Tradition has it that you should either use a 50/50 mix of boiled linseed oil* and turpentine or not bother with a finish at all. I still like to do a bit of tool fiddling now and then – which often involves some grubby metalworking – so I decided to put a finish on mine to stop the worst of the dirt getting embedded in the top.

I don’t like the dog pee yellow colour of BLO on pine so I decided to make my own concoction. The look I was going for was muddy orange with blotches, and bingo! This is exactly what I got!

You can make your own by simply mixing some miscellaneous brown varnish with BLO and turps in roughly equal proportions.

the finish actually doesn’t look too bad from certain angles.

so that’s it, the bench is basically done. The only remaining task is to drill some holes for my new holdfasts, and a handful of other jobs I might do at in the future:

* add a hardwood insert for the inside face of the vice
* add a shelf at either end

I’ll do a couple of post on the holdfasts + tools I used, vs the tools I actually needed, and that will be it. Thanks for watching!

* PS It doesn’t hurt to repeat the warning that BLO can spontaneously combust, particularly when left to dry on crumpled rags/tissues – lay them flat outside to dry