Mini-Roubo from Oz #8: Applying finish to the bench

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Blog entry by siggykc posted 11-02-2019 02:52 AM 1176 reads 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 7: Fitting the Bench Crafted "Glide" Vise and "Criss Cross" Part 8 of Mini-Roubo from Oz series no next part

Well, what can I say folks. The last post basically covered the last of the chopping, drilling and gluing. Perhaps the next step is a little boring for some folks – applying the finish to the workbench.

I’ll keep it short, as there is nothing about smacking a chisel with glee nor using an auger with the finesse of Haliburton’s best directional drillers. My apologies in advance.

With the workbench structure complete, I sanded it all over by hand with 240 grit sand paper, removing the final pencil lines with a nice sharp card scraper.

For durability, nothing beats tung oil floor varnish. Heck, they use it for basketball courts and various other surfaces that are exposed to all manor of beatings. Here in Australia one of the best is made by Wattyl under their Estapol brand name. Brilliant stuff.
The idea is that everything, bar the actual top work surface would get several coats of this stuff. The more the merrier, as you really cant put “too much” on. So I acquired a good liter of it, as well as half a tin that I had left over from a previous project.
Fortunately my girlfriend’s parents were away on holidays for a few months so I made use of an area of their house currently being renovated to do the varnishing in. This was great as there was no foot traffic and thus minimal dust as well as keeping the missus happy as our place didn’t smell like mineral turpentine and varnish.
On it went, initially thinned at 10% mineral turps. Eventually building up to 8 coats over a 2 week period, and the grain just kept popping more and more with each coat.
Why did I do 8 coats? Simply to finish all the varnish I had, so it wasn’t going to take up space on the shop shelf. That is the actual reason for so many coats.

After the 8th coat, I let the whole thing stand for another week to really allow the varnish to harden.

Then I moved the heavy bugger back to my living room where it was assembled.
I then flattened the top with a joining plane, sanded it to 240 and then oiled the top with Livos universal oil.
The hardware is getting nickel plated to prevent corrosion. Only because I am an engineer by trade who loves nickel plated items such as pistons…vroom!

I still have to tweak the carrier/wagon portion of the tail/wagon vise (geez I don’t know the correct terminology here). Essentially however the workbench is complete. The next phase will be to build a storage unit to sit within the rails, however I am in no rush to do so as I am yet to sort out a space in the shop to put the workbench.
I hope you enjoy the pics. Those taken with the hardware were just before i sent it off to the platers. So there will be nicer pics eventually to follow.

-- Siggy,

1 comment so far

View BigAl98's profile


311 posts in 4534 days

#1 posted 11-02-2019 11:40 PM

Nice. Good pics too.

-- Al,Midwest -To thine own self be true

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