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Hello all. First of all I've enjoyed reading some of the excellent threads on the forum, thanks to everyone who puts their time into making this a fun place.

I finally got around to extending my workbench this last week but haven't decided how to finish it.




The original part is on the left and I believe the plywood is birch. It was my first time really working with wood so there's a lot of wood filler on that part which makes me worry that the finish will look truly bad. Also the front piece has a slight satin finish. The new part of the right is maple and completely untreated. Only a tiny bit of filler was used to cover screws.



Its far from the most well thought out or executed bench, but its very sturdy and is going to be a great space.

My current thought is to use tung oil to get a little harder surface that won't show every single drop of liquid I spill on it. Shellac has come up as an idea as well as linseed or polyurethane. I'd love to hear your thoughts. I don't expect this workbench to ever be beautiful, but I'd love to give it a little protection and finish.

Much larger photos are available on my site if you'd like a closer look.
 

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Well it's not birch. Looks like yellow pine to me banded with white wood 1x4's to me. The tung oil finish would probably wear a lot better than a film finish such as shellac or polyurethane. A film finish will be easy to scratch and mar. From time to time you could renew the finish by adding a coat of tung oil. Shellac would be a better film finish as you could wipe it down with alcohol to melt away the surface scratches.
 
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