Workbench Complete but waiting for finish


Hello All,
I just completed my new workbench and I thingk that it turned out pretty good. You can see it here:
http://www.arealnice.com/shop /
I made it large at 8 ft long by 3 ft wide with a solid maple top and SYP base. I figure that it weighs in at about 300 lbs.
I left the base open at the front to leave room for a box of drawers.
I used a variation of the router method to flatten the top. Instead of clamping a cross member to slide the router on, I made the cross member extra long so that I slid the entire assembly across the table.
I used two factory edges of plywood clamped to the sides of the workbench, using winding sticks.
I applied melamine to all touching surfaces to reduce friction. It worked perfect. Not a single high or low spot.
You can see the cross member leaning against the wall in the background of the picture.
I figured that I would use this method since I would end up with the fixtures afterward. I could use them to flatten extra wide boards with the same setup.
I am open to suggestions on what finish to apply.
See you, Gary
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Looks nice. I love that style of feet on a bench. It is obviously quite substantial.
Where are the dog holes??
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On Sat, 26 Aug 2006 03:58:59 -0400, "Lee Michaels"

Look close and you will see the square holes along the front edge. I didn't have a 3/4 bit drill the dog holes in the front vise and across the width of the table.
I'll probably do that tomorrow.
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Very nice. Post another pic once you finish it!

No Finish At All - Some folks may wonder why you'd want to put anything on there at all, what with it being a work surface and likely to be dinged, dented and scratched. I say you really, really want some sort of finish that will repel stains, retard the rate of moisture transfer and, most importantly, make it easy to pop off glue drips. Plus, the aesthetics of the bench will be improved by adding a finish.
Polyurethane - Good for all the above reasons, but some folks say that since benches get scratched all the time that poly isn't your best choice. Poly doesn't handle the daily wear and tear as well as some of the other finishes available and is more diificult to bring back to a smooth coat when you go to recoat it. I've read that everyone needs a bench, if only to provide a level surface upon which to set your coffee while scratching your head. Given this, poly will best repel the inevitable mug rings!
Shellac - This one gets mentioned from time to time. Not as good with the rings, but it's "easier" to repair than poly because each subsequent refinishing melts in with the previous coat.
Lacquer - Same as above? Where the hell'd I put my Flexner....
Oil - tung oil, Danish oil, linseed oil, etc... Lots of choices here, and this (alone and in combination with wax) is probably the most recommended finish out there. You sacrifice a bit of moisture protection, but the big plus is that it's not so much a top coat as one that "penetrates" into the surface a bit. When the top gets scratched too much for you it's a simple matter to put another on top. Just scrape it lightly and buff in another coat.
Wax - I just saw beeswax melted into mineral oil recommended. I'm losing steam here.
Varnish - mixed with your favorite oil, highly and freqently recommended. Boiled Linseed oil, varnish and mineral spirits mixed together in a Secret Formula is probably the single most recommended bench finish I've seen. Put a couple of coats on it and then buff on a coat of furniture (paste) wax. Done.
JP ************************** Masonite, anyone?
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intersperse comments in his post.

preparing stock and cutting joinery, the ability to remove excess glue is an issue. If you have a separate assembly bench, forget that requirement.

repair/refresh the finish.

solid-core door on a dimension lumber base) is finished with shellac and a coat of wax. It is great for popping off glue drips, and is easily refreshed. But as a worktop (as I was using it before building my bench) it has a major flaw--this is as close as you will get in the shop to a frictionless surface. I found that unpleasant to work on.

thereof) would cause less noise upstairs than would BLO. Slower drying, though. used the old formula of once a day for a week, once a week for a month, once a month for a year, and once a year thereafter.

--
Alex -- Replace "nospam" with "mail" to reply by email. Checked infrequently.

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wrote:

Well, I appreciate all the choices.
I think that I have settled on some kind of oil. Probably wax it to help get off the inevitable glue drops.
Thanks, Gary
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just completed my new workbench and I thingk that it turned out pretty good. You can see it here:
http://www.arealnice.com/shop /
Sweet!
I have a very similar bench (traditional maple monter) I used a 3:2:2 mix of OB Poly, BLO and thiner ... 3 coats then paste wax. I have been pleased.
Simple, cheap, stuff was on-hand. I was looking for a compromise of protection but without much build. I suppose a wip-on poly would get me to about the same place.
The wax is top repel glue or finish drips. some folks prefer a not so slippy top. Personally I think benefits outweigh the downside. YMMV.
FWIW, I releveled the top after 3 years a few months back. I applied the same finish.
-Steve
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It looks like the workbench from Fine Woodworking a few years back. I built one of these also. In fact, I have the same POS green vice (made in China). If you find a way to stiften it up, let me know. Dave
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On Sat, 26 Aug 2006 09:53:53 -0400, "Dave W"

Actually both vises are made in the Czech Republic and are as tight as can be. I got them from Lee Valley.
Gary
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Nice, my workbench is covered in a sheet of perspex to stop gouges,easy clean of glue, ect,although its not as large as that workbench.
--
Sir Benjamin Middlethwaite




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On Sat, 26 Aug 2006 05:38:26 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Nice big heavy bench--one of the most useful "tools" in the shop! I used Danish oil on mine, several coats.
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On Sat, 26 Aug 2006 05:38:26 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

+--------------------------------------------------------------------------------+ If you're gonna be dumb, you better be tough +--------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
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I used two rather heavy coats of Watco natural and then sanded it to a sort-of rough finish. Still feels like bare wood and the workpiece doesn't slide around (easier to pare dovetails etc). I would not let glue dry on it though. If I get a glue drop on there I clean it up with a wet rag immediately. I have another bench for glue-ups made from an old solid-core door.
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