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Thread: Best sealer/protection for Workbench top

  1. #1
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    May 2004
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    Best sealer/protection for Workbench top

    I know there are many opinions on this but.....
    I'm in process of flattening my workbench top ...I've heard many opinions on the best top coat for this from oil, wax, mixtures, BLO, wax only etc etc...

    What is YOUR opinion on the best way to protect, seal, finish, preserve wooden WORKBENCH tops (the flat work surface)?
    ALL answers are welcome....Love to hear your ideas, suggestions.....Thank you.
    Jerry

  2. #2
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    Nothing. At the very most, blo (or blo/turpentine mix). Anything else will make it slippery, or just get ruined quickly.
    Last edited by mike stenson; 01-11-2022 at 8:24 PM.
    ~mike

    life in a mud hut

  3. #3
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    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    Nothing is fine. My personal go-to is BLO as it's renewable and helps "a little" with glue release.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  4. #4
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    BLO. I don't want it slick (wax). I try to use wax paper , parchment paper or whatever else on hand if its going to be a messy glue up.
    Hobbyist

  5. #5
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    I used 1 coat of Watco Teak oil, let soak in as much as it will take, and wipe as much off as possible. Still good after 8-9 years. Some might think the varnish leaves the surface too slick, but I don't think so. And it gives protection against glue and even cat vomit....
    Brian

    "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger or more complicated...it takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." - E.F. Schumacher

  6. #6
    I've started using Arm-R-Seal with good results. For years I used Daly's Profin, but Daly's is no longer in business.

  7. #7
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    May 2021
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    BLO here because its only there till the next flattening anyway. I like the flat non-slick feel.

  8. #8
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    I sand to 80 grit & apply 1 coat of BLO or some other penetrating oil. That leaves a surface that is not slick, yet glue can be popped off easily with a chisel. That, however has proven to be insufficient protection from a router bit set too deep

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2021
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    Spartanburg South Carolina
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Pratt View Post
    I sand to 80 grit & apply 1 coat of BLO or some other penetrating oil. That leaves a surface that is not slick, yet glue can be popped off easily with a chisel. That, however has proven to be insufficient protection from a router bit set too deep
    Beauty marks they are.

  10. #10
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    As expected, many different approaches to this...BLO seems to be the most often reco'd...I'll continue to follow this thread as I , meanwhile, continue to flatten the top..
    Thanks much for your advice,,,,I'll read your responses...Thanks.
    Jerry

  11. #11
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    Peoria, IL
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    The best protection is a sheet of 1/8" hardboard.

  12. #12
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    Modesto, CA, USA
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    One half BLO, one half thinner of choice(I use Coleman fuel now) and a teaspoon of japan drier.
    Bill D.

  13. #13
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    Aug 2021
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    Redmond, OR
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    I used water based polyurethane on one of my benches when I built it ~35 years ago. It still has 98%+ of the finish left.

    A thin sheet of hardboard is also a good idea. I use a thin sheet of hardboard as a sacrificial top for my radial arm saw.
    Last edited by Michael Schuch; 01-12-2022 at 4:12 PM.

  14. #14
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    Ultimately it may depend on what you're using the bench for. If you're using hand tools, that makes a different surface requirement than power tools IMO.
    ~mike

    life in a mud hut

  15. #15
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    Apr 2017
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    Michigan
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    On my thick Maple tops I use polyurethane varnish. It's hard and resistant to stuff, but it is slick. Not ideal. One day I'll do a bit of sanding and try BLO

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