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Old 10-05-2016, 02:52 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
18,011 posts, read 22,774,659 times
Reputation: 34928

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Would appreciate the advice of you woodworkers out there. I am just getting into using power tools (small ones LOL) and learning how to work with wood. I don't know if you'll remember the project I talked about doing a while back - turning an old dresser into a workbench - well, I actually have finally done it.

I live in a super tiny studio, so need to get the most out of the furniture I have, so now my dresser also doubles as my workbench. I'm actually really happy with how it turned out.

The other day, I added a plywood top to make a work space on top of the dresser that I could abuse and it gives me a better and larger surface to work on. I just attached it to the back piece, so I can dismantle the whole thing without it wrecking the original dresser. There are only screws into the back of the dresser. I used "L" brackets to attach the new top work space to the back upright piece. I was able to use the same piece of good, hardwood plywood (expensive!) for both the back piece and the new top work surface.

Anyway, now I have an unfinished (other than sanded ) wooden surface to work on. My question is, should I treat it in any way? I really don't care much if it gets stained, etc., as I expect that will end up happening regardless and I really don't want to have to worry about it.

But, are there any pros or cons to treating the bare plywood in any way? I have some furniture wax (the kind you have to heat up to apply) I think I also have a can of spray clear coat.

Should I treat it or leave it alone? Thanks for any advice.

In case anyone is concerned about me doing any major pounding on this piece, I don't intend to do any major pounding. I mainly use a small drill press and use screws for my craft projects.

I have trouble inserting images from my album, so I might have to try it a couple times.

http://www.city-data.com/forum/membe...nch-top-1.html

Last edited by NoMoreSnowForMe; 10-05-2016 at 03:30 PM..
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Old 10-05-2016, 03:35 PM
 
Location: Johns Creek, GA
12,517 posts, read 48,584,410 times
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I've always left mine natural- no sealers/finishes. But I use mine for everything- so one way or the other there's always the chance of contamination (sawdust, wood particles, finishes).

So, depending on what I'm actually doing I may cover it with other materials- newspaper, cardboard, etc.

When I do teardowns of car parts, engines, etc., they go into a parts washer first, then to the part of one workbench that is covered with SS.
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Old 10-05-2016, 04:57 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
18,011 posts, read 22,774,659 times
Reputation: 34928
Quote:
Originally Posted by K'ledgeBldr View Post
I've always left mine natural- no sealers/finishes. But I use mine for everything- so one way or the other there's always the chance of contamination (sawdust, wood particles, finishes).

So, depending on what I'm actually doing I may cover it with other materials- newspaper, cardboard, etc.

When I do teardowns of car parts, engines, etc., they go into a parts washer first, then to the part of one workbench that is covered with SS.
Thanks for the post. What's SS?
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Old 10-05-2016, 05:04 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles
3,513 posts, read 2,214,521 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoMoreSnowForMe View Post
What's SS?
Stainless Steel. The best workbench top I ever found is a Butcher Block counter top from Ikea. Solid maple and about 8' long so you can cut it to fit. Only 70 bucks if I recall correctly. I oil it occasionally, but I also have a piece of cardboard that I put down when working with paint or liquids that might stain it.
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Old 10-05-2016, 05:47 PM
 
39,245 posts, read 40,617,533 times
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I just finished ours with some clear water based poly, it's very easy to apply and the odor is almost non existent. It's not as durable as regualr poly but I've used it on floors and things like this and it's held up very well. We use the bench for everything from automotive greasy stuff to a bar for parties so you need to be able to keep it clean. This will also make the surface much more durable, it's like having a little layer of armor.
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Old 10-05-2016, 09:08 PM
 
Location: The Berk in Denver, CO USA
13,959 posts, read 20,226,589 times
Reputation: 22591
I have always glued Masonite to the top of mine.
Smooth.
Wears well.
40 years.
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Old 10-06-2016, 06:10 AM
 
Location: U.S.
1,613 posts, read 4,899,274 times
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I just went over mine with a clear poly. Just makes wiping up things a bit easier.
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Old 10-06-2016, 07:44 AM
 
Location: Texas
5,619 posts, read 12,947,298 times
Reputation: 10699
I'd use boiled linseed oil on it to seal it against any kind of moisture. Never know what will end up on it including something wet. Be aware though, the linseed oil will need days to dry and the smell will be fairly strong.
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Old 10-07-2016, 09:42 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
18,011 posts, read 22,774,659 times
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Well, here's my update.

One of the things I plan on doing, is distressing boards so they look old, by using a vinegar/stainless steel/coffee solution on them. So, a friend suggested I try doing that on the workbench plywood. Total fail LOL. The plywood distressed at very different levels, with some dark purple, and some light blue gray (an overall light blue gray is what I wanted), but the final product was really ugly.

So, I decided to just paint it with some primer and paint in one that I had on hand, in a dark brown.

And I'm thinking I'll just leave it without a sealer, so I can just repaint it whenever it gets too gross looking, since it is in the middle of my tiny studio apartment.

I'll upload a photo in the next couple of days. This is one of those times where hindsight is 20/20. I should have just sealed it and left it alone. But, I liked the idea of making the board look old and "cool." Which would have been nice....if it would have worked LOL.
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Old 10-08-2016, 03:59 PM
 
39,245 posts, read 40,617,533 times
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One thing you want to avoid with work bench especially if you are using it for wood working is paint. It tends to mess up wood if you slide it around or clamp stuff to the bench. Since you already have it on there you can always hit it with some poly.
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