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work bench finish


saintjohnbarleycorn
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I used this, but I only used it because I have a black walnut bench:

http://www.jamestowndistributors.com/userportal/product.do?part=3239&engine=adwords!6456&keyword=product_ad_92&type=pla

It's pretty stinky, so would be good to use it before you go on vacation for a few days. ;)   Comes out nice though.  (It's a little pricey too.)

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"Applying a finish coat was left as an exercise for the student after we
get it home.  Bob recommended at least 3 to 4 coats of Waterlox Original
Sealer/Finish.  Lie Nielsen uses a 50/50 mixture of turpentine and
boiled linseed oil which  tends to amber more." - Day 7 Building a Workbench: Finishing Up

 

They also go into how smooth you leave your bench top.

The top surface of a woodworking bench takes a lot of abuse, so an oil finish can be easily maintained from time to time, as wear and tear dictate.

I'm not too sure how much abuse a violin makiers workbench will get.

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i wouldn't  put anything shiny or slippery on your bench. Polymerized linseed oil or Tung oil is a good bet. Some don't use any finish and simply finish the surface with a fine toothing plane -- this will give you a bit of grip.

 

Also if you have 3/4 in holes in your bench you can use Holdfasts by Gramercy Tools. I have two of these and I use them all the time!

 

While we are on the topic of benches -- this dude makes a mean bench inspired by Roubo

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post-45462-0-19624700-1361389454_thumb.jpg

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I have a very simple way to hold a cello plate on the bench when carving it. I have two brass pins with shoulders on them that I drop into holes on the bench. the pins protrude about a cm above the bench, and I bore two matching holes in the plate. it sits there, with no obsticles and I cut away. when I'm hollowing out, the plate sits in a cradle with an edge all the way around. the cradle in turn is held on the same pins in different holes.

 

For violin and viola i screw a block of wood to the plate, about 6in x 3in. I have a piece of wood fastened to the bench with a cross shaped hole in it, so that i can hold the fiddle plate on it for carving, and can turn it north , south , east or west. Again there are no obstructions, or clamps to be moved about.

 

Conor.

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thanks for the help.

Before David Burgess left for Michigan I sold him my Ulmia workbench that I had treated with linseed oil diluted in gum spirits of turpentine. A method I learned from my Grandfather when we refinished the knotty pine wall paneling in his house. You don't want anything that will remain slippery on the bench like epoxy or some other finish like 40 coats of Candy Apple Red.  :lol:

 

If you do have a full varnished bench it is handy to use these non-slip rubber mesh sheets they have at the hobby stores. They grip like anything between the bench and your work (you can even choose the color you like). I think they also sell them to put under throw rugs as a non slip interface with the smooth flooring.

 

Bruce

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I find the problem with a varnish coating/film on a workbench as opposed to a penetrative sealer like Bruces linseed oil/turps mix is that there is a reluctance to scratch/ damage that nice perfect finish which isn't the case with the latter . You're not so precious about an oiled surface as it's easy to freshen it up with a quick rub of oil. 

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Right. There will be a reluctance on my part to smack into a finished bench. I'm just going to have to get over that though. :)

Ended up going with my old tried and true Epifanes again last night. Figured it'd be good because it's somewhat waterproof for sharpening up with Japanese water stones and such. Very stinky varnishing inside though. Need to evacuate the house for about 3 days.

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Naked self-interest: Tried & True Varnish Oil.

apologize.....done....

on we go,

Joe

Way to make your self vulnerable there Joe. :o  

   I've been using Joe's varnish on my last six violins and enjoy it very much. 

  As a long time bench user, I use a penetrating /drying oil and or a thin smear of varnish [for the old look], I agree in particular with BMCcarthy's assessment,that the physiological component of not wanting to damage or mar a pristine/varnish surface can add unnecessary caution to work that is already complicated enough.  

   To expand a bit ....If we could... The Workbench Book by fine woodworking Mag? Suggest that the workbenches of the Amati-Dgu 1500-1750 or so period were quite simple by modern standards. I recall also the illustration's in the,is it, Didirio? encyclopedia of the trades. Do we have pics of original workbenches that anyone is willing to share..... They.... could in fact BE the secret we've all been looking for :D 

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Way to make your self vulnerable there Joe. :o  

   I've been using Joe's varnish on my last six violins and enjoy it very much. 

  As a long time bench user, I use a penetrating /drying oil and or a thin smear of varnish [for the old look], I agree in particular with BMCcarthy's assessment,that the physiological component of not wanting to damage or mar a pristine/varnish surface can add unnecessary caution to work that is already complicated enough.  

   To expand a bit ....If we could... The Workbench Book by fine woodworking Mag? Suggest that the workbenches of the Amati-Dgu 1500-1750 or so period were quite simple by modern standards. I recall also the illustration's in the,is it, Didirio? encyclopedia of the trades. Do we have pics of original workbenches that anyone is willing to share..... They.... could in fact BE the secret we've all been looking for :D

 

Did you mean Christopher Schwarz's(Of Popular Woodworking) book, "The Workbench Design Book"?  The mention made me go get my book off the bookshelf, I know he talks about finish.

 

Finishes on workbenches should be functional, not flashy.  You need a finish that is easy to renew, resists glue and stains and doesn't make the bench too slick.  Slick benches stink.  The answer is so easy. Mix equal parts boiled linseed oil(to resist glue), varnish(to resist spills), and paint thinner(to make it easy to apply).  Shake up the amber liquid and rag it on.  Three coats is all you need.  When it is dry, you can get to work.

 

He says some variation of that after every chapter.

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 Before David Burgess left for Michigan I sold him my Ulmia workbench that I had treated with linseed oil diluted in gum spirits of turpentine. 

Bruce, do you think it's time to put another coat on yet? I've just been using and abusing the darned thing for 30+ years now. Hope you're not pissed. :D

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