Author Topic: Another finishing question.  (Read 3483 times)

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Offline Tinker

  • Posts: 3619
Another finishing question.
« on: December 03, 2007, 06:58 AM »
I have an old workbench that my father built for me in 1938 or '39 when i was 7 or 8 yrs old (actually, I'm only 39, but I was sick for a few years  ;D).  I have resurected from a corner og my shop where it has been used only as another horizontal storage surface.  Thru the years, it has been used sometimes only, as a woodworking bench.  Its most damaging use was during my mid teens to mid twenties when it got used as a "would be" mechanics bench.  a little later, it was used for fabricating sheetmetal flashings.  lots of burns in the surface from copper flashing work.  Lots of some sort of ashault roofing cement from working with aluminum. 

The wood on the top has been quite copiously saturated with oils and grease from the earlier mentioned activity.  Lots of thick, by now hardened, roof cement.  I have removed all of the immediate surface materials, but the only way i would be able to remove the oil and grease from down deep is to replace all of the wood.  I am rejuvenating the whole bench as a 9th birthday gift for my Grandson and complete rebuild is NOT an option.

Does anybody have any ideas on how I can refinish the top (working) surface.  Is there any finish that will stick without peeling away other than linseed oil?  I am thinking that maybe Danish oil might also work.  I have sanded maybe 1/8" into the wood.  Maybe even a little more.

My GS is growing up, just like his father and grandfather, with an interrest in machinery.  I am pretty sure there will be a period in his life when the working surface will find no better care than was given by his grandfather.  His father and I are impressing him with the idea that he will have a workbench that had been built by his greatgrandfather.

Any ideas will be greatfully appreciated.
Tinker
Wayne H. Tinker

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Offline Eli

  • Posts: 2501
  • A Yankee in Kangaroo Court
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Re: Another finishing question.
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2007, 07:36 AM »
Tung oil? Danish does sound like a good option though.
Do nothing, stay ahead.

Offline patrick anderson

  • Posts: 153
    • neoshed
Re: Another finishing question.
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2007, 04:33 PM »
How about a bit of HW edging and put a piece of 1/4 hardboard on the top? Be much quicker than trying to finish it and you can whip it off to replace it.
patrick anderson
www.neoshed.com
may the festool be with you.....always

Offline Tinker

  • Posts: 3619
Re: Another finishing question.
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2007, 03:55 AM »
How about a bit of HW edging and put a piece of 1/4 hardboard on the top? Be much quicker than trying to finish it and you can whip it off to replace it.

Thanks neoshed,
I did remove the front edge and had planned to replace with a piece of maple.  Maybe go with same @ ends as well.

I had not thought about the hardwood surface.  I'll think about that.  I don't want to take away/hide the craftsmanship my dad had put into the original. 

There are a few holes scattered in the top surface that I had put in there with 1/2" drill somewhere along the line.  I am debating wheter to redrill with larger drill and plug, or to just leave as reminders of past wear and tear.  I will maybe leave some of the dings like that and let GS decide and then show him how.  A good exercise for him later.

Eli, thanks for tungoil idea.  I have never used that.  I have Danish oil in my shop all the time.  I do not keep much of anything but linseed and Danish oil along with a small supply of wipe-on poly.  I figure I have enough fire hazzard in the shop (cellar) with the saw/sanding dust i produce.  I don't need any more volatiles than necessary.  I will, tho, give some thought to your idea.
 
Tinker
Wayne H. Tinker

Offline MarkF

  • Posts: 272
  • Concord, NC
Re: Another finishing question.
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2007, 08:14 PM »
This is a recipe from 1600's Williamsburg, Virginia that has done well in my shop:
Take an ounce or two of beeswax and dissolve it in a quart of turpentine overnight.  Mix it 50/50 with BLO and pour some onto the bench.  Spread it evenly with a rag so there is a fairly thick coating, but no puddles. Wait until it appears dry and add another coat.  Repeat until no more is absorbed.  Smooth out with some 000-0000 steel wool.  Takes a couple of weeks and stinks while the turpentine is evaporating, but it looks good, is very tough and renewable.  The wax acts the opposite of its normal properties.  Kind of like crosscountry ski wax...it has grip but glue and paint won't stick. 

Not sure but I imagine that Turpentine is a good solvent to remove old school roofing cement.


Offline Eli

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Re: Another finishing question.
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2007, 08:53 PM »
It's worth building a bench just to try that recipe out...... ;D
Do nothing, stay ahead.