WT205 – Matt’s Having Spaghetti!

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On today’s show, we’re talking about sealing with shellac, selecting a solvent for an unknown finish, and skipping the jointer and going with a planer.

What’s on the Bench?

– Marc – Making over-priced holiday decorations.
– Matt – Turning in the cold garage.
– Shannon – Restoring an old Barnes lathe.

Poll of the Week

Are you making gifts for the holidays?
Getting Shop-Blocked


– Walter recommends we check out This Old Workshop audio podcast.
– The Wine Box Workshop recommends we watch how Louis Sauzedde bends wood using plastic bags instead of a steam box.


– Michael has a mess on his hands after using shellac to pre-seal pine.
– Schmuel is trying to determine the proper solvent for a finish on a workbench. Matt recommends this article.
– Chris is wondering why Shannon chose the planer over the jointer when only having the option for one. Marc recommends he check out this article as well.

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5 replies on “WT205 – Matt’s Having Spaghetti!”

After seeing that Highland video, does anyone have exp. with badger brushes for shellac? Marc what do you use for Shellac? I saw a demo for shellac types and you used a brush but it was a demo and rough to the point which was completely fine for the demo. Do you all have a prefered brush or temprature, or certain time of day, phase of the moon??

Shellac is a pain to brush, at least in my experience. it tries too fast, you get brush marks, and it is hard to avoid pools/ridges near the edge of work. I either spray it, or heavily dilute it with alcohol and wipe on multiple coats. Jeff jewitt had an article in FWW called “one fast finish” or something like that where he showed how he wipes on shellac. the key is to heavily dilute it, like 1 or 2 parts alcohol to 1 part canned shellac. But now that I have an HVLP set up I don’t think I will ever hand apply shellac again.

The badger hair brush I used in the video came from Jamestown Distributors and cost around $16 for a 2″ wide brush. If you properly thin the shellac, it should flow out easily. The trick, like anything else in woodworking, is practice. The more you do, the faster and better you’ll get at it. If you have specific questions, feel free to contact me.

Marc – you were looking for a word shorter than Joy to use in making your holiday decoration. I would recommend a shortened version of Santa’s famous catch phrase “HO”. That would be a great addition to any holiday decor.

Thank you for the opportunity to reply, last year I’ve been recuperating from a brain injury due to a car hitting me while riding my bike. 1st let me thank you for your videos, they have helped me get through some of the projects I needed to complete throughout the year. Anyway, the shellac application has always intimidated me, so I began a keepsake box for my wife for our anniversary sept 15-now it’s going to hopefully be ready for Christmas, (part of my brain injury), I’ve successfully applied by pad 10 good coats of shellac, some days I’ve only applied one coat a day, half the coats I was able to apply 2 coats. It’s been 10 days of curing, but I want to rub out the project now. How do I tell if the shellac is ready for the rubbing out process?

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