bit off topic with my blather.

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