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Denatured Alcohol or Methalated Spirits.

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CHJ

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Anyone use these as a means of speeding the drying of unseasoned wood for turning. See Dave Smith Article

If so what source of supply, I need 5 to 10 litres of the stuff at a time and am stuck for supplier at moment other than in the small DIY containers.

If you know of a legitimate source of UnDyed Meths it would be preferable.

The mountain of freshly felled wood is mounting and it seems ridiculous to wait several months or years when recent experiments with quick drying are proving successful but a little unwieldily.
 

Argee

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Yes, I've done it - it was me who pointed out the article originally, I think. Some considerations for you:

1) You can get 5 litre plastic containers of Meths at Brewers, so I suppose any decent trade paint supplier would be able to help. I bought 10 litres to start with. You don't lose much in volume, but it will steadily increase in its water content.

2) I used ordinary meths, wrapped the part-turned blanks in heavy paper and kept weighing them until the weight loss ceased (about 18 days in my case).

3) I thought that the blanks would pong of the meths, but they don't once fully dry.

4) Success depends upon the type of wood in use. I've had some good results with beech, but very poor with cherry - experimentation seems to be the only way.

5) Make sure that the drying room is neither too warm or connected to the house - you really won't want the meths fumes indoors and there are plenty of them in the early stages!

6) I never did find a source of un-dyed meths/denatured alcohol, hence my trying ordinary meths.

HTH

Ray.
 

Chris Knight

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You can buy methanol from various sources including the pro wood finishing dealers and maybe still but certainly, years ago, as fuel for RC model aircraft engines.

This would work as well as ethanol in your application, I am sure.
 

PowerTool

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Methanol is toxic as well as flammable (U.N.1230),so may not be so easy to get hold of as ethanol (U.N.1170)

Andrew
 

Chris Knight

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PowerTool":38f43h5p said:
Methanol is toxic as well as flammable (U.N.1230),so may not be so easy to get hold of as ethanol (U.N.1170)
I was always under the impression that meths was toxic too!

Still, if I am mistaken, let me pour you a glass..

And if ethanol isn't flammable, then you won't mind lighting my Xmas pud!

- sorry, can't resist it :roll:
 

CHJ

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Thank for the pointer Ray, there is a Brewers in Swindon which would not be a chore to combine in with a bit of retail therapy if all else fails with local merchants.

Mind you with the price of cheap schnapps , vodka and various other lethal clear liquids available in Bavaria, the car might just have a different selection of bottles in the boot this christmas.
 

Terry Smart

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Arriving at this thread a bit late... we now supply a product we call 'Spirit Thinners' which is a blend of solvents but is used as an alternative to meths. Others on this site have tried it for use with shellac to produce polishes with great success.
Oh, and it's clear.

I assume this will do the same job?
 

CHJ

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Terry Smart":2icgf8nw said:
Arriving at this thread a bit late... we now supply a product we call 'Spirit Thinners' which is a blend of solvents but is used as an alternative to meths. Others on this site have tried it for use with shellac to produce polishes with great success.
Oh, and it's clear.

I assume this will do the same job?
Thanks Terry for the input, could not locate it on the Chestnut site when I was checking for supplies, probably not looking in the correct place.

Packaged Volumes/Price indication would be interesting.

I managed to obtain a volume of 'Meths' today that will get me going but any alternate economical source of a suitable Ethanol based product or its near equivalent is always appreciated, I don't see me being able to obtain an HM Customs licence to buy it direct from the Denaturants and Methylators.

It would appear that a volume of 10 litres or so would meet most of my needs without having to faff about with differing containers etc.
 

Argee

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CHJ":3rowgj0q said:
It would appear that a volume of 10 litres or so would meet most of my needs without having to faff about with differing containers etc.
My method followed the article closely, in that I made a "nest" of shavings in a large builders' bucket, then sat the bowl in a strong poly sack (dust extractor type), eased it into the "nest" then poured the meths in. Even with a large bowl, I've never needed more than 5 litres, although I bought 10 to start with. You need to stop the bowl floating, otherwise some of it will not immerse, but you soon get used to that.

I picked up one of those large poly crates with a lid and a cheapo baking rack (like those oven shelves, the sort you set bread or cakes out onto when cooked). A pair of tights stretched over a fairly large funnel completed the kit.

Once the bowl is saturated, I span the poly crate with the rack and the bowl goes on upside down until surface dry. Then I pour the contents of the sack into the poly crate, set my filter funnel into the meths container, then pour the meths back, using the corner of the crate as a spout. This is MUCH easier than trying to pour back directly from the sack!

Finally, put all the kit into the crate and seal the lid. No meths smells then permeate the workshop.

HTH

Ray.
 

CHJ

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Argee":30zxhkx7 said:
CHJ":30zxhkx7 said:
It would appear that a volume of 10 litres or so would meet most of my needs without having to faff about with differing containers etc.
My method followed the article closely, in that I made a "nest" of shavings in a large builders' bucket, then sat the bowl in a strong poly sack (dust extractor type), eased it into the "nest" then poured the meths in. Even with a large bowl, I've never needed more than 5 litres, although I bought 10 to start with. You need to stop the bowl floating, otherwise some of it will not immerse, but you soon get used to that.

I picked up one of those large poly crates with a lid and a cheapo baking rack (like those oven shelves, the sort you set bread or cakes out onto when cooked). A pair of tights stretched over a fairly large funnel completed the kit.

Once the bowl is saturated, I span the poly crate with the rack and the bowl goes on upside down until surface dry. Then I pour the contents of the sack into the poly crate, set my filter funnel into the meths container, then pour the meths back, using the corner of the crate as a spout. This is MUCH easier than trying to pour back directly from the sack!

Finally, put all the kit into the crate and seal the lid. No meths smells then permeate the workshop.

HTH

Ray.
Thanks Ray, that is more or less the method that we came up with this morning having seen the reference to plastic bags. :idea:
and found that all the smaller tubs we have aquired over the years have gone past their useby date for this purpose.
You might know that I only had a burn up of a large quantity of shavings two days ago when the wind was blowing up the field away from the house, but a few hours this morning will soon remedy that problem. :D
LOML had already donated an old cake cooling grid. (muttered something about "at least wet wood shavings don't spread so readily" in passing. :roll:
 

CHJ

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First item out of the Alcohol drying trials.

I know many others use this method but this is my first result and it may encourage others to have a go.

This item was finish turned at the earliest moment that I thought I would get away with it.
click on images for larger view

Finished diameter 130mm and 2mm wall thickness.

As a guide to drying times involved I noted these figures on a daily basis.

Material Hazel, rough turned within 5 days of being felled. 140mm dia. wall thickness 10mm. Drying location a cool conservatory. Initial weight 195grams.

Daily check. 195,185,175,165,160,150,145,145,140,140,140,140,140. (13 days)

Conclusions:

Initial finish turning caused little movement but as warmth was generated during final sanding (120-360 grit) and polishing, up to 2 mm of distortion took place in the same plane as the original shrink movement.

Edit: After 24 hours in centrally heated room the bowl has returned to round with no sign of significant distortion.

Now the impatience of a beginner is over, I will in future move those that have stopped loosing in the current location to a warmer/dryer location and leave the blanks for longer before finishing.
 

CHJ

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I note a lot of discussion in the USA about the dangers of Methanol.

One thread in particular is concerned with the high proportions found in some products.

I would not have thought that the levels used in a standard Brit. methylated spirit mix would be too much of a hazard as long as you did not wash your hands in it.

Anyone got any thoughts on this :?: :!:
 

edmund

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I don't think that using Finishing Spirit would be ideal purely for use as a drying agent because whilst the spirit contains a blend of alcohols it also contains some shellac (or other resin).

As I've posted elsewhere (apologies if you've already read them) there were some new regulations that came into force earlier this year which replaced the Methylated Spirit Regulations 1987 - now the Denatured Alcohol Regulations 2005 http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2005/20051524.htm.

What we would call meths (mineralised methylated spirit) is now referred to as "completely denatured alcohol", IMS is "industrial denatured alcohol", and denatured ethanol is "trade specific denatured alcohol". As per the old regulations it sets out the recipes for these. For MMS the mix of alcohols is 90% ethyl alcohol 9.5% wood naphtha. IMS is 95% ethyl alcohol 5% wood naphtha.

To buy IMS you need to get written authorisation from HM Customs.
 

Wanlock Dod

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I note a lot of discussion in the USA about the dangers of Methanol.
Methanol is classified as Toxic, ethanol is classified as harmfull, both of them carry this classification for swallowing, inhalation and contact with the skin. Basically what this means is that methanol is a rather more poisonous than ethanol.

Methanol should evaporate off more readily as it boils at 65 degrees, whereas ethanol boils at 78 degrees. The flash points are 11 and 14 degrees C respectively, so no smoking folks :wink:

The workplace exposure limits are:
Ethanol: 1000 ppm
Methanol: 200 ppm (as 8 hour averages)

What this means is that the methanol is roughly five times more toxic than ethanol, and you are likely to be exposed to more of it (because it is more volatile).

Do what you like, but be informed about it when you do it.

Dod
 

CHJ

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devonwoody":2fkn7j7e said:
CHJ,
Why dont you make your own still????????
any leftovers and I will give you my delivery address :) :) :)
(Why would I need two)

With the price of Oil this year :shock: the pot boiler has become uneconomical, its cheaper to buy in the raw product i'm afraid :x .
 
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