Finish for Workbench?

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Forum topic by deadherring posted 03-27-2015 02:02 PM 658 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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63 posts in 1638 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 (online now)


17378 posts in 3000 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.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

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5423 posts in 3657 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 (online now)

Rick Dennington

5853 posts in 3188 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..

-- " At my age, happy hour is a crap and a nap".....

View CB_Cohick's profile


484 posts in 1245 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


3319 posts in 1792 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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