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Best sink for small jewelry studio

What is the best type of sink to install in a small jewelry shop? I
am renovating my studio and don’t know which is best: porcelain or
ceramic, stainless steel, molded plastic? Other?

Chemicals/substances most used: standard pickle, flux, glassbrush,
ultrasonic cleaner.

Occasional use (could use alternate sink): ferric chloride, pickle
for nickel, acetone.

what ever sink material you buy…think of a easy access drain-port.
Why? in case you drop a ring down the drain, or a few important
things, like dropped stones. This way they won’t get flushed down
the drain on its way to the sewer…

Gerry Lewy

Hi Lucy,

I have used all types of sinks over the past 38 years and I have
stuck with Stainless.

Find a thicker gage than the Home Depots carry because in our trade
things will dent the bottom easily. We don’t do dishes at the shop!
One thing I would pay attention to is the type of drainage and type
of piping you install, very-very important.

I have a trap that I can open if I drop a stone or loose one. I also
use a small-small hot-water heater to keep the grease’s cut and
flowing. Use a mixer faucet (single lever-rotatable type) so it does
not take two hands to get warm water or you may have some thing in
one hand and need water-on.

Buy good equipment if you are planning on being in the business for
the next 50 years!!! That’s my story and I’m stick-en to-it.

Stephen Wyrick, CMBJ, Gemmologist.

I have a very small stainless steel bar sink in my studio. Small, to
save precious counter space. It is very stained. I do not care at
all; it’s a studio, not a kitchen.


A month ago I bought a plastic laundry sink off of Craig’s list for
$9 and then spent another $100 at Home Depot for copper, faucet,
connections, and waste pipe. Since I do a lot of rock tumbling and
lapidary work washing the sludge into the house sewer system is a no
no. It will set up in your pipes like concrete. Then you will have a
long and expensive relationship with a plumber to fix. So I plumbed
my sink to run out into my back yard. So I have to be careful what I
put down because I have dogs and don’t want to poison them. But I
love it. I have hot and cold running water in my shop in the garage.

So I would recommend the plastic or composite laundry sinks they
sell at the home improvement stores for $40. If you are going to hook
it up to the sewer system I recommend getting one of those special
traps that the bottom snaps out in case something goes down the drain
you want to get back.

BTW it’s not a good idea to wash acetone down the sink. It might eat
away at the plastic sewer pipe and basically bad for the environment.
I use a lot of acetone and when I need to dispose of it I just leave
it in an open container to evaporate.

Rick Copeland
Silversmith and Lapidary Artisan
Rocky Mountain Wonders
Colorado Springs, Colorado

So I would recommend the plastic or composite laundry sinks they
sell at the home improvement stores for $40. If you are going to
hook it up to the sewer system I recommend getting one of those
special traps that the bottom snaps out in case something goes down
the drain you want to get back. 

if you’re working with precious metals, you might consider adding a
componant. The drain from the sink can run into a modestly sized
covered plastic garbage can, the pipe running into one side of the
can just below the top. (cut a hole, insert pipe, seal with silicone
sealer, etc.) The at the other side of the can, maybe slightly lower
but still high up on the can, another pipe is the lead to your actual
drain, the sewer, or whatever. This added can becomes a settling
tank, and sludge, polishing compounds washed off hands, and
whatever, settles to the bottom of the can, and can eventually be
sent to a refiner. At our shop, we’re using a setup that’s actually
two such cans/tanks in series, which improves recovery. About every
five years or so, there’s enough sludge settled out to be worth
digging out of the can (a seriously smelly and messy job, I might
add) and sending in. Work, yes, but the returns seem to justify it…


I use a heavy duty metal washout basin for chemicals, they are
collected into separately marked enamel lined cans and then either
reused if possible (no contamination) or disposed of in a smaller
appropriate container, I have a laundry type sink ( plastic and
cheap at home stores) for emergencies and hand washing,and the depth
is handy for a number of reasons, and it can be plumbed right into
the whole house system, and grey water redirected to the garden or
washing machine or wherever you want it to go to recycle the
overflow,and also connected to the plumbing I have a zinc three
compartment sink- It’s a very New Orleans thing to have these zinc
sinks. they are plumbed with copper pipes and one of the compartments
is strictly used for / devoted to precious metal washing and
processes.itties in to the rest of the plumbing but utilises white
PVC pipe and has an attached snap in collector for small particles
and stones that get away or are usually lost in most small shops.the
sludge that it produces gets dried and sent to the refinery at the
end of the year for reclamation- you would be amazed at how much cash
comes back from having a two or three compartment sink and setting it
up to collect metals, and attaching a snap-in type fixture to trap
stones, jewelry and other tings that would normally be lost if it
were not installed. so think about your needs, what you dispose of,
what chemicals you use and how you deal with them and always have a
sink for emergency use only- you can have hardware installed that
requires you just step on a foot pedal to turn it on if your hands
are not free, or, one that is is activated by motion or a number of
other easy methods that cost a bit more but make for a far safer
environment in a small shop in which only one person is around most
of the time.


For my sink I purchased a “plastic” double utility sink w/legs from
Home Depot. Then I cut a piece of plywood, sealed it and placed it
over the left sink so it tilted towards the right sink and overlapped
it a smidgen. Then I put a dish drainer tray on the plywood and after
putting a Y on the faucet I ran a hose over to the upper side of the
drain tray where I could now have a trickle of water running over my
metal as I cleaned it. The other opening of the Y was for water flow
into the right sink.

Eventually I want to attach a little motor for a brass brush to the
dividing wall on the inside of the covered left sink with a hole for
the motor shank and the brass brush attached on the rightside of the
dividing wall. I think this would be an excellent way to set up a
brass brush under a trickle of water.

This double utility sink setup works well for me because it is free
standing and I had water pipes but no cabinet and/or sink.

Best Wishes,

I installed just a basic plastic utility tub in my shop. Works fine
and I don’t have to worry how grungy it’s getting. And believe me,
it’s grungy! Just make sure to get a tall arched faucet, as opposed
to a cheapo little one that’s right down between the handles. It
still doesn’t need to be pricey, but it’s not usually the "standard"
that they point you towards when getting such a basic sink. When
it’s up out of the way it’s much more useful for various “shop” type

Designs by Lisa Gallagher