Best Finish for Workbench?
Posted 16 September 2011 - 11:26 AM
Posted 16 September 2011 - 12:02 PM
1. What kind of wood?
2. What finishing products do you already know?
3. What finishing techniques do already know?
Posted 16 September 2011 - 02:04 PM
2) I have stained wood once or twice before, but not sure if that counts for much experience.
3) I just kind of painted it on, then wiped it off. Then painted a glossy poly coat over it.
Posted 16 September 2011 - 02:05 PM
I made mine from old growth, quarter sawn, MDF because I use it to build things on. I applied two coats of polyurethane to fill the pores (I really don't remember if it was gloss, semi gloss or flat) and then waxed the Bejesus out of it with Johnson's paste wax for 3 or 4 coats. It does not stain or hold paint but then again it doesn't hold up too well against drill bits and saw cuts either. I scrape the glue off (very easy to do) and re wax it once or twice a year whether it needs it or not. It is flat and strong and doesn't crack or split with weather changes or hard hits from a mallet and chisel.
Now if you are looking for a fine piece of furniture to lay a few things on, you will have to get that information from someone else.
Posted 17 September 2011 - 07:25 AM
- TimWood likes this
Posted 17 September 2011 - 08:43 AM
The top is best left raw. There is no finish that will hold up to shop use and still look good, and bare wood will prevent your stock from slipping. For the same reason I'd avoid wax, you don't want to put a lubricant on your work surface.
Posted 17 September 2011 - 05:12 PM
It's a lesser-known secret that the mini ice age in the 17th and 18th centuries produced some of the finest MDF ever known and these have yet to be matched today.
Did he just say old growth, quarter sawn mdf?
Benches don't really need a finish. I did an oil-varnish blend on a previous bench and, while it didn't make things slippery, it was time that could certainly have been better spent. If you have some leftover finish that needs using up or if you want to use part of your bench to experiment with a finishing technique, go for it. Otherwise, just build the bench and then get on to making furniture.
Posted 12 December 2011 - 10:32 AM
Hemlock and the Watco works great. It looks good till you gouge, drilll and saw it by accident. But thats what a bench is for....keeping you from gouging, drilling, and sawing your lap, right?
Posted 23 December 2011 - 09:05 AM
- It's NOT slippery. Traction helps hand tools, planing stops, bench hooks, hold downs, etc... work.
- Glue usually flakes off
- Easy to renew, just wipe more on...
- Foolproof application
- No film build, no chipping or peeling due to usage damage.
A bench is NOT a dining table. It's going to get scratched, cut, and hammered on. You may need to plane or sand it flat in the future.
Posted 23 December 2011 - 10:05 AM
Here is his completed workbench (sans vise) with the finish on it. Click picture to enlarge.
Posted 25 December 2011 - 08:29 PM
- HoboMonk and TimWood like this
Posted 10 January 2012 - 08:56 PM
I use a shop made wax which is a little stickier than typical furniture wax. My recipe is simple. Shave a pile of bees wax into a can and add enough turpentine to cover. Stir it up once in a while and in a few days it will have dissolved into a paste. Adjust consistency by adding more turps or by evaporation. Good for waxing screws too. Crap for waxing furniture (other than workbenches). Consider yourself warned.