Hi Orchid Lovers
I dont know about everyone else but my bench always look like a bomb has
gone off on it, tools here and there, pieces of metal, stones scattered
over it, pieces of paper etc. I guess you know the story.
Is there any way or method for keeping my bench tidy?
Andrew: I think its genetic, there's no cure :-) I've tried myself to
organize but always end up crowding myself off the bench and the being
forced to clean up. I have a plastic deal with about 60 little drawers in
it that helps immenseley but all those wheels and burs etc. and too many
tools do me in everytime. Maybe there's a twelve step program
Art Jewelry for Conscious People
I recently added a tool drawer over my sweeps drawer, with a half drawer
insert in the new drawer. It has made all the difference in the word! I
keep all of my pliers, needle files, burnishers, gravers and sanding sticks
in these two drawers right under my nose, instead of on my bench. I also
added a tomato sauce can for my tweezers and another one for my wax carving
tools. My burs are kept in the holder that came with them or in a block of
styrofoam and all of my flex shaft polishing and sanding 'stuff' is kept
in a 3"x5" shallow box cover. Large tools, extra/replacement buffs and
tools, etc. I store in the four drawers on the side of my bench, and for
saw blades, I drilled holes diagonally in the 2" side of a piece of 2x4,
labeled each hole for a saw size and mounted that on the side of my bench I
don't walk past. All of this on a bench built using The Complete
Metalsmiths specs for a 4' wide bench. I didn't think it was possible for
me to have a "tidy" bench, but with a home for everything, it is easier to
pick up after each job or at the end of the day, and I don't spend half of
my bench time searching for the tool I need.
Hope this helps.
a> my bench always look like a bomb has
a> gone off on it, tools here and there, pieces of metal, stones scattered
a> over it, pieces of paper etc. I guess you know the story.
a> Is there any way or method for keeping my bench tidy?
G'day Andrew: I was once told to put two tools back for every one I took
out: it didn't work. Perhaps I should make it three? But if my bench gets
too bad my wife threatens to 'tidy' it - and I daren't have that, so I get
to work! Cheers,
/ / John Burgess,
/ //\ @John_Burgess2
/ / \ \
/ (___) \
A wise man once said, "A clean desk (bench) is the sign of a sick mind."
Dave Sebaste ;)
My bench is untidy too- I have 3 studio mates and they are all much
neater- however they don't have as many tools- lately I've been getting
more organized- more bur and graver racks and such.
Richard D Hamilton, Jr.
<< Is there any way or method for keeping my bench tidy? >>
Andrew I used to have this same problem and spent more time looking for
things than actually working. I finallf taught myself to do a very
important thing that solved all of this. I put each item up after I use it.
Simple. It takes some self diciplin but after a while it becomes a habit
and you do not even have to think about it. If at the end of each job I
still have tool left out I will place them where they belong befor I start
the next Job. It will make a big difference and lower your stress level a
lot I you do not have to spend 30 min. looking for that chuck key that is
clutched in your hand the whole time!! RED
< I keep all of my pliers, needle files, burnishers, gravers and sanding
sticks in these two drawers right under my nose, instead of on my bench.>
For my pliers I fastened a brass rod (about 3/16" dia) bent to the shape
of the bench cutout to the cutout at my left hand with a distance of maybe
1.5". The noses of the pliers should not project above the bench surface.
I have all my regularly used pliers hung over the rod. For gravers one
could try a stand for stamps, the sort that revolves, from an office
supplies. Some sort of colour coding the handles will help also.
< My burs are kept in the holder that came with them or in a block of
I use a magnetic strip mounted to a three cornered strip of wood to hold
burs that I use on a job. You can easily recognize the size and shape and
pick them off (and wouldn't scatter half a dozen of other burs if you'd
have hands like me).
I tidied my bench up once. It's like cleaning house, isn't it? You only
have to do it once?
a> Is there any way or method for keeping my bench tidy?
This is what I do: I put everything back into the correct spot that it
belongs. Peg board helps out in putting things on the wall. I also
drilled holes in the handles of my hammers and hung them on the side of my
bench. I have little "medicine" bottles with lids to hold my small things.
Also office or small drawers (the type that people use for screws and
accessories ). About scrap metal, I am only using "Non-precious" metals
right now, due to being a beginner....so I have a scrap bucket with a lid.
Keeping tidy on the bench is just mind over matter, well this is what my
Metal-smithing instructor says. You can get more work (or play) done, if
everything is back in the original spot and you don't have to go a huntin'
I have the same problem as most of you- MBS--messy bench syndrome. I
think it is becauseI I only function visually, i.e., my brain is wired so
I need to see everything, otherwise it is forgotten forever! I also work
on many, many projects at one time, so they're all over my workbench, too.
Finally, I never throw out anything, and all my scraps, broken stones,
filings, everything! are recycled, and therefore- right out there with the
rest of the mess! This has its advantages- many of my best pieces come
from using sheet scrap that has an unintended, however appealing shape,
The disadvantage is that as my bench gets more crowded, I've expanded into
the kitchen, dining room table, etc. The above rationalizations are
probably very understandable for most of you, and have worked reasonalbly
well with my husband, but I, too, panick when he offers to clean it up for
me! This is becoming more and more frequent, and now I have many coffee
cans filled with all the clutter that I hope to sort out some day!!
One problem, I must ask for some help on. Years ago when I first started,
I bought used equipment from a deceased jeweler (nice trick, heh?) and
included were many burs, bits, etc. A lot of them are somewhat rusty now
that I want to try them out. Is there anything I can soak them in to
restore them? Also, I occasioanlly use bezel cupts to set faceted stones.
What kind of bur should I used to carve a sort of seat inside- or really an
edge in the wall, so I can more easily balance the stone and push over the
edge? I have done it with a graver, and now my hands are almost healed,
but I need a better and quicker way. Also, is it possible to run two flex
shafts off the same motor? (no, not at the same time) I just have a tough
time changing handpieces, and would like to have two available to use
without doing this and without buying another foredom. I don't mind buying
anouther flex shaft.
Thanks, you guys and gals are great! Ruth
Hi Ruth You have my sympathy on your tidy husband problem, it has
taken me a lot of years to finaly get the message through to
mine not to tidy my area, don't put anything away, I know where
everything is on my bench. However once a while things do get
misplaced, usualy find them after a hands & knees search under
the bench. In regards to your rust problems, try WD 40. It can be
bought in most hardware stores, comes in a spray can & will
remove rust etc. :) Win