Anyone who like me enjoys making jewellery will at some time wish they had a real jewellery bench to work from rather than the kitchen table.
Unfortunately the type of bench illustrated above - from cooksongold costs £159, far beyond what I can afford or justify.
I would rather spend the money on materials I can then sell to make more money.
So I set out to build one for myself.
Step 1: Making Your Own
I bought a 4 foot x 4 foot (1200 x 1200mm) bit of 12 mm thick MDF.
I cut about 100 mm wide strips from it to make the raised edge, your going to need this because when you work you will push expensive things off the edge of the bench.
I wanted a bench that was about 3 feet square (1000mm x 1000mm) This is a useful size and is small enough not to get covered in junk when your not using it.
Rather than make legs I decided to use a couple of saw horses I already had although it would be simple to make a couple up with 1 x 2 inch wood at a reasonable cost.
These set the height of the bench just right for me but if you make your own you can adjust the height to suite.
The catch cloth can be anything you have around I have used an old sheet before but this one is a length of fine window net I happened to have. It catches the things I frequently drop as well as the silver dust and small off cuts generated when making jewellery - These can be recycled for cash through cooksongold.
Step 2: Construction
There is nothing fancy about the construction - The side rails are screwed onto the base and a semi circle cut out to form the working area.
You can attach your bench pin with a G clamp or like me screw it to the bench. The bench pin is made from some scrap beech plywood. Personally I prefer a wide bench pin as I find this more versatile.
The catch cloth is fixed with drawing pins to the underside of the bench.
The drawing has some dimensions on it but these are all changeable to meet your materials and needs. I would however suggest you stick to the general design as this is a well proven design developed over years of use.
The semi circle was marked out with a pencil and length of string. Just by eye. This was cut with a sabre (jig) saw and the edges cleaned up with sand paper.
Other than that there is nothing else to this project - I tend to clamp the bench top to the saw horses to make it more stable but this could just as easily be used on a normal table top to protect it and then removed and put away for next time.
Step 3: A Few of the Things I Have Made Recently
I tend to experiment with things that attract my interest. This may lead to a finished item or may not. I rarely make two things the same.
In many ways this is an advantage as my clients see my jewellery as unique.
For materials i have used paper, painted and stiffened with PVA glue, Cork, wood and Sculpty (fimo) all to some success.