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Work Bench Finish

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Old 09-04-2012, 08:58 AM
  #1
dasintex
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Default Work Bench Finish

I built a work bench using Cabinet Grade A/C Birch Plywood; originally I had finished it Natural Color and sealed it with Minwax Water Based Poly-Urethane, which was a mistake because everything eats away at it; I want to sand it down and re-finish it with something that is: Resistant to Glow/Gas Fuel, Alcohol, Acetone, Paint Thinner, etc; any suggestions?
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Old 09-04-2012, 09:10 AM
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Default RE: Work Bench Finish

I covered my workbench with formica that I got pretty cheap at one of the local lumber yard surplus stores. The only color they had was yellow, but the price was great. It seems to be impervious to just about everything. Even spilled paint cleans up with a little thinner.
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Old 09-04-2012, 09:16 AM
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Quote:
ORIGINAL: dasintex

I built a work bench using Cabinet Grade A/C Birch Plywood; originally I had finished it Natural Color and sealed it with Minwax Water Based Poly-Urethane, which was a mistake because everything eats away at it; I want to sand it down and re-finish it with something that is: Resistant to Glow/Gas Fuel, Alcohol, Acetone, Paint Thinner, etc; any suggestions?

Are we talking just the top, or the whole bench? That is some nice plywood you used, use it all the time on cabinets...

Something I did for the top and you might like the idea.. I topped the plywood with 1/4" hard board, I just used screws and counter sunk them.. I then used plank flooring I had left from a job and installed it with a pressure sensitive adhesive, if I ever want to replace a board, heat it up with a heat gun and pull it off. no need to re glue, just put the new board in... I also like that it's soft enough to cut covering on and not damage my blade... Just a thought for you. http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_11012137/tm.htm
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Old 09-04-2012, 09:23 AM
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Default RE: Work Bench Finish

Wing-skinning epoxy ... or polyester resin.
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Old 09-04-2012, 09:24 AM
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Default RE: Work Bench Finish


Quote:
ORIGINAL: dasintex

I built a work bench using Cabinet Grade A/C Birch Plywood; originally I had finished it Natural Color and sealed it with Minwax Water Based Poly-Urethane, which was a mistake because everything eats away at it; I want to sand it down and re-finish it with something that is: Resistant to Glow/Gas Fuel, Alcohol, Acetone, Paint Thinner, etc; any suggestions?
Epoxy Resin,,, don't go crazy with the acetone though
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Old 09-04-2012, 09:28 AM
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Default RE: Work Bench Finish

Appreciate the replys, I am talking about the Top Surface, and yes the Birch Ply is great stuff, a lttle expensive but works great; so what I'm looking for is a Finish that will stand up to the occasional spill of fuel, solvents, thinners, etc; I thought of placing another layer of some hardboard, or formica, but would like to find a finish that I can apply to the wood and be done with it.

Thanks.
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Old 09-04-2012, 10:22 AM
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Default RE: Work Bench Finish

2nd the epoxy resin. Or look into a flooring finish for hardwood.
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Old 09-04-2012, 10:54 AM
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Default RE: Work Bench Finish

I think diamond clear by KBS would be good for it. It's a single part urethane that can be brushed on and is impervious to any solvent according to the manufacturer.
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Old 09-04-2012, 11:54 AM
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Default RE: Work Bench Finish

Haven't tried it to see how it holds up to glow fuel, but it is an epoxy based product that makes a really hard finish.


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Old 09-04-2012, 01:17 PM
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Default RE: Work Bench Finish

I never put any finish on top of my work bench, I also have never used any good wood. Mine is Formica with a pine building board on top. I do to much cutting and sanding on my bench plus I rebuild engines and use some very harsh chemicals. Not many finishes will stand up to carb boil out and cleaner. If I really wanted a nice finish on it I think I would cover it with a few coats of clear Klass Kote two part epoxy paint. I know it will stand up to acetone. Be a bunch cheaper then finishing resin too.
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Old 09-05-2012, 06:45 PM
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Default RE: Work Bench Finish

My workbench consists of 2 sheets of 3/4 particle board, the really dense stuff, and being it is 50" by 6' it weighs a few hundred pounds and was a PITA to get into my shop, but oh is it nice to have a stable solid platform to work on. When it gets cuts and nicks, just hit it with the DA sander. Get some glue or epoxy on it, just sand it off.  If I want to put a smooth surface on it, just nail a piece of masonite on top and go to town on it.  I rebuilt a AOD transmission on it, several small engines, and it held up quite well over the years, its at least 15 or more years old.
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Old 09-05-2012, 07:44 PM
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Default RE: Work Bench Finish

Polyester resin, and a coat of release agent or wax in case paint or acetone gets on.  Then a sheet of drywall for a building board for pinning wings down...
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Old 09-06-2012, 10:57 AM
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I used marine spar varnish,

Bob
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Old 09-06-2012, 11:30 AM
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Default RE: Work Bench Finish

My workbench is over 20 years old and has no finish on it. I think it would be more difficult to drive T pins into it if it did have one.
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Old 09-06-2012, 11:32 AM
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Default RE: Work Bench Finish

Hmmm, cork would be better than drywall. Flooring cork goes on sale sometimes.
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Old 09-06-2012, 11:46 AM
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Default RE: Work Bench Finish

I got a large sheet of the stiff foam board for building on. I tape it down to my glass topped art table. Worked great.  Cork is also a good idea, the problem with drywall is when you remove the pins, you get little goosebumps that you need to smooth out.  I tried using that pink foam board, but it dented too easily.
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Old 09-07-2012, 12:09 PM
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Default RE: Work Bench Finish

A good epoxy finish for the bench, then a ceiling tile for a pinning surface.
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Old 09-10-2012, 09:43 PM
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Default RE: Work Bench Finish

Too late now for the Formica. The contact adhesive you apply to the Formica and the plywood top you have now will not bond because of the finish you have on it now even you used stripper on it. I would 1) try the suggested clearcoats, 2) Put thin gauge steel on it and utilize it for a magnetic building board as well. 3) Start over with particleboard or medium density fiberboard (MDF) and apply Formica or the steel to that. Crap will just soak through the cork. If you start pounding pins into the clearcoat you will be right where you started when you spill on it and it soaks in through the pin holes. If it were me I would put the steel on it. A magnetic building board is just awesome and the steel doesn't need to be glued or screwed to the workbench. Hope this helps. Joe
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Old 09-11-2012, 06:47 AM
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Default RE: Work Bench Finish

You take the cork or drywall off when you don't use it making sure it doesn't warp. My workbenches are all old desks that I got from work.  I bid $8.10 on a bunch, hoping to get one or two, and I got 8.  They have arborite on, and then I waxed it. 
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Old 09-11-2012, 09:14 AM
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Default RE: Work Bench Finish

I use a solid core door and add 1/8" masonite as a sacrificial work surface.
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