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Forum topic by jonlan posted 09-20-2017 05:49 PM 404 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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jonlan

43 posts in 725 days


09-20-2017 05:49 PM

I know this topic has come up before – and I’ve read many posts on this but I ran into an issue that I didnt expect. Before building a new workbench top I had read about using a finish similar to what I use on cutting boards. Essentially a mix of canning wax and mineral oil. It works great on cutting boards that I’ve made and I wanted a finish that wouldnt start looking awful as the workbench got dented and scratched.

So I did the same thing. The top is made of 2×4s that I glued up in a butcher block like configuration. The finish went on well and I gave it a couple of coats. I thought all was well – then the other day I set a cold beverage on the top and accidentally left it over night. Next day I had the worse water ring possible.

Im not sure this entirely unexpected – but I guess I was hoping the finish would prevent some of this.

Any other ideas for a dentable finish for a work bench that resists liquid? Im not aiming to keep the work bench in pristine condition but I would like some protection from liquids.


11 replies so far

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ArtMann

686 posts in 653 days


#1 posted 09-20-2017 06:05 PM

Wax and mineral oil offer practically zero protection against standing water – or anything else for that matter. As far as I know, they are only used for appearance sake. You need to use a hard finish like polyurethane or other resinous varnish. I am sorry but I do not know what a “dentable” finish is. You can put a dent in any kind of finish except perhaps table top epoxy, which will chip.

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jonlan

43 posts in 725 days


#2 posted 09-20-2017 06:06 PM

So it sounds like Urethane might be the ticket. I’ve had varnish chip on me when hit so I had ruled that out. Thanks!

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4757 posts in 2330 days


#3 posted 09-20-2017 06:39 PM

Jonian, urethane is varnish. Check this article out for some input. I used his beeswax/turp/BLO mixture and it really is good…but still doesn’t protect against moisture. I’d stay with that type of finish and resolve to not put glasses on the bench.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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jonlan

43 posts in 725 days


#4 posted 09-20-2017 06:42 PM

Admittedly – I thought there might be a difference. I’ve used spar varnish once and when fully dried I had it chip when hit. Im looking for a finish that might dent rather than chip if that makes sense. Maybe my experience with spar varnish was a fluke. Or maybe I should use regular varnish?

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Fred Hargis

4757 posts in 2330 days


#5 posted 09-20-2017 06:47 PM

Spar varnish is called a “long oil varnish” because they use more oil in the mixture that’s cooked to become the new compound “varnish”. What the “long oil” formula does is make the varnish softer, so it can move a little more with the wood in the outdoors. So I would say it’s less likely to chip than regular varnish. Maybe a better choice, since you seem to be stuck on switching to a film finish, would be a danish oil…generally a mix of varnish/BLO/MS.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View ColonelTravis's profile

ColonelTravis

1680 posts in 1731 days


#6 posted 09-20-2017 06:58 PM

2×4s? Take a hand plane and get rid of every imperfection once a year. Mine is pine lumber, that’s what I do. Also, I don’t put drinks on it but I don’t treat it like furniture. The only liquid I don’t care about spilling on it is mineral spirits but I still try to avoid that. All other liquids stay far away. Or I put something on top of the bench, and even then I’m careful.

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CharlesNeil

2144 posts in 3708 days


#7 posted 09-20-2017 07:01 PM

I coated mine in Arm R Seal, did 3 coats , glue pops off pretty well, give it a light sand about once a year or 2, depends on how bad its looking , LOL

View jonah's profile

jonah

1465 posts in 3136 days


#8 posted 09-20-2017 07:16 PM



I coated mine in Arm R Seal, did 3 coats , glue pops off pretty well, give it a light sand about once a year or 2, depends on how bad its looking , LOL

- CharlesNeil


This is exactly what I did with my bench. I didn’t try to build really thick coats, just wiped on three thin coats.

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Smitty_Cabinetshop

14857 posts in 2456 days


#9 posted 09-20-2017 07:36 PM

Watco’s Danish Oil, with a fresh coat (wipe on, wipe off) every 18 months or so. Glue doesn’t stick to the top, it resists casual spills, doubt it would hold a beverage overnight. But it’s a workbench, not furniture.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

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Redsoxfan

34 posts in 1463 days


#10 posted 09-22-2017 09:51 PM

1/3 boiled linseed oil, 1/3 spar varnish, 1/3 mineral spirits

-- Brian, Western MA

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

1425 posts in 1827 days


#11 posted 09-23-2017 12:17 PM

I use regular minwax poly thinned 1:1, slop it on, keep it wet allowing wood to soak up all it will for 10-20 min then wipe off. 1-2 coats. When needed I scrape or plane the top and repeat. Spilt all kinds of liquids on it not a problem.

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