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Design a Workshop [was: Rebecca K. Beckham]



Welcome. You have a very unique situation in that you can actually design
a workshop from scratch. I was in a similar situation when I moved my
workshop from home to a store. One thing I had learned from working at
home is that I wanted everything within reach. No more moving from one
room to another in order to complete different tasks. I have about the
same space you will. It’s more that you’ll need to start out. I set up my
space in a “U” shape. I built the 4’ workbench in the back of Tim
McCreights “The Complete Metalsmith”, and that is one leg of the “U”. To
the left of that is an 8’ table height bench that my contractor built out
from the wall. On that is my pickle(crock) pot and my soldering tools
(when not in use). The center of the bench is workspace (when I clean it
off) for doing bead stringing, etc. The security monitor is also on this
bench. The other leg of the “U” is a 4’ computer table (piled high with
papers) with my computer(of all things). Across from the open end of the
"U" is a file cabinet. A chair on wheels in the center and everything is
within reach. The rest of the space is used to store all of the clutter I
collect. Someday I’ll organize and set up a real polishing station. For
now everything is done at my bench.

The down side of this efficient workcenter is that I’ve gained about 15
lbs since I opened the store, because I spend most of my day in that chair
in the center.

Good luck, and hope this helps.

Sharon Ziemek


Hi Becky (can I call you Becky?),

A couple years ago I built a 12 x 16 studio, with five windows, out behind
the house. I figured that would give me plenty of space to grow into. I
didn’t expect to run out of space, like I already have, so quickly.

Home improvement stores have workbench kits, predrilled, precut, etc., for
about $50. I got two, and actually bolted them to the wall studs. I put
one of them (where I solder) up on cinder blocks to make it stool height.
I also “bit the bullet” and bought myself a genuine jeweler’s bench. What
a treat! An 8’ folding table acts as a desk, design area, etc. I put up a
few shelves above the table for books, magazines, catalogs, etc. I also
mounted two old bookcases on other walls for shelving

One of the neatest storage things I did was for storing findings, beads and
small parts. I cut several pieces of 1x4 wood to a 50" length. I then
screwed a row of baby food jar lids down to the wood (open end up), then
mounted them on the ceiling beams over my jeweler’s bench. Then I filled
up the jars and screwed them into the caps hanging down. Everything’s
clean, neat and within easy reach! By the way, use two screws per cap…
that way they won’t spin on ya!

Now I’ve got to figure out how to build a new bench for two pieces of
lapidary equipment I bought last year… and where to put a sink. Hmmm…