tomkaz

Butcher Block Work Bench Surface, Naked or Finish It?

22 posts in this topic

Bought a new work bench for new house. I ordered it with a 1.75" butcher block top that is HEAVY (solid maple I think). 

 

Question: Should I leave it naked and live with dings, stains, etc. OR consider treating it with some coating? If coating, what and how? 

 

My old house's bench was 3/4" plywood top and I did nothing to treat it. Stains, drill holes, divots, etc were all part of its "weathering". Can live with that again but the butcher block feels like it needs a better treatment. 

 

Thanks. 

 

edsal-workbenches-workbench-accessories-

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You have to earn the patina that comes from drills, hammers, glues, chalks, paint etc. If it looks dry some 

 olive or mineral oil could pretty it up. Been finishing this one 27 years.

PHOTO_20180509_062553.jpg

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Wood sealer. Not oil, but a drying sealer. Wipe it on, let it absorb, wipe off excess. 

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if it is a 'workbench' probably some sort of sealer. stay a way from 'vegetable (corn, canola, etc), olive oils. There are oils for cutting boards that are good.

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Personal preference?

Polyurethane.

Several coats.

 

No real reason, I just like the look.

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I've built a few (but none with a top as nice as yours) and put 1/8" masonite on the top of my benchtop (which have been made of anything from two layers of 3/4" MDF to a couple layers of plywood, etc.).

 

Once it gets beat to sheet I just replaced it.

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Posted (edited)

48 mins ago, Southcoastphil said:

I've built a few (but none with a top as nice as yours) and put 1/8" masonite on the top of my benchtop (which have been made of anything from two layers of 3/4" MDF to a couple layers of plywood, etc.).

 

Once it gets beat to sheet I just replaced it.

 Very practical, but not as purdy. 

 

Any my thoughts on mounting system for vice, grinder, etc? Top it so small for me to permanently mount a vice or grinder to it. If I permanently mount a vice on such a small table, it is going to be a midget deal. 

 

Thinking of some system where both vice and grinder are mounted on their own bases (3/4” wood?) and then bolted on the table surface when I need them. Hang them off side of table when not in use using same bolting system. Anyone done that? 

Edited by tomkaz

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Polyurethane? This is a workbench, not a ballroom floor. 

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Figure out where you want some bench dogs and drill those through holes. Then figure out the grinder and vice placements, build their bases as mentioned above and drill through holes for bolting them down when in use. Seal the inside of through holes.

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8 mins ago, nightfighter said:

Figure out where you want some bench dogs and drill those through holes. Then figure out the grinder and vice placements, build their bases as mentioned above and drill through holes for bolting them down when in use. Seal the inside of through holes.

 

12 hours ago, Southcoastphil said:

I've built a few (but none with a top as nice as yours) and put 1/8" masonite on the top of my benchtop (which have been made of anything from two layers of 3/4" MDF to a couple layers of plywood, etc.).

 

Once it gets beat to sheet I just replaced it.

^^^ Thanks, that’s what I was thinking. Do you think big wing nuts with matching lock washers are enough for under the surface? Or should I plan on getting out a wrench each time?

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Have a table top like yours made it 28 years ago and all l ever did from day one was use linseed oil, and still looks good, and it preservers the wood. 

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I used a mixture of linseed oil, turpentine (or maybe it was mineral spirits) and beeswax.  About 1/3 of each.  It was recommended on some woodworking forums.  Yes, a workbench will get dings and stains.  But a quick coating of this works well and you can refresh it periodically.  The advantage of a coating is that it makes it easy to clean and glue just pops off once it dries. Some refresh it annually but it will depend on use-  mine has gone a few years between recoats and still looks great.  Didn't stop a stain from dark shellac but it's still slick...but not too slick to be a good work surface.

 

I'd probably find a way to permanently mount vise just to make it super stable.  I have a wood vise on the front corner of mine and then have mounted grinders and sharpeners to small wood bases that I lock into vise as needed

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