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Thread: Shellacking the Inside of the Ukulele

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    Yakima, WA
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    There are two issues that are most problematic to me. First, is the shellac sealer gets too warm or moist from its environment, it will collect dust and dirt and hold on to it, I've seen this a couple of times on some repair work. Second, if a crack develops that needs to be repaired from the inside, often times trying to sand finish away from that area is very difficult if not impossible.

    Quote Originally Posted by sequoia View Post
    OK. I hear you. But by saying the old luthiers didn't do it doesn't really answer the question. I do not assert that it adds moisture protection (unproven), increased volume or sustain (unproven) or aesthetics to the instrument, however, what are the downsides? In other words, it might not help, but it certainly don't hurt neither. And just because that nobody did it before is not an argument. What is your experience Doug? Have you tried it?

  2. #22
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    Oct 2014
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    Little River, California
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackBearUkes View Post
    There are two issues that are most problematic to me. First, is the shellac sealer gets too warm or moist from its environment, it will collect dust and dirt and hold on to it, I've seen this a couple of times on some repair work. Second, if a crack develops that needs to be repaired from the inside, often times trying to sand finish away from that area is very difficult if not impossible.
    Good fresh shellac should not get gummy at anytime regardless of moisture and heat. What I think you might have seen was expired shellac which does not cure correctly and indeed you would see gummy shellac that attracts dust and dirt. Here is what might have happened: The luthier has some old shellac and he thinks, hey I'll use this old stuff on the inside cause it won't show.... I think your second point is more valid. Yes for sure repair work will be more difficult while trying to glue cleats, etc. or whatever to shellaced wood. Someone pointed out that you can always scrap the shellac away before gluing but this could be problematic due to the awkwardness of the repair site and shellac penetrates deep into the wood making scraping possibly ineffective. In such situation I would consider using the nuclear option: Cyanoacrylate. But good luck trying to repair the repair.

    In my opinion the positives outweigh the negatives in this case.

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