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Workshop clutter; [was: Workshop colours]

Hi Folks,

I found a bit of a solution to the bench clutter problem, but
not without drawbacks. Let me also point out that I’m sure many
of you do much more volume of work than I do, and I don’t take
in any outside work… just create new.

Anyway, suffered through the same problems a couple of you have
described, projects and parts of projects all over my bench. I
didn’t want to put them “away for the time being”, as that would
certainly cause them to get forgotten. A couple times a day
I’ll stash infrequently used tools back in their places, but it
was really the stones, bezels, etc. that kept getting in the

I ended up getting some rectangular Chinet (heavy duty) paper
plates that had several different sized compartments. Now, as I
accumulate/fabricate the parts for a piece, they all go into the
tray… sometimes more than one project on a tray. The trays
still kind of stack, if necessary, since they’re not really that
full (as compared with food on a plate). Helps keep everything
organized, accessible, but easily moved (with all the
appropriate parts).

The downside? Since the plates are paper (and processed with
sulfur), they cause sterling parts to tarnish if left in the
tray too long. Not too bad as an incentive to keep projects
from “lingering”! I’d like to find the same kind of plates in

For what it’s worth,

Dave Sebaste
Sebaste Studio
Charlotte, NC (USA)

Hi Folks,

If you have a dental catalog look into their work pans, also
there is a wall system called acro-bins that has trays of
several different sizes. They hang securely from the shelf
until you want to take them out. Metallic cartridge reloaders
use them so you might find them in the Midway reloading catalog
that also has tumblers. I’m laughing to myself because not only
do I have the clutter from the jewelry all over but also gold
crowns, models of mouths, and all matter of dental work in



                                  Skip Meister
                                NRA Endowment and

I bought tip trays for $.50 each at a restaurant supply shop in
Boston’s Chinatown. We use them to sort out the castings for
various orders.

Richard D. Hamilton
Martha’s Vineyard
Fabricated 14k, 18k, and platinum Jewelry
wax carving, modelmaking, jewelry photography

Dave, Along with being so busy that I don’t have the time to put
away things on my bench, I don’t have much time to cook alot
anymore, so I save the plastic containers from frozen meals and
prepackaged foods of all kinds, and they work as well as your
Chinet plates do, without tarnishing. Also, since I seldom have
time for exercise, I tried Jenny Craig foods once, and the
plates they used to come on do well, too. And…all the rest
of the time and labor savors I use usually come with reusable
plastic whatevers, which are now cluttering up my garage, so that
sometime in the future when I’m gone, someone is going to ask,
“Which came first, the chicken or the egg?..” Forget it, no one
will be able to sort out the whys or wherefores of my creative


Dave -

I use a similar solution for keeping things like stones, bezels,
etc together, but I use the plastic plates that frozen foods come
in (many are divided). In my last previous life my avocation was
gourmet cooking, but now I can’t seem to pull myself away from
the bench so I have lots of frozen dinners for when the hungries
overtake me. I must say though that the plastic plates now
occupy most of my benchtop area and it sometimes looks like I’m
making dinner at the bench instead of jewelry. Now that I’m back
from vacation, I’m planning to build yet another set of shelves
above the bench to hold all these plates. Maybe I can get back
at least a square foot of work space – for a day or two anyway.