Best way to refinish benchtop - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 Old 01-19-2016, 11:02 PM Thread Starter
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Best way to refinish benchtop

I have an antique carpenters bench, from late 1800s to early 1900s that has been abused badly for a hundred years. It has paint, grease, and you name it on the top I want to refinish it so it is presentable What is the best way to do that. Sand it down? Sandblast and sand? Im open to suggestions.
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post #2 of 7 Old 01-19-2016, 11:20 PM
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More than likely it has some kind of oil finish on it. Still the best way to clean off the oil and everything else that is on it would be to use a methylene chloride paint and varnish remover. The big problem is removers don't do well in cold weather. You need to wait until a day when it is 70 degrees or more to do it.

You could sand it off but you would be changing sandpaper every minute or so. The paper would just gum up from everything that is on the bench. The bench needs sanding but you need to clean the gunk off first.

Sandblasting would be a terrible thing to do to wood. It would eat out the soft part of the grain giving it a washboard look to it.
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post #3 of 7 Old 01-20-2016, 04:08 AM
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I think id probably rig up a router sled sort of jig and take a bit off the top. Not much, probably less than 1/8 an inch or so, just to get all the crap off and leave a nice, flat surface. Something like this:
http://www.thewoodwhisperer.com/vide...with-a-router/

I need cheaper hobby
etsy.com/shop/projectepicfail
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post #4 of 7 Old 01-20-2016, 04:03 PM
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If you wish to keep the antique look, follow Steves suggestion----chemically remove the years of crud--then lightly sand and finish it----

If you want a flat ,new work surface, Epic 's router sled will do that nicely.
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post #5 of 7 Old 01-21-2016, 12:26 AM
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Is the top removable? Can you just flip it over to the other side?
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post #6 of 7 Old 01-22-2016, 12:19 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks;, but no it wont work. The bench has vices on the side and end, and square holes for pegs. It looks to about 3 inches thick.
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post #7 of 7 Old 01-22-2016, 12:20 AM Thread Starter
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Guess Ill strip and sand it. Sounds like the best bet to me. Thanks
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