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#2119925 - 07/18/13 11:34 PM Re: refinishing nitrocellulose [Re: Minnesota Marty]  
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Originally Posted by Minnesota Marty
Secretions from the Lac bug.


You Sir win three internets for a correct answer!

I think of it as lac beetle spit...



Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
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#2119997 - 07/19/13 02:59 AM Re: refinishing nitrocellulose [Re: OperaTenor]  
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Originally Posted by OperaTenor
Originally Posted by Minnesota Marty
Keep in mind that the piano is a 1936 5'6" Kimball in a mahogany finish. None of the 'Polys' would have been used with a finish from that era. Since it shows signs of checking, it would indicate a lacquer finish, as opposed to shellac or varnish. There is no suitable way to use a solvent to 'soften or re-wet' a finish from this era to erase the damage. Spot refinishing can be attempted, but they are visibly noticeable (obvious) unless done by a very experienced craftsman.

The best results are obtained by stripping the entire instrument and then refinish with the choice of any of the modern materials.


Shellac crackles more than any other type of finish. I'm currently refinishing my 1925 Chickering Ampico A, which had a horribly crackled shellac finish. So far, I've stripped the case and the lid; the wood underneath is gorgeous. And, my 1921 Hamilton Manualo has the same ugly old finish.



It doe not really more because it is more supple than cellulose (cellulose have bad reputation about cracking and whitening) but was often used on sealers that can crack.,

Shellac finish is "easy" to repair, but fragile to solvents.


Last edited by Olek; 07/19/13 03:23 AM.

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#2120001 - 07/19/13 03:02 AM Re: refinishing nitrocellulose [Re: Nash. Piano Rescue]  
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Originally Posted by Nash. Piano Rescue
Shellac gets a bad rap sometimes but they still use it to seal M&Ms it is non toxic. You can use it as a sealer against Silicone contamination over sanded primer if doing solid colors.

If you are really good and like to curse a lot there is always Vinyl Sealer which is what most cabinet shops use to seal out impurities. I think you could spray that stuff over a leaking quart of oil and get a flawless paint job on it but the issue with Vinyl sealer is if the batch is old it can crack after it dries under your finish.

I still do it the old way. Dye the wood with transtint mixed with water, sand, grain fill, stain, then 3 - 4 coats of sanding sealer sprayed on, block sand 320 - 400 then shoot the clear and rub it out if it needs it. With solid colors it just depends on how wild the paint job gets as to how we build it out.


Hello I am surprised of that use as sealer. I heard also of that using spray cans).

The sprayeable shellac based products may content some cellulose too, I believe.

I guess that if I spray a cellulose finish on a shellac base it will melt it and I take the risk of burning the "primer".

Does it work ?

Regards


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#2120120 - 07/19/13 11:06 AM Re: refinishing nitrocellulose [Re: berninicaco3]  
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Jim,

I have been giving a lot of thought to your statement that shellac is the most prone to 'checking' or 'crazing,' and I put that back in the context of 1936. From the turn of the twentieth century, shellac was rarely used in furniture building, it was most common for wall paneling or floors, though varnish was considered a better option for those uses. Shellac is a very soft finish and scratches easily. Checking is not usually considered one of its characteristics.

By 1936, Kimball would most certainly be using sprayed nitrocellulose lacquer, the product developed by Dupont, rather than the traditional formulation of lacquer as used in the nineteenth century. Shellac, as used in a traditional "French Polish" was very rare in the US and not used by piano builders or cabinet/furniture makers.

On the piano that you are working on, is the solvent for the finish alcohol? Often small cracks can be repaired as a surface treatment using alcohol and very fine steel wool. These finishes will rarely develop the large scale 'alligator' checking as will a lacquer finish from spending many years in direct sunlight.

So, I've been curious about your experience and would very much like to hear your thoughts.

Cheers,


Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.
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#2120121 - 07/19/13 11:07 AM Re: refinishing nitrocellulose [Re: berninicaco3]  
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I have used shellac as a sealer- once to seal over linseed oil that was used for color coat.
Then seedlac followed by water based lacquer.

#2120196 - 07/19/13 02:54 PM Re: refinishing nitrocellulose [Re: berninicaco3]  
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Nitro cellulose finishes were used on production furniture from 1900 and by 1930 was in common use.

Duco the paint product developed by Dupont in 1923 was an automotive paint first used on the GM Oakland line of autos.


Dan Silverwood
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"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."
#2120201 - 07/19/13 03:04 PM Re: refinishing nitrocellulose [Re: berninicaco3]  
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I have had tours of the old Oakland assembly plant, both in its former life making automobiles and its current use, the central maintenance facility for the local bus transit agency.


Semipro Tech
#2120210 - 07/19/13 03:14 PM Re: refinishing nitrocellulose [Re: berninicaco3]  
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I always wondered about hardware store shellac.
The real stuff of course is in 1# bags, that I seem to remember being a great deal cheaper than I recently saw...

But when you get zinsser shellac by the gallon-- is it shellac shellac?

Terminologies get confused. Lacquer and varnish get used interchangeably. There are more chemistries out there now, than just lac bug wax, damar resin, and nitro.

#2120211 - 07/19/13 03:15 PM Re: refinishing nitrocellulose [Re: berninicaco3]  
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BTW, as an update:
repairing the old finish seems to be working out nicely.
still getting a hang of spraying smoothly.

But the first results are taking, no fisheyes, no delamination. If it crackles in several years... I'll be OK. I kinda liked the crackle anyway.
What I didn't like was the damage and the flaking.

#2120218 - 07/19/13 03:41 PM Re: refinishing nitrocellulose [Re: berninicaco3]  
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There is no interest in my experience or postings here so this was not posted earlier;

For what it’s worth;

Wiped down with methyl hydrate would have cleaned off all the oils, dirt, fingerprints, etc. and left the old surface absolutely clean.

When the methyl evaporated it would have left white streaks which is the old finish grabbing moisture out of the air as it evaporated. This reveals the old surface is softened by the methyl and can be re-started.

When a new coat is sprayed over top this releases the trapped water and the blush disappears. The first new coat would have revealed all of the divots and bumps which are then filled with clear or sanded down. Then the second coat would get the skating rink.

Only good for 5 years. If the old finish was flaking off maybe trouble coming before that time. Flaking reveals lack of adhesion. Makes for an unstable base coat.

Mixing nitro 1 to 1? That is 50% reduction and have never heard of that.

Hello orange peel……

Most lacquer products can be used straight out of the can or 10% reduction. 30% if you want to use as sealer coat.


Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
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"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."
#2120224 - 07/19/13 03:59 PM Re: refinishing nitrocellulose [Re: Minnesota Marty]  
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Originally Posted by Minnesota Marty
Jim,

I have been giving a lot of thought to your statement that shellac is the most prone to 'checking' or 'crazing,' and I put that back in the context of 1936. From the turn of the twentieth century, shellac was rarely used in furniture building, it was most common for wall paneling or floors, though varnish was considered a better option for those uses. Shellac is a very soft finish and scratches easily. Checking is not usually considered one of its characteristics.

By 1936, Kimball would most certainly be using sprayed nitrocellulose lacquer, the product developed by Dupont, rather than the traditional formulation of lacquer as used in the nineteenth century. Shellac, as used in a traditional "French Polish" was very rare in the US and not used by piano builders or cabinet/furniture makers.

On the piano that you are working on, is the solvent for the finish alcohol? Often small cracks can be repaired as a surface treatment using alcohol and very fine steel wool. These finishes will rarely develop the large scale 'alligator' checking as will a lacquer finish from spending many years in direct sunlight.

So, I've been curious about your experience and would very much like to hear your thoughts.

Cheers,


Yes, I'm using denatured alcohol to strip it. If you go to my No Piano Left Behind Facebook page (and like it, of course laugh ), I have photos of the work I've been oh so slowly doing on it.

I chose to strip is rather than just smooth it out because the finish had darkened, and it was difficult to discern the wood grain anymore. I am going to refinish it with shellac as well; I really like working with it.


Here's a sample, showing the comparison between the existing finish and how it looks stripped/refinished:

[Linked Image]

Last edited by OperaTenor; 07/19/13 04:10 PM.

Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind
#2120253 - 07/19/13 05:14 PM Re: refinishing nitrocellulose [Re: berninicaco3]  
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So, I take it, you're not using paste wood filler to close the pores and going with an open-pore finish. You'll want to remove that shellac stripe before doing the whole lid, it may show otherwise.


Regards,

Jon Page
Piano technician/tuner
Harwich Port, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, USA
http://www.pianocapecod.com
#2120289 - 07/19/13 06:55 PM Re: refinishing nitrocellulose [Re: Silverwood Pianos]  
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Originally Posted by Silverwood Pianos
There is no interest in my experience or postings here so this was not posted earlier;

For what it’s worth;

Wiped down with methyl hydrate would have cleaned off all the oils, dirt, fingerprints, etc. and left the old surface absolutely clean.

When the methyl evaporated it would have left white streaks which is the old finish grabbing moisture out of the air as it evaporated. This reveals the old surface is softened by the methyl and can be re-started.

When a new coat is sprayed over top this releases the trapped water and the blush disappears. The first new coat would have revealed all of the divots and bumps which are then filled with clear or sanded down. Then the second coat would get the skating rink.

Only good for 5 years. If the old finish was flaking off maybe trouble coming before that time. Flaking reveals lack of adhesion. Makes for an unstable base coat.

Mixing nitro 1 to 1? That is 50% reduction and have never heard of that.

Hello orange peel……

Most lacquer products can be used straight out of the can or 10% reduction. 30% if you want to use as sealer coat.


Hello, that is interesting, but methyl hydrate is not availeable probably today in Europe, forbid, as many solvents.


Due to the spraying equipment (HVLP on standard compressor) and hot weather, I had to cut my Nitro up to 30% (20-30%)on the behalf of the provider .

When you talk of "pre cat" laquer, that ring to me as polyurethane based products. Those ones are very fluid and do not need thinner or very little.
The ones I use sometime are 2 composants , + eventual tghinner.

Nitro is only working with solvents evaporation (and the product that tense itself).

Very hot weather is causing trouble with Nitro and shellac, probably less with PU (I am not much used to those anyway)

Regards



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#2120293 - 07/19/13 07:00 PM Re: refinishing nitrocellulose [Re: Jon Page]  
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Originally Posted by Jon Page
So, I take it, you're not using paste wood filler to close the pores and going with an open-pore finish. You'll want to remove that shellac stripe before doing the whole lid, it may show otherwise.


you can fill with pumice powder and shellac, no need to sand as with wood fillers.



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#2120298 - 07/19/13 07:04 PM Re: refinishing nitrocellulose [Re: OperaTenor]  
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Originally Posted by OperaTenor
Originally Posted by Minnesota Marty
Jim,

I have been giving a lot of thought to your statement that shellac is the most prone to 'checking' or 'crazing,' and I put that back in the context of 1936. From the turn of the twentieth century, shellac was rarely used in furniture building, it was most common for wall paneling or floors, though varnish was considered a better option for those uses. Shellac is a very soft finish and scratches easily. Checking is not usually considered one of its characteristics.

By 1936, Kimball would most certainly be using sprayed nitrocellulose lacquer, the product developed by Dupont, rather than the traditional formulation of lacquer as used in the nineteenth century. Shellac, as used in a traditional "French Polish" was very rare in the US and not used by piano builders or cabinet/furniture makers.

On the piano that you are working on, is the solvent for the finish alcohol? Often small cracks can be repaired as a surface treatment using alcohol and very fine steel wool. These finishes will rarely develop the large scale 'alligator' checking as will a lacquer finish from spending many years in direct sunlight.

So, I've been curious about your experience and would very much like to hear your thoughts.

Cheers,


Yes, I'm using denatured alcohol to strip it. If you go to my No Piano Left Behind Facebook page (and like it, of course laugh ), I have photos of the work I've been oh so slowly doing on it.

I chose to strip is rather than just smooth it out because the finish had darkened, and it was difficult to discern the wood grain anymore. I am going to refinish it with shellac as well; I really like working with it.


Here's a sample, showing the comparison between the existing finish and how it looks stripped/refinished:

[Linked Image]


that way you keep the undercoat I suppose, as usually it is better to strip with a stripper, often the old shellac is whitened, and anyway your new shellac will build up more nicely on bare wood,more transparency, better shine, etc

Keeping the bottom is good for black case, and even then sometime it cause trouble and the surface is not tense enough.

the coat seem to be thin anyway


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#2120394 - 07/20/13 01:11 AM Re: refinishing nitrocellulose [Re: berninicaco3]  
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I guess I should have clarified; that "finish" strip in the photo is just water. Just to show what it would look like finished.



Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind
#2120453 - 07/20/13 07:57 AM Re: refinishing nitrocellulose [Re: Silverwood Pianos]  
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Originally Posted by Silverwood Pianos
There is no interest in my experience or postings here so this was not posted earlier;

For what it’s worth;

Wiped down with methyl hydrate would have cleaned off all the oils, dirt, fingerprints, etc. and left the old surface absolutely clean.

When the methyl evaporated it would have left white streaks which is the old finish grabbing moisture out of the air as it evaporated. This reveals the old surface is softened by the methyl and can be re-started.

When a new coat is sprayed over top this releases the trapped water and the blush disappears. The first new coat would have revealed all of the divots and bumps which are then filled with clear or sanded down. Then the second coat would get the skating rink.

Only good for 5 years. If the old finish was flaking off maybe trouble coming before that time. Flaking reveals lack of adhesion. Makes for an unstable base coat.

Mixing nitro 1 to 1? That is 50% reduction and have never heard of that.

Hello orange peel……

Most lacquer products can be used straight out of the can or 10% reduction. 30% if you want to use as sealer coat.


I did the same with some amalgamator. With good success. Same principle, without whitening..


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#2121072 - 07/21/13 03:08 PM Re: refinishing nitrocellulose [Re: berninicaco3]  
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amalgamator "egalisateur" (a very light pass with 1500 grit MIrka, before.
Then sprayed stained Nitro satin lacquer.
That bench was yellowish , more light and ugly lemon color like.

Too bad if it is supposed to hold only 5 years, I hope for more ! ...
Very robust bench as was done in the 80's

[Linked Image]

Last edited by Olek; 07/21/13 03:09 PM.

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#2121074 - 07/21/13 03:13 PM Re: refinishing nitrocellulose [Re: Jon Page]  
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Originally Posted by Jon Page
So, I take it, you're not using paste wood filler to close the pores and going with an open-pore finish. You'll want to remove that shellac stripe before doing the whole lid, it may show otherwise.


I used cellulose paste filler, and did not like it much, as it tend to mask the wood, (it is mostly talcum and nitro lacquer)I would use it when the veneer is not first class. We use products that can be sprayed, to close the grain and isolate the bottom.
they also contain some powder, something that makes them thicker and make sanding easy.

On nice old pianos we can find sawed veneers , they are thick, but also they catch very nicely the light as the fibers are not crushed as with sliced veneers . they deserve a nice finish for that reason.

Last edited by Olek; 07/21/13 03:15 PM.

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#2122159 - 07/24/13 03:20 AM Re: refinishing nitrocellulose [Re: berninicaco3]  
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CO, USA
Originally Posted by berninicaco3
BTW, as an update:
repairing the old finish seems to be working out nicely.
still getting a hang of spraying smoothly.

But the first results are taking, no fisheyes, no delamination. If it crackles in several years... I'll be OK. I kinda liked the crackle anyway.
What I didn't like was the damage and the flaking.


Hello, berninicaco3 -
Are you still there? I was wondering if you determined the nature of the finish you had on you piano originally (Lacquer vs shellac) and what brand lacquer you sprayed on.

Best wishes -


phacke

Steinway YM (1933)
...Working on:
J. S. Bach, Sonata No. 1 in B minor (BWV 1014)
#2122160 - 07/24/13 03:34 AM Re: refinishing nitrocellulose [Re: Olek]  
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phacke Offline

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CO, USA
Originally Posted by Olek
Originally Posted by Silverwood Pianos
There is no interest in my experience or postings here so this was not posted earlier;

For what it’s worth;

Wiped down with methyl hydrate would have cleaned off all the oils, dirt, fingerprints, etc. and left the old surface absolutely clean.

When the methyl evaporated it would have left white streaks which is the old finish grabbing moisture out of the air as it evaporated. This reveals the old surface is softened by the methyl and can be re-started.

When a new coat is sprayed over top this releases the trapped water and the blush disappears. The first new coat would have revealed all of the divots and bumps which are then filled with clear or sanded down. Then the second coat would get the skating rink.

Only good for 5 years. If the old finish was flaking off maybe trouble coming before that time. Flaking reveals lack of adhesion. Makes for an unstable base coat.

Mixing nitro 1 to 1? That is 50% reduction and have never heard of that.

Hello orange peel……

Most lacquer products can be used straight out of the can or 10% reduction. 30% if you want to use as sealer coat.


Hello, that is interesting, but methyl hydrate is not availeable probably today in Europe, forbid, as many solvents.



Hello Mr Oleg,
An alternative to suck petrochemical organics out of wood, given in the series in the Piano Technicians Journal,
http://www.hancockrestorations.com/PDF%20Files/Hancock%20PTG%20Articles%201%20and%202.pdf

is Boraxo
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boraxo

Best wishes -


phacke

Steinway YM (1933)
...Working on:
J. S. Bach, Sonata No. 1 in B minor (BWV 1014)
#2122166 - 07/24/13 04:12 AM Re: refinishing nitrocellulose [Re: berninicaco3]  
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nice reading , thanks. Better have good equipment indeed.

Our providers made new recipes for strippers, that are working fine, and are PH neutral (no washing)

I wash anyway with "Triton X" 2% soup usually. this is to get rid of old waxes. It also raise the grain.

filing is done with pumice and a lot of work. actually-very difficult due to the very warm temperature, the shellac build up before the pumice close the grain.

BTW methyl hydrate is also used in the article, borax only to wash the eventual wax residue, if I read correctly.

Borax is what makes washing powder, I believe.

Last edited by Olek; 07/24/13 04:14 AM.

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#2123622 - 07/27/13 12:59 AM Re: refinishing nitrocellulose [Re: berninicaco3]  
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phacke Offline

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After re-reading, Mr. Silverwood was referring to methyl hydrate to clean the old lacquer surface for respraying lacquer finish on top (without stripping to wood, so the conversation changed somewhere-I did not notice). By the way, methyl hydrate, is more commonly know as methanol, and I think it so common that it should be regularly available and used in Europe. It is even found in cheap vodka -- definitely not good to drink.
http://news.yahoo.com/methanol-kills-19-injures-24-central-europe-161534816.html

The PTJ article refers to methylene chloride, as a paint stripper/degreaser. Certainly much more agressive solvent than the methanol (methyl hydrate). Then Boraxo is still recommended for final cleaning to remove the silicones absorbed in the wood, after stripping.

Thanks for the information about Triton X. That is a pretty potent sounding marketing name, working at a 2% solution! I searched around a bit for it, and indeed it looks like it is used as such, in these particular cases on a finish, not on the wood stripped of its finish:
http://www.thehenryford.org/research/caring/wood.aspx
http://www.woodcentral.com/bparticles/save_finish.shtml

Mr Oleg, if you are using in it such a way that it raises the grain, then I presume you are talking about the case of using it on bare veneer wood.

Best regards-

Last edited by phacke; 07/27/13 12:03 PM.

phacke

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#2123626 - 07/27/13 01:41 AM Re: refinishing nitrocellulose [Re: berninicaco3]  
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The last time I worked on a lacquer finish, much of it had flaked off, and it was colored, so repair was impossible. I scraped most of it off, as I have become adept with scrapers.

The trick to using scrapers is to knock the corners off them. That is where they dig into the wood and cause problems. A pointed scraper can be used to get into corners.

If you use planes, taking the corners off the blade makes them easier to use, too. Most sources will talk about putting a curve on the bottom of the blade, but that is harder to do, and results in curved cuts. Just grind the last 1/8" of the blade at an angle which disappears under the sole of the plane.


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#2123787 - 07/27/13 12:19 PM Re: refinishing nitrocellulose [Re: phacke]  
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Originally Posted by phacke
After re-reading, Mr. Silverwood was referring to methyl hydrate to clean the old lacquer surface for respraying lacquer finish on top (without stripping to wood, so the conversation changed somewhere-I did not notice). By the way, methyl hydrate, is more commonly know as methanol, and I think it so common that it should be regularly available and used in Europe. It is even found in cheap vodka -- definitely not good to drink.
http://news.yahoo.com/methanol-kills-19-injures-24-central-europe-161534816.html

The PTJ article refers to methylene chloride, as a paint stripper/degreaser. Certainly much more agressive solvent than the methanol (methyl hydrate). Then Boraxo is still recommended for final cleaning to remove the silicones absorbed in the wood, after stripping.

Thanks for the information about Triton X. That is a pretty potent sounding marketing name, working at a 2% solution! I searched around a bit for it, and indeed it looks like it is used as such, in these particular cases on a finish, not on the wood stripped of its finish:
http://www.thehenryford.org/research/caring/wood.aspx
http://www.woodcentral.com/bparticles/save_finish.shtml

Mr Oleg, if you are using in it such a way that it raises the grain, then I presume you are talking about the case of using it on bare veneer wood.

Best regards-


Yes I always confuse methyl chloride, which is really forbidden now, and methyl hydrate , which is not sold under that name her , not easy to find but we have other alcohols, as isopropyl, that may be could do the trick (to clean and may be soften a cellulose finish) .

Triton x was sold to me if I need to use shellac or lacquer on a case that was waxed.

I use water on the wood once stripped, before sanding, to raise the grain (alcohol is only to have a better look at the wood and locate where traces of old finish are yet present.

Scraping is not enough to prepare for a new finish, often, mostly because the base, bottom coat and filler is what gives the whitish aspect .

scrapers are really excellent tools anyway.

Stripping shellac looks simple but alcohol based products go deep in the wood, so the stripping method must be good.

on that pic on the right the original veneer is particularly whitened. on the top of the leg the part is being stripped, the leg have been stripped, and the pore closed with pumice and shellac before polishing with more shellac

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