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[Looking 4] Jewelers Bench

Hello everyone,

I’m trying to get my work area together and I really need a bench. If
anyone out there has one that they don’t need any longer, please let
me know.


Hi Valerie:

Three questions:

(A) where are you? (Hard for people to know if you’re close enough to
help, if they don’t know where you are.)
(B) are you any good with carpentry type tools?
© how much of a rush are you in?

The reason I ask: when I was in school, my professor showed me how to
build "FrankenBench"™.

The short version of it is that you scrounge up one of those wooden
teacher’s desks that used to be so common in university salvage
yards, take the top off, jack it up a few inches on 1x8’s, and cut a
half-moon into the raised top. Regrettably, you have to junk the
middle drawer, and its cross strut, but that’s not a big deal. I’ve
had one since then (15+ years) and it’s still my primary bench. Rock
solid, good (deep) drawers, and lots of top space for toolboxes/
toys. Total damages (then) of about $50.

(I’ve used all the fancy custom jeweler’s benches professionally,
but I still come home to my FrankenBench. I prefer it.)

I built one during a class I did a few years back, and took step-by-
step pictures, intending to do either a handout or web-page. Haven’t
done either yet, but I could probably crank out a web-page based
instruction sheet reasonably quickly. (Sometime before this time next
week.) If you (A) are comfortable with wood tools enough to do this,
and (B) could scrounge up one of those old desks, than this may be a
way to go.

Should I get cranking on the instruction sheet? (Or can you figure it
out from the short form?)

Brian Meek.

Should I get cranking on the instruction sheet? (Or can you figure
it out from the short form?) 

Oh yes, that would be a wonderful contribution to Orchid.



Definitely do the instruction sheet and let us all know where to
view it! I’ve been working on my own version of FrankenBench for a
long time, but would love to see yours!

I’m hoping to hire a goldsmith soon and will need an additional


I think you should go ahead and do the webpage(s) for the
Frankenbench ™ and let Orchid host the instructions for future
members use

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


Hi Brian -

I’d love to see those instruction sheets you plan to make up. I had
some buddies help me build one of the basic bench plans seen on the
ganoksin site but when I leave my artist in residence position at the
end of December their bench stays here. I think recycling an old desk
is a great idea. Need to keep my eyes peeled at the country auctions.

Rachel (in small town Iowa)

Hi Valerie,

From the recents posts about “where do you solder”, I’m sure there
are a variety of suggestions to be made about how to simply setup a
bench, but I’ll add my two cents of ways to get one without
investing a lot into it. First, you could find an old desk & raise it
up to more like counter height by whatever means works for that desk.
Even more simply, you could do what I had for years which was just a
wooden board of the size that fit in my space, held up by two tall
supports. In my case, these supports were wooden “boxes”, with no
front and no top, each about 2’ wide, but they could again be
whatever works for you. Inside those “boxes”, I had various drawer
things stacked, as well as some shelves with storage containers on
them, which ends up very similar to the bench I have now with lots
of drawers down each side. I had a clamp-on bench pin in the front
near the center. I like my current “official” bench better, but that
one really was not bad & it served me for several years just fine.
I’d still be using it if the current owners of my great-grandfather’s
jewelry store hadn’t overhauled the whole place and I hadn’t
wandered in there at just the right time!

Designs by Lisa Gallagher

(A) where are you? (Hard for people to know if you're
close enough to help, if they don't know where you are.)

I live in California, about 40 miles northeast of Los Angeles, but I
am willing to travel and pay shipping, if it’s not too terribly
expensive. The rest of the questions were answered off-list.


I bought my hard wood jewelers bench from Frei & Borrel of San
Frinsko. They told me I could pickup the bench by A drop Shipment
order. I did and saved me the shipping charges. The Cabonit shop that
makes the benches is in San Fernando Ca. which is close to me as I
live in Torrance. I picked it up in the knowk down condition and it
went together great. Their benches are premium quality.

Billy S. Bates
PS. Ask them if you can get the bench by drop shipment.

Funny that this come up. I local jewelry supplier just sent me and e-mail advertising a new
bench. It is your basic 3 drawer jewelers bench ALL WOOD. No partial
board. Butcherblock type top. All this for $299. I have the Otto
Frei bench all maple and it was like $1200. But it is the Rolls Royce
of benches.

Attached is a pic of the $299 model. If I had the room right now I
would get one for a wax bench. It is a Grobet model so just check
your area for a dealer.