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Thread: Zinnser Shellac

  1. #1
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    Zinnser Shellac

    I read on another forum about Zinnser shellac cans failing and leaking shellac everywhere. Several people stated that it happened to them so it's not just an isolated case.

    I don't know (and don't care) about what is in the product that is eating up the metal cans but if you have some old Zinnser shellac, it is probably a good idea to use it ASAP or dispose of it.

    I have a partial gallon can that is over two years old. It will get poured on my burn pile today.
    Cody

    "The reverence that the object maker has for the materials, for the shape, and for the miracle of his skill transcends to God, the Master Craftsman, the Creator of all things, who uses us, our hands, as His tools to make these beautiful things." Sam Maloof (1916-2009).
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  2. #2
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    Re: Zinnser Shellac

    Thanks - I know I have at least a partial quart can in the cabinet - I will look at it today.
    Art and Creativity - Collide with the Functionality of CNC - priceless
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  3. #3
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    Re: Zinnser Shellac

    The failing shellac cans - is that a recent thing, or a historical thing? Are the failing cans NEW cans, or are they OLD cans (past the shellac's 2-year) expiration date?

    It'd be good to know - if it's a current thing with new(ish) cans, it might be a good idea to avoid using canned shellac for anything until Zinsser has their container problem sorted out.

    If it's a historical thing with past-expiration cans, then they probably sorted out the problem long ago.

    If it's a recent thing but with past-expiration cans, then we may not have anything to worry about as long as we use whatever canned shellac we have before its expiration date, and discard any that's past the expiration date (a good idea anyway, since old shellac gets funny about curing).
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  4. #4
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    Re: Zinnser Shellac

    Actually - I have heard something about storing shellac in cans.

    Bare metal cans don't take to knidly to shellac. Treated cans - I dunno know what that means - mayby coated inside with some sort of coating that shields against shellac reaction.

    Ana way - I have heard that you should not store shellac in untreated cans.

    I would think Zinsers would know that. Maybe the coating don't last ferevah

    I guess weebles got it over zinnsers

    weebles wobble - but they don't fall down
    Last edited by Leo Voisine; 02-05-2011 at 7:49 pm.
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  5. #5
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    Re: Zinsser Shellac

    Quote Originally Posted by TDHofstetter View Post
    The failing shellac cans - is that a recent thing, or a historical thing? Are the failing cans NEW cans, or are they OLD cans (past the shellac's 2-year) expiration date?
    First, I mispelled Zinsser...again. I can't ever remember if it has two "N's" or two "S's."

    The posters at the other site didn't list the purchase dates but the age of the cans ranged from 8 years to less than a year. At least two posters stated that it had happened "recently" so either they have had their shellac for a period of time or the problem is still ongoing. BTW, the expiration date on the one-gallon can of Zinnser that I have in the shop says 3 years from the date of purchase which is stamped on the bottom. It was dated 2007 so it's out of date, too.

    The thread is at Woodnet if you want to read it for yourself.


    Quote Originally Posted by TDHofstetter View Post
    It'd be good to know - if it's a current thing with new(ish) cans, it might be a good idea to avoid using canned shellac for anything until Zinsser has their container problem sorted out.
    Your call. You might consider putting it in a glass container, instead of leaving it in the metal can.


    Quote Originally Posted by TDHofstetter View Post
    If it's a historical thing with past-expiration cans, then they probably sorted out the problem long ago.

    If it's a recent thing but with past-expiration cans, then we may not have anything to worry about as long as we use whatever canned shellac we have before its expiration date, and discard any that's past the expiration date (a good idea anyway, since old shellac gets funny about curing).

    I just reported that people on another forum said they had had cans of Zinsser shellac fail and leak shellac everywhere...some of the cans were less than one year old and some leaked recently. That doesn't sound like the problem was solved long ago but that's only conjecture, not verified fact.

    If you want more info on the topic, I suggest you contact Zinsser. There's nothing like getting the scoop straight from the horse's mouth.

    I'm gonna dump my shellac. I don't need a gooey mess in the shop.
    Cody

    "The reverence that the object maker has for the materials, for the shape, and for the miracle of his skill transcends to God, the Master Craftsman, the Creator of all things, who uses us, our hands, as His tools to make these beautiful things." Sam Maloof (1916-2009).
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  6. #6
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    Re: Zinnser Shellac

    Boy, I sure hear that - I had a pretty large (polyethylene, my bad) bottle of linseed oil burst (dissolve) inside a storage tubbie while I was still in this complicated process of moving. That was SOME nasty to clean up... and I never did salvage some of the stuff I'd stored in that tubbie with it.

    One of the scary things about leaky shellac containers is the thought of an alcohol fire in the shop - denatured alcohol is easy to accidentally ignite, and that's a BAD fire to put out.

    Wish somebody'd market some nice stainless cans for stuff like that - I'm tender about storing flammables in glass. Too easy for a stumble#### like me to drop a glass jar & have a nightmare.
    -- Tim --

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  7. #7
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    Re: Zinnser Shellac

    I love the stuff. I use it all the time. But, I never buy more than enough for the project at hand. Zinnser sanding sealer is also the only non-WB finish I use.

    art
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  8. #8
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    Re: Zinnser Shellac

    A couple of years ago I bought a can of Zinsser Coat Shellac from Menards. I'm not sure what it's "born on date" was - but I don't think it was too awfully old by any means - and surely not expired. I didn't have the can all too long before I noticed I had a hell of a mess on my shelves that contain all of my finishes.

    It was all over the place - I cleaned it all up and put the remainder in a glass jar. I only lost 1/3 of the can or so - it was brand new, I don't think I had even opened it.

    I don't know what the reason for the spill was - the can didn't appear to be damaged from handling. I chalked it up to a malfunction of the can itself, and not from the shellac "eating away" at the can or anything like that.

    I have a new can of Zinsser on the shelf - not sure how long I've had it - but I've not noticed any problems. I still put the majority in a glass jar just because it's easier to work with and not cross contaminate that way.



    Zac
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