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Thread: Finishing Workbench, what would you do?

  1. #1

    Finishing Workbench, what would you do?

    Finishing up a laminated 2 by bench that came out better than I expected in terms of straight and flat. Finishing planing it flat this week, and have a 3 day weekend to get a finish on it. The wood is typical BORG dimensional lumber, Iím using it as an outfeed/assembly/project table. I WANT the top to be a little slippery, as Iím not doing woodworking on this bench, as an outfeed table, I want my workpieces to slide smoothly off the saw or router table onto the outfeed table. Right now Iím using plywood on sawhorses and sometimes I fight to get the workpiece to slide off the cast iron table. And I want to easily scrape up dried glue with a putty knife.
    My choices are BLO, Tung, Danish, Teak, or Butcher Block oil, with no preference for any other than those are the 5 choices that I could see on the shelf at the BORG while I finished my beer. Since itís a project bench thatís going to get very roughly abused, I want to put something on it, but not a poly. Not putting anything on it has already been discarded, this is my first wood project Iíve ever finished and didnít fall apart over night. Donít really care about what it looks like, Iím just looking for the best combination of oil, and maybe a paste wax? That I can reapply once a year and keep those workpieces sliding off the saw table.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    Kansas City
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    1,202
    Thomas, AFAIK, Danish and Teak oils are blends of varnish and BLO. Butcher block is either mineral oil or BLO, with wax. Things marketed as tung oil can be oil & varnish and sometimes BLO, not real tung oil. So I'm not sure if any will add significant slickness.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    WNY
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    6,194
    What do you have against poly? Poly would be better than any of the products you mentioned for staying slippery and shedding glue. Shellac followed by paste wax would be second best, and could be done in a day. My personal preference would be Melamine, phenolic plywood, or Formica, however, as a far better solution; once and done forever.

    John

  4. #4
    I used poly on a work bench and I didn't like it. Paint and other finishing products seem to stick to it easily. Benches I've finished with oils or wax seem to be more resistant to finishing products sticking.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    918
    I agree wth John (as usual) but have another option to offer. Peel and stick vinyl floor tiles will work well, I have them on my router table. More slick than formica.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    39
    West System epoxy with 207 hardener. A bulletproof finish!

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