I'm building a mobile bench top for my home brewing system. The system will be all electric powered by heating elements actually in the kettles (think hot water heating elements). When this type of system is built it is not uncommon to just set the vessels on top of a wood surface. I'm only giving this info up front so you know that any heat involved is being transferred from the vessel itself, not exterior burners.
I'm planning to use 3/4 ply as a substrate, then some leftover unfinished 3/4 hardwood flooring (oak, likely) to cover the surface. Many simply use dimension lumber for the top, then leave it unfinished but I'd like to make it a bit more attractive.
Two of the vessels will reach a max of 170*, and one will be in the 205-210* range, and I'd guess 95% of that temp will transfer to the wood surface. From what I've read, Urethane varnish is the most durable, Spar Urethane seems to be what is commonly found. I think anything oil based will be better than something water based.
Does anyone know of a finish that will work in these conditions without going cloudy after some heat? I don't need much for color, I just want to protect the wood from moisture and preserve it. This bench will spend it's life in the garage as well so UV isn't really a concern. If the answer is simply "no", I guess I can leave it unfinished, but I'd like to do something. Even linseed oil if nothing else.