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Discussion Starter #1
Hello. I'm new here... and very new to woodworking in general (i.e. a bit clueless).

I'm in the finishing stages of building my first woodworking bench. I've decided that I want to permanently mark my bench top before I apply a polyurethane finish.
The marks on the bench top will be guidelines, such as 90 and 45 degree lines, to be used when visually roughing out pieces atop the bench.

My question is this:
Exactly how should I go about this? Should I score the wood and then mark/draw into the score lines? What type of "ink" will not bleed into the grain and will remain both visible and unaltered once 4 or 5 coats of polyurethane are applied?

Please be aware that I am currently in Indonesia and, while many types of specialist marking and scoring tools are commonly available in the rest of the world, I will probably need to make these marks with the most basic of workshop tools. So please don't recommend any new and wonderful laser scribers, etc.

Thanks in advance,

J
 

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I don't know about finishing a worktop surface ? Seems like it would just get scratched up, I am kinda rough on things though. But anyway, I have had to put markings on wood (hand sign some of my work). Put a coat on first to seal the wood, then your markings followed by more coats.
 

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It is never a good idea to put a film finish on a work bench that is going to be used. An alternative might be to use a piece of tempered hard-board (masonite) over your bench,put your markings on and top coat when this gets worn. You might consider removing it and apply some mineral oil or mineral oil and wax (just like a cutting board) and forget about the markings. Just my oppinion.

Regards

Jerry
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Darren and Jerry: Thanks for stating the obvious. Of course it'll get scratched ... and then need re-doing. I'm such a dummy!

Think I'll countersink some metal rules or guides into the benchtop instead.
And Jerry, do you mean to tell me that I shouldn't be using any poly finish on the bench top? I mean, as long as I don't mind scratches, is there any other reason why film finishes would be bad? (Can't find any finishes like Waterlox in this country)

J
 

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In this case you use what you have available. If it were me I would not apply anything before I would use polyurethane varnish. It will get chipped,cut,dented,turn yellow and flake off. I have seen many old benches that never had any type of finish on them.

Regards

Jerry
 
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