Linseed oil on Industrial grade plywood?

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Forum topic by DamianOgre posted 10-10-2011 05:06 AM 7920 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4 posts in 2661 days

10-10-2011 05:06 AM

Hello all, New to your site, new to wood working, mostly. I am in the middle of building my first work bench. I have been using old tables and dressers up to this point. I saw a video, some place, about make the top with MDF. When I went to the lumber yard I decided that MDF was junk. I decided to use 3/4” Industral grade Plywood for my first work bench. So now I’m trying to figure out how to finish it. I am kinda worried that the BLO may destroy the IGP. Maybe I should just shellac or varnish it?

6 replies so far

View Don W's profile

Don W

19050 posts in 2807 days

#1 posted 10-10-2011 01:13 PM

I’ve never seen BLO destroy anything. I’ve used it on plywood.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Arminius's profile


304 posts in 4043 days

#2 posted 10-10-2011 01:47 PM

Not sure what you mean by industrial-grade. Nothing wrong with using BLO on plywood, but I would not bother unless it is a good enough finish veneer to warrant emphasizing the grain.

I use shellac for lots of workshop stuff in order to get practice, but I would not recommend it for a workbench surface.

View PutnamEco's profile


155 posts in 3526 days

#3 posted 10-10-2011 04:24 PM

I have to wonder why the finish? Is it for aesthetic reasons or are you trying to protect the wood.

I often use plywood topped workbenches on jobsites and I find they hold up quite well unfinished. If it was made with exterior grade plywood it should hold up two or three years even if left exposed to the elements.

-- “The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.” ― Franklin D. Roosevelt

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5149 posts in 4200 days

#4 posted 10-10-2011 04:38 PM

There is an exterior grade MDF (one brand is EXTERA) that is very solid and stable. I have used it on numerous projects as well as cottage style column wrap on jobs. Tough and waterproof (and HEAVY). Not submersable.


View Sawkerf's profile


1730 posts in 3308 days

#5 posted 10-10-2011 05:12 PM

I’ve never heard of “industrial grade” plywood, and suspect that you mean CDX which is usually pretty rough with lots of holes in the surface veneer. It’s usually used for purely structural applications where the surface gets covered with something else.

ACX ply should work for a workbench top. It will have one “good” side (the holes have been filled), and it’s farily smooth. A finish won’t hurt it, but if you use an oil based finish, let it dry completely before you start using it.

About once a year, I scrape down my workbench, give it a light sanding, and slap on a coat of poly. The poly is usually some that has been around for a while and would otherwise get tossed out.

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

View DamianOgre's profile


4 posts in 2661 days

#6 posted 11-03-2011 04:54 PM

So my workbench is just about done, I am putting BLO on it. I left a, half filled, icedtea glass on it over night. The next day I found the glass with condensation and the board sorta messed up. I’ll have pictures of it soon. I’m really happy with it, being my first work bench. Nice and big, on wheels. :)

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