Benchtop Finish

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Forum topic by DonJ posted 02-23-2012 03:26 PM 1054 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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250 posts in 3555 days

02-23-2012 03:26 PM

I’ve just finished putting a coat of varnish on my benchtop. It is about 2 1/4” thick and is solid white oak laminated on edge. With that thickness, is it necessary to varnish the bottom side as well? It is too heavy to flip over and would really be a mess to varnish…but, if necessary, I will.

-- Don, San Antonio, TX

4 replies so far

View hhhopks's profile


651 posts in 2406 days

#1 posted 02-23-2012 03:39 PM

I am currently building a bench. I got to keep the mass in mind. Maybe I’ll prefinish some of the pieces before assembly.

I would be concern about moisture migration, but I am no expert. I’ll definitely check back to see what inputs others may have.

-- I'll be a woodworker when I grow up. HHHOPKS

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 2999 days

#2 posted 02-23-2012 03:44 PM

I wouldn’t have put any finish on it if it were mine; maybe a little sealer since it’s oak.
But to each his own.
I don’t think you need to varnish the bottom from a warpage consideration, if that’s your concern.

View waho6o9's profile


8209 posts in 2605 days

#3 posted 02-23-2012 03:52 PM

Maybe wax it, easy peasy done.
I would pass on the varnish.

View Offset's profile


2 posts in 2584 days

#4 posted 02-23-2012 10:02 PM

I think the recommended finish for benches is 1 part boiled linseed oil, 1 part varnish, and 1 part thinner. It is supposed to seal and protect the wood without without building up or hardening.

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