Aftercare of workbenches
Whilst our workbenches are manufactured to last a lifetime and are generally maintenance free, refurbishment of the timber work needs to be undertaken, depending on the usage. This is recommended perhaps every year or other year, the tops being most important. The frames and carcases may be done much less frequently. If cover tops are used on the bench tops, this would prolong the period between refurbishment.
The main consideration before re-coating is to clean the surface removing any glue, paint, dirt, oil etc. This is most often achieved by sanding with a belt or orbital sander, belt sanding being much more efficient, although care needs to be taken to ensure that the surface material remains flat. Suitable dust extraction is essential. There are areas especially around the frames and carcase where hand sanding will be required.
A de-greasing or cleaning solution may be required on metalwork benches prior to sanding. In extreme cases, a paint stripper would remove all lacquer back to the bare wood.
Any holes or surface damage can be filled using a suitable coloured two-pack filler and sanded when dry.
Specialised woodworking coat their benches with a water based, water resistant clear lacquer. This can be applied using a brush, roller or spray gun. Roller or brush would probably be best for schools. Two coats of lacquer would be sufficient when refurbishing, de-nibbing between coats with 150 grit abrasive paper.
Steel frames are epoxy powder coated. These can also be sanded back to remove the glossy surface and provide a key prior to repainting. Depending on the colours being used, a base coat and topcoat may be required.
Re-tightening draw bolts
Draw bolts are used extensively for connecting the frames of solid beech benches and cleated tops. These joints are designed to shrink and expand if required. The bolts holding the joints may need re-tightening with a 17mm socket (don't over tighten) during or after the first winter they were delivered. Heating in the building can cause shrinkage within the timber. Once the bolts have been re-tightened, they should not need doing again.
Oiling – steel tops and vices
Steel tops with rolled over edging will need to be lightly oiled occasionally to stop tarnishing of metal.
It is good practice to check the threads of vices are clean, with no glue build up, and lightly oil periodically.
Over the past 25 years, our company has produced thousands of workbenches for schools, colleges and individuals. If the above measure are taken, we are confident that our benches will prove to be a one off purchase which will last the user a lifetime.
Any further help and advice can be given by telephoning 02476 349100.