Sign in to follow this  
xraymymind

UK equivalent to Everclear..?

Recommended Posts

Hey all,

I am a long time lurker, and first time poster. I recently started using oil varnish systems for the instruments I build. However, I have not been able to get hold of Everclear here in the UK to mix my varnishes with.

Could anybody reccomend a good alternative, that is actually available over here?

Any advice would be much appreciated.

Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You’d generally thin an oil varnish with either white spirit or turps, not ethanol.

For applications where you do want to use ethanol, methylated spirit is fine, provided you follow sensible safety procedures. If you don’t like the purple colour of the stuff you get from the supermarket, you can buy clear meths from French polishing suppliers.

That said, if I’m airbrushing I do prefer to use pure ethanol. It’s hard to get in the UK so I buy a couple of bottles every year or so from supermarkets in Europe when on holiday.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, JohnCockburn said:

You’d generally thin an oil varnish with either white spirit or turps, not ethanol.

For applications where you do want to use ethanol, methylated spirit is fine, provided you follow sensible safety procedures. If you don’t like the purple colour of the stuff you get from the supermarket, you can buy clear meths from French polishing suppliers.

That said, if I’m airbrushing I do prefer to use pure ethanol. It’s hard to get in the UK so I buy a couple of bottles every year or so from supermarkets in Europe when on holiday.

I had some of the purple stuff sitting around on a shelf and found that it lost its colour after a  few years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can apply for a customs licence  in the UK to use pure Ethyl Alcohol.  Meths is bad for you and can give headaches, and has other health issues. I've been able to get pure Alcohol in the past, but, the bottle was running low...

The trouble is, reagent quality Ethyl Alcohol is pretty expensive from a chemical supplier, even with your piece of paper. There is no equivalent for Everclear here .

In the end I bought this which is denatured, but with adulterants which don't colour or effect the ability to make a good varnish. It works as well as pure alcohol for making varnish. Recommended.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Meths doesn't contain any meths and hasn't for a good few years (at least not in the EU). There are other additives in it though and of course it still has the purple colour. You can use Isopropyl alcohol (the strong stuff) which I use for French polishing. It's water clear and relatively cheap. Another alternative is Fiddes finishing spirit but it does contain shellac, although the shellac content is low. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Michael.N. said:

Meths doesn't contain any meths and hasn't for a good few years (at least not in the EU). There are other additives in it though and of course it still has the purple colour. You can use Isopropyl alcohol (the strong stuff) which I use for French polishing. It's water clear and relatively cheap. Another alternative is Fiddes finishing spirit but it does contain shellac, although the shellac content is low. 

Isopropyl isn't, however, the same as Ethyl Alcohol, if that matters to the OP.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/13/2018 at 11:10 PM, xraymymind said:

Hello all,

thanks for your responses. Very helpful. 

I wonder, if I apply for the license, if this would be a good Everclear alternative? https://www.bonnymans.co.uk/products/product.php?categoryID=1422&productID=6289

Has anybody tried Spirytus with Joe Robsons varnish, and did it work well?

Thank you again

bump, as this post took a while to be approved.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Joe Robson makes oil varnishes they are not thinned with ethanol???

But if you really need ethanol...

The industrial ethanol linked above is basicly the same stuff you can get as bioethanol fuel for fireplaces usually denatured by addition of trace amount of MEK or similar bitter tasting chemical (no methanol in EU AFAIK)  (can be found anywhere between 95 and 99.7% ethanol contents at different suppliers) and since it is made for indoor use it is as benign as it gets. Food grade ethanol in percentage above 90% would be very expensive and in some countries banned for personal use (but if you have a friend at pharmacy...) I've been using the 99.7% bioethanol for few years for french polishing and never had experienced better stuff, dissolves shellac fast and evaporates quickly, and has rally no odor to talk about (the harware store alcohol stinks bad).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎10‎/‎14‎/‎2018 at 1:08 AM, Muswell said:

I had some of the purple stuff sitting around on a shelf and found that it lost its colour after a  few years.

Ready for drinking now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can always peruse russian DIY pages... They can extract pure drinkable alcohol out of almost anything (all kinds of cleaners and spirit thinners). (AKA Russian "moonshine" arounf here). Russian soldiers stationed in our country during cold war were masters of this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.