What is the best finish for a maple work bench top

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This topic contains 11 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Daryl Rosenblatt 1 day, 7 hours ago.

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  • #4031
    Steve Fulgoni
    Steve Fulgoni
    Participant

    Hi Guys,

    I sanded down my maple work bench top and I would like to put a new finish on it. What do you guys use? Recommend?

    Steve

  • #4033

    Joe Pascucci
    Moderator

    Buy a three stage HVLP system, a 10′ x 10′ spray booth with state of the art lighting and filtration. Then hand rub it with Liberon Finishing Oil.

  • #4034

    Charlie James
    Participant

    Steve, I have never put a finish on my workbench, I don’t think it needs it. Been 20 years and it’s fine. If something goes though the paper I lay down, I try to clean up right away but if not I chip or scrape it off as soon as I can. If you’re going to put something on it maybe just a coat of shellac will do. If the issue is cleanup after glue or paint, it may help a little. Enjoy the bench, Charlie

  • #4035
    Jim Moloney
    Jim Moloney
    Participant

    This morning we put the first of 4 coats of boiled linseed oil on the new workbench we have been building in Corey’s shop. Each coat has to dry 24 hours and use steel wool between coats.

  • #4037

    Joe Bottigliere
    Participant

    I agree with Charlie – go naked! The bench, that is. In the past I’ve used a coat of Watco Danish Oil to protect against glue. I use my bench for everything woodworking and around the house. So the oil makes cleanup a bit easier. It really just seals it so thing pop off easier. But it really isn’t necessary. A coat of hard wax would do the same thing. Definitely do not apply a film finish like lacquer or varnish. It will look pretty until you use it and it starts to scratch and chip. Then you’ll be scraping it off. Simple.

    Rockler and a few of the other supply places sell a silicone matt to protect the bench during glue ups. I haven’t used one but it’s on my list. I hear it works well.

  • #4040

    Don Dailey
    Participant

    BLO or some wax

  • #4042
    Steve Fulgoni
    Steve Fulgoni
    Participant

    Thanks. I think I am going to start off with Joe Pascucci’s advice … after all, I don’t have a spray booth yet.

  • #4043

    Charlie James
    Participant

    I was hoping you’d say that. You have room for an 8′ bench in that booth of yours?

  • #4044

    Daryl Rosenblatt
    Participant

    I oiled my bench, but it only looked good until it got it’s first ding. That was years ago, and if I had to do it again, I wouldn’t have done it.

  • #4110
    Steve Fulgoni
    Steve Fulgoni
    Participant

    So I freshened up my old rolling bench and ended up using Bush Oil and wax. (photo attached) I didn’t end up buying a spray booth, even though Joe got me going. Time to clean up the second bench now.

    I ditched my trusty Porter-Cable sanders for a new sander with vacuum … first time I used vacuum sanding wood. It was really weird. It felt like I wasn’t doing anything … I am used to judging progress by looking at the dust coming off and swirling around… am I crazy? It will take a little getting used to, but I am starting to think about health.

    Having fun flat-boarding again 😉

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  • #4117

    Joe Bottigliere
    Participant

    Nice job, Steve. Now when will you refinish that other bench with the dog holes?

  • #4119

    Daryl Rosenblatt
    Participant

    In response to you Steve:

    1. Yes attaching a sander to a vacuum is a very good idea, and I think illegal to do otherwise in the EU.
    2. You are crazy.
    3. Non flat boarding is a serious issue for which there is help. Fear not, you are on the road to a cure.

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