shop bench with lots of storage #12: finish flop

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Blog entry by Mainiac Matt posted 07-27-2012 03:42 PM 1554 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 11: risers done & top banded Part 12 of shop bench with lots of storage series no next part

So I’ve been cranking on my top (1” MDF with laminate on both sides) ....

> I milled 1/2” thick solid pine banding down from scraps of trim and framing lumber…
> installed w/ biscuits to aide alignment…
> flush trimmed top and bottom with router
> decided to route a 3/16”x45 deg chamfer on the top perimeter, rather than a round over bit.
> sanded every thing up nice and pretty.

In keeping with the “use up old inventory” theme of this project, I previously finished the face frame with an old partial can of “Zar Plus – Salem Maple” stain & poly in one stuff. And though it’s not anything to brag about, it’s quick to apply and appears fairly durable with only one coat.

But after finishing and installing the risers, I knew I was at risk of running out…. especially if what was left in the can skinned over again…. which of course it did.

So I gets one long side and two ends of the banding covered with a decent looking coat (picking out the flecks and blobs) and for want of a couple spoon fulls of finish, I couldn’t complete the other long side.

So I get the brainstrom to add some thinner and see if I can stretch the little bit of residue in the bottomof the can.

Big Mistake!

I got just enough finish applied to cover the last side, but not enough pigment to match the color of the other side and ends :^(

So I found an old can of oil based Minwax Early Amerkican stain, which after testing on some scrap, proved to be a very close match to the Zar stuff…. So I’m thinking that maybe I can put it on to match the color and then put a coat of clear oil based poly over all four sides and call it done.

but Noooooooooo…. there was just enough dillute finish on their to prevent the stain from penetrating.

So I after making quite the mess of things…. I had to take a rag soaked in thinner and scrub off the finish on the last side.

But the finish on the other three sides had already started curing and wouldn’t wipe off….

So now I have to decide if I’m going to sand it all off (and re-cut the chamfer to re-establish the nice crisp edges) and then re-finish with the Minwax stain and oil based poly….

or just touch sand the one side that I scrubbed down with thinner and try to finish it to match.


-- Matt -- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

5 comments so far

View Brett's profile


950 posts in 3235 days

#1 posted 07-30-2012 05:08 AM

Well, it doesn’t sound like the finish worked out like you had hoped but at least you used up the old remains and now you can start fresh on the next go around. Maybe I should care more about how my bench looks but as long as it works, then it’s okay that it doesn’t look like a piece of furniture.
Keep at it.

-- Hand Crafted by Brett Peterson John 3:16

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

9258 posts in 2805 days

#2 posted 07-30-2012 05:19 PM

I agree Bret…. as long as it works and isn’t an embarassment, I’ll be happy.

I’ve seen some amazing benches posted on this site that reflect a level of craftsmanship I hope to attain some day. But in the shop…. I’m more concerned with function at this point.

I opted to sand just the front edge of the banding down, re-cut the chamfer and stained it with two coats of the Minwax Early American. Then put two coats of satin poly on the entire banding, to build up a fairly tough finish.

It’s not an exact match, but you’d have to stoop down and look close to tell the diference.

All I have to do is attach the top and this ones going to the finished projects page….

Thanks to all who followed along and provided words of advice / encouragement…. it has helped me to stay motivated and to see the project through to completion.

Happy trails

-- Matt -- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

View Brett's profile


950 posts in 3235 days

#3 posted 07-31-2012 05:37 AM

That’s great! I’ll be keepin’ an eye out for it in the projects page.

-- Hand Crafted by Brett Peterson John 3:16

View 308Gap's profile


337 posts in 3479 days

#4 posted 08-05-2012 05:13 PM

For the amount of money spent it turned out great, it’s a work bench after all. The drawer storage room would fill up fast in my garage. One ? what screws did you use to attach the slides to the cabinet walls ?

-- Thank You Veterans!

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

9258 posts in 2805 days

#5 posted 08-05-2012 10:34 PM

#6×1/2” flat heads … That’s what came with the slides…

There were only enough to put three screws per slide though… So I purchased enough extras to put 5 per….

center punched and pre-drilled the holes

-- Matt -- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

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