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 Post subject: Button Shellac
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 4:56 pm 
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Koa
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I was just looking at this on shellac.net. They say it's good for guitars because of the process of making it with heat makes it a harder finish than regular shellac. The only problem I see with it is the color, there's no blonde or super blonde button shellac so how much will this change the color of spruce? I'm looking for examples of guitars finished with button.

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 Post subject: Re: Button Shellac
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 5:51 pm 
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Koa
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It's definitely darker, but great stuff. I don't have any pictures, but over spruce I think it would be tricky to get an even color. It darkens maple quite a bit--that's where I've used it the most.

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These users thanked the author ballbanjos for the post: Pmaj7 (Wed Jan 13, 2021 6:26 pm)
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 Post subject: Re: Button Shellac
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 7:19 pm 
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It makes spruce a lovely, IMO, caramel color. I'll see if I can dig up a picture a little later.

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These users thanked the author Jim Watts for the post: Pmaj7 (Wed Jan 13, 2021 6:25 pm)
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 Post subject: Re: Button Shellac
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 7:35 pm 
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What about using activated charcoal to lighten the color? I saw Tom Bills do that in his French Polishing instructional videos.


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 Post subject: Re: Button Shellac
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 9:12 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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This top was torrified so it was already a bit darker but you can definitely get an even color on spruce using the French Polish technique. I used The Kusmi #2 on this one and the #1 is much lighter. But yes not a light light blonde though for sure. Bare in mind that button lac has wax in it. You don't necessarily have to dewax it. They certainly never did when they finished gym floors with the stuff. I can't claim that it's any harder then dewaxed flakes. I know they say hat it is but I've never read anything definitive about it.

If you do want to dewax it what I found works best is to chop the buttons up by putting them in a zip lock and pounding them with a hammer then put those smaller pieces in a coffee grinder and make powder. Then do the teabag method. Use a coffee filter and tie up the ground shellac into a teabag. Tye off the bag with a string. Get a glass salsa jar or something like that and poke a hole dead center top. feed the string through that. Fill the jar with alcohol and then seal it while holding the string then lower the tea bag till it just barely touches the alcohol. Within about 2 minutes you will see a swirl start to develop and as the shellac dissolves it sinks to the bottom creating a current which furthers the dissolving action. It's pretty cool actually.

It should be ready to use the next day and you might still need to let some wax settle to the bottom but the filters do a good job. DON'T squeeze out the filter.

Al;so it's always a good idea to get those little screen filters and further sift out any potential particles.

Image



These users thanked the author jfmckenna for the post: Pmaj7 (Wed Jan 13, 2021 6:31 pm)
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 Post subject: Re: Button Shellac
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 12:29 am 
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Here's a photo showing Kusmi #1 buttonlac on Lutz. It may be a little darker in the photo than real life, but it gives you an idea.
Attachment:
spalted rosette small.jpg


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These users thanked the author Jim Watts for the post: Pmaj7 (Wed Jan 13, 2021 6:31 pm)
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 Post subject: Re: Button Shellac
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 7:32 am 
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Button lac is quite amber and this is either a good thing or a bad thing, It is possible to apply it evenly as an initial coat, especially with no bridge glued to the soundboard. The problem comes further down the road when the inevitable touchup is called for. On the soundboard with the bridge in place the dark color will hinder an invisible repair and blotchiness will be the result. You could touchup with blonde shellac I suppose. On the back, sides, and neck the color is not such a big deal with a touchup. For these reasons I use button on back, sides, and neck and blonde on the soundboard. I've been having good luck with Tiger Flakes from Brooklyn Tool.

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These users thanked the author TRein for the post: Pmaj7 (Wed Jan 13, 2021 6:35 pm)
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 Post subject: Re: Button Shellac
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 2:55 pm 
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Koa
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banjopicks wrote:
I was just looking at this on shellac.net. They say it's good for guitars because of the process of making it with heat makes it a harder finish than regular shellac. The only problem I see with it is the color, there's no blonde or super blonde button shellac so how much will this change the color of spruce? I'm looking for examples of guitars finished with button.


Around a couple of years ago they started stocking a 'super golden Kusmi button lac'. That's the lightest button lac that I've ever come across, certainly lighter than the Kusmi No.1, which in itself is a pretty light colour for a button lac. Unfortunately they seem to be out of stock. Hopefully it's a seasonal shortage and it will start to be offered again at some point.
I don't know of any other supplier who has the wide range of button lacs that shellac.net has. I suppose you could drop them an email and ask if the super golden will be stocked again.



These users thanked the author Michael.N. for the post: Pmaj7 (Wed Jan 13, 2021 6:36 pm)
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 Post subject: Re: Button Shellac
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 3:02 pm 
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I think I want the clearest lightest colored shellac but maybe I should experiment with the darker colors for the aged look. I think I'll order some small batches and experiment before I finish my guitar.

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 Post subject: Re: Button Shellac
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 6:05 pm 
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I have purchased very clear blonde button lac from shellac net in the past. I don’t see it on their website now, maybe give them a call.


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 Post subject: Re: Button Shellac
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 7:36 pm 
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If you are talking button shellac the Kumsi #1 from shellac.net is good with a slight amber tone, it will depend on how much you build it up on how dark it will get.

The type of alcohol you use does affect how long it takes for this to dissolve even after you break it into smaller chunks.


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 Post subject: Re: Button Shellac
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 8:12 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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In my experience the lighter shellacs are more processed, and tend to be less durable. I also found that wax in the shellac tended to make the pad stick when French polishing, which is why I always use dewaxed stuff.


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 Post subject: Re: Button Shellac
PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 4:42 am 
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Koa
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I'm not sure how 'processed' these lighter coloured button lacs are, the kusmi no.1 and the golden kusmi. Traditional darker button lac isn't far removed from the relatively raw seedlac. It's just seedlac that has gone through the cloth filter with the use of heat. These much lighter coloured button lacs may have gone through a bleaching process or perhaps they are a product of a different crop, hybrid tree or a different season. I honestly don't know but certainly would be interested in how they obtain the much lighter colour. As I stated in the other thread, in over 4 decades of using shellacs I've never come across these types of button lacs.


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