Yes, I know that I am supposed to keep it clean. I will need to clean it off since I now see how yucky it is. This is 4" square bench block and mat. I got mine from Volcano Arts.biz. http://volcanoarts.biz/cart/metalsmithing/index.htm It is about 1/3 of the way down on the page. The bottom is wood. I do suggest you get the mat or something else that is thick that will help muffle the sound. This is basically used for flattening metal. I use it all the time to flatter wire and to smooth out copper pieces that get a little warped from me working it. I use it several times a week, so I have a spot for it on my art table. You should not get it wet, so the wood part will not warp. I clean it with a little water and a towel. I will oil the block once in awhile and wipe off the excess. You will get little knicks in it. It will still work fine. It is rather heavy.