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I used BLO. it conditions the wood, protects it from moisture, but doesn't cover it with synthetic hard shell - still nice warm wood feeling, and keeps the friction to help hold the work pieces to the workbench
 

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I agree with PurpLev. BLO is a great choice. It is cheap, easy to refresh, and will look great. Any curing penetrating oil that you have on hand will do fine.

Good luck. That will be a sweet bench. Be sure to post pics…
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you gentlemen for your responses. I had originally thought some kind of tung oil would work, but I hadn't considered BLO. Would BLO be preferred over tung oil or are they similar?
I am a brand new member and have not posted any pictures yet although I have a few projects that could be posted. I assume it is relatively easy? Is there a maximum size for photos so I make sure not to post something too large?
 

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No, tung oil would be fine as well. I generally prefer tung oil over BLO because it smells nicer and doesn't darken as much as BLO over time. But I am a tightwad, and tung oil is way more expensive than BLO, and I can live with a bit of darkening on my workbench. But, as I said in my previous post, any curing penetrating oil or oil blend (such as Watco, Maloof oil, etc.) would be fine. The key here is to get something "in" the wood and not "on" the wood. In other words, I would encourage you to avoid any build-up finish such as poly, lacquer, etc. as this will scratch over time and be a pain to refresh. I commonly take whatever finish I have leftover after applying a coat to a project, and just wipe it onto my workbench to refresh the finish.
 

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I rely on canned finishes quite a bit. I just use Watco Danish Oil on my projects that will not tolerate a film finish.

The benefit is that I can shake the can, open, and apply.

All oil finishes will need to be reapplied once in a while but it is simple and fast.
 

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I used a mixture of gum turpentine, beeswax, and boiled linseed oil on my bench.

Grate up about 2 ounces beeswax in a jar, and add 16-ounces of pure gum turpentine. Cover it and let the wax dissolve into a paste-like blend, then add 16 ounces of BLO and stir until you have a thick liquid.

Brush or wipe the blend over your workbench and let the wood absorb for an hour or two, then wipe or squeegee … if you use a squeegee you can put the excess back in the container for future use. After a few days, give it a buffing to produce a soft shine.
 
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