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Work benches

I am beginning to plan a work area and want help to set it up. I
have a jewelers’ bench already. Would The Jeweler’s Bench Book by
Charles Lewton-Brain be a good resource to begin with?

thx brenda

I am beginning to plan a work area and want help to set it up. I
have a jewelers' bench already. Would The Jeweler's Bench Book by
Charles Lewton-Brain be a good resource to begin with? 

Work bench layout depends on what work you plan to do, and where you
have space to do it.

Most small working jewellers benches Ive seen are used sitting down,
and have the semi circular cut out like you illustrate.

This seems to be the best compromise between useability and space.

You may find this kind of bench suits you and what you do, then use
it for a year or so to decide if its really for you.

Not every one uses these, if like me, all my work is wrought, I work
standing up, so my bench is set up as follows.

Its some 12ft long by 4ft wide, made from 4 by 4in legs with 8 by 2
in thick top planks all bolted together.

with a 6 ton rating fly press on one end.

On the main working side are 2 leg vices one 5in jawed and one 3in.

These are the “third” hand needed to hold all the different swage
blocks and stakes upon which metal is formed.

Behind me is a wall of shelving upon which all the hand tools and
press tools are stored, for easy access.

Elsewhere in my workshops are the bigger machines drop hammers
hydraulic coining presses brake presses etc.

And yes I do need all this stuff! altho I like tools and collect
hand tools as a hobby.

Dont be afraid to think outside the norm.

It can lead you to make all sorts of exciting products.

n the other end is a smaller 2ton rated fly press.

Hello Brenda,

I have not seen this particular book, but if Charles L-B is the
author, it will be an excellent reference. as would anything by Tim

Judy in Kansas, who now goes to the library to peruse the book.

Brenda: Have you looked at the jewelers bench section on Orchid?
Hundreds of photos of subscribers work spaces and benches. You
should be able to get a lot of ideas. Dave

Ted Frater, thank you for input.

I am building a studio area, or carving one out in my house, and am
needing to know area measurements. I won’t be able to expand later.
The choice is between converting the laundry room or building a room
in the garage.

I know that Ganoksin did a feature on workbench photos, that may be
another source to look at for ideas. What are the room/work space
measurements that many of you use? brenda

Hi Brenda,

It all depends on what precisely you use the space for. I have two
work areas, one clean and the other dirty. I use the clean area for
most of my work including cutting soldering, pickling, ultrasonic
cleaning, bashing with hammers, working with wax and running a
vibratory tumbler. There are two work benches in this space one for
metal and the other for wax and drawing, computer etc. There is also
a small bench/trolley that I use as a soldering station and to hold
my gas cylinders. I also plan to put in another bench for enamelling
and as an expanded soldering area when I clear out some accumulated
stuff belonging to my daughter until she settles in her latest abode.
This space is about 3 metres wide and 5 metres long. It is air
conditioned both for comfort and to keep the humidity and
temperature within reasonable bounds for wax working and using resin.
The dirty space is in an outside shed with a dedicated 240 volt 40
amp power supply. It has a kiln, vacuum casting machine, crucible
furnace and polishing motor. Perhaps in the future I will install a
sand blasting cabinet here. This occupies a space of around 2.5
metres square and is at the end of a space we use as a general
workshop and my partner uses for pottery.

However you organize your space enjoy making jewellery.

All the best.

I am building a studio area, or carving one out in my house, and
am needing to know area measurements. What are the room/work space
measurements that many of you use? brenda 

As much space as you can get! I have worked in cold basements, 2nd
bedrooms with no heat (there’s a theme here), converted porches
(also cold). For years my “studio” was pretty much just my bench in
part of a 60 square foot room.

Now I have a large room, I’d have to measure it, but I’d guess it’s
10’ x 9’ ish. Plenty of room to fill in with junk! You can see a
picture of part of it at JCKOnline:

I have my bench, the hydraulic press, kiln and assorted storage for
materials and finished work.


Hello Brenda,

Work room measurements are going to vary with techniques & tools

My first ‘bench’ - really a desk - was in a clothes closet. A very
small space, used efficiently. As I acquired larger tools (rolling
mill, buffer, scope, tumblers, etc.) more space and surface area was
needed. I don’t have a stump or casting equipment, let alone lapidary

I’ll give you the specific dimensions of my work space; actually two
areas in adjoining rooms. In the laundry room, I use a corner that
is 6 ft. along each wall, by about 2 ft. deep, plus space for a
rolling chair.

The other area in the equipment room (access to natural gas and a
sink) is 8 ft. by 6.5 ft., less the furnace and water heater. (The
equipment room is actually quite large, with my space accounting for
a third or so.) Understand that I have built-in wall shelving between
the work surfaces and the ceiling in both spaces. I’ll be buried if
there is earthquake while I am working! You’ll want to have lots of

Even with these dedicated areas, I find myself using other spaces of
the house to take advantage of good natural light to select and work
with stones. There are also spaces in the garage for storage of show

Be sure to have a sink in your plan. I used to waste a lot of time
running to the bathroom sink for water and to rinse things.

I hope you find these things of use, but I doubt that you can really
base YOUR work space on my dimensions. Perhaps you should list the
components of your dream studio - all the tools you desire, etc. -
and draw up a footprint, then expand it to double that size. No fear
of making it too large, there will always be more stuff you decide
you want/need.

Judy in Kansas, where my fingers are so chilled, I’m thinking of
wearing mittens.


There are other things you need to think about. Like good daylight,
especially if your planning to work at your bench many hours a day.

This begs the question wether your planning to make it your
livelyhood or just a part time hobby.

theres nothing wrong with that, but as a full time career?, then my
advice is all the studio space you can get.

Also heating in winter? as part of your house it would be easier
than a seperate studio in your garage.

Another thought, if your planning on making it your full time
occupation and earning a proper wage, then theres the question of
your customers, and the price range you plan to work in. That is far
more important than where you put your work bench.

Metalworking and jewellery is a challenging task.

For example the African mixed metal torques, are made with just a
hammer, a pair of pliers and tin snips using fence wire copper
telephone wire and brass cartridge shell cases cut in a spiral to
make a strip. Some of these are really well made. I have some here as
examples of what can be done with the minimum of tools.

Every budding jeweller should be made to make one of these just to
get the feeling for metal.

So, Jewellery can be made by fabrication, casting or forging. It
depends on what vision you have for your work.

Make a written list of all the things you need to address before you
embark on this journey, and work out how your going to resolve all
these challenges.

good luck.

Its a great journey.


I started with ‘The Complete Metalsmith’ by Tim McCreight. I still
recommend this as a first book for new jewelers. This book has the
distinction ofbeing the first book in my library of several hundred
jewelry books. Mine has the corner burned off, taped together pages,
stains from buffing compounds, and blurred lettering from reading
with hands wet with solvents. I will never get rid of it.

Gerald Livings

My work space is 900 + sq feet now and I need more room.!!!. fact is
if you create a void you will fill it!!!..the more room you can
afford the better. will not take long to fill it up…