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Workbench Blog

Can A Workbench Be Furniture?

Posted on February 16, 2013 at 9:55 AM

Well it can be if you want to revive the workbench that grandfather used while making furniture in Philadelphia.

But not to use as a working bench, intending instead to use it as a console table or a foyer table. While  some of the deeper wear will remain, it needs cleaning, the paint and glue removed, and a more developed finish than the thin coating of tung oil or shellac used on work tables.

We think this is a great example of re-tasking or up-cycling trade or industrial fixtures into contemporary interior design.

While taking the bench apart to begin resurfacing, we found this label from Noblit Brothers and Co in Philadelphia. It seems like a maker's mark rather than an asset badge. We only know Noblit as a hardware distributor ca 1924 or so. Perhaps they offered more than that.

Here are some sections of the bench after the glue, paint and stain has been stripped.  The white card is for reference. 

The completed workbench.  A golden brown background color, with a darker brown glaze to pop the distressing.  A satin topcoat by Valspar gives gleam without glare.  YES!  It can be furniture!  We feel lucky to have worked on this.

By James Conklin




Categories: Furniture Refinishing, Projects