Applying And Smoothing Shellac

Careful. Wipe the shellac unto the wood, but don't let it run into the joint.

De-nib. Shellac will raise the wood grain slightly. Smooth the dried surface with worn sandpaper.

retain as much whiteness as possible, you can substitute some diluted sanding sealer for the shellac. I'm 5i on and let it dry, then sand the surface thoroughly, to the point where you think that you have removed every trace of it. Sanding sealer takes much longer to dry, and you must sand ii thoroughly, rather than just enough to de-nib it like shellac.

On a tight wood like maple or holly, another way to avoid any yellowing is to just skip the shellac (or sealer) and go straight to wax, You'll have to apply a couple extra coats of it, but the reward is thai beeswax intensifies the natural color of the wood.

Applying Beeswax

Use a lint-free cotton rag to dip a hit oi wax out of the crock, and rub it into the surface of the wood. Apply the wax sparingly and work it in until there's 110 free wax visible. (See bottom right photo.) Conclude by wiping the pad over the sUjrface of the wood with the grain, then leave it to dry until the turpentine evaporates, which may take five minutes. Thell buff the wood with a clean rag, and get on with preparing for the next stage in assembly.

Alter assembly, you'll plane or sand the surfaces that are still unfinished, making sure all adjoining faces are rectified, or flush. (See drawings, page 59.) When you shellac these surfaces, use a rag for maximum control, so you don't ger too much shellac on the already-waxed surfaces. But if you do overlap, simply wipe the shellac off the wax, and it won't cause any problem.

Next time you have the wax out on the bench, rub some more into the first coat you applied, lei it dry, and butt some more. And so on. Ultimately you'll want to apply four or live coats of wax, with a day or more in between each. You'll be able 10 see, and (eel, the continuous improvement in the surface.

Repairing Beeswax

Even though you apply and buff the wax in multiple coats, only an infinitesi-mally thin coating remains. Beeswax might not seem like such a durable finish, but because it is so slick, it resists physical abrasion very well; and unlike film finishes, it can t crack, flake, peel, or scrape oil the wood. It also resists water, but i[ has no resistance to liquids

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