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Best finish for sawhorses?

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Forum topic by KLF posted 06-08-2021 05:02 PM 888 views 0 times favorited 64 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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KLF

24 posts in 146 days


06-08-2021 05:02 PM

I just finished building 4 sawhorses, and I spent a lot of time (too much, I’m sure) on them, getting the joints nice and tight, and no wobble when sitting on a flat floor. So now I’m wondering the best finish to use, I’d rather they not stay as bare wood. Don’t want paint. They are all pine 2X lumber, but have been sanded to 120 grit.

Polyurethane?
Spar urethane?
Tung oil?
Linseed oil?

Thoughts?

-- Measure twice, cut once.


64 replies so far

View Madmark2's profile

Madmark2

2844 posts in 1708 days


#1 posted 06-08-2021 05:14 PM

Sanded? Finish? On SAWHORSES!? Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha! Pull the other one!

You’re kidding, right?

Saw horses are consumable! They get cut, paint slopped on ‘em, knocked about in the truck, tossed on the ground, muddied, rained upon, cigarette burned, drilled, chipped, dinged, routed, splintered and generally used as intended.

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

View TxSurveyor's profile

TxSurveyor

10 posts in 12 days


#2 posted 06-08-2021 05:27 PM

I personally would not finish them beyond what you have already.

But, if you want, I would suggest oil based stain with tung oil finish. Creates very little friction. Will look nice, but won’t protect very will if that’s what you’re looking for.

View Phil32's profile

Phil32

1449 posts in 1024 days


#3 posted 06-08-2021 05:32 PM

Water-based satin clear acrylic. Be sure to sign your creations before applying the finish.

-- Phil Allin - There are woodworkers and people who collect woodworking tools. The woodworkers have a chair to sit on that they made.

View KLF's profile

KLF

24 posts in 146 days


#4 posted 06-08-2021 05:52 PM

I fully realize that some people consider sawhorses as disposable. I don’t work that way. I have a pair here that are probably 20 years old, they have been heavily used. But they are finally getting loose in the joints, some of the screws are stripping out. Plus they are too short (21” tall) and hard on my old back now. I take care of my stuff, OK? And have you priced lumber these days?

I’m looking for durability, not appearance. All of the finishes I listed above are already on hand, so no cost involved. I also have a big can of deck sealant, but I think that is best for PT lumber.

-- Measure twice, cut once.

View pottz's profile

pottz

17594 posts in 2105 days


#5 posted 06-08-2021 06:19 PM

if you really think you need it any finish will work,dont worry about it.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

7027 posts in 3614 days


#6 posted 06-08-2021 06:25 PM

No finish at all…..

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

8009 posts in 1694 days


#7 posted 06-08-2021 06:26 PM



Sanded? Finish? On SAWHORSES!? Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha! Pull the other one!

You re kidding, right?

Saw horses are consumable! They get cut, paint slopped on em, knocked about in the truck, tossed on the ground, muddied, rained upon, cigarette burned, drilled, chipped, dinged, routed, splintered and generally used as intended.

- Madmark2

Absolutely this ^^^^

Never in my life have I ever thought of finishing a sawhorse. Heck the ones I use now are metal w 2×4 skids on top. They are the first ones that I haven’t destroyed in use within a week. I don’t remember a house build, or large job where I didn’t make at least 4 sets.

Almost anything you use will need to cure before use, most of the oil based stuff thats around 30 days, otherwise you have sometimes expensive stuff sticking into an an uncured finish, made worse with warm weather.

-- Think safe, be safe

View Madmark2's profile

Madmark2

2844 posts in 1708 days


#8 posted 06-08-2021 06:52 PM

FWIW: Be careful when sawing on your saw horses. The side screws are very close to the top surface. Would hate to hit one while cutting …

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

View sansoo22's profile

sansoo22

1676 posts in 775 days


#9 posted 06-08-2021 07:04 PM

KLF – If you want to finish your saw horses go for it. With what you have on hand I would probably chose the Poly. A wipe on poly is really all you need to add decent durable finish. For nearly all of my shop furniture I use original Waterlox. It smells like the chemical they put inside a port-a-john but goes on easy and makes a nice durable finish that doesn’t taker forever to cure.

View KLF's profile

KLF

24 posts in 146 days


#10 posted 06-08-2021 07:16 PM


FWIW: Be careful when sawing on your saw horses. The side screws are very close to the top surface. Would hate to hit one while cutting …

- Madmark2

Good catch, but I have a setup of sacrificial boards that sit on top if I’m doing any cutting of sheet goods. Here’s one of my old ones, see not a sawmark on them.

I have another project I’m in the middle of using Arm-R-Seal, I’ll just slap some of that on them. Thanks for all the feedback. Back to more important things I guess.

-- Measure twice, cut once.

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

8009 posts in 1694 days


#11 posted 06-08-2021 07:36 PM

General Finishes suggest CURE time for their oil based finishes is 30 days. Arm r Seal is an oil based finish.

Source below

https://generalfinishes.com/faq/what-difference-between-dry-time-and-cure-time

Waterlox doesn’t really address a cure time, they just chicken out and say it varies. Pretty much the same path as Arm r Seal, so I’d suggest 30 also for cure.

Dry is when you touch it, and it feels dry, and nothing seems to happen. Cure is when you lay something on it, and it sticks, messes up the finish, or the object you lay on it. All this becomes much worse in warmer weather, higher humidity, etc etc. None of it is a time, it could be you lay 2 pounds on it, and nothing happens, but at 3 it sticks, or leaves a mark, there isn’t a science, so if you called General Finishes, they would suggest not using it for 30 days. They even say going out of suggested finishing range 70 degrees F, & 70% humidity, will prolong cure. My location is 88 with 96% today. Do you know yours?

-- Think safe, be safe

View KLF's profile

KLF

24 posts in 146 days


#12 posted 06-08-2021 07:43 PM



Do you know yours?

I’m an engineer, so that means I have lots of temp and RH gauges at home. Yes, I’m very aware.

I also have some scrap carpeting strips I lay on top if the workpiece is important to protect. I’m not worried about cure time, after about 48 hours.

-- Measure twice, cut once.

View pottz's profile

pottz

17594 posts in 2105 days


#13 posted 06-08-2021 07:51 PM

this is being way over thought !

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View KLF's profile

KLF

24 posts in 146 days


#14 posted 06-08-2021 08:23 PM

Agreed. Unsubbing.

-- Measure twice, cut once.

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

8638 posts in 3319 days


#15 posted 06-08-2021 09:30 PM

Couple coats of wipe on polyurethane… done in an hour, ready to use in less than a day. Make your own (50/50 w/mineral spirits) if you don’t have the wipe on stuff.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

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