(part 3 of 5)
2008 Feb 24:
I got quite a bit done on the bench this week and figure that it should be completed by this time next week. Continuing on with the construction “story”:
29) I drilled a series of eight dog holes into the three legs on one side of the bench. In the photo below the edges of the holes are being slightly rounded using a 1/8 inch roundover bit. The same thing will be done with the dog holes in the bench top.
30) The maple portions of the bench are being finished with Tung Oil. I like Hendrik Varju’s bench and had planned to finish mine like he had done –that is using 7 layers of Tung Oil mixed with a slight amount of Japan Drier. That was going to take a LOT of time and, after some reading and some discussion with others, I decided to opt instead for one coat of Tung Oil Sealer followed by three coats Polymerized Tung Oil. That does not take quite as long and the temperature need not be as high for the curing. Hendrik warned me as follows when I told him what I had decided to do:
I'm not against polymerized Tung oil, but it isn't just regular Tung oil with driers added. It has been heat treated, effectively turning the finish into more of a varnish-like finish. It's much harder than Tung oil and while that might seem better, it can crack and peel when you pound heavily on the bench. Keep the finish very thin or it is even more likely. I prefer multiple coats of regular Tung oil which doesn't build up a hard film. It can be recoated at any time and it never cracks or peels off.
All sides of the maple need to be finished. The oil is rubbed on left 10 minutes then rubbed off. Then one waits for 24 hours, smoothes the surface with very fine steel wool, then does the next coat. The photo below shows the underside of the bench after the Sealer coat plus one coat of Medium Luster Tung oil:
31) After 3 coats were applied to the back, the bench was flipped over (well, weighing what it does, not exactly flipped), the edges and the dog holes were rounded over with a router, then the top and sides were sanded extensively using a Festool Rotex sander with 80, 120, 180, and 220 grit paper:
32) Next the bench top was sealed, then finished with 3 Tung oil coats. In the picture to the left below sealer is being applied to the interior of a dog hole using a bottle brush.
And in the picture to the right above sealer is being applied to the entire top.
33) Returning to the base cabinet. First of all, all plywood parts were finished with two coats of Spar Urethane. All five legs were bolted to the carcass using a couple of 5 inch lag bolts per leg:
34) Then casters were screwed to both the legs and carcass at each of the four corners: