Author Topic: Mini-review of my new Walko 3 Bench  (Read 31837 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: 846
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: 945
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: 792
  • 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: 5433
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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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.
Cheers,   
               Frank (Festool connoisseur)

Offline PaulMarcel

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Re: Mini-review of my new Walko 3 Bench
« Reply #30 on: August 10, 2010, 06:03 PM »
I just got my Walko-4 last Friday.  I chamfered the underside of the holes like you suggested to be able to use Festool clamps on it (thanks!) then waterproofed it with 2 coats of CPES like I described earlier.  Since CPES can go on unevenly (you puddle it up to let it soak), I hit it with P400 for a quick pass and it is glass smooth.  To even the sheen, and cuz I had the rag in my hand an hour later anyway, I gave it a wipe with Seal-A-Cell .  Made it look better, though it's looks aren't the reason for the bench.

So, as it stands the table tops are considered waterproof if I applied it everywhere (might have missed a few spots inside the holes; a wet finishing rag the next time I finish can be used to touch that up).  Yes, the top is sacrificial so after running a bunch of kerf cuts through it, I'll have to seal it again, but that's again just taking a rag after finishing something else and giving it a wipe.

For me, it isn't waterproofing I need.  I need to keep the moisture in the table top.  Two other people here in Phoenix (that I know of) have purchased this table and, once the really ridiculously dry season started, the table delamated.  It's made of bamboo; most flooring companies out here don't sell bamboo flooring or won't guarantee it.

Perhaps your table top will dry nicely and get closer to flat; close enough for a heap of poly glue (or epoxy) and two cauls to get them flat.
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Offline Frank Pellow

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Re: Mini-review of my new Walko 3 Bench
« Reply #31 on: August 10, 2010, 07:45 PM »
...
Perhaps your table top will dry nicely and get closer to flat; close enough for a heap of poly glue (or epoxy) and two cauls to get them flat.
Yes, I guess that I will try that next.    ???
Cheers,   
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Offline Kodi Crescent

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Re: Mini-review of my new Walko 3 Bench
« Reply #32 on: August 10, 2010, 08:41 PM »
I see that Walko's don't seem to be readily available anymore, at least where I am looking.  It seems that Timmy C no longer has them on his website.  Where would you get one nowadays?

Offline Tom Bellemare

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Re: Mini-review of my new Walko 3 Bench
« Reply #33 on: August 10, 2010, 08:52 PM »
Tim was the importer.


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Offline PaulMarcel

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Re: Mini-review of my new Walko 3 Bench
« Reply #34 on: August 10, 2010, 08:53 PM »
Yes, that's a bit of a mess.

He took them off of FestoolJunkie.com and moved them to the Lincoln site.  Off the main page, I can't find a link to it; I found the link because I googled both sites and it found it for me.  You can definitely order one!  I ordered mine on a Friday and got it the next Friday.  Get it with the table struts; they are really useful if you work with ply often (as I am on this current project).

Here's the link to the Walko page on the Lincoln site: http://www.lhtcinc.com/catalog/index.php/cPath/172/walko-workbench-systems/

If you want to order one, call the Lincoln sales line to place the order.

A lot of people here and on talkFestool raved about the Walko.  I haven't put it through a lot yet, but have some on-site work next week where I expect to use almost all of its crazy configurations (except the one to cut full sheets... fully extended and upside down).
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Offline Kodi Crescent

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Re: Mini-review of my new Walko 3 Bench
« Reply #35 on: August 11, 2010, 08:31 AM »
Thanks!

Offline Eiji Fuller

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Re: Mini-review of my new Walko 3 Bench -rain test
« Reply #36 on: October 21, 2010, 02:12 AM »
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:

(Attachment Link)

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

For real? You are dissapointed that you can't leave the bench outside? You expected the tops to be ok in the rain and now you are dissapointed. I dont get it? What did you think would happen?

Offline Sparktrician

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Re: Mini-review of my new Walko 3 Bench
« Reply #37 on: October 21, 2010, 07:08 AM »
I see that Walko's don't seem to be readily available anymore, at least where I am looking.  It seems that Timmy C no longer has them on his website.  Where would you get one nowadays?

From Walko's site in the Netherlands:

Importer for the USA wanted

08 September 2010
We are looking for a new partner in the USA to represent our unique products.

For more information mail to: info@walko.nl or call +31 (0) 35 65 50 191

Google on "walko table" to find out more about the WALKO.
- Willy -

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Offline jmbfestool

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Re: Mini-review of my new Walko 3 Bench -rain test
« Reply #38 on: October 21, 2010, 09:05 AM »
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:

(Attachment Link)

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

For real? You are dissapointed that you can't leave the bench outside? You expected the tops to be ok in the rain and now you are dissapointed. I dont get it? What did you think would happen?


I was thinking the same thing.  No way would of thought that the tops would of been fine in the rain for a week.

All the time you have spent on sealing the wood could of been spent on making your own out of different material something like an Acrylic top or something.  Not sure what plastic is best but I know you can get 20-22 mm thick plastic/Acrylic  or something like that and you know that will last in the rain no problem and you dont have to worry about sealing it.     

Im sure some one knows on here what material I am on about.  Im on about a plastic looking type material which is durable and hard but if dropped only dents it will not crack or chip.


JMB
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Offline Tom Bellemare

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Re: Mini-review of my new Walko 3 Bench
« Reply #39 on: October 21, 2010, 10:13 AM »
UHMW would be a very durable top but it's quite expensive. HDPE costs about half as much and would work fine.


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Offline Brice Burrell

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Re: Mini-review of my new Walko 3 Bench
« Reply #40 on: October 21, 2010, 11:09 AM »
I see that Walko's don't seem to be readily available anymore, at least where I am looking.  It seems that Timmy C no longer has them on his website.  Where would you get one nowadays?

From Walko's site in the Netherlands:

Importer for the USA wanted

08 September 2010
We are looking for a new partner in the USA to represent our unique products.

For more information mail to: info@walko.nl or call +31 (0) 35 65 50 191

Google on "walko table" to find out more about the WALKO.


At the price the Walkos what the retail for I believe they will be looking for a new importer for a long time......
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Offline Sparktrician

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Re: Mini-review of my new Walko 3 Bench
« Reply #41 on: October 21, 2010, 11:42 AM »
Interesting, too, that on this site - http://www.walkousa.com/products.html - there's the statement, "The Bamboo Tabletops are water-resistant (max. 24 hours)".  Looks like leaving them out in the rain for a week wasn't the best decision. 

  [sad]
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Offline jmbfestool

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Re: Mini-review of my new Walko 3 Bench
« Reply #42 on: October 21, 2010, 12:25 PM »
UHMW would be a very durable top but it's quite expensive. HDPE costs about half as much and would work fine.


Tom


Yeah thats the stuff I think!!
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Offline dwillis

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Re: Mini-review of my new Walko 3 Bench
« Reply #43 on: October 21, 2010, 01:29 PM »
I have a Walko 4 and have found that I use it less than my MFT, but on the occasions I use the Walko it performs okay.  Not that I'm raving about how great or poor it works, just okay.  Living in Colorado where it's dry I have noticed the outermost bamboo plies have some small splits, but the don't affect the function, merely poor esthetics (haven't tried leaving it out in the rain).  My only complaint about the Walko is getting poked by one of the many sharp edges, but then I manage to avoid poking myself with my chisels so it's an area of improvement for me. [embarassed]

I like the idea of rounding over the underside holes and applying additional finish, sounds like a short weekend project.
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Offline NuggyBuggy

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Re: Mini-review of my new Walko 3 Bench
« Reply #44 on: October 21, 2010, 01:36 PM »
I got my Walko-3 a few weeks ago when Woodcraft was clearing them out.  I was surprised at how big it was in person.  I was also surprised to find as much plastic as I did.  Finally, I found the process of removing and inserting the supporting struts to be very, very frustrating.  I've only used it a few times, but I think that when those times come, I'll be really, really thankful I have it.
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Offline harry_

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Re: Mini-review of my new Walko 3 Bench
« Reply #45 on: October 21, 2010, 01:48 PM »
In Frank's defense, I don't think that it is so outlandish to expect a tool, especially of that cost to have used waterproof glue on a laminate surface. I can understand his disappointment.

This is not to suggest that leaving it out in the rain for a week was is great idea.
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Offline Deansocial

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Re: Mini-review of my new Walko 3 Bench
« Reply #46 on: October 21, 2010, 01:56 PM »
i would replace the top with compact laminate

Offline jmbfestool

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Re: Mini-review of my new Walko 3 Bench
« Reply #47 on: October 21, 2010, 01:59 PM »
i would replace the top with compact laminate

Can you tell me what that is?! A link to it?!   because what I am thinking off wouldn't be a good solution for out door use and having cuts into it.

JMB
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Offline jmbfestool

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Re: Mini-review of my new Walko 3 Bench
« Reply #49 on: October 21, 2010, 02:29 PM »
http://www.google.co.uk/imgres?imgurl=http://www.carlick.co.uk/images/polyrey-compact.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.carlick.co.uk/news.html&h=280&w=400&sz=24&tbnid=07Xdd4idySROeM:&tbnh=87&tbnw=124&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dcompact%2Blaminate&zoom=1&q=compact+laminate&hl=en&usg=__z5GeS8jkNApVxaJ99w59kIFYEa4=&sa=X&ei=RoPATLKnKNTNjAfV3fyNCg&ved=0CDMQ9QEwBQ



Not seen that before!  But I cant see it being any good after you cut 1-2 mm deep with your TS 55 or anything else which would damage the thin top layer.

Using something like Tom said http://www.wmuhmwpe.com/ecpshow.asp?lmmc=UHMW%2DPE+Sheet  OR  http://www.hdpesheet.co.uk/    I think is the best solution as this material is completely rain proof!  Also you can use normal woodworking tools to cut and drill it  so  cutting it slightly with your TS would not cause the blade much harm.  Also you can easily cut it and drill the hose to match the current bamboo tops.



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Offline Deansocial

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Re: Mini-review of my new Walko 3 Bench
« Reply #50 on: October 21, 2010, 02:39 PM »
JMB you have no clue what this is do you? It is the same material all the way through. To give you a clue most wtop jigs are made from it

Offline jmbfestool

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Re: Mini-review of my new Walko 3 Bench
« Reply #51 on: October 21, 2010, 02:49 PM »
JMB you have no clue what this is do you? It is the same material all the way through. To give you a clue most wtop jigs are made from it


OH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  [embarassed]     I saw the picture and just replied straight away with out reading!!!!   I just saw layers in the picture!! and thought well that cant be any good! hahaha   You see I own the Festool worktop jig!  Made out of aluminium!!
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Offline Frank Pellow

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Re: Mini-review of my new Walko 3 Bench -rain test
« Reply #52 on: October 21, 2010, 09:45 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:

(Attachment Link)

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

For real? You are dissapointed that you can't leave the bench outside? You expected the tops to be ok in the rain and now you are dissapointed. I dont get it? What did you think would happen?

Yes, For real.

As can be seen in some of my earlier post in this thread, I want a bench upon which I can work outside in rainy weather and I investgated just what I might be able to do to my Walko bench to make this possible.   What I ended up doing was applying tung oil to the parts of the bench that I had rounded over.  I expected the glue on the plywood to hold.  Some others here thought that would work, so I was not alone.

But, I was wrong, so I am dissapointed.  [sad]

At least, I only conducted my experiment with one of the two tops.  Also, it appears that I was able to repair the damaged top.  [smile]
Cheers,   
               Frank (Festool connoisseur)

Offline Eiji Fuller

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Re: Mini-review of my new Walko 3 Bench
« Reply #53 on: October 21, 2010, 11:37 PM »
I guess its not built for the .0001% of guys who want to work in the rain. LOL!

I bought an $1800 workbench once. Since it is more expensive than the walko it should perform flawlessly at he bottom of a pool too. That has got to be the most rediculous requirement for a workbench.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2010, 11:41 PM by Eiji Fuller »

Offline neilc

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Re: Mini-review of my new Walko 3 Bench
« Reply #54 on: October 21, 2010, 11:41 PM »
I also picked up the Walko 3 for 1/2 price when Woodcraft was closing them out.  Fortunately, the top of the Walko 3 is just about the identical height of the MFT/3 top, so it works well as an extension table for long pieces.  

I've found it to be a very sturdy table.  I also rounded over the bottom side of the holes with a 3/8 roundover bit and it allows the Festool clamps to easily be used through the holes.  Really like the adjustable heights for allowing me to lower the table when sanding or drilling drawers or other larger pieces.

I have not moved it out of my shop except to the garage for some projects and it's much more portable than the MFT in terms of weight and bulk.

It's a nice compliment to the MFT/3.  Not a replacement.

You could probably make replacement tables from Corian or some other solid surface material.  Not sure as to durability, but even with waterproof tables, you'd see some rust in time if it was outdoors.  The legs are galvanized, but I'd think they'd rust if left outside for an extended period.

neil

« Last Edit: October 21, 2010, 11:43 PM by neilc »

Offline PaulMarcel

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Re: Mini-review of my new Walko 3 Bench
« Reply #55 on: October 22, 2010, 05:25 AM »
I agree with Neil: make the surface from solid surface and it won't move or get funky should you decide it needs to be in hurricane rains.  Contact someone with a CNC as the hole pattern for an MFT is trivial to code and route (my friend did it for 3 work tables in my shop and he's keeping his next solid surface offcuts for my Walko-4).

I live in Arizona, which makes Colorado look tropical.  When I got my tables, I slathered CPES (clear penetrating epoxy sealer) on it.  They are now considered water-proof, but since I don't swim well, I'll leave the Walko out of the pool.  I know 'rnt80' lives over in Mesa (~15 miles from me) and his tables started to check badly; he got replacements.  Ask any flooring place in Arizona: bamboo flooring (which the tables effectively are) and Arizona don't mix.

I wanted the wheel set when I ordered mine, but there are none on our continent (ah, NAINA again).  My mechanic is welding two very nice wheels to Simpson Ties L-brackets that will be attached to the side of the Walko legs so I can barely lift the far end to engage the wheels and scoot it around.  I don't have the wheels back yet, but will blog about the idea when they arrive.

LASTLY, I got a set of the table struts with the table.  Yes, it takes a couple times to get used to attaching them (the instructions actually tell you where the handle should be; life's nicer now that I read it).  They were so useful that I bought another set on clearance from Woodcraft for $40.  I had a big project that weekend and found that I used every strut to stack most of my parts on the Walko.  Since they won't be available anymore, I bought yet another set of table struts the next time Woodcraft put them on clearance.  I now have a couple more (4 to a pack) than I need, but they are ridiculously useful when processing rough lumber.  Or to hang tee-shirts out in the rain for free laundry (sorry Frank, just having fun; first thing I did was do your chamfer idea so I'm thankful for your posting :))
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Offline Frank Pellow

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Re: Mini-review of my new Walko 3 Bench
« Reply #56 on: October 22, 2010, 02:42 PM »
I guess its not built for the .0001% of guys who want to work in the rain. LOL!

I bought an $1800 workbench once. Since it is more expensive than the walko it should perform flawlessly at he bottom of a pool too. That has got to be the most rediculous requirement for a workbench.

I certainly don't want to work in the rain, but on construction sites, a lot more people than  .0001% of workers who want to get the job done often need to work in the rain or snow (at least, that's what I have always found to be the case in Ontario).   [poke]
Cheers,   
               Frank (Festool connoisseur)

Offline Deansocial

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Re: Mini-review of my new Walko 3 Bench
« Reply #57 on: October 22, 2010, 05:24 PM »
yep i work in the rain BUT i drie everything off carefully and would dream of leaving it out in the rain for a week. Thats just letting it penetrate

Offline Frank Pellow

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Re: Mini-review of my new Walko 3 Bench
« Reply #58 on: October 22, 2010, 08:39 PM »
yep i work in the rain BUT i drie everything off carefully and would dream of leaving it out in the rain for a week. Thats just letting it penetrate
I don't intend to leave my bench out in the rain for as long as a week either -but I would like it to be possible to stand such stress.  Knowing me, I will sometimes either forget and leave it out overnight or will not get back to a job as fast as I intended to thus subjecting the bench to a soaking.
Cheers,   
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Offline jmbfestool

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Re: Mini-review of my new Walko 3 Bench
« Reply #59 on: October 23, 2010, 09:05 AM »
yep i work in the rain BUT i drie everything off carefully and would dream of leaving it out in the rain for a week. Thats just letting it penetrate
I don't intend to leave my bench out in the rain for as long as a week either -but I would like it to be possible to stand such stress.  Knowing me, I will sometimes either forget and leave it out overnight or will not get back to a job as fast as I intended to thus subjecting the bench to a soaking.


Well you know what to do now?  Just make your own top but out of a different type of material which wont be affected by rain.   You can not expect sealer's to to keep your top from getting damage by rain. OKay fair enough if its something is for show you can seal it as no one will be causing alot of damage for water go get to it and it will be fine but as a work top which you will be cutting drilling banging scratching all sorts you can not use a sealer as you will just be removing it when your working on it unless you wanna be spending time at the end of every day giving it another coat where you damaged it.  Well if I was in your position and wanted it to be weather proof I would get http://www.wmuhmwpe.com/ecpshow.asp?lmmc=UHMW%2DPE+Sheet



JMB
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