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Sikkens Cetol worked great on a boat in a salt water atmosphere in Maryland as well as total East Coast cruising, on the teak. Every two or 3 years, a light sanding and add another coat. Easily repairable without stripping down to bare wood and starting over like the varnish guys did.
 

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Sikkens Cetol worked great on a boat in a salt water atmosphere in Maryland as well as total East Coast cruising, on the teak. Every two or 3 years, a light sanding and add another coat. Easily repairable without stripping down to bare wood and starting over like the varnish guys did.
agreed...
 
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Discussion Starter #24
I've attached some new pictures so you can see what I'll be working with. The pic of the edge is closer to the true color of the board than the other two.

What I didn't write last time was that I was going to try the three solvents that I have in my shop, mineral spirits, alcohol and acetone to see if any of those do anything. If not, then I was going to sand to see if I could get to bare wood. If so, it's some kind of film finish but my guess is, it isn't. I don't have a heat gun so I hadn't even thought of that. As a last resort I'll buy some furniture stripper like the ones Stick suggested.

I don't have time to try any of this today since I'm headed out of town early tomorrow (Thursday) AM, to visit some grandkids in Boston, and won't be back until next week. I'll work on it then and let you know what happens. If none of that works, I'll be looking for the next approach.

Thanks for your help. This is a totally new learning experience for me. For the last 12 years that I've been woodworking as a hobby I've always worked with raw lumber, starting with the big box junk and graduating to a real lumber yard where I can buy lumber and mill it myself. I get a kick out of face planing a board and seeing the grain and figure appear. I was planning on buying a rough cut slab for the bench but when my wife and I went to a warehouse full of second hand furniture and reclaimed lumber we fell in love with this board. I so don't want to screw this one up,.
 

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I went and looked at my cans again just to be sure. I have Minmax Tung oil and Minmax Teak oil with UV. I bought them at Walmart and they both finish as a varnish more so than a BLO finish. I don't think either is great out in the central Texas sun. I have not used BLO outside so no comment. I have used spar varnish on a sailboat I owned 20 years ago which did better in the sun. But by the time spar varnish was bad you had to strip it all off before you stated again. There may be better finishes out there which you can touch up since my experience is 20 years ago. I also don't know what real Tung oil is like. It could be more oil like but you might want to check.


I have used BLO and bee's wax on my workbenches and I have been quite happy with the finish. But they are not outside.

I used wipe on poly on my kitchen cabinets when I redid them a couple of months ago. It will be interesting to see how the sun through the windows affects the poly. It is Minmax oil poly without UV protection.
 

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Discussion Starter #27
I got back from visiting the grandkids in Boston late Monday. Today I had a root canal. While in the chair I was wondering, what's worse, the root canal, or the travel part of the trip. I haven't figured that out yet.

I tried the three solvents that I have in my shop to see if any of them had an effect on the finish on the slab. The 3 shop cloth pictures show the result of acetone, alcohol and mineral spirits. Even though the acetone had the greatest effect, I really didn't detect any difference on the slab itself. I wonder if the acetone just picked up dirt and cleaned the surface.

I then tried 150 grit with my ROS and it did take some of the surface finish off. Being the novice finisher that I am, about all I can get out of these tests is that I can probably clean off any accumulated dirt with acetone and then give it a good sanding. I'd finish it with Tung oil, 50:50 with mineral spirits for several coats and then go straight Tung for a few coats, waiting a day between each coat to make sure it's dry. I don't know if I should sand between coats. I can feel for dust nibs and go lightly with 220 sand paper if necessary.

Based on what I've written and shown, is this the best approach?
 

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Mineral Spirits is a very gentle cleaner...unlikely to strip anything other than wax.
Try Lacquer Thinner and a scraper, or Lacquer Thinner and steel wool.
You're going to go through a lot of sandpaper.
 

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Discussion Starter #30
It has been a while so how did you finish stand up to being outdoors and what did you use?
I ended up using pure tung oil. I didn't write down how many coats I used but I think it was 3. Your question encouraged me to take a closer look at it and the result is that it's due for some maintenance. There may be a bit of mold on the surface (after all, it lives outside in Florida) and it feels rough. The roughness may just be an accumulation of dirt. I'll clean it off and if it's still rough I'll sand it before recoating with the Tung Oil.

Thanks for the follow up. I'm going to add reminders to closely check the bench every 6 months from now on.
 
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