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Best finish for redwood work bench to keep the color?

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Forum topic by mendoman posted 02-08-2018 02:38 PM 850 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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mendoman

2 posts in 305 days


02-08-2018 02:38 PM

I recently built a folding leg work bench out of redwood. The color is outstanding with contrast of sap wood and heart color. What finish will preserve the color? I’ve heard boiled linseed oil for workbenches, but will Danish oil natural color hold the redwood color?


11 replies so far

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LesB

1857 posts in 3640 days


#1 posted 02-08-2018 07:13 PM

Oil will darken the color and of course exposure to air, sunlight, and just aging will add to it.
If you really want to preserve the color I would put on several coats of a Poly finish and because it will be a work bench I would use one of the hard floor grade products….they will still darken the color a little and over time and especially if exposed to sunlight the color will change. Redwood is a bit soft for a workbench so the Poly will also help harden it.

-- Les B, Oregon

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AlaskaGuy

4757 posts in 2506 days


#2 posted 02-08-2018 07:55 PM



I recently built a folding leg work bench out of redwood. The color is outstanding with contrast of sap wood and heart color. What finish will preserve the color? I ve heard boiled linseed oil for workbenches, but will Danish oil natural color hold the redwood color?

- mendoman

This demands a pic or 2

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View RichBolduc's profile

RichBolduc

513 posts in 313 days


#3 posted 02-08-2018 07:59 PM

Damn straight it does…..

Rich

I recently built a folding leg work bench out of redwood. The color is outstanding with contrast of sap wood and heart color. What finish will preserve the color? I ve heard boiled linseed oil for workbenches, but will Danish oil natural color hold the redwood color?

- mendoman
This demands a pic or 2

- AlaskaGuy


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AlaskaGuy

4757 posts in 2506 days


#4 posted 02-08-2018 08:30 PM



Damn straight it does….. Rich

I recently built a folding leg work bench out of redwood. The color is outstanding with contrast of sap wood and heart color. What finish will preserve the color? I ve heard boiled linseed oil for workbenches, but will Danish oil natural color hold the redwood color?

- mendoman
This demands a pic or 2

- AlaskaGuy

- RichBolduc

Maybe we need a “no picture, no reply” policy. :)

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View Knockonit's profile

Knockonit

477 posts in 399 days


#5 posted 02-08-2018 08:35 PM

a lot of the answer would be based on geographical location, because i can share that what works in the midwest for outside finishes, does not work in the desert of Arizona

View LesB's profile

LesB

1857 posts in 3640 days


#6 posted 02-09-2018 06:19 PM

Mendoman never mentioned the bench would be outside. He asked about using oil and it’s affect on preserving the color…or colour if you are British. Geography and pictures have nothing to do with that kind of question.

-- Les B, Oregon

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

4757 posts in 2506 days


#7 posted 02-09-2018 06:30 PM


Mendoman never mentioned the bench would be outside. He asked about using oil and it s affect on preserving the color…or colour if you are British. Geography and pictures have nothing to do with that kind of question.

- LesB

Are you Cricket’s little helper now?

According to your post count you should know by now more often that not posters often don’t put a lot of information in a post and you have to dig the details out of them.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View cabmaker's profile

cabmaker

1740 posts in 3005 days


#8 posted 02-10-2018 01:47 PM



Mendoman never mentioned the bench would be outside. He asked about using oil and it s affect on preserving the color…or colour if you are British. Geography and pictures have nothing to do with that kind of question.

- LesB

Les…. I don’t think they are asking for the reason you suspect…...I think its because this may be the first redwood workbench in history

View Knockonit's profile

Knockonit

477 posts in 399 days


#9 posted 02-10-2018 02:10 PM



Mendoman never mentioned the bench would be outside. He asked about using oil and it s affect on preserving the color…or colour if you are British. Geography and pictures have nothing to do with that kind of question.

- LesB

Sorry for the misnomer there lesb, my assumption on redwood is exterior use, my bad on that assumption as we all know what that means, and yeah geography has a lot to do with many finishes, inside and out.
thanks for the info
Rj

View CharlesNeil's profile

CharlesNeil

2457 posts in 4067 days


#10 posted 02-10-2018 02:16 PM

to maintain color and not darken, water base is the preferred choice .
it will darken when first applied but will dry clear

View mendoman's profile

mendoman

2 posts in 305 days


#11 posted 03-16-2018 04:44 AM

Ok guys, you asked for it. Thanks for the input. This folding table was taken from Jock Holmen in the April /May American Woodworker magazine. His photos looked like a finer wood than 2x’s from the lumber center. I chose redwood sine I appreciate the color. Project was my first in several years, and I had a blast trying to mill, cut and shape with my limited shop space. I needed tables that stored in small spaces in an already crowed garage. I need to take the work outside the garage and still be able to stow it all away at the end of the day. I did manage to “create” my own top design from the remaining cut offs from the 4×4 posts cut down for the leg assemblies. These 1/2 inch slabs looked too good to go to waste. Experimented with a breadboard ends and found the boards with a thin plywood backer wasn’t strong enough. Added another 5/8 inch ply to bottom and still didn’t think a vise on the end would work well. Danish oil, with spar urethane finish. Not the toughest, but next step may be a resin finish thinned and brushed on. I tried that on a curb ramp for the RV and it turned out nicer than I realized it would.
This table is just one, in my portable shop and will always look better than anything else I have. Workmate with ply top, out feed table with the table saw that nests on top for another table and a pair of saw horses with a 24×30in top for a forth table. All easily broken down and stow able in 24 inch deep space. As I was getting ready to finish, the weather turned cold and I had to delay the finish. I live in the high desert of CA, plenty of sun, wind and looking forward to working outside again when the weather warms some. A great project for a guy who might be considered a “rookie” woodworker. I didn’t spend more than $75 for wood and hardware, learned a lot, and I just might have the first redwood workbench ever. It is pretty good looking! Thanks again for the input about finishing this one of a kind table with stool to boot.

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