Here are my personal opinions:
In addition to bench pins, what are some other common jeweler's
bench accessories that might need holes in the side of the bench
for insertion/use and removal?
besides a bench pin (I prefer the GRS removable pin for when I want
to lean closer in the the bench surface) I have a flex shaft stand
attached at the back right of my bench and a small vise at the front
left (I’m right handed). The holes predrilled into my purchased bench
don’t fit my mandrels
- but I very much wish they did.
What are the standard size of these holes made in the workbench
for tools such as bench pins?
don’t know the answer, but you can search the Rio Grande catalog,
for example, and see the bench pin sizes.
Which material is preferred for the top of the bench - wood,
mine is wood, but I suspect it would depend on what you use the top
for. Just remember to make it thick enough to support flex shaft or
The sweeps drawer seems so far down on many benches. Is this
don’t put it so high that it interferes with your elbow, filing, saw
blade, etc., but yeah, I’ve often thought the low drawer makes
dropped objects bounce higher and travel further :-). More important
though is the height of the bench top, not the drawer. My drawer just
clears the top of my legs (without crossing them) so I ignore it.
Belly hole/no belly hole?
guessing here (mine doesn’t have one), but would it depend on the
size of your belly? My biggest obstacle to moving closer to the bench
was the pin sticking out at me, hence the change to the GRS system.
tool holders are probably a very good addition. But instead of on
the bench consider putting them on the wall behind the bench. My
bench always has on top, at a minimum: fles shaft holder, drill
stand, drill controls (I don’t like foot pedals), drill keys and a
punch, vise, small stand of mandrels, a clock, basic set of
polishers, small box of burrs, and 2 boxes for work in progress (in
various stages). The 3 drawers hold: 1-pens, measures and gauges,
2-tape, stones and small miscellaneous, 3-files, sand paper and
polishing cloths. On the opposite side I have a tower of 12 plastic
drawers for patterns, instructions, more hand tools, spare brushes,
burrs, drill, blades, metals and more - all within reach without
getting out of my (rolling) chair. An additional light source is on a
rolling stand behind my shoulder.
White Branch Designs