Author Topic: Mini-review of my new Walko 3 Bench  (Read 32167 times)

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Offline Frank Pellow

  • Posts: 2748
  • Toronto, Ontario and Lake Pivabiska, Ontario
Mini-review of my new Walko 3 Bench
« on: April 14, 2010, 11:15 PM »
This afternoon, I received a shipment from Dan Clermont, a Walko portable work table and a Festool RAS 115 sander.  

The Walko is made in the Netherlands and I have been reading about it for a couple of years.  Today, I finally got to see and to use one.

Here is a photo of the Walko parts as delivered:

21149-0
    
As seems to be the case with many items from Europe, the Walko came with minimal installation and usage instructions.  The table tops and the support hardware are sitting on an old Black and Decker Workmate.  The Walko will replace the Workmate (which I will give to my grandson Ethan).  As with a lot of items from Europe, the Walko came with minimal documentation and instructions. There wasn't even a picture.  I printed the picture of the assembled Walko from the internet and used it in order to figure out how to assemble things.

Having complained about the lack of documentation. I will now compliment Walko on the bench design.  I found the assembly to be quite intuitive.  The two legs can be adjusted from 0 to 180 degrees using three simple meshed plastic "thingys".  In the picture below the orange arrow points to the middle one:

21151-1
    
The only instructions that came with the Walko showed how to use the table support brackets.  They can be adjusted through 15 degrees to accommodate the legs being at different angles.

21153-2
    
The two table tops are made from bamboo plywood and appear to be quite durable.  Each one is 750 milimetres by 323 milimetres (the second measurement seemed strange to me but see more on this below).  Strangely, the plywood is exactly one inch thick. The dog holes are 20 milimetres in diameter.  Each table top is attached to two support brackets using a 6 mm Allen wrench and a 13 mm wrench (neither supplied).  

21155-3
    
The two pictures below show the two tops with their support brackets at the two supported angles:

21157-4 21159-5
      
Notice that, as the angle between the two legs changes, the table on the right becomes level.

Here, both table tops are level:

21161-6
    
Now I am about to use the bench for the first time:

21163-7
    
The sander that you see is a reconditioned Festool RAS 115 sander that I also received from Dan today.  I will talk about it in a different thread.  The wood is held in place with Festool clamping elements.

In this picture, I have moved the tables to their highest positions and am working on a small stool:

21165-8

When in the highest position, the tables are above the leg mechanism, the overall dimensions are 75 centimetres by 1 metre, and the table top is 88 centimetres above the ground.
  
The legs can be separated up to 180 degrees.  In this position, the Walko can be used to support sheet goods for cutting.  It can also be leaned up against a wall or a fence and used in many different ways.  Here, I have used one of the table tops as a shelf to hold a can of stain:

21167-9
    
The Walko comes apart very quickly for transportation and it is reasonably easy to carry:


 
I have decided to keep the Walko.  In all ways but one, it is better than my old Workmate (of course at many times the price it should be).  Comparing the two:

   -   The Walko is made of better quality material

   -   The Walko is actually faster to take down and easier to carry

   -   The Walko table tops are larger

   -   The Walko has many possible configurations

   -   The Walko is steadier on uneven ground

   -   The Workmate's built-in vise jaws are nice.  One has to take along clamps to get something similar with the Walko.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2010, 07:55 AM by Frank Pellow »
Cheers,   
               Frank (Festool connoisseur)

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Offline justinmcf

  • Posts: 712
  • Queensland Builder
Re: Mini-review of my new Walko 3 Bench
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2010, 12:30 AM »
thanks for the review frank.

looks like a pretty solid bench.
i might have to invest in one myself!

regards, justin.

Offline Charimon

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  • Tool and Tile Junkie
Re: Mini-review of my new Walko 3 Bench
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2010, 12:54 AM »
Frank,
Great review
Craig
"The existence of the flame thrower proves that at one time, somewhere, somebody said, " You Know, There's a group of people over there that I'd like to set on fire right now but they're too far away."

Offline Kevin D.

  • Posts: 848
Re: Mini-review of my new Walko 3 Bench
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2010, 09:53 AM »
I've been pondering getting one of them, but I can't even make up my mind whether to get the Walko 3 or 4.  One of the primary purposes would be for cutting down sheets using it flat/horizontally.  How would you say the 3 is for that versus the 4?  If the 3 could do it without difficulty, I'd be more inclined for it, due to its easier portably/weight/handling.
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Offline Charimon

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Re: Mini-review of my new Walko 3 Bench
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2010, 10:52 AM »
you could probely do it with a 3, A 4 with a caster set works great.
"The existence of the flame thrower proves that at one time, somewhere, somebody said, " You Know, There's a group of people over there that I'd like to set on fire right now but they're too far away."

Offline PeterK

  • Posts: 950
Re: Mini-review of my new Walko 3 Bench
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2010, 04:47 PM »
Frank - GREAT review!! Always wanted to know more about the Walkos.

Comments -
I need a dang calculator to convert all those funny weird measurements to real world inches and feet!!!!!
Looks like in that picture of you carrying the Walko that you painted yourself into a bad spot on the flooring!!!!!
 [big grin]

Offline John Stevens

  • Posts: 795
  • Ardmore, PA
Re: Mini-review of my new Walko 3 Bench
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2010, 10:45 PM »
Thanks, Frank, great review!  Just when I thought I knew all I wanted to know about the Walko (and had decided against getting one), you show me enough new info to get me interested again.

Regards,

John
What this world needs is a good retreat.
--Captain Beefheart

Offline Frank Pellow

  • Posts: 2748
  • Toronto, Ontario and Lake Pivabiska, Ontario
Re: Mini-review of my new Walko 3 Bench
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2010, 01:48 AM »
Frank - GREAT review!! Always wanted to know more about the Walkos.

Comments -
I need a dang calculator to convert all those funny weird measurements to real world inches and feet!!!!!
Looks like in that picture of you carrying the Walko that you painted yourself into a bad spot on the flooring!!!!!
 [big grin]
Thanks Peter.

I assume that everyone who realizes how much better Festool tools are also realizes how much better the Metric system is.  [tongue]

I does look like I had painted myself into a corner -but I hadn't because all the surfaces are dry.
Cheers,   
               Frank (Festool connoisseur)

Offline Festoolfootstool

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Re: Mini-review of my new Walko 3 Bench
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2010, 04:06 AM »
Hello Frank your review is quite timely for me,I had seen the walko around two years ago and Ive been struggling to remember the name of the bench.
good work..........
If the milk turns out to be sour, I ain't the kind of **** to drink it.......

Why do Festool accessories only have a two month guarantee here in the UK ?

Offline Alex

  • Posts: 5478
Re: Mini-review of my new Walko 3 Bench
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2010, 04:30 AM »
Strangely, the plywood is exactly one inch thick.

In Holland we have to import all our wood and most sheet material is sold on the international market in feet and inches. That's why most of our standard panels come at the odd size of 244x122 cm which is a standard 8'x4' panel. 1 inch thickness is also a standard size in the international market and since 1 inch is exactly 25,4 mm we just call it 25 mm plywood and forget about the 0,4 mm.

Offline Frank Pellow

  • Posts: 2748
  • Toronto, Ontario and Lake Pivabiska, Ontario
After posting the above, it was brought to my attention that the Walko table tops (as shipped) will not accommodate Festool's "standard" clamps. This is because the Walko table is thicker than the tables on the Festool Multifunction Table and the tails that secure the clamps from underneath will not fit through the deeper holes. After thinking about this for about 5 seconds, it was obvious that all I needed to do was to widen the holes on the bottom if the table. I experimented with a few ways of doing this and (with help of others on this forum) ended up rounding over all the holes on the underside of the table with a 1/4 inch roundover bit.

21221-0

The clamps now fit (snugly)  [smile]

21223-1

There is one thing that I am wondering.   ???  Is there some preservative that I should use on the rounded over bamboo? I have never before even seen bamboo plywood and I don't now whether or not to apply something to the cuts.
Cheers,   
               Frank (Festool connoisseur)

Offline waho6o9

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    • Garage Door Handyman.com
Re: Mini-review of my new Walko 3 Bench
« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2010, 11:19 AM »
 Info@walkousa.com        should be of some help.  Maybe there's one for good ol Canada as well.    [big grin]

Offline RonWen

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After posting the above, it was brought to my attention that the Walko table tops (as shipped) will not accommodate Festool's "standard" clamps. This is because the Walko table is thicker than the tables on the Festool Multifunction Table and the tails that secure the clamps from underneath will not fit through the deeper holes. After thinking about this for about 5 seconds, it was obvious that all I needed to do was to widen the holes on the bottom if the table. I experimented with a few ways of doing this and (with help of others on this forum) ended up rounding over all the holes on the underside of the table with a 1/4 inch roundover bit.
(Attachment Link)
The clamps now fit (snugly)  [smile]
(Attachment Link)
There is one thing that I am wondering.  ???  Is there some preservative that I should use on the rounded over bamboo? I have never before even seen bamboo plywood and I don't now whether or not to apply something to the cuts.[/b]

Frank,
"Ecofurniture" over on talkfestool has used bamboo ply extensively for furniture.  He is also in Canada & and no doubt would be very helpful to you.

Ron
« Last Edit: April 19, 2010, 01:34 PM by RonWen »

Offline EcoFurniture

  • Posts: 608
    • Eco Furniture
After posting the above, it was brought to my attention that the Walko table tops (as shipped) will not accommodate Festool's "standard" clamps. This is because the Walko table is thicker than the tables on the Festool Multifunction Table and the tails that secure the clamps from underneath will not fit through the deeper holes. After thinking about this for about 5 seconds, it was obvious that all I needed to do was to widen the holes on the bottom if the table. I experimented with a few ways of doing this and (with help of others on this forum) ended up rounding over all the holes on the underside of the table with a 1/4 inch roundover bit.
(Attachment Link)
The clamps now fit (snugly)  [smile]
(Attachment Link)
There is one thing that I am wondering.  ???  Is there some preservative that I should use on the rounded over bamboo? I have never before even seen bamboo plywood and I don't now whether or not to apply something to the cuts.[/b]

Frank,
"Ecofurniture" over on talkfestool has used bamboo ply extensively for furniture.  He is also in Canada & and no doubt would be very helpful to you.

Ron

Did I hear someone calling me?  [tongue] [big grin]
As far as I know, the Walko bamboo tops are just oiled. If so, you could certainly use some tung oil or linseed oil to touch up those areas. Oil would make the bamboo resistant to moisture, but not waterproof!
To be honest, if it would be me and I would be using that table outside a lot, I would sand off the oil finish and put something more durable on.

Cheers,
Andreas

Offline PaulMarcel

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Re: Mini-review of my new Walko 3 Bench
« Reply #14 on: April 21, 2010, 01:35 AM »
Good idea on refinishing it... maybe a light pass through the drum sander to remove the finish then soak it with CPES (Clear Penetrating Epoxy Sealer)... it'll be about as waterproof as you can get after that... which is why I used it on my vanity top in Sapele (and it looks great IMHO).
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Offline Frank Pellow

  • Posts: 2748
  • Toronto, Ontario and Lake Pivabiska, Ontario
Re: Mini-review of my new Walko 3 Bench
« Reply #15 on: April 21, 2010, 01:30 PM »
Andres and Paul thanks for the advice. 

I do plan to use the bench outside almost all the time and would like to be able to work with it in the rain and to leave it ourside in the rain overnight.  Andres, do you know if this product:

(CPES?) The Epoxy Sealer that is different
CPES? (Clear Penetrating Epoxy Sealer)
This is the base product for any wood rot repair. Applied liberally, it will penetrate dry-rotted wood and go into the first layers of good wood, discouraging and encapsulating rot fungi and restoring the soft wood to structural strength. Other chemical products may put a temporary stop to wood rot, but only a premium epoxy can give long-term solutions, restore strength and endure under extreme environmental conditions. All epoxy products are not the same. Most are made from petrochemicals. "Clear Penetrating Epoxy Sealer" (CPES?) is substantially made from wood itself and these particular resins when cured, will have a toughness and flexibility that is comparable to the original wood. (CPES?) contains a feature which dissolves moisture in wood. Try bending cured epoxy products by other names-. (Wear safety glasses.) Premium epoxy products must flex as wood will, under different regional weather conditions. This product is also one of the best primers we have ever seen and applies to any type of coatings. If you are tired of getting paint to stick and last, (CPES?) is your cure. (CPES?) allows wood to breath and is a 1:1 mix.


works with bamboo?

I have also written a Canadian distributor of CPES to ask the question but, so far, have no answer.
Cheers,   
               Frank (Festool connoisseur)

Offline johnnyinnb

  • Posts: 109
Re: Mini-review of my new Walko 3 Bench
« Reply #16 on: April 25, 2010, 08:00 PM »
hi frank, just got my walko 4 on friday, rounded the holes like i suggested you did, the clamps fit now. I really like it, using it a little this weekend makes me think the 3 would be good enough for most work, but i`m glad i got the 4. Moving the tables around takes a little practice to flip the locking levers just right but i`m sure i will get used to it.
Thanks
Johnny

He`s a block off the old chip

Offline Frank Pellow

  • Posts: 2748
  • Toronto, Ontario and Lake Pivabiska, Ontario
Re: Mini-review of my new Walko 3 Bench
« Reply #17 on: April 25, 2010, 08:12 PM »
hi frank, just got my walko 4 on friday, rounded the holes like i suggested you did, the clamps fit now. I really like it, using it a little this weekend makes me think the 3 would be good enough for most work, but i`m glad i got the 4. Moving the tables around takes a little practice to flip the locking levers just right but i`m sure i will get used to it.
Johnny, what are the advantages of the 4 over the 3 that makes you glad that you got it rather than the 3
Cheers,   
               Frank (Festool connoisseur)

Offline johnnyinnb

  • Posts: 109
Re: Mini-review of my new Walko 3 Bench
« Reply #18 on: April 25, 2010, 08:42 PM »
I build hardwood stairs, the extra size will hold the the 4x8 sheets of ply for cutting, the longer table top will also hold the treads which are mostly 48" long for sanding and routering.
Thanks
Johnny

He`s a block off the old chip

Offline Frank Pellow

  • Posts: 2748
  • Toronto, Ontario and Lake Pivabiska, Ontario
Re: Mini-review of my new Walko 3 Bench -QUESTION
« Reply #19 on: April 28, 2010, 09:47 AM »
Andres and Paul thanks for the advice.  

I do plan to use the bench outside almost all the time and would like to be able to work with it in the rain and to leave it ourside in the rain overnight.  Andres, do you know if this product:

(CPES?) The Epoxy Sealer that is different
CPES? (Clear Penetrating Epoxy Sealer)
This is the base product for any wood rot repair. Applied liberally, it will penetrate dry-rotted wood and go into the first layers of good wood, discouraging and encapsulating rot fungi and restoring the soft wood to structural strength. Other chemical products may put a temporary stop to wood rot, but only a premium epoxy can give long-term solutions, restore strength and endure under extreme environmental conditions. All epoxy products are not the same. Most are made from petrochemicals. "Clear Penetrating Epoxy Sealer" (CPES?) is substantially made from wood itself and these particular resins when cured, will have a toughness and flexibility that is comparable to the original wood. (CPES?) contains a feature which dissolves moisture in wood. Try bending cured epoxy products by other names-. (Wear safety glasses.) Premium epoxy products must flex as wood will, under different regional weather conditions. This product is also one of the best primers we have ever seen and applies to any type of coatings. If you are tired of getting paint to stick and last, (CPES?) is your cure. (CPES?) allows wood to breath and is a 1:1 mix.


works with bamboo?

I have also written a Canadian distributor of CPES to ask the question but, so far, have no answer.

The Candian distributor contacted the manufacturer and they say that this product can be used over bamboo plywood, so I am about to purchase some CPES.  Before I do so, can anyone tell me why I should not.  ???
« Last Edit: April 28, 2010, 09:49 AM by Frank Pellow »
Cheers,   
               Frank (Festool connoisseur)

Offline jvsteenb

  • Posts: 363
Re: Mini-review of my new Walko 3 Bench
« Reply #20 on: April 28, 2010, 12:01 PM »
As much as I like the technical benefits of Epoxies and Polyurethanes, I have a strong preference for natural materials.
Natural oils have succesfully preserved wood for a very long time. Bamboo in itself is a very nice sustainable resource, so are natural oils like flaxseed and tung oil.
Whenever in the future I may own a Walko, I doubt I'll leave it out in the rain, but that would primarily be to preserve the frame, rather then the tops.
I'd give it a coat of natural oil, preferrably high quality flaxseedoil, cold pressed and boiled, perhaps with a bit of Tung-oil added, and apply it with a bit of help from a hairdryer or paintstripper on low ( it gets water-thin at about 50 C and that seriously boosts the penetration, without any solvent or ill effects ).
You'll be surprised how weatherproof a natural oil can be. A GOOD coat of natural oil ( a penetrating product by nature ) will preserve it, without totally sealing it. Moisture may pass to slowly seek an equilibrium, but water will shed off.

I have no doubt however, that an epoxy will work flawlessly on a bare sheet of bamboo plywood. Question is: it's pre-oiled - what's going to happen on the epoxy-oil interface ? You won't get alll the oil out - that's a given...

Regards,

Job



TS55, OF1010, RO150, RTS400, PS300, T15+3, CTL22E, CMS-TS55+Basis5A (OF1010), MFT/3, MFS400/700, FS800-1080-1400-1900, Centrotec-SYS 09, DF 500 full set, some accessories :)

Offline Charimon

  • Posts: 651
  • Tool and Tile Junkie

As far as I know, the Walko bamboo tops are just oiled. If so, you could certainly use some tung oil or linseed oil to touch up those areas. Oil would make the bamboo resistant to moisture, but not waterproof!
To be honest, if it would be me and I would be using that table outside a lot, I would sand off the oil finish and put something more durable on.

Cheers,
Andreas

The bamboo tops are extremely weather resistant.  I left one top outside for the winter of 08-09 (rain, snow, ice freeze-thaw)  to see how it weathered, This is not advised but i did it any way because it was a prototype.  Looked at the tables this morning  they are stored in my work trailer.  The one that has been left out has no damage but is slightly lighter in color where the sun hit it.
"The existence of the flame thrower proves that at one time, somewhere, somebody said, " You Know, There's a group of people over there that I'd like to set on fire right now but they're too far away."

Offline rnt80

  • Posts: 953
    • Agape Wood Design
Re: Mini-review of my new Walko 3 Bench
« Reply #22 on: April 28, 2010, 05:58 PM »
Well, I'm at the other end of the spectrum.  I haven't left my tops outside and both of them developed really bad splits/cracks.  Luckily, Timmy C is taking care of me and there are two new tops on the way.  I live in AZ where there is 0% humidity most of the year so it's not that far stretched to see this happen but it was something that I didn't even take into consideration.
Russell Tribby
Gilbert AZ
www.agapewooddesign.com

Offline PaulMarcel

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Re: Mini-review of my new Walko 3 Bench
« Reply #23 on: April 28, 2010, 06:33 PM »
That was a bit of my concern, too, about the bamboo tops.  The Borg stopped selling bamboo flooring in the retail stores 2 years ago (though i have seen special purchases appear, but not regular stock); I asked someone about it and they said the majority of the installations would check and crack so they were losing their shirt on re-installations.  The Great Indoors in Chandler also has bamboo flooring on display, but when I asked about it, the department manager said, "well, if you want it, I have to sell it to you but I think you really need to think about wanting it here in AZ".  After more coaxing, she said the flooring essentially turns into chopsticks after 6-12 months.

It seems that bamboo isn't made for AZ.  The few previously-elegant bamboo items I brought back from Japan all have significant check or cracks now.

I want the Walko-4, once the IOU paychecks become real, but definitely plan on doing the drum sander + CPES trick on them.  Anything that lets moisture 'balance' out here is doomed to failure.
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Offline PaulMarcel

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Re: Mini-review of my new Walko 3 Bench
« Reply #24 on: April 29, 2010, 03:01 AM »
As much as I like the technical benefits of Epoxies and Polyurethanes, I have a strong preference for natural materials.
Natural oils have succesfully preserved wood for a very long time. Bamboo in itself is a very nice sustainable resource, so are natural oils like flaxseed and tung oil.
Whenever in the future I may own a Walko, I doubt I'll leave it out in the rain, but that would primarily be to preserve the frame, rather then the tops.
I'd give it a coat of natural oil, preferrably high quality flaxseedoil, cold pressed and boiled, perhaps with a bit of Tung-oil added, and apply it with a bit of help from a hairdryer or paintstripper on low ( it gets water-thin at about 50 C and that seriously boosts the penetration, without any solvent or ill effects ).
You'll be surprised how weatherproof a natural oil can be. A GOOD coat of natural oil ( a penetrating product by nature ) will preserve it, without totally sealing it. Moisture may pass to slowly seek an equilibrium, but water will shed off.

I have no doubt however, that an epoxy will work flawlessly on a bare sheet of bamboo plywood. Question is: it's pre-oiled - what's going to happen on the epoxy-oil interface ? You won't get alll the oil out - that's a given...

Regards,
Job

There are a lot of good ideas in there, Job... thanks!

While off-topic, I try to accomplish the same penetration you mention here by thinning Seal-A-Cell very heavily so it flows deeper then follow up with a second coat equally thinned.  Since I'm in bone-dry Arizona, I usually can do the second one within 30 minutes since I really don't want the first coat completely sealing things off.  It definitely makes a difference.  I'll try the hairdryer trick next time I use a pure oil.

For me, I'd be removing the finish from the Walko tables via the drum sander.  I'm not so sure I'd want to put it through the planer since it splinters easily (opinions?!)  Now, if I ran both sides through enough times, I wouldn't have to chamfer the holes for the Festool clamps :)
Visit my blog for Festool adventures
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Offline Frank Pellow

  • Posts: 2748
  • Toronto, Ontario and Lake Pivabiska, Ontario
Re: Mini-review of my new Walko 3 Bench
« Reply #25 on: May 01, 2010, 03:27 PM »
Thanks for the responses to my question about applying finish to the bamboo.  After a lot of thought and more research, I decided against stripping the existing finish off the bench and applying  CPES.  Thank goodness Ontario doesn't (yet) have Arizona's dryness problem.

What I did was apply Tung Oil (polymerized) to the rounded over edges as well as within the holes thenselves.  The interior surfaces of the holes are unfinished on the bench as shipped, so this would proably be a good thing to do even if one has not rounded over the holes on the bottom of the bench

21513-0

In the picture I am applying a coat of tung oil sealer with a brush in order to get into the holes.  I wiped the off oil that slopped onto the table immediately and left the oil in the holes for a day.  Then, I applied two coats of tung oil with a day between the applications.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2010, 04:25 PM by Frank Pellow »
Cheers,   
               Frank (Festool connoisseur)

Offline jvsteenb

  • Posts: 363
Re: Mini-review of my new Walko 3 Bench
« Reply #26 on: May 01, 2010, 04:19 PM »
Frank,
Way to go ! [thumbs up] for choosing a natural sustainable finish.
Your Walko and your grandchildren will love you for it....
Mind the rags - they may self-combust if left alone untended and without adequate surface area to loose the heat from polymerisation.
But you probably already knew that.... [embarassed]
Anyway: good choice.  It's easily maintained, and I much prefer the tactile feedback of a good worksurface oil finish (silky smoooth, but neither slippery or tacky) over anything synthetic.
I may be somewhat biased though.... [wink]

Regards,

Job
TS55, OF1010, RO150, RTS400, PS300, T15+3, CTL22E, CMS-TS55+Basis5A (OF1010), MFT/3, MFS400/700, FS800-1080-1400-1900, Centrotec-SYS 09, DF 500 full set, some accessories :)

Offline rnt80

  • Posts: 953
    • Agape Wood Design
Re: Mini-review of my new Walko 3 Bench
« Reply #27 on: May 01, 2010, 04:39 PM »
I got my new tops from Timmy C.  I haven't taken them out of the box yet and I'm storing them inside until I decide what I'm going to use to coat them.  I put one of the old tops through the drum sander this week to level it.  I'd love to use a natural finish on it but I'm really concerned about it's long term ability to maintain the integrity of the tops.  The splits that developed in my two old tops were pretty significant.  Would CPES or tung oil or flaxseed oil prevent similar splits from developing in the new tops?
Russell Tribby
Gilbert AZ
www.agapewooddesign.com

Offline PaulMarcel

  • Posts: 1451
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Re: Mini-review of my new Walko 3 Bench
« Reply #28 on: May 01, 2010, 11:53 PM »
Guess I don't know the exact answer.  The reason I'd have sealed it with CPES on arrival is because I already know bamboo flooring (with bazillions of coats of urethane) split and check routinely out here.  Urethane is a good wear layer, but it does still allow for moisture to transfer, albeit slowly (which is why flooring seems to go through check the most end-March/April timeframe... late in the dry season, but that's cuz it took that long to lose enough moisture and check during shrinkage against a 'stable' ply engineered backing).

CPES effectively fills where moisture can go, which is why 2 coats makes your product waterproof ('2' being because you might miss a spot with just 1; the recommendation for waterproofing is soaking it).  It isn't rigid like epoxy; case in point, I drenched some cork in it and it was barely less flimsy than the untreated piece.  So, this means your table will expand and contract due to temperature, although it will no longer accept moisture.  This ability to expand/contract with temperature while blocking access to moisture and water is why it is used to stabilize concrete in northern climates.  Since the water can't go into the porous concrete, it can't crack the concrete from the inside during freeze/thaw cycles.

So, that explains the moisture and waterproofing side.  Guess what is left to find out is if it stops a product from losing captured moisture. I'm guessing it does.

Certainly you sealing the exposed endgrain in the holes is necessary (perhaps for everybody).  In my case, I'll soak the tabletops after sanding so it penetrates further so I don't have to worry about sacrificial cuts exposing a vector for moisture loss.
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Offline Frank Pellow

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  • Toronto, Ontario and Lake Pivabiska, Ontario
Re: Mini-review of my new Walko 3 Bench -rain test
« Reply #29 on: August 10, 2010, 04:29 PM »
Well, I left one of my two table tops out in the rain and weather for a week and the result is not good.  [sad]

The top surface was fine, but the glue holding layers together did not stand up.

Here is a photo:

24871-0

I expect that I can repair the damage, but I am very dissapointed that I can't work with the bench in the rain.
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               Frank (Festool connoisseur)