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Finish for a wooden work-bench

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Farm Labourer

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I expect to have finished my hardwood bench in the next day or two. I dont want to varnish it and as I have few litres of BOL was thinking of a couple of coats of this.

Perhaps diluting (thinning ) the first coat with white spirit or some-such solvent.

Your thoughts?
 

Sgian Dubh

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Boiled linseed oil (BLO), which is what I presume you mean, is fine. No real need to thin it, and just put on two or three coats, or enough coats to give a decent coverage. Yes, it will get damaged and grungy; it is a workbench after all. Every now and then all you'll need to do is clean up a bit, maybe a bit of scraping and sanding, perhaps repair a few dings, and slap a bit more on. There's certainly no good reason to put on a film forming finish such as varnish which, in my opinion, is rather a waste of time being more slippery to start with as well as a bit harder to repair, and it won't generally last any better than boiled linseed oil. Slainte.
 

Rich C

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Mine is finished with Danish oil as that's what I had to hand. Anything similar like blo is fine imo.
 

AndyT

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Another vote here for a wipe or two of BLO on a workbench. It helps keep it clean which is good if you sometimes need to do metalwork or other diy jobs on the same bench. It's not very hard so won't get in the way of reflattening in future. And it's pretty cheap!
 

ED65

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Another thumbsup for BLO. Maybe not the best choice but not the worst... not that this is a matter of opinion or anything nosireebob! :D

Thinning does nowt you'd notice to improve oil penetration BTW. What it does do is slow the finishing job down as you deposit less oil with each coat that's diluted.
 

Suffolkboy

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I used Tung Oil for mine. It worked. Not much else to add that isn't already said above. BLO should work fine.
 

Farm Labourer

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Crikey - my acronym spelling is appalling! BLO - it is that! Boiled linseed oil. Thanks fellas - once it's all done, I may post a pic - it's not fine furniture but hopefully will outlive me!
 

Orraloon

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The best thing about using an oil finish is the ease of redoing it at a later date. Every so often I give the top of my bench a quick scrape and wipe on some more BLO.
Regards
John
 

samhay

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+1 more for BLO or similar.
Only thing to note is that if you put BLO on too thick, or don't wipe off excess after applying, it can remain a bit sticky. Helpful in terms of stopping stuff sliding around, but makes cleaning off the sawdust more difficult.
A top coat of wax sounds like a good fix for this.
 

Lons

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I treated my beech top, with a couple of coats of danish oil and when it gets worn just another quick treatment does the trick. Works for me.
 

Farm Labourer

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As previously advertised, here's the workbench
IMG_0708.JPG

It has an 11" deep apron on the other side.

I chose these plans from Third Coast Craftsman as I shall need to secure lots of irregular shaped wooden components.

I turned the dogs (top of the sliding deadman) whilst waiting for glue to cure, from some brass bar stock I had. The vices and holdfasts came from a well-known vendor in Germany as they were far cheaper than the Devonian agent and delivery was only 8 euros.

It's far from perfect but I'm quite happy with it. It will get a second coat of BLO tomorow and the w/shop floor will continue to be painted.

Thank you for all of the advice received so far!
 

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MusicMan

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Splendid job!

PS +1 for BLO, no thinner. Each coat does take a couple of days to dry so don't panic if it is still damp the next day!
 

MikeG.

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I'd cover it in a random smattering of paint, engine oil, WD40, wax, tea, varnish, glue, tea,linseed oil, white spirit, tea, water, and tea. It's traditional.
 

ED65

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MikeG.":1m5gxxfa said:
I'd cover it in a random smattering of paint, engine oil, WD40, wax, tea, varnish, glue, tea,linseed oil, white spirit, tea, water, and tea. It's traditional.
Hang on a sec now Mike, tea? Tea may be traditional but I think it's been coffee stains for a lot of people for quite some time. Of course the cool kids are spilling Monster or Red Bull on their benches now.
 

woodbloke66

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Sgian Dubh":2o2lijtb said:
Boiled linseed oil (BLO), which is what I presume you mean, is fine. No real need to thin it, and just put on two or three coats, or enough coats to give a decent coverage. Yes, it will get damaged and grungy; it is a workbench after all. Every now and then all you'll need to do is clean up a bit, maybe a bit of scraping and sanding, perhaps repair a few dings, and slap a bit more on. There's certainly no good reason to put on a film forming finish such as varnish which, in my opinion, is rather a waste of time being more slippery to start with as well as a bit harder to repair, and it won't generally last any better than boiled linseed oil. Slainte.
I'd totally agree with Richard here; if you have a quantity of BLO just slosh it on. When it's dry though, I'd also apply a thin coat of wax to the top just to act as a 'resist' so glue doesn't stick to the surface - Rob
 

Cheshirechappie

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Erm - not trying to be funny, but it's a workbench. Why bother 'finishing' it at all (beyond taking off rough edges)?

The top will get a bit cut up and stained in time (Mike G wasn't joking - much!), so it might need a swipe with a plane to clean it up and maybe flatten out any humps that might develop as the timber settles down, and any finish will disappear with that, and with general wear and tear. Clean wood is about as good a working surface as any - certainly a darn sight better than varnish.

Just use it as is.
 

Ttrees

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What about the colour though?, nicer to have it as bright as possible if its a dark hardwood.
I was thinking of using Osmo for when I make my iroko bench as it seems a bit brighter than BLO,
Judging by an Osmo video...the only iroko thing I have seen with the stuff applied.

I made an iroko microphone profiled camera holder to fit in a stand before I got a lathe (rough job) and covered it in BLO.
It looks quite snotty and dark, so I was glad I made a well finished handle (sanded to somewhat of a polish) for a chisel recently,
All of the handles I made prior to this are a bit rough.
It is still very dark, but at least not snotty looking.

I am wondering on what you folks think about Osmo compared to BLO, as there could be camera tricks with lighting going on.
Mainly interested on the durability and other qualities compared to BLO though.
To be contrary, I like having a ultra smooth surface that you can blow the dust away easily.

Sorry if its derailing the thread, hopefully it's in the OP's interest also. :oops:
Thanks for your input.
I must apply some paste wax to see if the chisel handle changes much.
Cheers
Tom
 

nabs

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good point Tom, someone posted a while back about a bench where they painted the legs - look great i thought. Why not let a little bit of artistic flair into our workshops? As everyone else has said it is hardly worth bothering with the top as it will be scratched/dented/stained to twittery before you know it
 

Farm Labourer

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The whole point and the USP for convincing SWMBO that I need a new bench is that my other one is in such a terrible state having had 20 years of paint, glue, welding spatter and blood (mine and other creatures ) contaminate it. Not to mention the scarring from angle grinders, electric wire brushes and various saws.

This one will be used for clean stuff! :D
 
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