To all my fellow Orchid members,
Many years ago someone had a clever idea to share pictures of their jeweler’s bench -just as it was without cleaning or straightening it up and that evolved into the Bench Exchange here on Orchid.
2 days ago Rob Meixner shared a post showing his own shop-made wire draw bench which is a great design, BTW, Rob.
Draw benches are great tool for any metal artist to have, but at the moment I think the least expensive commercially made portable draw bench is the Durston which costs $560- $600 depending upon the jewelry supplier. I have used Durston brand tools, so I’m sure this is a great value for this bench .
But what if you can’t make that kind of investment just to draw wire? That is why I like Rob’s solution.
So here is my version of a home-made portable draw bench, and I encourage others out there to post theirs if they have one. My version me cost $150. It is made with U channel aluminum ($60), a strap winch I purchased online ($45), a pair of locking jaw pliers (think Vise Grip, but not that brand, $25), and a Newton-rated caribiner for mountaineering ($20).
My buddy who has a machine shop cut the slot in the U channel for the drawplate, and TIG welded a plate on the other end to attach the winch.
In my experience there isn’t anyone who produces a pair of draw tongs that work as well as the locking jaw pliers I use in this design. I can adjust the tension of the jaws so they will adequately grab and hold the wire I am drawing without crushing and weakening the tapered end of the wire. My bench is 4’ long