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what thinner to use (again, sorry)

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i know I read it on here at least 2 times, but darn if I can find it.

(i never asked, others did....i think....i don't remember....sometimers yay)

some one posted....


head cement (brand) ....use X for thinner

" '' '' ....use y '' ''

sallys ...use z '' ''


i remember toluene and acetone were 2

(this time i am going to write it down with a sharpie on something)


nail polish was acetone/nail polish remover.


my issue is the $ store clear stuff goes cloudy with the wifes

nail polish remover.

maybe its not pure enough acetone?


what other better varnishes/cements can i pick up at the hardware store (ace)? if any?

(going there anyway to get real acetone and light bulbs)


yes i have dealt with plenty of fumes, no problem with that.






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thanks Vicente,

I had some/used it before and it did serve a purpose, it will go bad if left for a few years lol (separates),

but not what I need, cannot use water based for some applications. (top coat over UV ect,)


I do appreciate your response, thanks again.

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Acetone in quarts at most any paint department, I have seen smaller containers of acetone labeled 100% in the cosmetics area of several drug stores. (Walmart, CVS..) This has been recommended for Sally Hansen and so has Nail Tek Extend


Lacquer thinner has worked for me in the past on standard head cements (clear lacquers) and nail polish, Lacquer thinner is usually a mix of solvents that work on various resins/ plastics used in different lacquers; "Contains Acetone, Ethyl Acetate, Methanol, Petroleum Distillates and Toluene." Again available in most paint departments.


For enamels I use mineral spirits/paint thinner.


Toluene should work on Goop, Flexament, Plasti-Dip Pliobond

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Thought I'd throw this article out there for general knowledge. - Tim


Who among us has never had a bottle of cement, or adhesive, suddenly become a partial bottle of thick useless goo because the solvent has evaporated? If it hasn’t happened yet, it will sooner or later. The following is a list of some of the cements commonly used by fly tiers and the solvents that can be used to reconstitute or thin them.

• Weldwood Contact Cement and Pliobond – toluene or acetone (a mixture of the two works well).
• Vinyl cement – methyl ethyl ketone (MEK)
• Flexament – xylene, toluene, or lacquer thinner
• Goop – xylene, toluene, or lacquer thinner (= Flexament)
• Head cement – acetone, MEK, or lacquer thinner
• Two-part epoxies – any alcohol such as denatured or rubbing.

Everclear should work in a pinch Note: thinning epoxies with alcohol does NOT extend working time! Please read the directions for safe use of any of these solvents. Generally, you want to use them in a well-ventilated area lest you become wacky!

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thanks a bunch!

those are the post/threads, the exact ones I was looking for.

I am usually good at research, rotten head cold has me all varnished.

thanks again tjm,

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Mr. Silver Creek,

I knew it LOL, I guessed you had a chemistry background when I read that post the first time!

Butyl and Ethyl were the 2 words I needed to see, i picked up the 4oz beauty secrets

(sally's on the way to hardware store) now I have a thick, medium and thin viscosity, that was my goal.

thank you Very much Sir, it worked exactly as predicted!

nice to use those MSDS sheets for something ya-hey?


my only regret was the white castle next to sallys, those effects were also predicted.

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Guilty as charged. My premed major was chemistry.

Beauty Secrets Nail Polish Thinner, the house brand at Sally Beauty Shop, is much safer than acetone or lacquer thinners. The first two ingredients are Butyl Acetate and Ethyl Actetate. According to Wikipedia, "butyl acetate is found in many types of fruit, where along with other chemicals it imparts characteristic flavors and has a sweet smell of banana or apple. It is used as a synthetic fruit flavoring in foods such as candy, ice cream, cheeses, and baked goods." So it is safe to eat. Ethyl Acetate has both "low toxicity, and agreeable odor. It is the most common ester in wine, formed from acetic acid." Since manicurists work around this stuff for hours each day, Beauty Secrets Nail Polish Thinner is made to be as safe a possible for human exposure.



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Regarding thinning "hard as nails": I've used two or three varieties of Sally's clear lacquer in the years since I depleted my bottles of Pharmacist Formula and Griff's head cement. Initially, I used the pure acetone I had on hand to thin Sally's. It did thin it, but I didn't really care for the resulting finish on the heads of larger wets and streamers. Simply replacing with new bottles wasn't ideal for me, since even new product wasn't the viscosity I wanted. Then about six years ago, I started using nail polish thinner from the beauty supply with improved results. I'm sure a variety of lacquer thinner from the paint dept would work as well, but given the variance in available blends I'm not sure which lacquer thinner product would work best. In any case, I wouldn't recommend nail polish remover, which is designed for a different purpose.


The above is somewhat distant memory now, as I've moved to another product when I want a solvent-based head lacquer. I just never developed the same appreciation for "hard as nails" as others have. The product I'm currently using has a long shelf life, has an off-the-shelf-just-right-for-me viscosity, has never needed thinning, has yet to surprise me with bubbles in the finish, doesn't stink quite as bad as "hard as nails," penetrates really well, and dries to a hard, clear, and glossy finish in short time. It's just a better product for me.

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thanks for the reply bugsy,

mind if I ask what product that is?....or would you have to then kill me.


I seen a lot of bottles in those bench photo's, cant imagine masters using shan on those nice spey flies,

just wondering.


the main reason I use dollar store nail polish is I can walk there, its less than a 1/4 mile from my door.

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