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How to plan your jewelry making workstation
Tips on how to plan and establish your jewelry work area.
If you would like a place to find bench making plans, please visit my guide on Building Your Own Jewelers Bench.
Before you go ahead and set up a jewelers bench ask yourself a few questions:
-Do I have the space for a jewelers bench to fit my needs?
-Are there electric outlets near where I want my bench set up?
-Will I have sufficient lighting?
-Is the location near where I can be easily distracted?
Those are just a few of many questions you can ask yourself about your workstation, and there are many more questions you can ask yourself about getting into the jewelry profession, but if you are reading this guide, I would think you already have made the decision to make jewelry as a profession or a hobby.
Your jewelers bench must be a location where your creative juices can flow freely. It must be a place where you feel comfortable. Remember that every item you make will eventually be sold or given as a gift. Because each piece of jewelry is made and holds a bit of your creativity, it is important that nothing can come between you and your creative flow.
When looking for a bench, remember that some of the most simple and inexpensive solutions are the best. I currently work at a bench that I built myself, but if you do a quick search, you can find benches that won’t break the bank. www.contenti.com currently lists a hardwood bench on the cheap. Keep in mind that some jewelers benches can get up into the thousands range, so if you don’t have a lot of money you can easily make your own. I may do a hub in the future on building your own bench.
If you want to be successful at jewelry making there are a few things that you should have at your bench. Now this is not an exhaustive list, and it will be different for different types of jewelers, but I think you will get the general idea. All these items should be within reach so you do not have to get out of your chair to manipulate them. This list does not cover the myriad of tools you could use, just the things directly relating to your bench.
-a small bench vise
-a jewelers bench pin
-lots of good lighting (Ott lights are great!)
-Firebrick or charcoal blocks
-a flexible magnifying glass
-an organizer cabinet or drawer
-a bench block
-a magnetic torch holder
-a third hand tool
That seems to be pretty good. I know that there are probably tons of things that could be used on your bench, but I think I listed all the major fixtures of mine.
Next you are going to have to look for the most comfortable chair you have ever been in. You are going to spend hours there making jewelry right? It is very important that you select a chair that sets you at the right height to your bench and has good support for your body.
Pad the floor with one of those squishy kitchen floor mats. Believe me; you’ll thank me for suggesting one of those. Remember that this area is where you are going to be spending a lot of time. You want to spend that time in comfort right?
Let’s see, big bench full of tools, nice comfy chair, padded floor, plenty of light and did I say more tools than you can count? When you set up your bench, just make sure it fits you. Use my advice and add your own to it. Own your process; get good, really good at what you want to do. Most important, have fun with it. Make sure it is something you can enjoy for years to come and you will realize that your bench setup is just the tip of the iceberg.
If you were looking for a place to find bench making plans, please visit my guide on Building Your Own Jewelers Bench.
Bench Pin Assortment