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Polyurethane a good workbench topper?

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Forum topic by newbiewoodworker posted 09-03-2010 01:42 AM 9822 views 3 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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newbiewoodworker

668 posts in 2292 days


09-03-2010 01:42 AM

I am getting ready to finish my workbench, just after I plane a few boards down.. but I am at a loss for ideas when It comes to a finish…

I would prefer not to have to get danish oil, because its expensive ($20 at Woodcraft) and I hear that stain isnt good, because it makes things slippery..

Its construction lumber, not any fancy mahogany or teak…. simple cheap, okay to beat to hell, workstation… So I am sure that alters your oppinions…

I will coat it with a coat of paste wax.

Another thing I am considering is a sheet of hardboard over it, since I noticed that my planer made a mess.. Or is this stuff fragile, ideas?

Thanks guys, you are a helpful crowd.

-- "Ah, So your not really a newbie, but a I betterbie."


11 replies so far

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

4997 posts in 3128 days


#1 posted 09-03-2010 01:53 AM

I made my own finish … a turpentine / bee’s wax / boiled linseed oil concoction. Not free, but pretty darn cheap. It seals the top, glue and paint won’t stick to it, and I can ‘renew’ it anytime I like.

Click for details

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View newbiewoodworker's profile

newbiewoodworker

668 posts in 2292 days


#2 posted 09-03-2010 01:57 AM

Im fresh out of bees my friend… :) How much would something/did something like this cost you, sorry if its a tad prying…

-- "Ah, So your not really a newbie, but a I betterbie."

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TheDane

4997 posts in 3128 days


#3 posted 09-03-2010 02:33 AM

I think I gave about $6 or $7 for a pretty good-sized block of bee’s wax at a local craft store (Michaels). I only used about a quarter of it in the witch’s brew … and only used about half of a quart of the ‘finish’.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Richard Dunlap's profile

Richard Dunlap

65 posts in 2330 days


#4 posted 09-03-2010 02:35 AM

I ;use the same finish as TheDane. I got my beeswax at Woodcraft.

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

4997 posts in 3128 days


#5 posted 09-03-2010 02:37 AM

Here is the recipe I used (sorry … I don’t who to attribute it to):

Shave a hen’s-egg-size chunk of beeswax (about 2-ounces) into thin strips using a knife or food grater.

Put the beeswax shavings into a pint (16-ounces) of pure gum turpentine and cover until the wax is dissolved into a butter-like blend.

Next, add an equal volume of BLO and stir until the mixture is combined into a thick liquid.

Brush or wipe the blend over your workbench and allow the “finish” to be absorbed into the wood for an hour or two before you squeegee off the excess. Put the excess in a tightly sealed container—it is still good and can be used to renew the finish in the future.

Allow the finish to “cure” for a few days and then buff to a soft shine.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

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Richard Dunlap

65 posts in 2330 days


#6 posted 09-03-2010 02:43 AM

You can also substitute mineral spirits for the turpentine.

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Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 3286 days


#7 posted 09-03-2010 04:49 AM

Another source for the bees wax is to use a wax ring that is found in the plumbing section of any big box store.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View rwyoung's profile

rwyoung

388 posts in 2936 days


#8 posted 09-03-2010 05:50 AM

Do not use poly. Any combination of BLO, paste wax or beeswax is sufficient. Go ahead and hit all surfaces to at least make an effort at keeping the wood breathing evenly. Reply to the top as needed. Even with just some BLO, glue won’t stick (much) and the top will be easier to clean.

Also, keep rubbing down the top until no more of whatever combination of BLO + wax will come off. It may take several days for the top to stop weeping BLO if you really saturate it.

-- Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things.

View ajosephg's profile

ajosephg

1878 posts in 3026 days


#9 posted 09-03-2010 05:50 AM

I have PolyU on mine, and like it ok. Glue doesn’t stick to it, and it still looks pretty good after 2 years.

-- Joe

View grosa's profile

grosa

997 posts in 2294 days


#10 posted 09-03-2010 06:36 AM

A light furniture wax works good. The router bits and drill bits and screw holes will take care of the rest.

-- Have a great day.

View Vicki's profile

Vicki

1043 posts in 2809 days


#11 posted 09-05-2010 07:55 AM

Like Joe, I used Poly on mine. They’re over 10 yrs old and the finish is holding up fine. I like that I can wipe most spilled stain, glue, etc. up or scrape it off later if I don’t catch it right away. It can be a little slippery for some tasks and that’s where my black rubber router mat comes in handy or even the cheaps shelf liner from the dollar store.
Vicki

-- Vicki on the Eastern Shore of MD

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