one thing that I have been using to keep my bench tidy it a large piece of
hard foam such as the type used by flower shops to arrange plants. You can
place it anywhere in easy reach and jam tools into it thousands of times
over. all of my flex shaft accessories now have a home off of my work
bench. When one side wears out turn it over. They are cheap and can be
screwed to a wall. RED
A metalsmith I used to know traveled quite alot teaching. She would attach
magnetic strips to her bench, shelves or a wall. The magnet strips worked
great. She could just stick needle files, pliers, etc. on the strips. The
tools would be up off the bench yet clearly visible and easy to find. A
handy solution for some of the lighter weight tools. Having a place for
everything helps. Is there really a place for everything? Carrie Nunes
On the side molding of the benchtop I drilled a series of holes straight
down. On the left side I keep all my flex shaft accessories and misc.
burs. On the right side I keep my needle files.
Where the front face of the bench top curves in just to the left of the
bench pin I took a hanger and bent it into a plier rack and inserted into
two drilled holes. Because of the bench top curve it faces toward you at a
45 degree angle.
All that being said you will find most of the above tools in my bench pan
anyways. Stop obsessing and get back to work!
This has always been a great subject for discussion since I started onm
the bench twenty years ago. It seems todiffer from jeweller to jewellerin
what he is doing at the bench. About six years ago I tried doing tool &
die for a year for a change of pace. I went back to jewellery but brought
some of the ideas back with me to use at the bench. One of them being
that a tool chest base is a good thing to have next to the bench for tools
that are not being used in the current operation. In a day I do a number
of different thing i.e. repair, settting, engraving, wax,etc.. The drawer
in the tool tool base being the same size as my pan, I can shift from one
disiplin to another. The tool base has smaller drawers for bulk burs and
small tool. Another nice thing is it got wheels to move out of the way.
With a flat top it extra space to lay out jobs and put a coffee. This
leave to top of my bench for mostly busch burs and pickel. This is still
a lot but at least I usually have to pray to the mellee god for to long.
I once saw setters heaven in book,it was a picture of a shop in Finland or
Norway. It had mono pod benchs and there was nothing on the floorfrom one
side of the shop to the other. All the power, gases,air went through the
mono pod from below. Heaven.
On the tools that aren't use often say once a year (bracelet mandrels,
stakes, hammers,etc.) Spraythem with oil (WD-40) and then wrap them
withplastic food wrap. No air, no rust. Have fun.
I guess I have been a hobbyist long enough now that I have brought some of
my professional practices back from work to my "bench."
In my second business, we manufacured an electronic product. Our shop
forman took all the clutter in our produciton area and moved it intot he
hallway, then brouight each item back piece by piece into storage areas,
inventory areas, work in progress areas and testign areas until everythign
was neatly organizaed. When he had finished, the produciton areas were
completely bar (completely) except for a workbench, a stool, lighting, a
soldering iron and only the exact number of parts needed yto complete the
piece that was beign worked on at that momemt (average cycle tiem was abotu
The result of this was that our defect rate decreased from 4% to less than
0.5%, our average cycle time (to do the manufacturing steps) went from 20
minutes to 8 minutes, and the assemblers went form a 1/2 horu break in a
day to 1.25 hours per day.
Our production went up, costs when down, everyone was more realxed,
everybody was happy.
Why was all this possible? Simple: with a clean work area there are no
distrations from the work at hand. There is nothing else to concentrate on
but whatever you are working on. No pieces of past projects, pieces of
stuff that you might get to, or other distrations.
My shop at home is set up with 4 benches: 1 for cabbing, 1 for trim
sawing, 1 for miscellaneous grading and slab sizing, and one for design.
The design area is ther messiest of the 4, the produciton one (cabbing) is
bare except for lighting, the machine and the piece I am working on.