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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been working on my split work bench for about 3 weeks now and finally got my tops on yesterday (will include pics later my phone would not let me tonight) and my tops are 2 pieces of red oak cut on my dads farm 3 inches thick and 12 inches wide and 6 feet long kd with the split consisting of a white oak 2x4 down the middle of the split for storage shelf:smile:. My question is should I or should I not finish my bench, and if I do what should I finish it with..... thanks steve
 

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I have been working on my split work bench for about 3 weeks now and finally got my tops on yesterday (will include pics later my phone would not let me tonight) and my tops are 2 pieces of red oak cut on my dads farm 3 inches thick and 12 inches wide and 6 feet long kd with the split consisting of a white oak 2x4 down the middle of the split for storage shelf:smile:. My question is should I or should I not finish my bench, and if I do what should I finish it with..... thanks steve
For most of my career I have never put any finish at all on a work bench. Last year I took the notion to put polyurethane on my work bench so wood glue wouldn't stick to it. It didn't work. The glue sticks to it anyway and I don't like having the bench finished afterall. I think the next time I would just oil the wood with a coat of linseed oil if I did anything.
 

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Boiled linseed oil, or Watco Danish oil. They are both really easy to touch up as the bench gets dinged.

With both of them you should do a follow up application periodically.
 

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Boiled linseed oil, or Watco Danish oil. They are both really easy to touch up as the bench gets dinged.

With both of them you should do a follow up application periodically.
I don't usually finish my benches, but when I do, I use Danish oil.

:D
 

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I learned a few years back about using a mixture of beeswax/turpentine/blo to coat mine. Great finish if you can stand the smell for a day or two. The beast part is that's it's not a film finish to crack and flake, it's easy to repair (just wipe on some more), and best of all: glue pops right off of it.
 

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for what it's worth

I have been using Zinzer dewaxed Shellac for about 5 years on the same piece of particle board which is a cover on my torsion box bench/outfeed table. About 2X a year I recoat it after scraping it down smooth with a cabinet scraper. Little gobs of glue pop right off and the surface is then flat for more glue ups. It is slippery, so workpieces tend to slide around, good for an outfeed table, but bad for hand work like planing.
You just can't win.... :no:

The old shellac is dissolved slightly by the new coat, so it adheres quite well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks everyone for your input i still have not decided which way to go. F:yes:inish or just oil.....
 

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Since the bench top has a lot of red oak, you should use the recommended paste filler/sealer for oak flooring. Sand that back and the red oak pores/vessels will be plugged.

Other than that, anything at all that makes the surface smooth enough to be dusted off/wiped off, easily, with out the rags snagging. 2X coats satin finish Varathane comes to mind.
 
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