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Forum topic by JL7 posted 908 days ago 4555 views 14 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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JL7

6867 posts in 1550 days


908 days ago

Sometime ago I came across a recipe of BLO, Turpentine and Beeswax for a workbench finish – I just can’t remember the ratios. I have used it in the past and I like the results, but beware the stink…..

I am thinking it was probably equal parts BLO and Turpentine and a handful of shaved Beeswax, but not sure?

Anyone?

Thanks.

Jeff

-- Jeff - I have not failed. I've just found 10,002 ways that won't work.


17 replies so far

View WoodArtbyJR's profile

WoodArtbyJR

428 posts in 1550 days


#1 posted 908 days ago

Jeff,
After reading your post I got to thinking (this is bad, me thinking). Why not use the same thing us cutting board makers use, mineral oil & beeswax. The mineral oil penetrates the wood and then the beeswax helps to seal the final coat. I would heat the mineral oil & apply MANY coats (10 or more), until the wood stopped soaking it in. Then apply a final coat of heated mineral oil & beeswax combonation (about a 60/40 split). When this last coat cools it will look like a paste has been applied. Wipe off the excess and let it sit for a bit before using the bench top. You can apply more of the final coat if the top starts to look dry (just like a cutting board). No smell on this one. Use unrefined beeswax and you’ll get a slight honey smell, not unpleasant.
Another method is the Woodwisperer’s mineral spirits method. You can google it and find his video post on it.

Just some thoughts

Jim

-- Jim Roberts, Port Orchard Washington

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JL7

6867 posts in 1550 days


#2 posted 908 days ago

Hey Jim – thanks for the suggestion…..but I’ve used the other and I really like it.

I spent some time on Google and I think I found the recipe and I quote:

”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. The original version of this very old recipe called for raw linseed oil. This finish, or something very close to this finish, was most probably used on most of the surviving 18th and 19th century work benches.”

Full article is here.

This stuff really works great and I put it on all the shop stuff…...

Jeff

-- Jeff - I have not failed. I've just found 10,002 ways that won't work.

View Dave's profile

Dave

11133 posts in 1425 days


#3 posted 908 days ago

Very good Jeff I am defiantly going to have to try this.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are." http://chiselandforge.com

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Les

199 posts in 1276 days


#4 posted 908 days ago

Thats the one, it works great as you know. I wouldn’t use anything else.

Les

-- Stay busy....Stay young

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

10418 posts in 1275 days


#5 posted 907 days ago

Any idea what the turpentine adds to the final result (other than the smell)? There are several ‘wood nourishers/restorers’ that contain turpentine, BLO, and wax and I never have heard an explanation for the turp???

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

3631 posts in 2248 days


#6 posted 907 days ago

I used the bees wax / BLO / Turpentine mixture on my bench … looks great after almost 2 years.

—Gerry

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

View JL7's profile

JL7

6867 posts in 1550 days


#7 posted 907 days ago

gfadvm – Don’t know squat about finishing, but the turpentine does keep the beewax in solution – over time the wax will return to a solid but some aggitation and a bit of time will dissolve it again.

Can’t find the exact article right now, but the point was that Pure Gum Turpentine is the only solvent for this use…..

I mixed up a quart or so two years ago, and have been using it ever since and still seems to work well…..now it’s time for a fresh batch.

My recommendation here – clean the shop – remove the clutter and coat everything you need, for me two coats seems to go a long ways…...It works on a wide variety of wood, from pine to exotics. it is smelly, but effective :)

Jeff

-- Jeff - I have not failed. I've just found 10,002 ways that won't work.

View Roger's profile

Roger

13960 posts in 1389 days


#8 posted 833 days ago

Sounds like a gr8 recipe. I’m gonna give it a try also

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Kentuk55@bellsouth.net

View judgesawdust's profile

judgesawdust

36 posts in 1208 days


#9 posted 833 days ago

Any idea what the turpentine adds to the final result (other than the smell)? There are several ‘wood nourishers/restorers’ that contain turpentine, BLO, and wax and I never have heard an explanation for the turp??

The turpentine breaks down (or melts) the beeswax . . .

-- If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably a wise investment.

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

3805 posts in 914 days


#10 posted 832 days ago

This same combo was published in the Timber Framers Journal years ago as an excellent finish for exposed timber posts and beams. I always wanted to refinish my frame with it.

Now I’m motivated to mix some up and give it a try on my recently rehabbed bench.

-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

10418 posts in 1275 days


#11 posted 832 days ago

Thanks guys, I learned something today!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

3266 posts in 1779 days


#12 posted 832 days ago

My main work bench is made of Douglas fir, and the top is 4 layers of MDF to make it 3” thick…..

All I did to my top was put 2 coats of Watco danish Oil first, letting each coat dry good, then 6 coats of quick-dry polyurethane….The danish oil turns the MDF top a nice brown color, and the poly finishes it off….It’s a little slick at first, but gets better with time…..It’s been on there 3 yeas, and still looks good…...

On the work bench frame: I just used about 3 coats of a 50/50 tung oil and mineral spirits mixture…..

-- " I started with nothing, and I've still got most of it left".......

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

3747 posts in 965 days


#13 posted 832 days ago

Do you really want wax all over your workbench? If it gets onto your work piece and you finish with lacquer or varnish it could cause problems.

-- |Statistics show that 100% of people bitten by a snake were close to it.|

View JL7's profile

JL7

6867 posts in 1550 days


#14 posted 832 days ago

wormil – the volume of wax by volume is pretty low – never had any problems with wax build up on the work pieces…

I think if you try it you’d like it :)

-- Jeff - I have not failed. I've just found 10,002 ways that won't work.

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

3631 posts in 2248 days


#15 posted 832 days ago

wormil—When the BLO/Bees Wax/Turpentine brew cures (takes about a week) and get’s buffed, there is very little residual on the surface. What you wind up with is a smooth, slick surface that glue doesn’t stick to. Yoiu probably get more wax on your workpieces from the wax you use to dress the sole of your hand planes.

Never had a problem with my bench, however I never sand or finish on the workbench … I have a plywood table that I use for that.

Here is a link to the article I found on this subject:
http://hardwoodlumberandmore.com/Articles/ArticleViewPage/tabid/75/ArticleId/18/Workbench-Finish.aspx

—Gerry

-- 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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