I cannot speak for what is sold in the US, but here in Japan we can buy
pure methanol with no water in it. It is sold by drugstores, but we
have to furnish proof of identity and clearly indicate what it will be
used for. I have had police come to my shop about a week after
purchase to check on my use!
As for shellac, I never buy the bottled variety but get it in flake
form and dissolve it in methanol. The only catch is that it is getting
very difficult to find because it is all imported from Southeast Asia.
Likewise it is now almost impossible to locate hide glue in any form,
practically everyone going for Elmer's type white glue. If any MMD
readers can put me in touch with a supplier of hide glue where I can
order it, I would be most grateful.
Also, I would like to hear comments on fish glue. It is readily
available here, and although I have samples, I hesitate to use it
without some knowledge of its applicability to cabinet making.
Vic Searle in Tokyo