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Chadelhardt    0

My work table tops are on there last leg so I thought it might be a good time to get rid of the canvas. I have 1/3 in plywood sanded smooth and was trying to come up with a surface treatment that might keep the clay from sticking. My idea was to try tung oil. A guy at the hardware store thought bees wax might do a better job for repelling the clay but did not know anyone who tried it. 

 

I have done a few searches and haven't found anyone who tried either of these. Just wondering if anyone here had tried either of these and how it worked out?

 

Thanks,

Chad

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Mark C.    1,797

Bees wax and mineral oil is great for butcher blocks-I suggest that over tung oil

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RonSa    188

There's tung oil and there's tung oil.

 

Real tung oil takes months to cure and was used by the Chinese for centuries to waterproof their boats (junks).

 

Then there is 'tung oil finish' that is commonly seen on the shelf of many big box hardware stores. Sadly this stuff usually contains less than 5% tung oil. It looks pretty, dries fast but it is not a durable finish. Save your money.

 

There is an outstanding product that I've been using for close to 2 decades that will seal and waterproof any wood and is extremely durable. Its called Waterlox Finish and Sealer (red can). Downside is if you don't know how to store it properly it will gel in a few days once you open the can (let me know if you want to learn how to store it).

 

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In your case I would suggest you purchase a good spar vanish (the better ones cost a bit more). This type of finish is commonly used for outdoor furniture and boats (Marine Spar Varnish). Its easy to apply and won't gel for a good while if the lid is properly closed. You could even squirt some inert gas into the can before closing the lid and the finish may last a couple of years. Spar varnish should hold up to the abrasive qualities of clay.

 

IMO bees wax and mineral oil is the worst possible finish to use (I'm biting my tongue before I say more)

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yappystudent    40

I use a worktable that came with 1" masonite top. I don't use anything on it, not even canvas, and it seems to work really great with the clay, although I do worry about it wearing unevenly over time. The light dusting of clay left behind after I sponge it clean seems to be just enough to keep the clay from sticking with the next work session, unless it's a really sloppy wet slab I've pounded into it. I can usually still lift slabs and flip them over pretty easily after rolling without any wax or fabric. I love it. My suggestion is buy a slab of this stuff to cover your worktable.

BTW masonite if you're not familiar is a sort of pressboard made from finely ground wood and resin, and that's just what it looks like. Some ppl think it's acrylic countertop material, it's not.

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bciskepottery    925

My plywood wedging table tops are unfinished.  Sponged down at end of day.  I also use unfinished plywood for ware boards. 

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Mark C.    1,797

I too haver untreated wood tops in a few places. No treatment needed. Clay does not stick

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oldlady    1,323

vote #3 for no treatment.  plain plywood.  but, if you have access to a piece of housewrap, TYVEK is one brand name, cover it and you will be happy.  it washes off with a damp/wet sponge and clay does not stick.  don't cut on it with a needle tool, though.

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Pugaboo    438

I've gone to the bare plywood as well, I covered a sealed wooden work table surface that DID make the clay stick. Clay doesn't stick to the bare plywood. I don't flood the surface with water just use a damp sponge to clean up at end of day and it has been working beautifully for me.

 

T

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Pres    896

Tung oil works well when 1/1 with turps. Soaks in, dries quicker. Used it first on my gun stocks, then on work tables.

 

 

best,

Pres

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Mark C.    1,797

Its really hard to spread the wax on a bee-I think tung oil may be easier to get onto a bee.Try a q-tip to apply

Hey its April 1st

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Chadelhardt    0

Ha ha! I havent abused any bees... yet. 😈

 

Sorry it took so long to get back. Life gets in the way sometimes.

 

Anyway, I'm experimenting with both boiled linseed oil and untreated. I haven't had a chance to do much intense work on them yet, but so far I'm liking the linseed one better. It seams to clean up a little easier and looks nicer. It does seem to stick a little less but at the end of the day it doesn't seem to make a huge difference from untreated boards that have been used for a while and have a bit of ware to them.

 

Haven't tried the bees wax yet. It's not in block form. It's a new product, a thick liquid intended as a furnature polish. A guy at the hardware store said a few people have used it to finish wood but not for this purpose. I will post a pick of it when I can. It will probably be about a week.

 

Thanks for all the help. I will keep you all posted.

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