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Discussion Starter #1
I know this is off-topic--but it will be used for Handi Rifle and their ammo. Plus, you guys are so "handy." :wink:

I'm building a reloading/gun cleaning bench out of b-c plywood and 2x4s. Nothing fancy, but functional.

Here's my question: what's the best finish to put on the wood to protect it from gun oils/solvents/etc.??
 

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Off-Topic: Need help w/Finish for Reloading

A urethane finish of some sorts after you have sanded stained-painted it should hold up rather well..

Mac
 

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Off-Topic: Need help w/Finish for Reloading

I bought a workbench from Sears. They have those fiberboard tops, you know, the kind that soak up everything better than Bounty, "The Quicker Picker Upper". Before I assembled it, I painted it with as much Thompson's Water Seal as it would soak up. Worked out well.

Ian
 

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Off-Topic: Need help w/Finish for Reloading

I went with Ugly's oil based Dri-loc on mine , it did a wonderful job of sealing the wood and filled all the little cracks and crevices .

Then about every year or so i put another coat on it just to keep it looking good .

P.S. the white helps these old eyes find all the little things i seem to drop :-D :-D :-D
 

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Off-Topic: Need help w/Finish for Reloading

Well, I got the bench framed up this afternoon. :grin: Exterior demensions when finish will be 26"Dx36.5"Tx48"W. I may put a folding shelf on one side to make it longer when needed.

I would have made more progress but I bumped my wife's garage door sensor with a shop vac and knocked it out of alignment. Then I had to fix that. :x

I'm going to stop by Lowes and/or Home Depot one evening this week and see what they have in stock. I like the urethane on top of stain or paint idea.
 

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Off-Topic: Need help w/Finish for Reloading

might want to look at bar top. basically a very thick uerethane. hard as a rock and smooths out by itself.
 

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Off-Topic: Need help w/Finish for Reloading

When you cut the top, make sure you have enough overhang/lip past your framing to mount your press to. The first one I made didn't have this feature so I had to use a piece of .250 steel plate to mount my presses to.
 

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Off-Topic: Need help w/Finish for Reloading

Phonemane: Thanks for the tip about bar top.

Cheatermk3: Thanks for the reminder about overhang. I need to look at my Rockchucker press which I've had boxed up for years (no time to reload) and see how much overhang it needs.

I got so distracted with designing for storage inside the bench (my wife hates the ammo cans I have stacked in the basement :grin: ) I had forgotten to see whether I need to design in some overhang. But no harm yet done because I haven't yet made the bench top.

Ten or 11 years ago when I built my first reloading bench I used a double layer of plywood for the top. I built in several inches of overhang at the front. The double layer of plywood kept the overhanging portion from flexing when using the press.
 

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Off-Topic: Need help w/Finish for Reloading

I'd recommend a quality latex primer followed by two coats of latex paint. It's easy to apply, and easy to clean up. If you scuff the surface, or drill holes in it on accident, or scrape it up bad, simply patch with bondo, sand, and refinish. You won't be afraid to "use" the table top. Just re-paint the top surface every other year or whenever you feel like it to keep it looking like new.

Have you ever tried to keep a varnished table top looking good? Especially one that is also a workbench? The finish will mar, scratch, and look dirty all the time. I like my table tops to look clean and heavy duty. Clear coats are just so hard to maintain in good shape when you've got tools and chemicals and tape on them.

Latex paint!
 

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Off-Topic: Need help w/Finish for Reloading

stiff neck: I like your idea... Will do that to mine. Thanks, Mike
 

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Off-Topic: Need help w/Finish for Reloading

Thanks, guys, for your suggestions. :D I went to a good local hardware store yesterday. They had a pourable finish for use on bar tops, etc. It looked pretty interesting.

I opted to use Minwax stain (Sedona Red) topped with Rustoleum marine spar varnish. Spar varnish sounded like it was the toughest stuff readily availabe.

Yes, Stiff Neck, I saw your warnings about varnish. I'm hoping that the dark stain underneath will reduce the amount of dirt it shows. If the varnish isn't to my satisfaction I'll rough it up and coat it with paint.

Cheatermk3: Thanks for the reminder about overhang. Now I'm using sections of 2x8 laid front to back across the top of the bench. I've cut them to give me 3" of overhang across the front of the beck. That should be more than enough for most presses out there. I'll put a layer of 1/2" ply on top. The bench is now 29" deep instead of 26." :D
 

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Off-Topic: Need help w/Finish for Reloading

Careful with solvents around that table if you use varnish like you're planning. Gun scrubber and similar cleaners can really mess it up bad. Also, careful pulling up duct tape or pounding parts, you'll mess it up. Repairs are not as easy with varnish, especially if the damage goes down to the stain like a chemical spill might cause. Just a heads up. I learned that the hard way. Also, a dark stain under a clear coat will show LOTS of swirl marks, scratches, and fingerprints that make it look "dirty". Just like a glossy black car.

Go ahead and experiment, that's half the fun!
 
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