Finishing question for work benches exposed to elements

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Forum topic by Gambrell posted 04-25-2016 01:05 AM 610 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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19 posts in 992 days

04-25-2016 01:05 AM

I have a covered back porch that is open to the elements. I am planning to build a work bench, and other work surfaces for hand tool woodworking and keep them on this porch. When it rains they should stay dry unless the wind is bad in which case they may get slightly damp from misting.

I know benches are not normally finished with varnish and such, but does anyone have a recommendation or tips on what I could do to make these work benches weather resistant (indirect sun, direct humidity, and infrequent misting from hard rains). Again, they will be covered by a ceiling but not housed in a traditional shop. If it helps I live in Alabama so heat and humidity is the norm 9 months per year.

Is this a bad idea? Or is this very doable?

5 replies so far

View Gambrell's profile


19 posts in 992 days

#1 posted 04-25-2016 01:07 AM

On a side note I will be storing my tools in a storage closet inside an English Tool Chest that I plan to build from Schwarz’s anarchist tool chest design so they will not be exposed to the elements.

View MNgary's profile


303 posts in 2594 days

#2 posted 04-26-2016 09:09 PM

A semi-transparent stain (the type used on exterior siding) would be my choice.

-- I dream of a world where a duck can cross the road and no one asks why.

View JayT's profile


5935 posts in 2388 days

#3 posted 04-26-2016 09:14 PM

Use a wood that is weather resistant and don’t rely on the finish. You’ll be wearing the finish off as you work, in addition to nicks, cuts and other assorted oops moments. so would have to constantly be reapplying finish to protect the surface.

Using something like white oak, black locust or other weather resistant wood will be a better solution, IMHO. Even cypress, while much lighter and softer, could make a good bench that would stand up to some weather.

-- In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. Thomas Jefferson

View Gambrell's profile


19 posts in 992 days

#4 posted 04-27-2016 02:07 AM

Thanks guys

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2684 posts in 3099 days

#5 posted 04-27-2016 12:14 PM

A tarp to cover it all would help.

-- No PHD just a DD214 Website>

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