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  #1  
Old 10-02-2021, 09:24 AM
Plunker Plunker is offline
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Location: New Richland, MN, USA.
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Default Workbench Top Sealant

Been making a large workbench in my shed, it's 35"x 12' long. Up until this point I've been planning on just leaving it a bare wood top, but it's turning out a fair bit nicer than I originally planned.

What's everyone's take on using urethane or an epoxy like Enivrotex? Is the consistency of the epoxy right for a working area, not too slippery but not too sticky?

Or should I just leave as bare wood? Other suggestions?
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  #2  
Old 10-02-2021, 11:02 AM
Jack G Jack G is online now
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Location: Peoria, Illinois, USA.
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25 years ago I inherited a similar workbench from my father. I'm pretty sure it was had two or more coats of urethane on it. I thought it looked excellent. It has gotten a lot of use in the last 25 years and is still in use but much of the surface shows the wear from those years of use.

Jack
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  #3  
Old 10-02-2021, 12:37 PM
Thatguy Thatguy is offline
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I've got one with urethane and one with epoxy. The epoxy was a giant pain in my but applying and it made a mess. The urethane was simple to apply and seems to be working fine. They are only a couple years old so time will tell. I prefer working on the non epoxy bench.
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  #4  
Old 10-02-2021, 12:45 PM
REW REW is online now
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For every work bench that I have built over the years, I have used one and only one thing to finish the top of the work bench.

I use 1/8th inch tempered hardboard. This is nearly indestructible and if - over the years - it does get beat up, I just put another layer of 1/8th inch tempered hardboard over the top.

Much tougher than plywood, hard and does not dent. smooth and easy to slide over when needed, and never needs a top coat of finish on it to go bad.

Any finish that you place on a piece of wood for a work bench is "soft" and is likely to be damaged, scratched, scraped off or other. No finish and no issue.

For a heavy duty metal working work bench, it is tough to beat a nice piece of stainless steel to use for a bench surface. Tough, easy to clean, tough, does not dent easily, tough and lasts as long as you own the work bench.

--------------------------
For my"clean bench" where I do assembly work, I use 1/8th inch gloss white tempered hardboard. A white bench really excels as an assembly bench because each and every part really shows up on the white background. Also, the surface is very easy to clean with windex and paper towels.

Another really good option for a work bench top is formica. Easy to put down and tougher than nails and is very long lasting.

Best wishes
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  #5  
Old 10-02-2021, 12:58 PM
GBS GBS is offline
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Location: White Bear Lake, Minnesota, USA.
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I just replaced my 25 year old one that was unfinished, similar to yours. Mine was used while I did many, many projects with all sorts of glue - CA, epoxy, Titebond, etc. Plus lots of scoring and cutting of things with knives. Between the million little knife cuts, and the trying to chisel off/sand off the gobs of glue stuck to it, it got pretty rough. And lets not count the oil and solvents soaked into it over the years.
My new has an easy to replace 1/4" top. I put two coats of poly on it to seal, and then 3 coats of wax. Now glue has a harder time sticking to it, but it's not at all slippery. So far I've been good about using a cutting mat rather than cutting right on it. Tis not impervious to oils and solvents, I already have a stain on it, but it's not as bad as the old one.
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  #6  
Old 10-02-2021, 05:19 PM
Xswab Xswab is offline
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I had some laminate flooring left over when we built our current home. I ended up using that over 3/4" plywood and trimmed out the edges. That stuff is herculean. Just another option.
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  #7  
Old 10-02-2021, 05:26 PM
Custom Eyes Custom Eyes is offline
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I'd use urethane. Epoxy is going to be a bit heat sensitive and work isn't going to slide across it quite as well as urethane. Much easier to work with and apply also.
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  #8  
Old 10-03-2021, 08:20 PM
Keuka Keuka is offline
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Agree with REW, hard board is tough to beat and rather easy to replace. In my experience it's much tougher than plywood with any applied finish.
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Old 10-03-2021, 08:27 PM
Snowking Snowking is online now
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Other thing to research is just using tung oil. https://www.minwax.com/wood-products...ung-oil-finish
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  #10  
Old 10-03-2021, 08:36 PM
Custom Eyes Custom Eyes is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowking View Post
Other thing to research is just using tung oil. https://www.minwax.com/wood-products...ung-oil-finish
Almost every old time paint chemist I've worked with has raved about Tung Oil for wood. Never used it myself.
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