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Discussion Starter #1
I picked up a refurb russian sks, and the shellac is kinda dull. i want to restore it back to its original finish. anyone know if it is the same color as on the mosins?

if so, i have a few that could use a touchup.

please let me know where i can find the correct russian red shellac for my rifles.
 

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You can buy "Garnet" shellac flake at Woodcrafters...
 

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We had a "discussion" on this topic about 2 weeks ago. Rocker98 posted a thread and gave a supplier as woodfinishsupply.com as a source for shellac. Go there and hit the "shellac tab" and it will tell you about all the different types. For a true dark red finish I would recommend using the seedlac or button lac as it is less refined like the original. Garnet flakes work well too and might be a little easier to use.
 

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We had a "discussion" on this topic about 2 weeks ago. Rocker98 posted a thread and listed finishsupply.com as a supplier of shellac. Go there and click the "shellac" tab. It will tell you all about the different kinds available. I would recommend the seedlac or button lac for an original dark red finish as it is less refined like the original shellac. Garnet flakes work well too and might be a little easier to work.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
since the only finish i have dealt with in the past is BLO, tung, and truoil, please forgive me if this sounds stupid. i have read about shellac flakes, do you dissolve these in a solvent like denatured alcohol and paint it on? is it better to spray it on instead? i want to try to replicate the original finish as close as possible

Thanks
 

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Shellac can't be any easier.
The flakes are dissolved in denatured alcohol and can be sprayed on, but I prefer a fantail brush.
It's quick and easy.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
i viewed the post that rocker98 had, lots of good info there. the thing i am not certain of is how would i get the correct color?

i understand now how shellac works and how its applied. I didnt know it came from bugs. thats really cool. i just need to know how to find the correct color.

all help, advice and suggestions are appreciated
 

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Tru Value Moscow has it by the gallon or is that liter?
 

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Mr. Flashy Pants
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You buy the color shellac that you need. I've always heard that "garnet" is pretty close to the Soviet refurb color, but I've never tried it myself.

Thanks for the link above. I used to recommend that company all the time as a source for garnet shellac and information on using it. Then one day their web site was offline and it said they went out of business. I guess they're back.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
[link]http://woodfinishsupply.com/ShellacPricing800.html[/link]

at this link^ there are several types of shellac that look promising. i was leaning toward buttonlac kusmi#2, or the garnet lac, but didnt know if i should get the regular or dewaxed stuff.

Buttonlac is a unique shellac product preferred by restorers and those looking for a very protective shellac finish. It is superb for French polishing because of its hardness. The processing of buttonlac polymerizes it, resulting in a very tough material.
Adds a great tone to woods like mahogany, red oak, cherry and douglas fir.
There are two colors: Kusmi #1, and Kusmi #2, Reddish Brown. The numbers refer to the time of year when the shellac is harvested. Specify: Kusmi #1 Caramel Amber - or Kusmi #2 Reddish Brown.
GARNET-Dewaxed Deep Rich Brown-Red cast.
GARNET Lac-(Granta) Deep Rich Brownish with a warm cast excellent on mahogany, walnuts and for darker cherry tones.
 

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I have no personal experience working with garnet, but see below, it may not give you the reddish appearance you require. A mix of flake colors, perhaps, to match Russian Red?

I know if I had any 91/59s to refinish (none need it) I would go with the Blonde.

Below is from:

http://www.woodcraft.com/family.aspx?familyid=2024&productid=143157

Blonde flakes produce a pale amber color for touch up, light wood, or where orange color is unwanted. Orange flakes impart a brownish orange color, ideal for most applications. Garnet flakes have a dark brown character, which brings out the figure in lighter wood such as curly maple, and leaves a rich color on dark woods.

Shellac has been a preferred finish for high quality furniture because it’s fast drying time minimizes dust in the finish, and permits the building up of many thin coats in a short time. Since each application dissolves part of the last coat, scratches or surface blemishes can be repaired invisibly. Shellac is easy to mix and you should only make up what you need at any one time. Mixing 1 lb. of flakes into a gallon of denatured alcohol results in a 1 lb. cut, add 2 lb. to a gallon for a 2 lb. cut. If you only need a small amount, scale down those proportions to a pint.
 

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I bcame interested in how the Russians got such red finish on to some of the Mosins I have seen, and bought.:rolleyes: So I got some small birch boards, some Zinssers Amber, Garnet Flakes, and Button lac. (Kusmi #2) and got shellacing. I found that a NON dewaxed button lac was the closest. Raw button lac/seed lac had a natural red hue that is removed to produced amber, lemon and clearer versions. Anyway, I ended up adding a few drops of red dye to a 3# cut to get really close.

Button lac takes about three days to disolve in alcohol, by the way, and this is after busting them up a bit.

Here is a useful site for buying supplies and getting advice:

http://www.shellac.net/
 

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Garnet shellac flakes

I have used "Garnet" shellac flake from Woodcrafters and liked the results. I used a 2 lb cut and brushed on lite coats. Keep adding coats until you get the color you want. It starts out kind of amber but after 4 or 5 coats it starts to take on the deep red. The coats dry very quickly so it does take long to get to the color you want. The flakes take a while to dissolve in the de-natured alcohol. Make about a pint at a time in a wide mouth glass jar so you can shake it to help dissolve the flakes.
 

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I have used "Garnet" shellac flake from Woodcrafters and liked the results. I used a 2 lb cut and brushed on lite coats. Keep adding coats until you get the color you want. It starts out kind of amber but after 4 or 5 coats it starts to take on the deep red. The coats dry very quickly so it does take long to get to the color you want. The flakes take a while to dissolve in the de-natured alcohol. Make about a pint at a time in a wide mouth glass jar so you can shake it to help dissolve the flakes.
I think you hit what I was missing--the build up of coats to get to the deep red color. Amber to red with more coats makes complete sense.
 

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I bcame interested in how the Russians got such red finish on to some of the Mosins I have seen, and bought.:rolleyes: So I got some small birch boards, some Zinssers Amber, Garnet Flakes, and Button lac. (Kusmi #2) and got shellacing. I found that a NON dewaxed button lac was the closest. Raw button lac/seed lac had a natural red hue that is removed to produced amber, lemon and clearer versions. Anyway, I ended up adding a few drops of red dye to a 3# cut to get really close.

Button lac takes about three days to disolve in alcohol, by the way, and this is after busting them up a bit.

Here is a useful site for buying supplies and getting advice:

http://www.shellac.net/
There's just no need to use any dye to match a finish. The Russians simply did not use it. The shellac will naturally darken with age and exposure to the elements. Elements of battle. These were military arms and never meant to be pretty. As we all see, there were variations in color over different years of production. The shellac was made as needed and they used what they had at the time. I doubt very much they sent out the commisars to find the right color match for their weapons.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I have used "Garnet" shellac flake from Woodcrafters and liked the results. I used a 2 lb cut and brushed on lite coats. Keep adding coats until you get the color you want. It starts out kind of amber but after 4 or 5 coats it starts to take on the deep red. The coats dry very quickly so it does take long to get to the color you want. The flakes take a while to dissolve in the de-natured alcohol. Make about a pint at a time in a wide mouth glass jar so you can shake it to help dissolve the flakes.
is the bottom one the one you reshellaced? im trying to match the finish like the top one. the color looks great, but i want to try to get that shine.
 

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There's just no need to use any dye to match a finish. The Russians simply did not use it. The shellac will naturally darken with age and exposure to the elements. Elements of battle. These were military arms and never meant to be pretty. As we all see, there were variations in color over different years of production. The shellac was made as needed and they used what they had at the time. I doubt very much they sent out the commisars to find the right color match for their weapons.

Quite true. I was merely saying that to get the shade of red with the materials that I had at hand, I had to resort to red dye. (And this was after multiple coats, which did not give me the right shade.) I am not sure that shellac darkens over time, but that could be true. I think that the "Russian Red" is a button lac or at least less refined form of shellac than what we usually see.
 
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