Introduction: Catch-Trays for the Studio

Anyone who has spent any time sawing, filing or sanding metal knows that all of this work goes hand-in-hand with lots of scraps and dust. If you're looking for something to gather all of these scraps look no further! Here is a step-by-step guide to make the catch trays we designed and constructed for our jewelry studio. 

If you're interested in more of what my class has done, visit our blog !

Step 1: Materials

.1/2"x30" double-threaded galvanized steel pipe (you will cut this in half)
.1/2"x6" double threaded galvanized steel pipe nipple (you will need 2)
.1/2" galvanized steel 90 degree elbow (you will need 2)
.1/2" galvanized steel floor flange (you will need 2)
.1"x30" PVC pipe (you will cut this in half)
.1" PVC coupling (you will cut this in half)
.1" PVC end cap (you will need 2)
.42"x22" of catch-tray material 
.thread and sewing machine
.glue/thread lock (optional)

Step 2: Step 1: Prepare Materials

First you will need to cut the various pipes down to the correct size. If you're using any machinery to cut these pieces, be sure to wear protective eye-wear and a dust-mask!

-Cut the double threaded 30" steel pipe into two equal 15" lengths and sand the edges.
-Cut the 1" PVC coupling in half and sand the edges.
-Cut the 30" length of PVC pipe into equal 15" lengths and sand the edges.

Step 3: Step 2: Mount Hardware

To secure the catch-trays, you will need to attach two 1/2" floor flanges onto the underside of the table. Measure 12" from either side of the center of your bench pin and 15" from the edge of the table that is closest to you.  These are the points where you will need to attach the floor flanges. Secure the flanges to the table with 4 sturdy screws. 

**For our catch-trays we mounted the floor flanges onto a piece of 2X4 wood first and then mounted that piece of wood onto the underside of the table.  If you're worried about keeping the flanges perfectly even or have trouble accessing the underside of your table this might be a good solution for you as well.

Step 4: Step 3: Attach Steel Pipes

Screw 6" pipes onto the floor flanges as tightly as possible.  You may need to use a wrench to get them completely tight.

Screw the 90 degree steel elbows onto each 6" steel pipe. Make sure that these are screwed in as tightly as possible while still pointing out towards the bench-pin.

Screw the 15" lengths of steel pipe onto the elbows as tightly as possible. 

**For our studio, we used thread lock to secure these threaded joints. This will probably not be necessary for you, but if your catch-tray will be used by many people or you think it may experience a lot of wear and tear, glue may be helpful.

Step 5: Step 4: Getting Started on the Tray

Now that you have the skeleton of the catch-tray done, you can move on to the actual tray.  Download the pattern here:  Print off each page and tape the pages together so that the lines connect. Pages 1-5 will go along the top row and pages 6-10 will line up along a second row underneath the first. Trace the pattern onto your material and cut it out.  Be sure to remember to cut slits for the darts.

** For our catch-trays, we were given tarp-like material that is typically used for heavy-duty banners.  If you don't have access to this kind of material, anything that is easily washed out and won't wear out will work.  Some suggestions we had are tarp, leather, pleather, and vinyl. Get creative! 

Step 6: Step 5: Sewing!!

Now you're ready to sew the catch-tray.  We used heavy-duty thread for our catch-trays, but you will need a needle and thread that corresponds to the fabric that you have chosen to make your tray from.

First fold over the edges on the left and right sides to meet the solid line so that the   Sew along the dotted lines.  It is a good idea to pin these seams first and check to make sure the pvc pipe will fit into the channel. Also be sure to reinforces the beginning and end of the seam so that it doesn't unravel over time. 

Once both seams are done you can move on to the the darts.  Before you sew the darts, make sure you pin them so you can be sure the material doesn't bunch or pull. You want a nice rounded tray without corners or folds that may trap dust and scraps  Overlap the edges of the darts to form a "V" until the pieces create a straight line along the back of the tray. Sew along both edges. Repeat this for each dart. 

Step 7: Step 6: Assembly

You're almost done! 

Insert the 15" PVC pipes into the channels in the tray.  Attach the 1/2" PVC pieces onto the back end of the PVC pipes.  Attach the PVC endcaps onto the front ends of the PVC pipes. Make sure that they are secured.  We used a hammer to gently tap them onto the PVC pipe.

Step 8: Step 7: Start Catchin'!

To attach your tray all you need to do is slide the PVC pipes onto the steel pipes, and you're ready to catch everything. To use the tray, sit at the bench pin and slide the catch-tray out until is is under the bench pin.  To empty the tray you can easily remove it from the steel pipes.