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  • Work bench finish

    Howdy,

    I'm just about finished my solid maple work bench and am thinking about the finish.

    Any ideas/recommendations on what finish to put on it?

    Thanks,
    FSK

  • #2
    Re: Work bench finish

    I don't put any finish on mine, other than what spills on it. Seriously, why bother, your going to be beating on it, cutting, accidental scoring from a utility knife, probably even nail into it or drill into it. I look at a workbench as beating the crap out of it, then replace the plywood top. Its not a dining room table to me...
    Great Link for a Construction Owner/Tradesmen, and just say Garager sent you....

    http://www.contractorspub.com

    A good climbing rope will last you 3 to 5 years, a bad climbing rope will last you a life time !!!

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    • #3
      Re: Work bench finish

      I would just use an oil finish to keep the moisture out of the maple and allow for some protection. I would stay away form film forming finishes on a workbench

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Work bench finish

        For the base, I brushed on 3 coats of polyurethane varnish. For the top I used a wipe-on mixture of one part polyurethane, one part BLO (boiled linseed oil) and one part mineral spirits. Brush it on, let it set a couple minutes, and wipe off. The wipe on finish goes on thinner than brush on, but I still only used 3 coats as it will get marred with use. (I did the underside of the top also, to balance moisture content as the humidity changes). After it dried, I waxed it with a couple coats of Johnson's paste wax. When I get scratches, the wax seems to blend them in, and without a thick coat, they are not noticeable. The wax also helps keep glue, etc, from sticking to it,as well as makes it easier to brush off sawdust and shavings. The thin coats of poly protect from iron staining when I sharpen tools on it.

        By the way, mine is white-oak, not maple, so others may chime in with a better idea.

        So, when we gonna see the pics? Congrats on nearing the finish of a good project.

        Go
        Last edited by Gofor; 09-17-2008, 07:51 PM.
        Practicing at practical wood working

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Work bench finish

          Except for a coat fo Butchers Wax mine is bare.
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          • #6
            Re: Work bench finish

            After a few years, my workbench is now finished with several colors of stain, some wipe-on poly, some danish oil, some salad bowl finish, some spray-on poly, some Spar Varathane, even some denatured alcohol and mineral spirits. In other words, it's covered with the remnants of every project I've ever done. It has screw holes, nail holes, and some jig holes that I've drilled here and there. I've never bothered to specifically finish the top, but after all this time it's got some glue drips on it I have to chisel off so It's about time for a new plywood top.
            I put it all back together better than before. There\'s lots of leftover parts.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Work bench finish

              Originally posted by Gofor View Post
              For the base, I brushed on 3 coats of polyurethane varnish. For the top I used a wipe-on mixture of one part polyurethane, one part BLO (boiled linseed oil) and one part mineral spirits. Brush it on, let it set a couple minutes, and wipe off. The wipe on finish goes on thinner than brush on, but I still only used 3 coats as it will get marred with use. (I did the underside of the top also, to balance moisture content as the humidity changes). After it dried, I waxed it with a couple coats of Johnson's paste wax. When I get scratches, the wax seems to blend them in, and without a thick coat, they are not noticeable. The wax also helps keep glue, etc, from sticking to it,as well as makes it easier to brush off sawdust and shavings. The thin coats of poly protect from iron staining when I sharpen tools on it.

              By the way, mine is white-oak, not maple, so others may chime in with a better idea.

              So, when we gonna see the pics? Congrats on nearing the finish of a good project.

              Go
              Thanks Go. I went with the linseed/spirts/poly idea. I thought it was a good oil/protection combo on the top and skirt (maple) and sealer and poly on the base (white oak/maple/birch/maybe beech).

              Here is the end result (lens looks like it was a little dusty):
              Attached Files

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              • #8
                Re: Work bench finish

                Nice-lookin bench, Fsk! Where did you get the maple? How do you like that Veritas clamp? I see you've some holes or dowels in the sides, what are those for?

                Sorry for the inquisition!! I'm just wondering if that might be a bench plan I could do. Thanks for posting the pictures.
                I put it all back together better than before. There\'s lots of leftover parts.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Work bench finish

                  Originally posted by VASandy View Post
                  Nice-lookin bench, Fsk! Where did you get the maple? How do you like that Veritas clamp? I see you've some holes or dowels in the sides, what are those for?

                  Sorry for the inquisition!! I'm just wondering if that might be a bench plan I could do. Thanks for posting the pictures.
                  Thanks Sandy. I got the maple from a small lumber mill near Ottawa, a place called Pakenham. The vises are both Veritas. I haven't given them a real road test yet. The twin screw does what they say though - you stick something in anywhere and it doesn't rack.

                  The side holes are basically vertical dog holes. So if you have a large panel or door to work on the edge for example, you put a dog in the skirt and one in the side hole in the vise and clamp it that way.

                  This is the plan that I used (well mostly):
                  http://www.popularmechanics.com/home...g/1302961.html

                  It was a good project from a learning perspective and will be useful.

                  Frank

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                  • #10
                    Re: Work bench finish

                    Thanks, Frank. Got the plans, and hopefully some day I'll build that one. I appreciate the link. I like your modifications, and especially the skirt dog mounts. Good idea!
                    I put it all back together better than before. There\'s lots of leftover parts.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Work bench finish

                      Great job!! That's definitely a bench that can be used for a variety of work. Maple bench with top-of-the-line vises: Doesn't get much better than that!!

                      Go
                      Practicing at practical wood working

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Work bench finish

                        Originally posted by Gofor View Post
                        Great job!! That's definitely a bench that can be used for a variety of work. Maple bench with top-of-the-line vises: Doesn't get much better than that!!

                        Go
                        Thanks Go. It's definitely nice to work on a solid bench for a change.

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