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HarryH
07-06-2010, 11:33 PM
A beautifully varnished piece of 1/2 round on a deck house or such can be a thing to admire, especially when it goes almost seamlessly 'round a corner. Outside of keeping an eye on grain and a lot of hand work, can anyone offer tips, techniques for creating these corner pieces?

The house on Zauberberg's Romilly build comes to mind....I dropped him a PM, but I think it was lost in the Ethers...

Thanks...

gibetheridge
07-07-2010, 01:40 AM
I once did a 7 piece crown moulding all the way around a library with cieling high shelves extending into the irregularly shaped room from each wall, and none of the corners were 90 degrees due to the building being 200 years old.

I found that the best way to deal with each mitered joint was to bisect the angle then set the miter saw at that angle and keep trying it with scraps and adjusting the saw until I got it right. Once 2 pieces of scrap gave me a dead fit it was time to cut the finish pieces.

You would do well to seal the ends very well and bed each piece before attaching your moulding.

delecta
07-07-2010, 07:20 AM
I think he is talking about taking a block and cutting it into a curved 90 degree piece.

Total pain in the butt to make, but they are beautiful.

CundysHarbor
07-07-2010, 07:29 AM
I've only done this once and it was a while ago.....I had to replace a corner piece that was wrecked in the process of removal prior to glassing a deck. My method was to cut a piece that would fit on the corner and to sculpt it in place; holding the piece with temporary screws. The screws were changed (shorter ones) several times as the shape emerged. Not a quick job but a satisfying one.
Dave

Ian McColgin
07-07-2010, 07:57 AM
If on a sharp right angle, a simple mitered joint will sometimes serve, but it's still nicer with a corner piece tangent to the corner and connected to the two side pieces by two point (22-1/2 degree) joints.

oakman
07-07-2010, 08:06 AM
First you make a pattern of what will be the inside curve of the corner piece. Transfer that shape to a block with the grain running tangentially to the curve, cut and shape to fit. Once you have a good fit on the inside and plenty of extra wood on the "legs", as mentioned above, temp fasten and begin to work the outer shape down until you have a fair curve and half round on the outside. Then trim to size and install, endgrain WELL sealed and bedded. Our sponsors had an article last year sometime and the overall winner for preventing moisture travel through a membrane was shellac. seal back and endgrain with that.

Oakman

HarryH
07-07-2010, 10:18 AM
I have mitered a slew of molding joints in my time, but corner pieces that appear to bend or 'flow' with no mitered joint at all is what I am speaking of...another league entirely.

Perhaps I could of have described it better, but Delecta, Cundysharbor, Oakman.....you have the gist of what I am talking about: a smooth, apparently carved piece, no miters of any kind. Once around the corner the 'legs' butt the running lengths.

I am going to give it a try. I imagine once you have the corner block, lots of rasp, file, sanding are at hand.

Reminds me of the old adage: "non of the good stuff comes easy".

Thanks...

Jay Greer
07-07-2010, 11:10 AM
http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b9da31b3127ccec6818cf9e25700000040O00QYsmrNy5bsQ e3nwg/cC/f%3D0/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D550/ry%3D400/
While mitered corners are great for picture frames, they have no place aboard a boat. A mitered corner will always open up as time passes and allow water to invade through the end grain.
Jay

Soundman67
07-07-2010, 02:44 PM
there are a number of ways to do this. my favorites are very different.
one way is to find the block of wood that fits in the spot you want with the grain oriented the way you want. then make the outside edge the shape you want with a router table and a round over bit. then lay the piece where you want and scribe the inside. cut it with a coping saw or jig saw and install.
the other way is to cut the pieces to fit the inside properly and attach with glue or epoxy of choice. then plane to thickness and round over in place.

Jay Greer
07-07-2010, 05:05 PM
Here is the beginning of a corner. The outer edge will be shaped on the router table. Then the inside will be cut on the bandsaw.
Jay
http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47a0d926b3127ccefadbc641e0bf00000040O00QYsmrNy5bsQ e3nwg/cC/f%3D0/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D550/ry%3D400/

Jay Greer
07-07-2010, 05:07 PM
http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47a0d926b3127ccefadaf819418400000040O00QYsmrNy5bsQ e3nwg/cC/f%3D0/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D550/ry%3D400/

Soundman67
07-07-2010, 05:26 PM
Is that a Doug Fir workbench you have there?

Garret
07-07-2010, 05:31 PM
http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47a0d926b3127ccefadaf819418400000040O00QYsmrNy5bsQ e3nwg/cC/f%3D0/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D550/ry%3D400/

No help on corners whatsoever - except I just gotta say that is freakin' gorgeous!

Jay Greer
07-07-2010, 07:16 PM
Is that a Doug Fir workbench you have there?
Yes, I made it out of some scrap 2X4's. Next time I would use maple as the doug fir is too soft.
http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b9df38b3127ccec673dcb4c38100000040O00QYsmrNy5bsQ e3nwg/cC/f%3D0/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D550/ry%3D400/

Jay Greer
07-08-2010, 05:37 PM
I appologize for gettin off the subject of corners here. If anyone is interested I can go a bit deeper into how to avoid pitfalls in making up the corners and getting them fitted.
Jay

JimConlin
07-08-2010, 06:53 PM
I appologize for gettin off the subject of corners here. If anyone is interested I can go a bit deeper into how to avoid pitfalls in making up the corners and getting them fitted.
Jay
I'm all ears.

HarryH
07-08-2010, 07:10 PM
Please go ahead Jim; was hoping you or someone else with a bit of experience with this would pitch in...

For instance, regarding router technique, do you use a template with pilot bearing, etc.? How close to the final product can you get with machining vs. handwork? A little detail on grain, sealing it, etc. would be great.

Much appreciate the benefit of your experience..

Thanks,

_Harry

Lucky Luke
07-08-2010, 09:31 PM
Hi,
Much depends on the radius: if it is a short radius, do as above otherwise the cuts will be too close to the corner. For a larger radius: a tip: get one circular piece done on a wood-lathe with all the "details" of the shape, and cut out two quarters from that. Can be more or less than 90 deg, depending on your cabin sides. Two other quarters (grain in wrong direction) are thrown away. Very easy.

JimConlin
07-08-2010, 10:24 PM
Please go ahead Jim; was hoping you or someone else with a bit of experience with this would pitch in......

_Harry
To be clear, I have not been happy with my efforts in this kind of detail and I would love to hear Jay's tips. Thread drift be damned.

Soundman67
07-09-2010, 01:48 AM
Jay. I like the way you have done that corner in your photo. Is it not easier though to get the inside correct and fitting well. then get a smooth outside edge that is parallel or even thickness at least. then run all the pieces over the router table at the same time? I find it is very difficult to get the router table set up perfectly every time. so if you do all the pieces on the same setting there is no variation from the straight pieces to the corners.

and if you have room wouldnt it be better not to square off your ends? since you are cutting this corner from the side of a board you are going to have 45 degree cuts on it already. almost scarf like.

Just thoughts since most of my experience comes from furniture and movie sets.
I am always looking for someone to point me in a better direction.

BTW your bench is amazing looking.

Doug

oakman
07-09-2010, 07:16 AM
The problem with scarf joint in this application is that as the wood thins out there is not enough left to cover a mechanical fastener. Since this is a piece of molding, which should always be removable, you do not want to glue it together or down. Notice Jay's molding is covering the edge of the fabric covering. If done properly, at a later date, the bungs can be removed, the corner taken off and re-used.

O

Jim Mahan
07-09-2010, 08:55 AM
A tip from a relative WW beginner. However you cut the corner piece, make it easy to align for installation by machining a spline on the inside where it won't show. Doesn't have to be glued in, won't interfere with the rest of the joinery. I cut a bunch ahead of time and use the same saw blade to make the kerf each time so the splines are as handy as if they came in a kit.
Here's some thread drift. Notice in Jay's shots all the gorgeous woodwork, the well-made and well-used bench and tools. In the last pic is also a pair of quik-clamps. The blue and yellow plastic is jarring. I love those clamps and have pairs in three sizes, and use them all the time. With very little maintenance, the clamps are strong, easy to use, light weight, and soft where they touch the work. I wonder how hard it would be to replicate the plastic parts in some nice appropriately hard wood and rebuild the clamps to be consistent with the rest of the nice wood and steel in the pic, and if the mod would be strong enough?

Jay Greer
07-09-2010, 01:44 PM
With all due respect, a scarf joint is not a proper joint for a coach roof corner. Since you are dealing with longtudinal grain, the scarf will open up and leak, eventualy. The most reliable is as shown as wood comes and goes very little along its length allowing the corner joints to remain tight. The shape of the profile is asymetrical in that the upper face has a longer curve than the bottom, allowing room for a drip groove on the bottom. This prevents moisture from capilating across the bottom and streaking the cabin sides. It is rather like the drip groove on the bottom of a window sill on a house. Another advantage of the asymetrial shape is that it creates interest to the eye of the viewer just as certain curves of the female anatomy are pleasing to the eye.
Once the blank is roughed out, it is fitted to the corner of the house using carbon paper to mark the high spots which are then pared off using a gouge. It is then fastened in place using the screws that will be used for the final fastening. The molding that abuts to it is temporarily fastened with galvanized finish nails. Galvanized nails hold better. The angle of the butt of the corner that meets the atwart ships molding is transfered to that molding leaving a bit of extra material for final fit. I use a PVC plastic coller that has been V cut just to allow it to slip over the molding as a saw guide. Here the short curved Japanese dove tail saw comes in handy. I slip a business card behind the joint to protect the canvas and it tells me when the cut is done as the saw telegraphs a change in cutting as soon as it hits the card. Finally the cut is made without the plastic guard but with the rail snugged up to the corner all the way, making for a clean fit. The side rails are trimmed using a block in the center of the rail to keep it humped in the center. This allows for adjusting the cut more snugly once the block is removed. Once all joints are tight, the corners are then brought down to their final shape. This is because they are purposly made a bit fat in the beginning. This can involve the use of wood carving rifflers as well as small planes. All faying surfaces are sealed with shellac and then all is bedded with Dolfinite. It is the sealing that prevents Dolfinite from drying out.
Jay

Windsong
07-09-2010, 06:58 PM
Jay
Great work and insight. Did you also replace the hatch rails? How did you cap the end of the rails. They look new in the pictures back round. It seems that this was one big puzzle where you made all the pieces flow into each other. Could you post pictures and explain the process for those of us who are in a clueless awe of your work. I hope you're sailing this piece of art as much as you are working on it. If not, it would be like getting your gal all prettied up with a new dress and hairdo and making her sit in a chair in the house.
Cheers
Lars

Gezzunder
07-09-2010, 07:45 PM
I would be very keen to see how your hand rails were formed. To hell with it... just photgraph each and every joint on the boat please.

Terry Haines
07-09-2010, 08:12 PM
I find that conventional outside miter joints aren't as easy as they seem and often hook clothing. After catching one with my foot I dreamed up this idea. I haven't tried it yet but it sounds easier than most.

Trim the mold pieces that are to be joined sightly proud of the corner and install. Make a cut on both pieces at 45 deg, using a flush trim saw. If possible select a short length of molding with a knot or other grain feature that will disguise the joint, fit in place and mark shape on reverse side, trim and round as desired. Attach as appropriate to application.

If the corner is rounded it won't work as described, but filing the 45 deg cut to a flat should provide a clean fit.

Jay Greer
07-09-2010, 09:17 PM
Jay
Great work and insight. Did you also replace the hatch rails? How did you cap the end of the rails. They look new in the pictures back round. It seems that this was one big puzzle where you made all the pieces flow into each other. Could you post pictures and explain the process for those of us who are in a clueless awe of your work. I hope you're sailing this piece of art as much as you are working on it. If not, it would be like getting your gal all prettied up with a new dress and hairdo and making her sit in a chair in the house.
Cheers
Lars
Well the sliding hatch rails were in pretty grim shape. I was able to save the original grab rails by some tricky scarfs that don't show. However, you can see in the picture how gnarfed the hatch rails were. Also, how bad the drip molding was. I had a plan to tie the hatch rails into the molding thereby making one harmoniously flowing structure out of it. The rails, themselves, posed a particular problem as the profile is a rumboid shape in order to taper the rail from the base to the top but to allow the inner face to stand plumb. The main problem was that the final cut for the outside taper had to be made after all other details were cut and shaped. No air dried stock was available in S. CA so I had to make do with kiln dried hondo. What a disaster! Kiln drying sets up tension in the grain of the wood that is not apparent until it is ripped. You can imagin my frustration at seeing almost a days work warp and twist as the final cut was made. No chance to steam it straight would work. Only way was to start over. In order to get two rails that were not bowed or twisted required making five!
http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47a0d928b3127ccefac709b0b79f00000040O00QYsmrNy5bsQ e3nwg/cC/f%3D0/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D550/ry%3D400/]

Jay Greer
07-09-2010, 09:23 PM
After the rails were shaped, tenons were cut on their after ends to accept the cap pieces that would die into the moldings.
http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47a0d928b3127ccefac6738f97d100000040O00QYsmrNy5bsQ e3nwg/cC/f%3D0/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D550/ry%3D400/
http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47a0d928b3127ccefac648a4d77f00000040O00QYsmrNy5bsQ e3nwg/cC/f%3D0/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D550/ry%3D400/

Jay Greer
07-09-2010, 09:29 PM
The caps were scribed into the rails and a half lap joint was chisel cut.http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47a0d928b3127ccefac79fa836fc00000040O00QYsmrNy5bsQ e3nwg/cC/f%3D0/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D550/ry%3D400/
http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47a0d928b3127ccefac7495d366200000040O00QYsmrNy5bsQ e3nwg/cC/f%3D0/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D550/ry%3D400/

Jay Greer
07-09-2010, 09:33 PM
Scuppers were cut in the rails with a pattern I call "mermaid buns"! I think it feminizes the boat a bit.
Jay
http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47a0d928b3127ccefac73e3bf79700000040O00QYsmrNy5bsQ e3nwg/cC/f%3D0/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D550/ry%3D400/

Jay Greer
07-09-2010, 09:37 PM
The fwd. ends of the rails were cut to a syma reversa curve shape.
http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47a0d928b3127ccefac7ea67f7a100000040O00QYsmrNy5bsQ e3nwg/cC/f%3D0/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D550/ry%3D400/

Jay Greer
07-09-2010, 09:39 PM
Hand cut dovetails were used for the span beam cuts.
http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47a0d928b3127ccefac68522970700000040O00QYsmrNy5bsQ e3nwg/cC/f%3D0/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D550/ry%3D400/

HarryH
07-10-2010, 04:04 AM
Just superb work, Jay. Nice to see such dedication...and creativity. Thanks for sharing those photos; they depict just what I was asking about and are a great help.

Shellac, then Dolphinite....to be clear, what about the end grain to end grain as you butt the longitudinal pieces to the corner pieces? Shellac perhaps, and butt while wet?

ChaseKenyon
07-10-2010, 06:46 AM
beautiful work Jay !!!!

Standard prime ++ stain and varnish commercial finish carpentry work most stuff was coped on inside corners and the out side corners were done at less than 45* by a smidge.

The trick I always used was to take a piece of the trim and look for a section with strong grain. make the two starter sections (1 ft each if 5/8 1/4 round and up to ten ft each on 4.25 inch half round chair railing a fancy private school classroom building hallway) out of the grain so it is just miter miter at the joint. That lets the grain flow around the corner. Seal the raw edges, and the back side if not already done. I use shellac at about a 2.5 lb cut. Then glue and pin nail them together. Install as one piece and then continue out from the corner in both directions. I and my subs and partners always had all the trim back primed with a shellac based sealer or my 2.5 cut on stain grade plus, before even starting to cut trim.


Anyone In my area that has been in the Nashua, NH Barmakians Jewelry store has seen how we did it.

If you do the router trick on a stock piece and make a several inch piece out of block for the corner it will be hard to match it on the grain to your long 1/4 round stock. Unless you are making all that up also. The farther back on each side from the outside corner you have continuous grain and no joints the better the flow will look. It is all about controlling how folks , untrained and trained also gaze at the work. The more lateral visual scanning they do and the less up and down vertical sight flow the more impressive and continuous the look. Make their eyes follow the corner out away from it as far as possible.

In a 36 foot run and doorways inset by four feet entrance pocket we had lots of outside corners at the school job. The 1/2 round was all custom cherry ten to 18 ft long.. The trick was to take the longest ones and set them aside to use on the outside corners. So we had a 1 ft to inside corner and then a 3ft to out side corner and then a ten to 14 ft run out of the same piece. Splicing in even 6 foot sections in the middle of the run we tried to match grain but the run was a lateral view. As someone looked at the outside corner their eyes were drawn down the long run. By the time they got to seeing where the next joint was they were too far away to see the grain. No one stops to look at the grain much in the middle of a run.

Hope this is of some use. :)

Always finish on inside corners not outside corners. That is why we now have Dual Bevel dual miter slide saws.

and always seal your joints before putting them together and gluing them. Over the years I have watched well known on 1.5 mil and up trophy houses finish carpenters use the titebond and then after it has dried a bit add more titebond and then nail up the trim. The next morning on small stock like scotia and trim for panelizing sheets of cherry ply their joints had opened up.

Always pre seal end grain with a water and moisture block. Yes shellac, and it dries faster than the bit of glue those guys were smearing on the end grain before installing it.

I personally can not figure any boat repairman, builder , finish carpenter not having a shellac kit. Herreshoff (SP) HAD SHELLAC KITS FOR EVErY GROUP OF BOAT WORKERS.

My shellac kit has pre-made 2lb cut, 1 quart, and clear, blond, and dark flakes, several clean dry jars, denatured alcohol (best quality), mixing spoons, clean never used chip and on sale natural bristle brushes, a scientific measuring beaker, lint free rags, a yard sale postal scale and more. I never keep my general purpose 2 lb cut more than 3 months. When over due it does not dry as fast so I use it to mix with my dark, at least a 5 lb cut, for Herreshoff type glue between laminations of wood.


I have a small WEST epoxy kit that also traveled to every job with me.

ChaseKenyon
07-10-2010, 06:56 AM
By the way your expertise and methods really blow me away Jay.

Where were you on my last boat build?

When is your book "Woodworking and other Tips for Boat Builders and Restorers" going to be available on Amazon from the publishers?.

Lew Barrett
07-10-2010, 10:37 AM
Thanks for all the input on this fine thread gentlemen. This will be very helpful to me some day soon, though I doubt I will have the easy facility shown here. Thank goodness I have patterns!

Windsong
07-10-2010, 10:52 AM
Thanks Jay
No words. We just need a separate thread exclusively for the work you have done on "Bright Star".
Go Sailing.
Lars

scottmacc
07-17-2010, 01:01 AM
http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47a0d928b3127ccefac7495d366200000040O00QYsmrNy5bsQ e3nwg/cC/f%3D0/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D550/ry%3D400/

Don't mean to diverge from the topic (it's been very helpful) but am curious what the fabric is that's used to cover the cabin top?

Jay Greer
07-17-2010, 10:50 AM
The fabric is cotton canvas. It is important to use canvas that has NOT been pre-shrunk. It is set in white lead. After stapeling with "Bronze Staples", boiling water is applied and the whole works shrinks tight as a drum head. Piss thin oil based semi gloss house paint is applied immediatly while the canvas is still wet. This sets the canvas and prevents it from becoming loose. Only enough coats to give full color are used. House paint is designed to sluff of and so, after enough scrubbings, the canvas will show paint loss. Then another coat can be applied. This characteristic of house paint obviates the need for sanding and filling of the weave. Paint sick canvas is prone to cracking.
Jay

scottmacc
07-17-2010, 07:40 PM
The fabric is cotton canvas. It is important to use canvas that has NOT been pre-shrunk. It is set in white lead. After stapeling with "Bronze Staples", boiling water is applied and the whole works shrinks tight as a drum head. Piss thin oil based semi gloss house paint is applied immediatly while the canvas is still wet. This sets the canvas and prevents it from becoming loose. Only enough coats to give full color are used. House paint is designed to sluff of and so, after enough scrubbings, the canvas will show paint loss. Then another coat can be applied. This characteristic of house paint obviates the need for sanding and filling of the weave. Paint sick canvas is prone to cracking.
Jay
Thanks for the lesson Jay. Very similar to the "silk and dope" airplane models I used to build. Other than tradition, does this method offer any advantage over glass cloth and resin?

Jay Greer
07-18-2010, 12:29 AM
Absolutely! First, the canvas will come and go with the expansion and contraction of the wood it covers. I might mention that the preferred wood for a coach roof is tongue and groove cedar, also known as "Car Siding". The white lead preserves the canvas as well as the wood under it.. A coach roof such as I have described, should last thirty to fifty years depending on the maintenance it recieves.
jay

floatingkiwi
07-18-2010, 05:09 AM
Absolutely! First, the canvas will come and go with the expansion and contraction of the wood it covers. I might mention that the preferred wood for a coach roof is tongue and groove cedar, also known as "Car Siding". The white lead preserves the canvas as well as the wood under it.. A coach roof such as I have described, should last thirty to fifty years depending on the maintenance it recieves.
jay
When you say, " set in white lead", does that mean spreading a layer a white lead paste 2 to 3 mm thick and press the canvas into it or does it mean primer with lead in it? Can you be more specific?
Or is it that the canvas comes unshrunk and preleaded?

floatingkiwi
07-18-2010, 05:19 AM
beautiful work Jay !!!!

Standard prime ++ stain and varnish commercial finish carpentry work most stuff was coped on inside corners and the out side corners were done at less than 45* by a smidge.

The trick I always used was to take a piece of the trim and look for a section with strong grain. make the two starter sections (1 ft each if 5/8 1/4 round and up to ten ft each on 4.25 inch half round chair railing a fancy private school classroom building hallway) out of the grain so it is just miter miter at the joint. That lets the grain flow around the corner. Seal the raw edges, and the back side if not already done. I use shellac at about a 2.5 lb cut. Then glue and pin nail them together. Install as one piece and then continue out from the corner in both directions. I and my subs and partners always had all the trim back primed with a shellac based sealer or my 2.5 cut on stain grade plus, before even starting to cut trim.


Anyone In my area that has been in the Nashua, NH Barmakians Jewelry store has seen how we did it.

If you do the router trick on a stock piece and make a several inch piece out of block for the corner it will be hard to match it on the grain to your long 1/4 round stock. Unless you are making all that up also. The farther back on each side from the outside corner you have continuous grain and no joints the better the flow will look. It is all about controlling how folks , untrained and trained also gaze at the work. The more lateral visual scanning they do and the less up and down vertical sight flow the more impressive and continuous the look. Make their eyes follow the corner out away from it as far as possible.

In a 36 foot run and doorways inset by four feet entrance pocket we had lots of outside corners at the school job. The 1/2 round was all custom cherry ten to 18 ft long.. The trick was to take the longest ones and set them aside to use on the outside corners. So we had a 1 ft to inside corner and then a 3ft to out side corner and then a ten to 14 ft run out of the same piece. Splicing in even 6 foot sections in the middle of the run we tried to match grain but the run was a lateral view. As someone looked at the outside corner their eyes were drawn down the long run. By the time they got to seeing where the next joint was they were too far away to see the grain. No one stops to look at the grain much in the middle of a run.

Hope this is of some use. :)

Always finish on inside corners not outside corners. That is why we now have Dual Bevel dual miter slide saws.

and always seal your joints before putting them together and gluing them. Over the years I have watched well known on 1.5 mil and up trophy houses finish carpenters use the titebond and then after it has dried a bit add more titebond and then nail up the trim. The next morning on small stock like scotia and trim for panelizing sheets of cherry ply their joints had opened up.

Always pre seal end grain with a water and moisture block. Yes shellac, and it dries faster than the bit of glue those guys were smearing on the end grain before installing it.

I personally can not figure any boat repairman, builder , finish carpenter not having a shellac kit. Herreshoff (SP) HAD SHELLAC KITS FOR EVErY GROUP OF BOAT WORKERS.

My shellac kit has pre-made 2lb cut, 1 quart, and clear, blond, and dark flakes, several clean dry jars, denatured alcohol (best quality), mixing spoons, clean never used chip and on sale natural bristle brushes, a scientific measuring beaker, lint free rags, a yard sale postal scale and more. I never keep my general purpose 2 lb cut more than 3 months. When over due it does not dry as fast so I use it to mix with my dark, at least a 5 lb cut, for Herreshoff type glue between laminations of wood.


I have a small WEST epoxy kit that also traveled to every job with me.

This is good reading and would be awesome if it had pics of each description.

Is shellac a good material for full sun and salt exposure, like that of say, an hatch cover?
Is it a wise finish for say, the planking on the interior of a lapstrake hull?
I see Zinnser make an amber and clear shellac on the shelf at HD. Is this stuff as good as a mix one might make from genuine amber flakes and alcohol? The clear is the best money can buy I believe. Apart from this canned stuff from Zinnser not being fresh, is it as good as any clear one could mix themselves, again from their own kit?
Or would it be wise to obtain the best flakes or buttons and mix your own stuff, not unlike the kit you have described for your own work.?

RFNK
07-18-2010, 05:26 AM
Beautiful work Jay - thanks for sharing all this! Rick

Jay Greer
07-18-2010, 09:37 AM
This is good reading and would be awesome if it had pics of each description.

Is shellac a good material for full sun and salt exposure, like that of say, an hatch cover?
Is it a wise finish for say, the planking on the interior of a lapstrake hull?
I see Zinnser make an amber and clear shellac on the shelf at HD. Is this stuff as good as a mix one might make from genuine amber flakes and alcohol? The clear is the best money can buy I believe. Apart from this canned stuff from Zinnser not being fresh, is it as good as any clear one could mix themselves, again from their own kit?
Or would it be wise to obtain the best flakes or buttons and mix your own stuff, not unlike the kit you have described for your own work.?
First, I make my own shellac from raw flakes and denatured alcohol except for French Polish where I use pure grain spirits. Shellac has a short shelf life and will remain tacky once it has aged. Six months is about the limit I will trust commercial shellac.
Shellac is non toxic, so much so that it is used for coating pills. In flak form, it comes in several grades of color, blond, super blond, orange, button and stick. Button and stick shellac are supplied containing the natural wax and in the case of stick, it is just that as it often contains the material of the trees that the bug saliva is harvested from. Stick and botton are good as sealants for double planking, inside spars prior to glue up and priming joints. But, shellac is not a good materal for finishes that will be exposed to the elements and or direct sun.
Jay

floatingkiwi
07-21-2010, 04:31 PM
Jay , in your mighty opinion, what application is shellac at its best, and , is shellac the best thing to use for that particular application??

Jay Greer
07-21-2010, 07:18 PM
Well, first my opinion is far from mighty. I have learned my trade both by watching the old guys I worked with and by making a hell of a lot of mistakes. Mistakes can be both costly and embarasing for the guy who his earning a living as a woodworker.
So far as shellac is concerned, I like using it for setting double planking, sealing wood prior to luting or bedding and for French Polish. This stuff has been around since the days of the early Egyptian coffin makers and boat builders and has been doing a good job ever since.
It drys fast, does not need to be catalized and is easily cleaned off your paws and tools with a bit of alcohol. And, when taking damaged components apart it is easily reveresed. You may wonder why I use grain spirits for French Polish work. It prevents the finish from setting up too fast and crazing after several months as often can happen with denatured alky. It is also better on the lungs if I'm not wearing a mask.
Jay

floatingkiwi
07-22-2010, 02:00 AM
Yes, the Early Egyptians worshipped just about everything that walked, crawled slid and jumped, in particular, those big shiny beetles.Isn't shellac from those things?
I gotta watch out not to set up too fast as crazing is often denature of this alky.

Soundman67
07-22-2010, 10:01 AM
Jay, great description. I was also wondering about the setting the canvas in white lead. are you painting it on and then stretching the canvas over? what type of paint do you cover it with? and where do you get bronze staples?
Thanks again for the info. your explanations may help all of us to avoid those expensive mistakes.

floatingkiwi
07-22-2010, 02:41 PM
I saw some Monel staples at West Marine, and JD carry T50 staples of various rustproof material.

Jay Greer
07-22-2010, 04:08 PM
Shellac comes from the Indian Lac Beetle. The Egyptians must have traded for it. Regular denatured alcohol is ok for general use. For special work, there is a denatured that is labled as shellac thinner. It contains something that slows down the drying process. The only time I use grain alcohol for thinning shellac is for archival work and art restoration.
Jay