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Thread: source for denatured alcohol

  1. #1
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    Default source for denatured alcohol

    Does anyone know of a spot in or near London Ontario where I can get some denatured alcohol for use with shellac flakes. I have been using Methyl Hydrate but would like to try the proper stuff.

    Bill

  2. #2
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    Default Re: source for denatured alcohol

    I use the Shellac Thinner sold by Lee Valley Bill. It might be more expensive than other "denatured alcohol" but I trust it. There is a thread on a US based forum right now that looks at the composition of various DNAs. Some are 40-50% methanol!

    Jim B

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    Default Re: source for denatured alcohol

    I believe that animal feed stores sell isopropyl alcohol.

    billh

  4. #4
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    Default Re: source for denatured alcohol

    Denatured alcohol.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denatured_alcohol

    Try Marine Stove Alcohol.
    ---
    Will

    “There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.” —- Mark Twain

  5. #5
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    Default Re: source for denatured alcohol

    Many drugstores sell denatured ethanol. You might have to ask the pharmacist for it specifically since they often keep it behind the counter. Around here I can get 95% ethanol.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: source for denatured alcohol

    HD carries Methyl Hydrate, 99.9%. Perfect for shellac but make sure you read and follow health related precautions.

    Medical isopropyl alcohol is usually of lower quality at only 70% concentration in most cases.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: source for denatured alcohol

    Methyl Hydrate is one nasty compound so be sure you use a lot of precutions. For shellac, I use isopropyl alcohol. As stated above, you can get it a most farm supply shops and Co-ops. You can also get 99% Isopropyl Alcohol in the Costco pharmacy. It is usually packaged in 4 500 ml containers and cost around $7.00. Likely not as cheap as at the farmers supply location but it may be more convienent.

    Murray
    I've cut this thing three times and it's still too dang short

  8. #8
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    Default Re: source for denatured alcohol

    Quote Originally Posted by billyt View Post
    Does anyone know of a spot in or near London Ontario where I can get some denatured alcohol for use with shellac flakes. I have been using Methyl Hydrate but would like to try the proper stuff.

    Bill

    As others have mentioned agricultural feed supply stores are the places to get four litre jugs of isopropyl alcohol for about $15.

    There is also a distributor called Pegasus right in London....... check this thread for address and phone #......

    http://forum.canadianwoodworking.com...atured+alcohol

    good luck

    michael

  9. #9

    Default Re: source for denatured alcohol

    ----------------------------
    Last edited by Pacific Islander; 12-12-2010 at 02:49 PM.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: source for denatured alcohol

    Quote Originally Posted by Pacific Islander View Post
    Canada and the US have different laws re alcohol - denatured alcohol isn't a common product in Canada because our laws don't insist these types of alcohol be denatured. There's some interesting reading on Tools for Working Wood's website about alcohols for shellac.

    As I said earlier. Marine Stove alcohol.

    And here is the law regarding...
    http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/publicati...cn521-eng.html


    Again, here is the definition.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denatured_alcohol

    It is simply Alcohol the is "de-natured" -- i.e. unnatural, that has had its nature changed.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denatured_alcohol


    Denatured alcohol (or methylated spirits) is ethanol that has additives to make it more poisonous or unpalatable, and thus, undrinkable. In some cases it is also dyed.

    Denatured alcohol is used as a solvent and as fuel for spirit burners and camping stoves. Because of the diversity of industrial uses for denatured alcohol, hundreds of additives and denaturing methods have been used. Traditionally, the main additive is 10% methanol, giving rise to the term 'methylated spirit'. Other typical additives include isopropyl alcohol, acetone, methyl ethyl ketone, methyl isobutyl ketone, and denatonium.[1]


    Denaturing alcohol does not chemically alter the ethanol molecule. Rather, the ethanol is mixed with other chemicals to form an undrinkable mixture.

    Different additives are used to make it difficult to use distillation or other simple processes to reverse the denaturation. Methanol is commonly used both because of its boiling point being close to that of ethanol and because it is toxic. In many countries, it is also required that denatured alcohol be dyed blue or purple with an aniline dye.

    The tax-exempt status for denatured alcohol dates from the mid-19th century.
    Bottom line?

    Check some sources before making claims...

    Hope that helps anyone who is confused about the nature of the de-natured product.
    ---
    Will

    “There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.” —- Mark Twain

  11. #11
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    Default Re: source for denatured alcohol

    The different alcohols can have an impact on the shellac because some evaporate faster than others. My understanding is that rubbing alcohol should not be used because of its water content.

    Medically, the thing you have to worry about is methanol, aka, methyl hydrate or wood alcohol. It is very bad for the central nervous system. If you get denatured alcohol it may well include methanol as the denaturing agent and the less of it, the better - this is the methyl in methalated spirits. In Canada you may find suppliers selling DAG which stands for Denatured Alcohol Grade followed by a designation.

    billh

  12. #12

    Default Re: source for denatured alcohol

    -----------------------------
    Last edited by Pacific Islander; 12-12-2010 at 02:50 PM.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: source for denatured alcohol

    Quote Originally Posted by Pacific Islander View Post
    I understand we are discussing where to buy denatured alcohol in Canada not what denatured alcohol is.

    I know what it is.

    The Wikipedia links you have listed refer to American law.

    Further down the page:

    "Denatured alcohol provides a solution to permit legitimate use and manufacture of ethanol, whereby cheap ethanol can be made available for non-consumption use without the risk of it being converted for consumption. The process creates a modified ethanol that is not suitable for drinking, but is otherwise similar to ethanol for most purposes. As a result there is no duty on denatured alcohol in most countries, making it considerably cheaper than pure ethanol. Consequently, its composition is tightly defined by government regulations which vary between countries."

    Please notice the last few words of the quote.

    In Canada we don't require alcohol to be denatured and so almost pure alcohol is available under a number of names but is not commonly labeled "denatured".

    This leads to the common confusion when Canadians read American literature that refers to "denatured Alcohol" and then can't find it on the shelf.


    First, I agree in part. However, knowing what "de-natured" alcohol is, makes the appropriate alcohol easier to find. So much of our literature is Americanized that you really do have to know the terms, and the differences -- agreed.


    Which is why I did indeed give a link to Canadian Law as well. You are right about confusion.

    On one point, you are indeed correct. One can buy ethyl alcohol, or grain alcohol at the LCBO Ontario -- it is pure indeed. (It is sold so that you can get drunk quickly, or mix with flavour agents, or both, -- your choice.) However, you must then pay the excise tax quoted in the law.

    As I understand the law, if you buy alcohol outside the LCBO it must indeed be denatured alcohol. I admit I can misread things on occasion -- but I have not found how to buy alcohol for fuel or woodworking uses without a de-naturing agent.

    I suspect that a pharmacy could supply pure alcohol -- as long as they had the appropriate sales license -- if it exists -- and I am not certain of that. As a a disinfectant, it certainly does not need to be pure and is typically de-natured.

    As someone pointed out -- rubbing alcohol should be avoided due to the agents used.

    In the absence of better information, I will continue to buy Marine Stove alcohol by the gallon.

    If there is a source of cheap unadulterated Ethanol available without the burden of the excise taxes I would like to know the source. Then I could afford to be a drunk.
    ---
    Will

    “There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.” —- Mark Twain

  14. #14
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    Default Re: source for denatured alcohol

    I had no idea that this was a controversial topic.

    Lee Valley Thinner: http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/pag...at=1,190,42942
    A blend of ethanol and isobutyl alcohol for thinning Turner's Polish, French Polish, shellac-based sanding sealers, and other shellac products.
    Now the alcohols...
    Ok -- ISOBUTYL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isobutanol
    Isobutanol (IUPAC nomenclature: 2-methylpropan-1-ol) is an organic compound with the formula (CH3)2CHCH2OH. This colorless, flammable liquid with a characteristic smell is mainly used as a solvent. Its isomersn-butanol, 2-butanol, and tert-butanol, all of which are more important industrially.
    include...

    Isobutanol is one of the least toxic of the butanols with an LD50 of 2460 mg/kg (rat, oral). In March 2009, the Canadian government announced a ban on isobutanol use in cosmetics.[7]




    Ethanol: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethanol


    Ethanol, also called ethyl alcohol, pure alcohol, grain alcohol, or drinking alcohol, is a volatile, flammable, colorless liquid. It is a powerful psychoactive drug and one of the oldest recreational drugs. It is best known as the type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages and thermometers. In common usage, it is often referred to simply as alcohol or spirits.
    **********


    Rubbing (Isopropyl Alcohol): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isopropyl_alcohol

    Isopropyl alcohol (also propan-2-ol, 2-propanol or the abbreviation IPA) is a common name for a chemical compound with the molecular formula C3H8O. It is a colorless, flammable chemical compound with a strong odor. It is the simplest example of a secondary alcohol, where the alcohol carbon is attached to two other carbons sometimes shown as (CH3)2CHOH. It is a structural isomer of propanol.
    Note that all members of the Alcohol family have toxicity to some degree -- just choose your poison (literally).



    The law -- fro link...

    Where bulk spirits are properly denatured into denatured alcohol or specially denatured alcohol, the goods are relieved of excise duty. The sampling program has been re-engineered to provide importers of denatured alcohol and specially denatured alcohol with third-party sampling prior to release to ensure that goods are properly denatured. The sampling program also provides an improved import process to expedite the movement of shipments. The sampling requirement will be waived on a risk-managed basis taking into account the importer's compliance record and volume of shipments, in accordance with subsection 68(3) of the Excise Act, 2001. The requirement to provide samples will be waived for clients that are considered low risk. The risk-managed approach allows the CCRA to better utilize resources while facilitating the movement of low risk shipments for importers.
    As far as I know most provinces sell pure ETHANOL (strong drink) only through regulated outlets.

    De-natured alcohol is widely available BUT it is different depending on manufacturer. You have to read the label.

    I am pretty sure you could use Isopropyl alcohol for Shellac but it has a noxious odor and is somewhat more toxic than the Lee Valley Formula.


    Here is one description of Stove alcohol.
    http://www.goodoldboat.com/reader_se...okingfuels.php
    Alcohol

    Alcohol fuels for stoves are generally composed of ethanol, methanol (added as a denaturing agent), methyl ethyl ketone, acetone, and water. The exact percentage of these components varies rather widely from one supplier to another. Nigel Calder, in his book, Boat Owner's Mechanical and Electrical Manual, states that the best fuel for stoves is ethanol. For practical purposes, this would be a fuel like Tru Heat, which is 92 percent ethanol, 5 percent water, and 3 percent methanol. It has only trace amounts of other compounds, such as methyl isobutyl ketone, ethyl acetate, and rubber cement. In contrast to this fuel, Soot-Free, the fuel endorsed by Origo for use in their stoves, is not a high-ethanol-content fuel. Soot-Free contains roughly 71 percent ethanol and 20 percent methanol, as well as methyl ethyl ketone, acetone, and water.



    BOTTOM LINE

    If you buy "De-Natured Alcohol. Read the label.
    ---
    Will

    “There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.” —- Mark Twain

  15. #15
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    Default Re: source for denatured alcohol

    Some rubbing alcohol is indeed diluted to 70%, some is not. The stuff on the shelves at my local Shoppers and Walmart is 99% -- the same as at the TSC. The main drawback to it is price and size. Some drugstores keep larger amounts behind the counter.
    Jim

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    Default Re: source for denatured alcohol

    Quote Originally Posted by willr View Post
    ...On one point, you are indeed correct. One can buy ethyl alcohol, or grain alcohol at the LCBO Ontario -- it is pure indeed. (It is sold so that you can get drunk quickly, or mix with flavour agents, or both, -- your choice.) ...
    The alcohol sold at the LCBO is not pure it is 80 proof IIRC which means 40% alcohol. Ethanol is poisonous and 100% would be a hazard.

    billh

  17. #17
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    Default Re: source for denatured alcohol

    Quote Originally Posted by willr View Post
    ...
    In the absence of better information, I will continue to buy Marine Stove alcohol by the gallon.

    ...
    Just what is in "Marine Stove alcohol"?

  18. Default Re: source for denatured alcohol

    John E. Goudey (finishing supplies) in Toronto sells denatured alcohol. I've bought it from them for making shellac. They list it as ethyl alcohol; same difference. The company is not close to London but if all else fails...

    The Lee Valley shellac solvent is imported from the U.S. At least, it was the last time I bought it. When I peeled away the Lee Valley label, there was a label underneath saying the product was manufactured by Behlen in the U.S. The label says the product is "a combination of Ethanol and Isobutanol blended specifically as a dissolving medium for shellac flakes." I seem to recall reading somewhere that it dries a little slower, giving you a little more time to work.

    john

  19. #19

    Default Re: source for denatured alcohol

    ----------------------------------------
    Last edited by Pacific Islander; 12-12-2010 at 02:50 PM.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: source for denatured alcohol

    I buy DNA at BSC chemicals here in Ottawa. Readily available and cheap $13 for 4L last time I bought over a year ago. Even cheaper if you buy large 5 gallon or bigger.
    Paul

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