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Mini bench


#1

Hi,

My name is Ehud and I am trying to get started in jewellery and
silversmithing as a hobby. I am a Special Educator working with 9
multiply and profoundly handicapped students (8 in wheelchairs, 4
need tube feeding, and two are classified as Deafblind). I love my
work and am proud of what I do but I am also looking for a hobby.

Right now I am in limbo as we are buying a place in about 1 1/2
years. For the moment we live in a fairly small apartment. There is
not much room for anything.

In September, I will be taking some more courses in jewellery at the
Community College in Vancouver BC though I have done a couple of
courses already. My wife is proud of the ring and “cuff” bracelet I
made for her. The bracelet is made of reticulated silver with an
inset tourmaline cabochon. I reticulated the silver and made the
stone setting. Of course I set the stone. All of this was done with
the help of a great teacher, a local jeweller name Liz Abbot.

I am now trying to explore silversmithing and bought the book by
Finegold based on a recommendation on this list. I am delayed in
getting started by not having a place to work at this time.

Now, because I live in a small apartment, I don’t have room for a
bench and gas tanks. While at the hardware store today I saw a MAPP
gas kit (1 lb. MAPP tank, 1 lb. O2 tank, striker, gages and nozzle).
This was set at $ 75.00 CDN and tanks are $ 10.00 CDN. Is this
sufficient for basic bench work and annealing silver and copper for
smithing? Are there problems with this system?

Thanks for all of the interesting I have read so far.
If you guys have any suggestions for how to proceed in my
circumstances, please let me know.

Ehud

PS: I am also taking an art blacksmithing class this summer at the
Kootenay School of the Arts. This is a guy thing with a buddy which
is why I am not taking any jewellery classes though they are offered.


#2
    gas kit (1 lb. MAPP tank, 1 lb. O2 tank, striker, gages and
nozzle). This was set at $ 75.00 CDN and tanks are $ 10.00 CDN.  Is
this sufficient for basic bench work and annealing silver and
copper for smithing?  Are there problems with this system? 

Hello Ehud,

My first torch was a mini setup from the hardware store. It was a 1
lb. propane bottle with a 1 lb. oxygen bottle. It did not have any
regulators. It was good for small jobs, but the big problem was that
the oxy only lasted 10 minutes and lost pressure as it got low. I’ve
also tried using a plumber’s torch with fairly good results, I could
even manage jump rings and bezels! The trick is to not tip it over to
much, it will blow itself out. I do silversmithing as well and found
the plumber’s torch sufficient to anneal up to a 6" disc of copper.

I studied at KSA for four years, jewellery and blacksmithing. I’m
sure you will love your summer course here in Nelson. I may be
teaching a course in fold-forming(check out KSA’s website for a
description, www.ksac.bc.ca). Sincerely, Jeannette


#3

I was looking at my ganoksin entrees…i go to UCSD community
classes in jewelry (mostly silversmithing) in San Diego. I summer in
Glacier National Park and once traveled to Nelson went a spent a long
weekend at theYasodhara Asram on Kootenay Bay. I loved Nelson and
have always wanted to return for something…little did i realize it
might be for a jewelry workshop! I do photo engraving techniques and
would be happy to share what i know about that process with you all.
Anyhow, humor me, Ms Jean, and tell me how beautiful Nelson is and
all about the summer sessions trhere if yu can . Most of my studio
(about 30 or so folks ) have been sick with various forms of the flu
virus and we need perking up. I have a tourist business by Browning
and yu or anyone else is always welcome to come on down and put on a
workshop there on the Aspenwood Country Inn and
Campgrounds…www.aspenwoodcamp.com or just come visit and enjoy a
work space in my camp store. Always looking for things on
consingment.Namaste’ Patricia Smith.


#4

Patricia I checked out the web site at WWW.aspenwoodcamp.com Very
lovley but ther doesn’t seem to be any contact … Got a
number or an email address for this place??? Thanks. Frank Goss


#5

I saw on this list someone asking about a mini bench, since then I
saw something that impressed me. Since many of you go to trade shows
and the like, or their club puts on demonstrations, some have talked
to classes of school children, or travel, some also live in
apartments etc. I must say I was very impressed, so don’t let the
source throw you, this is almost a work of art.

The only real defect this bench has (as is) is that there is no
bench pin, this can be fixed. I am not sure where I saw it but there
is an add a pin that screws on to a bench with a small area to use as
a light anvil that dose the same thing as the better known one that
clamps on to the bench. As is this will simply lay on a table, with a
minor adjustment (a board screw or nailed on) this can be used with a
workmate type portable clamping bench you can get on Amazon dot com
(free shipping) for $30-35 depending on the model. If nothing else
this may give someone ideas, also for a do it yourself, Grizzly, one
of those clamp bench makers also has a maple butcher block bench top
36x24. In any event you can see this bench at
http://www.smartboat.com/lfj/workbenches.htm


#6

That portable mini-bench IS a work of art. Is there a set of plans
available?


#7
That portable mini-bench IS a work of art. Is there a set of plans
available?

I glad someone likes it, actually I sent the link to someone and the
reply was “sweet.” I was so impressed that I posted to this list, the
lapidary arts list and as a part of a letter/article the northwest
federation of mineralogy societies (my club belongs) expressed
interest in I included the link. As for plans I intend to find out,
both email addresses are dead, I have not tried calling or snail mail
yet. I also imagine that the full details include several
incarnations, as mentioned this may be a source of yet other ideas. I
understand that this is (was) on an interactive CD, hopefully there
are some left, or a new one can be copied.

http://www.plansnow.com/ptbwb.html has a set of plans for a rock
steady, knockdown portable workbench, that top would fit right on as
is. Or I am sure a tray and a pull out shelf can be added. Between
the two of them I believe something remarkable can be made, every bit
as good as a whole lot of the ready-mades and portable as well.


#8

Do you need plans? It looks like a nice 22 inch slab of 2x12 with a
leather cover and a stop rail on the back. Other additions as you
need them… Betsy Great project for a slow weekend though!


#9
Do you need plans?

(Not actually, but.)

That portable mini-bench IS a work of art. Is there a set of plans
available?  I glad someone likes it, actually I sent the link to
someone and the reply was "sweet." . As for plans I intend to find
out". 

Below is part of a reply (edited), it should clarify some things,
the author has expressed an interest in building a "high tech"
version and perhaps marketing it, basically for those in his work and
of course it can be used for jewelry . To Wit:

Glad you liked my workbench … Your glowing review, forwarded by
Ann Berger. compelled me to respond. There’s more than meets the eye
… My first was made to fit a big Lazy-Boy so I could watch TV and
do wax carving (3/4" lightweight cedar, rested on the arms). I had a
heat lamp attached to it to keep the wax at a nice working temp. The
magnifying glass worked incredibly well, it had a right angle quarter
inch, stainless rod which fit into the tool holes in the rail, easily
moved, stayed in place and VERY adjustable and simple. The tool rack
is 3/6" ss welding rod, cheap and available. The absent bench pin is
a $5, disposable hardwood screw-on that will go on the surface vs.
the slot on the typical jeweler’s bench. Drywall screws for the
practical, carriage bolts w/ recessed nuts for the fancy. (Note: My
club uses a homemade slanting box like affair with the front of the
pin projecting out, this clamps on to the tables and gives the added
height you want.) The next iteration was built for field archaeology,
which consists of mixing sand/dirt/ water, with a microscope,
sorting/looking at small artifacts, using dental picks etc. Not
unlike mineralogy where the work ranges from brutal to elegant. I
added a bracket for a cordless drill, so I had a wire wheel/grinder
attachment … very useful. This version was built from a scrap,
pressure-treated 2x12 as a base. It was heavy, but the inertia is
important. (I had a Foredom hooked to it for a while. These days, of
course, everything is built overseas and weight is a negative.) For
bench work, inertia is important. The covering was �" leather,
contact cemented and stapled and virtually indestructible. I had a
loose “asbestos-free” tile that sat on it, but the leather seemed to
tolerate a lot of torch hits. There is something missing in the
drawing explanation you saw which is a strip across the bottom front,
which hooks on the front of a table [or on a front loader bucket] It
provides resistance and stability for filing, etc. The apron is
really important for jewelers, catches stones, gold filings, etc. but
also important for small injector parts, screws, etc. One version I
did had power strip w/ 6 outlets on the back and that worked well,
depending on the application. Work ergonomics is important to me and
there are many field projects that require precision, ballistic
tools, and where sloppy work or lost parts can be a disaster. . Why
am I telling you all this? A. you took time to write about the
mini-bench concept several times, B. Jewelers, mineral folks, etc.
both do nasty but precision work. I’m pleased that somebody would
get the concept prior to even trying it. Making the lives better of
people who work in the field is a good thing to do, but I’m not a
philanthropist. . The links are indeed dead now. Absent strong
interest, I’m happy with dead links on the LFJ … as unversed.

(In conclusion I really liked what I saw, it’s practical and I like
the lay out. This would be ideal for shows and demo and such, and not
a bad idea at least for a point of departure for those on a budget
who would like to get involved as it will fit on a table or such. It
will give much of the benefit of a full bench for working.)


#10

Im sorry, but I lost the link with the mini-bench? Can I have it again? I was planning to go back to study it...but.....link gone :-( Im going back to silver filigree after 25years away from it! I
finished my education when I was 21, now I`m 48…wow… fingers are
clumsy, eyes bad…but…fun!

Lise
http://www.justliss.com


#11

OK, I give in… I somehow missed the beginning of the discussion
about this marvelous portable mini bench. I searched the archives,
but didn’t find it there either. I gather there was a link to an
image of the bench? Can somebody clue me in? Sorry to cause
repetition, don’t know why I didn’t see it/can’t find it, but
curiosity is driving me crazy! Thanks for your indulgence-


#12

the address is http://www.smartboat.com/lfj/workbenches.htm

Nice illustration.


#13
I'm sorry, but I lost the link with the mini-bench? Can I have it
again? I was planning to go back to study it...but...link gone" I
gather there was a link to an image of the bench? Can somebody
clue me in? Sorry to cause repetition, don't know why I didn't see
it/can't find it, but curiosity is driving me crazy!" 

Not a problem, when I found this I can not remember just what it was
I typed into the search engine (you have to be inventive). The link
is http://www.smartboat.com/lfj/workbenches.htm I had to hit the
refresh button several times, perhaps this has been busy. I would
like to make a suggestion, for laying on a table either the bench or
the pin must be raised, at least if much work is to be done, as being
hunched over for a long period can play hell with your back. If you
used 4x6 runners and the top was 1-inch ply, or whatever, this would
give you about 71/2 inches above the table and that would correspond
with the pin height of a number of benches on the market, once the
pin was bolted to the top. Those runners should be out of redwood or
Douglas fir or some such sturdy but light weight wood. To the front
of this a strip of ash or other wood suitable for tool handles
perhaps extending 1/8 or so below the runners to catch the lip of the
table, this extended outward from the sides a bit would also serve
as handle for carrying. This would also give you a natural bay, into
which you can add a sweep try and a roll out shelf for tools and
such. As you can see there are possibilities in the concept, I would
want leather, formica being a second choice as a tolerable material
to take an inadvertent torch hit, but the basic concept of this is
well thought out, again I like this. I have been giving my cutting
board (butcher block) a look (20x16), this would make a good one, but
I really don’t think I could do that.