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Workbench Finish question

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Forum topic by newbiewoodworker posted 09-05-2010 03:39 AM 1678 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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newbiewoodworker

668 posts in 2290 days


09-05-2010 03:39 AM

Hi, I completed my workbench today, except for the electrical(got some wrong boxes).. and tommorrow I want to finish the top. I now have to decide what to mix into the BLO to make it a little tougher, nicer looking(darker) and such.

I want to make it a little harder, because someone today managed to take a large gouge out of it… just after I finished.. (I was fumming) so now I happen to have about a 1/2in dent(from a regular turret vise) speckled with red paint… aswell as a few other dents/gouges, some from just placing it down…

Now I realize a workbench is designed to take abuse, but I want to it take a little more abuse than that… else Ill be rebuilding it by the end of the month…

I have considered the following: Shellac liquified by Denatured Alcohol, mixed with BLO. Polyurethane, mixed with gum turpentine, and BLO. Poly, mixed with MS and BLO. Poly, mixed with Naptha and BLO. I have also considered adding a little stain to the poly, or would this be bad?

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


15 replies so far

View jsdnnoanybtr's profile

jsdnnoanybtr

24 posts in 2521 days


#1 posted 09-05-2010 04:01 AM

Hmmmm you would like a finish that resists 1/2in dent(from a regular turret vise) attack . . . Let me see what I have here on the shelf . . . here we go how about a nice layer of half inch steel plate? Yah that’s the ticket.
: )

Seriously though we could use a bit more info. What wood have you used for your bench top ?
For instance I used purpleheart. Very hard stuff. It is best left totally unfinished in my opinion. It has a nice microscopic tar like secretion that comes out of it (very small amount ) and this adds just a bit of grip to the surface. Kind of the opposite of some finishes that cause the surface to be just too slick.

>(I was fuming) <

I can sure relate to that. My bench was pristine for a long time then one day I dropped my Starrett straight edge off the edge of a board I was hand jointing with a handplane. Well after I dropped it for the third time (IN THE SAME DAY ) I was about ready to punch myself in the mouth.

So much for super hard wood for the bench top. So much for protective finishes.

I think the best we can hope for is a finish or wood that allows us to wipe up glue or spilled stuff before it soaks in much. Frank Klausz likes Waterlox, a polymerizing tung-oil-base sealer. Several coats. Then rubs on pastewax. I think he refinishes the top every year or two. The wood was maple for the main part of the top.

Not for me; I like my purple heart but I built a Klausz bench.

http://gallery.me.com/tone531/100095/iridescent/web.jpg?ver=12836550030001

http://gallery.me.com/tone531/100095/Shino%20w%20curls/web.jpg?ver=12836550260001

-- jsdnnoanybtr but you can call me jr

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newbiewoodworker

668 posts in 2290 days


#2 posted 09-05-2010 04:08 AM

Thanks.. and if any of you wise guys come back telling me to urinate around the bench to ward off the “attacks”... :) “I Keel You!”

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

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PurpLev

8523 posts in 3111 days


#3 posted 09-05-2010 04:15 AM

um…. really?

why go through all this trouble? its a workbench. the only thing you would want to do is protect it from moisture/humidity and BLO does just that. as a matter of fact – BLO will also give it that nice warm tone.

shellac will not survive on the workbench, and poly may crack, and not only that – it will make your workbench slippery. now if you are working with handtools this may give you the opposite result of what you want the workbench to do – which is hold the workpieces from moving.

just my $0.02

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

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newbiewoodworker

668 posts in 2290 days


#4 posted 09-05-2010 04:19 AM

I work mainly with power tools… I just dont have that kind of patience…

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

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PurpLev

8523 posts in 3111 days


#5 posted 09-05-2010 08:06 AM

than even better! BLO is much easier to apply as is – just wipe it on, give it 15 minutes ,and wipe of the excess. since it doesn’t create a film you don’t need to worry about brush marks, or an ‘even’ top finish as it all soaks into the wood. poly or any film finish you’d have to even out the finish.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View jsdnnoanybtr's profile

jsdnnoanybtr

24 posts in 2521 days


#6 posted 09-05-2010 07:31 PM

Soooo, Greg,

Not divulging yor secrets eh ? Not gonna let us know what material you used for your bench top. ( “Let ‘em suffer he says. And if you think you’re get’in any pictures of the bench well think again!”)

It’s like that is it ?
: )

-- jsdnnoanybtr but you can call me jr

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2313 days


#7 posted 09-05-2010 09:34 PM

Just as a new car is an objet d’art for the drive home and the next morning when you open the garage and look at it, shortly thereafter it becomes transportation. So now is your bench a piece of furniture, but quickly, I hope, it will become a tool which will make your work easier and better.

Who you gonna trust, a woodworker with a virginal workbench or one whose bench glows with character, wrinkles, personality and panache?

-- "...in his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

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newbiewoodworker

668 posts in 2290 days


#8 posted 09-05-2010 10:01 PM

It will grow too…. I just am trying to make it not grow with moisture(reason for BLO) and have a little protection, Poly.

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

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newbiewoodworker

668 posts in 2290 days


#9 posted 09-05-2010 11:57 PM

I didnt see that the first reply was edited… sorry about that..

THe material is Pine, nice and cheap… although i still managed to spend over $100 on lumber :(...

Purpleheat would have added an extra zero to that number….

Like I said, its for power tools(drills, occasionally a jigsaw/circular saw(I rarely use the jigsaw anymore since I can do just about everything on the bandsaw…) and assembly… such as glueups and finishing…

Would a quart of BLO work for the bench top of a 4×8 bench?

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

View Rick's profile

Rick

8287 posts in 2495 days


#10 posted 09-12-2010 02:14 AM

AHHHHHHHH! So now we find out that you used PINE for the Bench Top. Pine is SOFT!! NOT the best choice for a Bench Top. THEREFORE …..Whatever type of finish you put on Top of it, it’s still SOFT under the Finish.

Pine is cheaper? Not up here it isn’t. Pine Boards? How wide? How Thick? Pine Veneer?

My Bench is Built to take the Wear and the Beating I usually give it! It’s one sheet of OSB. If it does get beaten up, I fix it, as I just did a week ago. Quick Sanding, Fast coat of some water Based Stain I had left over. 50/50 Mixture of Carpenters Glue & Water applied with a Paint Spatula, 2 Quick coats of Left Over Poly. “Pretty” also nice and hard!

NOW! Having said all that, I used OSB because I wanted to get rid of it also. A Better Choice would have been G1S Spruce or Fir Ply Sheating Grade, 5/8” Thick, MAYBE 1/2” Thick. The Structure Under is all 2×4 Spruce, all Bolted Together to take down any time I want. Price… ALL in if I had of built using all new wood, about $80.00.

As “jr” has said a few pictures would help???

EDIT: HANG ON!

12 days ago you Posted almost an identical Post to this one asking the same question, HERE: http://lumberjocks.com/topics/19877 With 5/6 Pictures showing Your Top with 8 Pieces of 2×6x8

9 days ago you Posted “Polyurethane a good workbench top?” HERE http://lumberjocks.com/topics/19999
“I will coat with a coat of Paste Wax”, and putting a piece of Hardboard on top.

QUESTION: Do you NOW have ALL the Information that you need?

Rick

-- Hope Everyone Is Doing Well! .... Best Regards: Rick

View Dark_Lightning's profile

Dark_Lightning

2633 posts in 2571 days


#11 posted 09-12-2010 02:33 AM

OK. MY workbenches are as follows:

One 48” by 96” behemoth built of 2” by 4”s in a ladder frame structure under a sheet of MDF…so when it gets too nasty, I can just undo the screws and replace it. It’s been 20 years and I haven’t replaced it, yet. I clamp my big cast iron vise to it when I need to do metal work, and it’s sturdy enough to hold up my recently purchased 200+ pound Record lathe. No finish, so the water and oil from sharpening have pretty well nastied it up. It also has room underneath for 2-drawer files, 5 wide, and shelves on the other side. Lots of storage, but it sure reduces shop space.

The REAL word working bench, with a thick butcher block style birch top, about 2 years old. I’ve already got dents in it, too. It’s a WORK bench. Finished with linseed oil that I’ve had for many a moon- not boiled, with a good hand rubbed layer or two of carnauba wax.

-- Random Orbital Nailer

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Greedo

470 posts in 2423 days


#12 posted 09-12-2010 10:33 AM

it’s a bit bad for the pine, my first workbench was/ is out of pine and i gave up tying to protect it. it’s just too soft and unstable. because of the texture you cannot clearly see if you are denting it or leaving glue.
my assembly table workbench has a mdf top with a beech edge, also finished with BLO. and i can say the mdf top is staying in better shape than the beech hardwood edge. the mdf is just more resistant. and basically once a week or after each project i scrape off the glue and lightly sand the top and put on a new coat of BLO and i have a brand new shiny bench. all the dents and scratches become invisible once you reapply BLO. with all the other finishes the dents and scratch marks will just add up indefenately untill you replace or redo the top.

View souichiro's profile

souichiro

369 posts in 2808 days


#13 posted 09-12-2010 11:03 AM

Are you sure that is pine? I thought that 2×6’s were fir, at least in my area.

And seeing the pictures, it’s a fine first work bench. I wouldn’t worry about it getting beat up, that’s what they’re for. Working on.

But that might change when I get to retire :)

-- Dale, Oregon

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newbiewoodworker

668 posts in 2290 days


#14 posted 09-12-2010 09:46 PM

Thanks sou… They may be fir… but I thought that was in the Pine Family… I could be mistaken..

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

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newbiewoodworker

668 posts in 2290 days


#15 posted 09-12-2010 10:35 PM

Oddly enough, after 48 hours, the top is still very tacky in places… but dry in others… this was the 3rd coat..

Should I wipe it off with MS? Is this normal? Should I wait longer?

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

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