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Remaking my jewelers bench


#1

Hello Everyone,

I have what should be a simple question, I am remaking my bench it
will 24 inches deep by 48 inches wide. I want to cut out a half
circle because it is hard to reachover everything to get to my
tools. What would be a good size for the cut out? I have marked out
an area 18 wide and 9 inches deep would this be enough or is it just
a personal choice?

George in Green Bay


#2

Totally personal choice, I personnally would not do a cut out, but
if physically you are haveing trouble reaching then that is a
solution, and the correct measure for the indivifual would be to
measure the lenght /distance of arm from arm pit to palm and see how
much clearance YOU need to reach your tools and such. Hratch


#3

Whats the bench top made of? Proper wood? or ply? or MDF? also how
thick? Why not try the 9 by 18 you mention, if its not enough then
you can always cut out some more.

I presume you will be using a jig saw to cut the curve.

What ever works for you.

you will sit at Your bench.

I stand at mine, with the 3rd hand, a 5 in leg vice bolted to the
half way mark. my bench is 12 ft long by 4ft wide made from 2in
thick by 8in pine boards on 6 by 6 in legs One end has a 6 ton fly
press fpr blanking and the other has a smaller 3 ton ditto.

tools are on shelving along all walls.

Never enough room!!. But then all my work is wrought, some designs
dont have any soldering/brazing all made cold.


#4

I think you should test it. do you have some scrap plywood that you
can sacrifice to the project? cut out the proposed top and see if it
works. that way you can try different things and make sure they it’s
right.

It would seem to me that if you are tall and long you will need
less. If you are short and wide you will need more. This is your
bench. It has to suityou. It has to fit you, and you have a shot at
doing it right. Look at averages, but only as a guide line. You are
not the average. you are you.

(Can you tell I am a woodworker?)


#5

Hi George; my Green Bay friend

My setting bench cut-out is 24 inches wide by 12 inches deep. In the
Canadian metric system; it’s 30x 60 cms. Take your pick for which
ever is best for you.:>).

Gerry Lewy


#6

I have one of the commercially available ‘solid oak’ benches, can’t
remember who it came from, but it is one of the finest available.
Table top is approx. (48" x 26") and the center cut out area is
approx. (20" L x 8" D).

So your measurements look good. The cut out area is not a perfect
half circle, but is cut in and ‘flattens’ at the back for your bench
pin mount. Otto Frei’s website has some examples, www.ottofrei.com

MAK.


#7

What if you pour toe tools more to the sides and low. Might save
your shoulders and you won’t be reaching over hot stuff


#8

This might be a simpler solution. Start with your current bench and
leave it alone. Add two small tables or cabinets with drawers to each
side. Keeps you from having to do the woodworking. You can find these
tables or drawered pieces of cabinetry anywhere, depending on if you
want new ones (Lowes, Home Depot, etc) or used furniture at a local
flea market.


#9

Hi George,

The cutouts style bench has a couple of purposes, and how deep it is
depends on where you learned, and what you intend to do.

European style benches have a fairly deep cutout, while Americans
either have no cutout at all, or a sort of token cutout that’s
mostly there for looks. Of course, the American benches can have
drawers at the front of the workspace that there isn’t really room
for with the Euro style.

What the cutout’s for is to brace your shoulders on when engraving,
or doing delicate work. I’m going to go with the odds, and say that
you’re right handed. If not, just reverse the handedness of
everything I’m about to say.

The reason for the deep cutout is to brace your left shoulder on. It
also lets you get your right arm up onto the tabletop, to get all
those big “throw rock at dinner” muscles in your shoulder out of the
game when you’re doing delicate work like engraving.

The ultimate goal is to have the work in front of your face, at
about chin height, and maybe 6-8 inches in front. (Whatever’s
convenient for the state of your eyes.) So, to answer your question,
the cutout should be the width of your shoulders, plus enough extra
to let you move your good arm easily while filing or sawing. Depth
should be enough to put the work in front of your face, plus 6-8
inches or so. Add in more if you plan on using a GRS plate and
Benchmate, because they have about 6" of depth themselves. Make sure
it’s the right height as well. The work should be somewhere between
upper chest and chin, with your back straight, and your feet flat on
the floor. (while sitting in your favorite chair.)

I have pictures of me making an improv bench out of an old desk on my
website, here: http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/1sk

The infamous old FrankenBench plans. The pictures there will do a
better job explaining quickly than I would going over it again here.

Hope that helped.

Regards,
Brian


#10

This might be a simpler solution. Start with your current bench and
leave it alone. Add two small tables or cabinets with drawers to each
side. Keeps you from having to do the woodworking. You can find these
tables or drawered pieces of cabinetry anywhere, depending on if you
want new ones (Lowes, Home Depot, etc) or used furniture at a local
flea market.