I'm seeking opinions and advice on the best finish choice for a workbench, and in particular the top.
I've just completed my first workbench top (Doug Fir) and am a bit confused about selecting the best finish. I see that the commercial workbenches are usually acrylic (Grizzly) or some other non-polyurethane laquer.
I was considering using Danish oil followed by a polyurethane oil, but the commercial benchtops don't seem to use anything like this. Why not? I saw a post where someone just used tung oil - would this impart enough durability?
I understand that Polyurethane can be a real pain to apply, and may turn yellow over time.
I just use boiled linseed oil. Apply it heavy and let soak in for 24 hrs. Then wipe off any excess untill there are no shiny spots and it all looks dull. You will find that you can wipe of fresh glue with a damp rag without the moisture getting into the wood and if the glue is left to harden it will slide off easily with a chisel or scraper. I put 3/4" MDF on my benchtop and treat it this way. It's makes a very durable and very flat surface.
On one bench that I built 25+ years ago, I used Minwax Polyurethane, about 3 coats. On another bench built at about the same time I used the primer that was already on the boards. (On a new house, the garage door was damaged. The contractor replaced the panels and I kept the panels for a work bench.)
I guess from my experience it really doesnít matter. HOWEVER, when Iím doing assembly work I cover the top of the bench with carpet left over from when we had the house done. Things slide really well and nothing scratches.