Shellac is Still Explosive

David J. Waguespack wrote just to thank us for our articles and FreePlans. You’re welcome, David!

A couple of readers felt compelled to comment on the ongoing exploding shellac controversy. Bill Hopkins begs to defer with our Kiwi correspondent on expiration dates. Just last week he came across what looked like dried varnish sprayed onto and around his drill press. He traced the source to a can of shellac on an upper shelf. The can was dated November 13, 1999 with a suggestion from the manufacturer that the contents be checked for stability after three years. J.L. Cusimano had a can of clear shellac dated April 1981 with the notation: “After date embossed on lid check contents for drying”. As for the original exploding can, he also experienced that phenomenon when he left a quart can of solvent-based paint on a radiator during cold weather. Next morning there was green paint everywhere and the lid was across the room.

After reading last issue’s Q & A on Gluing Dovetails, Chris Duphily wrote that he used his wife’s makeup brush whenever he was gluing a joint. Admitting that not all spouses would be so generous, he noted that the brushes were cheap, after all, … ten for 1.50 at a discount store.

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