Finish for Workbench?

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Forum topic by deadherring posted 03-27-2015 02:02 PM 562 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View deadherring's profile


39 posts in 1247 days

03-27-2015 02:02 PM


I just finished a workbench. The top is 2×4’s turned on end. What is recommended for a finish? I know I don’t want it to be too slick so stuff doesn’t slide around during assembly or when planing.

One guy on Youtube said he used boiled linseed oil. Appreciate any advice.


5 replies so far

View chrisstef's profile


16254 posts in 2610 days

#1 posted 03-27-2015 02:08 PM

I too would say BLO or Danish oil. Any non-film finish (ie; tung oil, Danish oil, blo, etc) will do all though.

-- Something, something, something.

View TheDane's profile


5108 posts in 3267 days

#2 posted 03-27-2015 02:09 PM

Sounds like you are building something similar to my workbench.

See: Click for details

The top and vise jaws were finished with a turpentine / bee’s wax / boiled linseed oil concoction. I am very pleased with the results, and it is a relatively inexpensive ‘finish’ that is easy to apply and should be easy to maintain. The recipe: 16 oz Gum Turpentine 2 oz shaved/grated Bee’s Wax (dissolve Bee’s Wax completely in turpentine) 16 oz Boiled Linseed Oil. Apply liberally, let sit for two hours, then wipe off excess Let ‘cure’ for a few days, then buff.

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

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5394 posts in 2798 days

#3 posted 03-27-2015 02:12 PM

Hello Nathan,

There are many different finishes you can use on your bench and top. A 50/50 mix of tung oil and mineral spirits, boiled linseed oil, Watco Danish oil, polyurethane, varnish, and several other mixes. You just have to choose which one you want to use. On my bench, I used 2 coats of clear danish oil, then 6 coats of poly. For my jigs and fixtures, I use a blend of 50/50 tung oil and mineral sprits. So it’s just a matter of choice of which one….Just remember, at some point down the road, you will have to re-apply whatever you use…Depnds on the use..

-- Here in the South, we say "down the road a piece"...and , "it's over yonder".....!!

View CB_Cohick's profile


471 posts in 855 days

#4 posted 03-27-2015 03:46 PM

The proper finish for a workbench is sweat.

-- Chris - Would work, but I'm too busy reading about woodwork.

View CharlesA's profile


3125 posts in 1401 days

#5 posted 03-27-2015 03:49 PM

I don’t keep my workbench pristine like some folks do. I used Danish Oil because it dries faster than BLO. I was ready to use it. I few weeks ago I handplaned parts of the top because it had gotten a bit beaten up and then put a little more Danish Oil on. I don’t really want a poly or anything on it because I see the top as something that will have to be resurfaced from time to time, and I don’t want to deal with removing a film finish.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

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