19/09/2013

Improvised jewelers bench

My jewelry classes have been going well. I'm making a pair of earrings. Sawing tight curves on silver sheet was challenging but I'm beginning to get the hang of it. The hardest part, so far, was making the earnuts for the post earrings. The earnut design is a deceptively easy piece to cut but it's really tough to file it all straight and symmetrical.

Since I like to be able to continue my projects at home, I had to acquire a bench pin and improvise a jeweler's bench. I normally work at a regular desk, which is too low for a bench pin. The pin should be at chest height so you don't have to stoop over your work.

I looked at prices for second-hand benches but couldn't find any that were either in good enough condition or within my budget. In the end I decided to adapt a piece of furniture I already had in my studio - a chest of drawers where I store materials. I removed the first drawer to make room for the bench pin, made a metal sheet cover for the counter top and only need to make a similar metal cover for the inside of the second drawer, where the shavings from sawing and filing will fall. It's a bit small and I'll still use my desk for certain tasks, but it works for now.

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