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269368 Bruce Zenge <brucensherry@g...> 2019‑11‑02 Correcting a long held personal belief
It has been a while since I posted anything (guess I've had nothing useful
to add), but wanted to talk about the recent comments about plastic handles
and their odor.  I lurk here and read most everything that is posted, so
when someone recently told of using shellac to coat stinky plastic handles,
my attention was riveted.  Several years ago, I had asked about the problem
and at the time, we all pretty much agreed there wasn't much that could be
done.  Or at least, so we thought.  The application of shellac was a stroke
of genius!  (Wish I'd thought of it.....)  So a couple of days ago I
finally got around to doing it to a few screwdrivers that were in need.

I have used shellac since the days when Paddy was the List Purveyor of the
commodity, and have used the anaerobic alcohol to mix it, almost
exclusively.  I also adhered to the theory that shelf life of mixed shellac
was only 6 months and then needed to be dumped.  Through experimentation, I
found that using the 95% pure alcohol, I could extend the useful life to a
year or more.  There was a little disagreement from some members, but I
tested each batch before using on a project and found my conclusions worked
for me.  No point in trying to convince anyone else since my results could
easily be different from theirs.

Fast forward (finally,) to yesterday.  I cleaned the handles, grabbed the
jar of shellac that has been on the shelf for a while and coated the
handles.  Then looked at the date.... It says 2016.  OOOps.  But it dried
OK.  Hmm.  Today, I worked on a few more that were in need and just for
fun, used some garnet that was dated 2009.  Same result.  dried quickly and
looked beautiful!  Maybe I was wrong about the shelf life of shellac.

I have no explanation for this great result with shellac that should not
have dried.  Perhaps the initial alcohol purity, maybe ideal storage
conditions, maybe just the fact that it was Paddylac quality initially?
All I know for sure is that it worked and I won't be throwing shellac away
due to a date label.  I will still test for drying ability as I always
have, but no arbitrary time limit.

Sorry for the length, but I just had to share.

Bruce Z.
Des Moines, IA
Good to see some old names reappear!

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