Denatured Alcohol Replacement - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 71 Old 09-06-2020, 07:09 AM Thread Starter
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Denatured Alcohol Replacement

I have been using denatured alcohol for 8 years to clean the final sanding dust from an antique before I stain it. I live in a Canadian city which is a border city to Michigan and have been buying denatured alcohol in Michigan. With the border closed I need a replacement for denatured alcohol since I cannot buy it in Canada.

Any suggestions? Methyl hydrate? Simple mineral spirits?

Thanks for any feedback.

Gary
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post #2 of 71 Old 09-06-2020, 07:23 AM
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Everclear grain alcohol is an option. Some folks prefer it to denatured for making shellac. Available at liquor stores.
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post #3 of 71 Old 09-06-2020, 07:33 AM Thread Starter
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Everclear grain alcohol is an option. Some folks prefer it to denatured for making shellac. Available at liquor stores.
Thanks for the quick feedback. I am not finding it listed in our liquor stores. I suspect it would be very expensive.

Gary
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post #4 of 71 Old 09-06-2020, 07:40 AM
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It is expensive here, but I'm told it's mostly because of the liquor tax. I didn't know if maybe liquor taxes are different there.
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post #5 of 71 Old 09-06-2020, 09:38 AM
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Accidental double post.

Last edited by Bernie_72; 09-06-2020 at 09:56 AM.
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post #6 of 71 Old 09-06-2020, 09:55 AM
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I use mineral spirits to clean up after sanding and it works well for me. If you're looking for something natural you could check out this citrus solvent. I just started using it to thin tung oil but some people use it as a final cleaning step. It doesn't dry quite as quickly as mineral spirits and it is not the cheapest option but it does smell nice!
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post #7 of 71 Old 09-06-2020, 10:07 AM
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Everclear is expensive, had to get some for doing French Polish finish. My go-to for wiping something down is and has been Naphtha for the past 30-40 years. Flashes off quickly and leaves no residue or odor.

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post #8 of 71 Old 09-06-2020, 10:09 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bernie_72 View Post
I use mineral spirits to clean up after sanding and it works well for me. If you're looking for something natural you could check out this citrus solvent. I just started using it to thin tung oil but some people use it as a final cleaning step. It doesn't dry quite as quickly as mineral spirits and it is not the cheapest option but it does smell nice!
Thanks, Bernie. I will try mineral spirits since I have lots of that. Citrus solvent is pretty pricey.

Gary
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post #9 of 71 Old 09-06-2020, 10:19 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by difalkner View Post
Everclear is expensive, had to get some for doing French Polish finish. My go-to for wiping something down is and has been Naphtha for the past 30-40 years. Flashes off quickly and leaves no residue or odor.

David
I can find naphtha locally as Coleman Camp Fuel at $20 / gallon which would be great. The warnings on the can about harmful vapors and being extremely flammable are not comforting. I will try a small can out. I appreciate the advice.

Gary
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post #10 of 71 Old 09-06-2020, 10:38 AM
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Alcoholic beverages are taxed heavily in Canada. If you can buy grain alcohol like Everclear, I bet it is very very expensive.
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post #11 of 71 Old 09-06-2020, 01:29 PM
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If your are just cleaning up sanding dust, mineral spirits works quiet well. What you use should depend on the existing finish and the finish you plan to apply. If the existing finish is shellac, you probably shouldn't use alcohol for cleaning as it will tend to dissolve it. Mineral spirits would be better. If you plan to use a water base material for the final finish, you can clean up sanding dust with a cloth or paper towel dampened with water
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post #12 of 71 Old 09-06-2020, 01:53 PM
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Mineral Spirits Substitute

this new Environmentally Friendly stuff on the market called
Mineral Spirits Substitute is NOT for woodworking projects !!!!
I wouldn't wash my sidewalk with it, much less thin my paint or clean my
brushes with it or on any wood project prior to painting.
use at your own discretion.

Denatured Alcohol Replacement-mineral-spirits-stuff.jpg

.
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post #13 of 71 Old 09-06-2020, 02:23 PM
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Naphtha was once described to me as "High Octane" mineral spirits. It is more flammable and evaporates faster.
I think it cleans brushes more thoroughly and leaves behind less residue than spirits. And most importantly, no longer available where I live!

I don't think Coleman Fuel is Naphtha. I think Coleman Fuel is highly refined gasoline "white gas"

Last edited by Quickstep; 09-06-2020 at 02:27 PM.
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post #14 of 71 Old 09-06-2020, 02:30 PM
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Fortunately, we can still get Naphtha here in the south. it's about $12 gallon and readily available at local paint stores. The Lowe's website says they no longer sell it but they had it in quarts and gallons a couple of weeks ago.

In all the years I've used it there has not been an issue with flammability - I don't have open fires in the shop and there are no open containers of Naphtha sitting around. If there were it would evaporate in no time.

David

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post #15 of 71 Old 09-06-2020, 03:26 PM
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BioFlame Ethanol @ CanadianTire & Home Hardware


or, since it's just a wiping fluid that evaporates completely.... isopropyl alcohol, altho that's may also be hard to find as it's used in homemade hand sanitizers....
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post #16 of 71 Old 09-06-2020, 05:42 PM
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A few comments:

* Very pure alcohol gets diluted over time. It absorbs moisture from the air. The water dissolves in it.
* Alcohol can raise the grain. It isn't the alcohol, it is the water in it.
* Denatured Alcohol (DNA) is ethanol with toxins mixed in. Methanol is used or at least included for that purpose. The reason for denaturing is to prevent people from drinking it in order to keep liquor taxation structures in place.
* I live in Southern California. Denatured alcohol has been banned here for some time as a solvent. You could buy "alcohol stove fuel" in camping stores, the same product. Perhaps @GAF can find it that way in Canada. We can't - about a year ago, denatured alcohol was banned throughout California, even as stove fuel.
* There are many other woodworking solvents that are also unavailable in California, including mineral spirits, naphtha, and many others.
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post #17 of 71 Old 09-06-2020, 11:48 PM
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Just go to the local drug store (Chemist?) and buy some rubbing alcohol. It is isopropyl alcohol. It is typically 70% maximum but for your purposes the 50% will work just as well.

And Dave, you have given me a new reason to hate SCAQMD / CARB.

Rich
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post #18 of 71 Old 09-07-2020, 07:00 AM
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If you have no other options you can use cheese cloth sprayed with shellac as a tack cloth to dust off
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post #19 of 71 Old 09-07-2020, 08:26 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yomanbill View Post
If your are just cleaning up sanding dust, mineral spirits works quiet well. What you use should depend on the existing finish and the finish you plan to apply. If the existing finish is shellac, you probably shouldn't use alcohol for cleaning as it will tend to dissolve it. Mineral spirits would be better. If you plan to use a water base material for the final finish, you can clean up sanding dust with a cloth or paper towel dampened with water
Some interesting considerations especially regarding water based stain which I use often. Thanks.
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post #20 of 71 Old 09-07-2020, 08:27 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Smith_inFL View Post
this new Environmentally Friendly stuff on the market called
Mineral Spirits Substitute is NOT for woodworking projects !!!!
I wouldn't wash my sidewalk with it, much less my paint brushes
or any wood project prior to painting.
use ar your own discretion.

Attachment 394977

.
I agree, John. I tried this stuff and did not like it.
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