Best finish for beech workbench top.

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phil p

Established Member
29 Feb 2008
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As the title says really.

Just purchased a second hand workbench in reasonable condition and it has a beech top, it's not really that manky but does need a bit of fine sanding and a good clean up and some sort of finish on it.

Been looking at all the different types of oils (Danish, Boiled Linseed etc) and they look more or less to do the same.

Not really after a really glossy finish as I don't want the work piece skating all over the place.

Any suggestions, or is there anything better than oil and I'm grateful for any other suggestions you may have.
whatever oil you've got lying around, I prefer pure oils because they are less toxic so pure tung or linseed usually thinned out with pure turpentine.
Either of them would be ok, you just want somet cheap and easy/quick to reapply.
As Adam said, there's no shame leaving it unfinished if you can keep it relatively clean. At one point, my current workbench was unfinished and it soon looked disgusting.:ROFLMAO:
I plane my joinery bench flat and clean now and then as it gets a splatter coating of polychrome, gesso and glue, but I don't worry if it's not marking anything and just chisel off any big lumps.

The sharpening bench however, is finished with WD40 and green compound.
Glue won't stick easily to the surface when some kind of oil is applied.
I have some Danish oil which is well past it's useable date but I just thin a little and apply to my bench top occasionally, as said whatever you have or is cheap and IMO well worth the effort as it keeps the top reasonably clean and is easy to refurbish as you see fit.

A bench is for working on though not a piece of furniture so purely personal preference what you want to do.