Boring Tools Till – Shellacking the Drawer Fronts

Today I didn't have a lot of time, so I pulled four different sized (so I don't get them mixed up) drawer fronts off and started shellacking them.

Tools are a pad,

A pad for applying shellac

which is stored in a jam jar when not in use,

a jam jar, containing the pad for applying shellac

a squeeze bottle of a 1 pound cut of shellac (1 oz of shellac flakes per cup of denatured alcohol),

A squeeze bottle with four drawer-fronts, all resting on a piece of cardboard

and a smaller squeeze bottle of linseed oil.

A smaller squeeze bottle containing a darker-colored liquid

I started with two coats of shellac, padded on. It takes two drops of shellac for the smaller drawer fronts, and four or five for the larger. I alternate between figure-eights across the grain and swooping passes with the grain.

When just shellac starts feeling a little “draggy,” I will start adding a drop of linseed oil to the pad for every three or four drops of shellac.

After six more sets of applications of oil and shellac, the pad started to drag again. You can often see wrinkles in the face of the pad at this point. That's a signal that it's time to take a break for at least 10 or 15 minutes. Longer won't hurt. I'll be coming back to these tomorrow.

A close-up of one of the drawer fronts, showing how the shellac has just started to fill the grain and give a glossy finish

Looking at the surface, I'm starting to get some nice gloss on the high-points of the surface, but I haven't really started filling the grain at all. I guesstimate it'll take two or three more sets of 6-8 coats before I'm happy with the surface.

a lower-angle view of a different drawer-front, showing spots where the shellac has clearly not finished filling the grain

Contents #woodworking #storage #frenchPolish #shellac

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