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Workbench - Proper Dimensions

    Just a quick note to John B, in Nelson, that seat which is
in need of recovering probably has great value in the fines it
contains.  One refiner I know of salvaged several OZ troy from
a chair seat. 

I’m afraid that seat wouldn’t be worth very much: I rarely work
in gold, using sterling mostly - for very good reasons, and when
I do use gold, it is of rather low carat - for the same good
reasons! Cheers,

   / \
 /  /

/ /
/ /| \ @John_Burgess2
At sunny Nelson NZ

Note From Ganoksin Staff:
Looking for a workbench for your jewelry projects? We recommend:

What matters the most about the height of a bench is that your
feet hit the ground solidly, you are sitting up straight to avoid
back pain and all of your tools are easily in reach. Your chair is
the place to start. A comfortable chair that is not too hard and
not too soft. It needs good lumbar support and needs to be
easily adjustable up and down. Arm rests are optional (I don’t
use them). Your feet should be flat on the ground with your
thighs paralell to the ground. Your bench top should be at a
height so that when you place your elbow on the bench top that it
is also parallel to the floor. For most people this provides a
very comfortable upright position. i like the bench pan height
barely above my thighs so I can lift my legs with my toes so
they press on the bottom of my bench pan for extra stability
during some operations. A couple of other elements I like in a
bench: 1) Instead of drawers on either side of a bench I have
replaced them with trays that slide out. 2) I like the frame to be
plywood contacting the floor all the way to the ground on three
sides. So if , I mean, when you drop something it is basicly
trapped under the bench. 3) the bench top needs to be very
sturdy. I suggest two piedces of 1 inch plywood glued togethe
and topped with formica. I could go on and on. Since you have
the luxury of being able to design a bench and have your husband
make it for you. Look at as many benches as possible and see
what you like and don’t like. But do not skimp on a chair. It
becomes a part of your body for many hours and it need to be
quality and comfortable.

Good Luck


Digest Message: Workbench - Proper Dimensions

Beginning of Thread:

I have found that the perfect chair for me is a drafting chair
with a pneumatic lift. It has a foot-rest and it adjusts to the
proper height for whatever I am doing. The back adjusts, the
seat adjusts, and it is extremely comfortable for sitting 12
hours a day. I have found that if the bench pin is
shoulder-height for sawing, it is quite comfortable. As for
arms, I have not found them to be comfortable. Secretarial
chairs were designed without arms to allow free movement of the
elbows, etc. Try going to an office supply store or a graphic
design store.

Iris - Baltimore

From: “Curtis Harmon”

Oh, I forgot, I was going to suggest that you use a separate
bench for wax work. I have tried using one bench for both and it
requires a lot of precautions that are very time consuming. I
made a wax bench so that it would be completely set up, all the
time, and I wouldn’t have to worry about wax shavings getting in
my gold and silver sweeps. I actually have another bench or two
and can separate gold from silver, when feeling especially
retentive! But, believe me, I’m not that meticulous. One is
usually a storage bench for overflow materials and tools.

From: “Wayne M. Schenk”

   Part of my design is that there will be two middle drawers.
 A shallow one for tools and directly under that, a "pan". 

Amery, not to critique your bench design but may I suggest the
following order for drawers under bench top, (and no my bench is
not configured this way, but I would prefer that it be so). From
top to bottom"

  1. Slide out tool rack

  2. 1/2 in. deep cloth bottom drawer for stone setting

  3. 1/2 in. deep wax catch pan also with cloth bottom.

  4. fileings catch drawer which is deeper than the depth of the
    bench, this way it cannot be inadvertently pushed in too far to
    catch fileings. The back can be partitioned off for additional
    tool storage.

Just some morning thoughts on bench design.


Just for curiosity’s sake… What is the proper relative height
for a jeweler’s bench ?..


I suspect that the answer to your question is simply that it
depends on the individual. Since I have to use magnification for
everything I do at the bench, and therefore do not want to be
leaning over a lot to keep my work in focus, I have my bench set
up so that my bench pin is at a height that keeps my neck
comfortable while I work. I strongly suggest an adustable height
chair, since minor adjustments are easier with your seat than by
sawing or shimming bench legs.

Hope this helps.
Sharon Z.

I guess I was just lucky - my wax bench is the one my father
built and used in his watchmaking shop for many years - it has a
lemon wood top and a grove an inch from the edge which help keep
tools on the bench; also lots and lots of drawers ( I even found
some candy when I got it - he used to hide it for us to find).
My jewelers bench is one that was made in a bench making
workshop at HIghline CC. It has a top made of 3/4" Plywood with
a masonite top, 10 drawers on the left side, a sweeps drawer with
a pull out shelf above and a properly positioned cut out and arm
rests. Somewhere I have the measurements and I hope, the
diagrams for making it. It takes a bit of woodworking skill but
the effort is worth it as it is so sturdily made that it is
possible to set a small anvil on the side above the drawers and
to pound like crazy if you want to with NO damage. It does weigh
a ton tho’…


Ray, For what it’s worth, I just checked the height of benches in
the Rio Grande Catalogue. They are mostly 35.5 inches high. This
seems to high to me. I am tall (6’5), my bench is 32" high cut
from a 2" thick piece of elm. I use an office chair with a gas
lift and 5 wheels. I have found this the best solution so far. I
do very close work using an illuminated magnifier. I don’t get
too much back ache. When I do, I go onto something I can do
standing up.

Richard Whitehouse
Silversmith & Jeweller
Email: @Richard_Whitehouse1

Note From Ganoksin Staff:
Looking for a workbench for your jewelry projects? We recommend: