Briwax ruins fresh shellac finish

Discussion in 'Clock Case Restoration and Repair' started by BLKBEARD, Aug 29, 2017.

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  1. BLKBEARD

    BLKBEARD Registered User
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    Nov 15, 2016
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    I was all finished with the restoration of a Seth Thomas Salem Shelf Clock.

    Serviced the movement. New bushings where indicated etc.
    Stripped the case
    4 coats of Natural Shellac, rubbed out between coats.


    Everyone raves about Briwax, so last year I bought a can. Yesterday I decided to give it a try on this clock.

    It lifted the finish completely off in spots, and damaged the finish in other areas.

    Last night I de-waxed it
    Today I'll see how many coats I have to apply to restore my finish.

    It's back to MinWax Finishing Past Wax for me!! It's never given me a problem in 25+ years.

    Turns out that Briwax has a solvent in it. It may work well on old finishes because it probably cuts into the surface of a old dry finish. I'll try it on a old finish.

    But it has no place on a fresh finish.

    Maybe old dogs shouldn't try new tricks............If it ain't broke, don't fix it

    This was very disheartening. All that work..................Poof
     
  2. the 3rd dwarve

    the 3rd dwarve Registered User

    Nov 3, 2000
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    Blkbeard,

    I can empathize; I loathe having to do the same job over again. It is disheartening the second time especially after taking great care doing right the first time. I find it especially irritating when a product I have been using is "improved" with a new formula that doesn't work for me.

    I have never used Briwax so checked the MSDS and it has several powerful solvents listed that make up ten to thirty percent of the formula.

    I use Gilboy's but it's a pain to get here and expensive.

    Take a look at BWC's line when you have a chance. They make Renaissance and Butcher's bowling alley wax. I like their products and they're readily available.

    Regards,
    D~

    P.S. Old dogs should always try new tricks, young pups never get much done.
     
  3. ClipClock

    ClipClock Registered User
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    Jun 20, 2013
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    Thats a real pain, you have my sympathy! My old teacher at furniture restoration classes used to say that you need to leave it a minimum of 2 weeks before waxing though. Maybe you just used it a little soon before the shellac had fully hardened?
     
  4. BLKBEARD

    BLKBEARD Registered User
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    Nov 15, 2016
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    I never had this problem with minwax
    let it cure 24 hours, do a final rub out, & wax it.

    I cut the shellac by 1/3 to 1/2 with alcohol. it's very fast drying. I build up 4 to 6 coats, rubbing out with 0000 steel wool between coats.

    It gives you a nice low luster finish, not a high luster like a french polished piece.

    I noticed the Briwax buffed out to a much higher luster
     
  5. Time After Time

    Time After Time Registered User
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    Feb 22, 2010
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    Like you, I've heard many good things about Briwax. Also, like you, I've had really good experience with MinWax and go to it when I want good results, quickly. I also will sometimes use it to wax fasteners. Thanks for the caution about Briwax. I'll try to remember to try a new product on an inconspicuous area before applying it elsewhere. I probably would not have thought to take that precaution were it not for your thread.
     
  6. harold bain

    harold bain Forums Administrator
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    Nov 4, 2002
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    Shellac has a shelf life, after which it will not set properly. I use shellac flakes so that I always have a fresh batch to use.
     
  7. Sooth

    Sooth Registered User
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    Feb 19, 2005
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    Clip: TWO WEEKS? Are you nuts? I leave freshly shellacked repairs to dry overnight and they get wax polished and buffed the next day. Never had a problem.

    As for my wax preferences, I also use the "el cheapo" Minwax paste wax. I have the natural and the dark-tinted and I've had the same cans for probably close to 15 years now (both are more than half full, still). Their wax is really plain, just paraffin and mineral spirits IIRC.

    I've seen the Gilboy's ads/videos and it seems rather expensive/overpriced. They just use a beeswax, carnauba wax and turpentine blend with a bit of colorant in it. It's a really basic standard recipe that you can make yourself for a fraction of the price (dozens of recipes for this are available free all over the web).
     

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