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Shellac sanding sealer

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From what I've researched Keith Julier in his book 'Period ship a builders manual', he suggests that 'Shellac'serves well for a finish, bringing out the true colour of the wood, and when applied and rubbed down with really fine abrasive paper (1500 grit) it produces a truly flat and hard surface.  Further research stated that this finished surface is susceptible to damage, but can easily be repaired, whereas cellulose based finished surfaces can prove difficult to repair.


Shellac is used in french polishing, and was popular, up until the 1930's, when other products proved quicker and required less effort.

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If it's used on its own to seal the surface and bring out the grain then I expect Cellulose to be more durable and faster drying. For use under French polishing then Shellac would be best. That's my understanding anyway. If the smell of Cellulose sanding sealer is a problem then you can use a water based Acrylic sanding sealer. As said though I only use Cellulose.

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Did a test run using Shellac, put a coat down and allowed to to dry, used a 1500 grit paper to break the surface, then applied two more coats of Shellac, got a lovely finish, exactly what I was looking for.  In my humble opinion, I would say the finish looks more authentic than modern cellulose varnish, and its looks realistic.

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