Halstead Jewelry Minute – Ep. 6 – Jewelry Studio Bench Set-Up

Halstead Jewelry Minute – Ep. 6 – Jewelry Studio Bench Set-Up

Hi I’m Hilary Halstead Scott, welcome to
the Halstead Jewelry Minute. Hi today we’re in the Halstead jewelry
studio where we’ll be giving you five tips to set up your jewelry workbench at
home or in your office. Buying a jewelry workbench can be really
expensive if you buy a traditional jeweler’s bench, so we have some low cost
alternatives and some tips for you to set up a different style workbench. The
first thing you want to think about is the location of your work area. While you
were doing beading and assembly work at your kitchen table that was fine. But if
you’re getting into metal smithing you’ll have harmful metal dust and
chemicals that you don’t want anywhere near your food. So think about using
a garage or an extra bedroom instead. You also want to think about the piece of
furniture you choose quite a bit. Your table needs to stand up to hammer blows
and heavy tools so it’s going to get some dings and scratches. You may also
see some spills and stains on the table. So don’t use a family heirloom. The next
thing you want to think about when choosing your furniture is that your
table needs to be very sturdy. Make sure it’s completely leveled and it doesn’t
have any kind of wobble. If you’re going to be using, you know, metalsmithing
tools and hammers you want to make sure the table isn’t going to bounce around
when you strike your bench block with your hammer. The third thing you want to
think about is the height of your workstation most tables and desks are
about thirty inches tall. Ideally you want a jewelry workbench to be closer to
40 inches tall so that when you’re sitting down to file or saw at your
bench pin, your bench is at about chest height. You can do that in several ways
and we’ll talk about some options at the end here. The fourth thing you want to
think about with your piece of furniture is the edge of the table. You’ll be
attaching vices like this bench pin so you need a square blunt edge that
doesn’t have any carving or embellishment. And you also want to make
sure you don’t have a lip or an overhang underneath the table that would
interfere with this vise attachment. And the fifth and final thing you want to
think about with your furniture is making sure it’s fire safe. If you’re
using a wood table you’ll want to protect your surface with fireproof
materials, such as this ceramic tile. You can also surround your heat zone with
masonry bricks or cinder blocks for extra security. And be sure you keep a
fire extinguisher close by in case. Now like we mentioned earlier, a
jewelry bench is very expensive. But there are some other solutions from the
hardware store. You can buy second-hand tables. Metal tables like this one are fantastic. You can also use solid wood doors that are really readily
available in a lot of secondhand furniture stores. Those are great if you
mount table legs on to them and then set them to any height you choose. A final
option we’ve used here in the Halstead jewelry studio, is counter top footage
you can buy counter tops by the foot at a lot of hardware and construction
supply stores. Have it cut to size and then use brackets to mount those counter
tops to the wall at any height you choose. Whatever option you choose, enjoy
your new workspace and be sure to visit us at halsteadbead.com for all your
tools and supplies.

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