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Mystic
22-03-2011, 01:20 PM
Hi Guys, I have not been in for a while to see how you all are, but my OH and I have been a wee bit busy of late, trying to set up a new business and have a website done. I just thought I would share it with you, and also to let you know what we have been up to.
It's all a bit exciting but also very scary too, so please go along and check it out and let me know what you think
http://jewellerybenches.moonfruit.com

ps_bond
22-03-2011, 01:21 PM
"Page cannot be found"...

Mystic
22-03-2011, 01:26 PM
:~:try it now Peter, I have added it to my signature hope this works now

ps_bond
22-03-2011, 01:28 PM
Ah, jewellers not jewellery! That works - I shall peruse.

Dennis
22-03-2011, 06:14 PM
Welcome back here Maggie, Wish you every success, Dennis.

medusa
22-03-2011, 07:17 PM
I'll be a hopefully critical friend here.

from what I can see the benches look really good.

BUT:

the website takes far too long to load. If I were actually looking on it for a bench, I'd have got fed up with waiting.

the images, despite taking forever to load do not show the benches in a good light. The benches are crooked in the frame of the photo, there are things in the photos that I don't want to see (a tablecloth? edge of a bed?). I'd want to see details, like the finish, how the corners are jointed, show me how beautiful they are! Put some tool porn on some of the images. Not that kind of porn, but gravers, pliers, soldering stuff. Show me how I could lay out my tools. Let me enlarge the images. and have alt tags on all the images as well.

How big are they? I'm a complete beginner. If all jewellery benches are a set size, then I want to know what the size it is.

Because the site builder won't let me resize the text using command + click, consider using a larger and darker font.

and yes, I know I've come across as a complete cow. I know how hard it is doing this (there is areason pros earn so much!) but it's tough enough selling as it is without being held back by a clunky site.

Joe
22-03-2011, 09:17 PM
Good points Medusa...

Number one is - what is the top surface? Text description at least required. I would expect a custom bench to carry a built-in peg or have a top that allowed one to be added.

Number two - that 5 drawer should show the price for 5 drawers, not 2. That's a 510 bench pictured!

As it happens, I'm looking for another bench and I like the idea of a small supplier.... but I wouldn't look any further than this.

Fundamentally, I suspect that the base price is too low but the top price is too high.

medusa
22-03-2011, 10:09 PM
I'm not sure what these things normally sell for (my bench is two scaffolding planks I joined together) but 510 for the full monty bench doesn't seem that high to me. what is confusing is that basic bench plus shelf is 20 extra, but delux plus shelf is 60 extra.

Pricing anything you make is a nightmare.

Mystic
23-03-2011, 08:57 AM
Thanks for your feedback, and I know the pictures are a bit naff, but I forgot to take the pictures before my OH and I put the bench into place, and it was such a struggle coz my 'studio' is in the spare room upstairs and we have a very difficult shaped staircase.
It might sound crazy to you, but the prices are based on how long it takes Ken to make the benches, when a standard bench is made it doesn't take as long as a bench with drawers.
Materials used are mainly soft woods, but are strong enough for the job in hand, I can actually sit ontop of the bench and it has not moved, and I am no light weight either. The top is made out of 38mm laminated chipboard with a 12 mm MDF overboard, which can be removed and replaced when needed, so the bench top can be used and abused and revitalised.
This is a WORK BENCH and not a piece of furniture. We have been asked about a solid beech top for a bench and if you wanted that, it would cost you double the price. My OH priced up this type of top, and even with the discount he can get, it would cost at least 300.00 for a 1200mm workspace.
Anyway guys, thanks again for the feedback.

Medusa
I looked on Suttons website this morning and their top of the range bench inc VAT comes in at a whopping 900.00,(and I don't think that even includes delivery) and I also noticed that a fair bit of it is made from MDF. Thats why Ken thought he could offer a really good work bench and keep the prices as reasonable as possible but without comprimising the strength due to the bashing about work benches get.

ps_bond
23-03-2011, 10:41 AM
My current bench is not dissimilar in construction - 2 layers of 18mm ply with a layer of 12mm MDF over the top, pine carcass. And not enough drawers... Drawers are a pain to do properly; mine are dovetail construction, which might be easier with a router + jig rather than hand-cut. But they are probably the most time consuming (for which read costly!) aspect. Overall, I think the prices are pretty good.

I'm currently using one of the clamp-on pegs (which I loathe!), and I'd agree that slotting the upper layers to accept a standard (?) peg would be better (although I'd quite like a Benchmate, I still can't quite justify it); my preference would be to have shallow drawers for tools & materials, and lots of them. I generally like having a sweeps drawer rather than a skin, although it might be better for me if I had shallow drawers just below the bench top and a skin - but my engraving ball lives in the sweeps drawer, so I'd have to find another way to sort that. Fences either side of the bench would be nice to prevent anything getting knocked off the side, hanging hooks down the side are useful... Mine has a back panel, behind which is mounted a socket strip for powering everything; I keep meaning to add some strips to mount Vero boxes onto it, but haven't yet.

Re-reading that, it seems to highlight a problem - these tools (and they are tools) are as much down to personal preference as anything else; as usual, they need to be modifiable to some extent too.

Have you seen the Ganoksin Benches book, Maggie?

medusa
23-03-2011, 02:16 PM
I'd recommend if possible squeezing the bench somewhere into a more open space to get new pics. It is a pain in the backside, but well worth it. I'd still go for some closeups to see the workmanship as well. It doesn't matter if they are 'just' workbenches or made of pine or mahogany, a well made joint is a well made joint.

there are some good (and bad) pics here. These came up in google search because they have alt tags for jewellers bench as well.
http://www.google.co.uk/images?q=jewellers+benches+buy+uk&hl=en&safe=off&client=firefox-a&hs=Hw5&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&prmd=ivns&source=lnms&tbs=isch:1&ei=GA6KTb7yEsiAhQfLwIy-Dg&sa=X&oi=mode_link&ct=mode&cd=2&ved=0CCYQ_AUoAQ&biw=1073&bih=652

I get the prices are based on the time taken plus costs incurred, but don't understand why shelves on one bench are cheaper than shelves on another bench. And to be honest I thought the basic bench with the shelves for 20 extra must be a mistake. I can't see anyone making wooden shelves and making a profit for that price.

You need to say what the tops are made of on the website and also that other options are available.

and I disagree with joe about the top price being too high. if it were factory made in thailand, maybe. hand made over here, absolutely not.

But the biggest problem you have, is the site is far too slow to load. It might be worth forking out and getting your own site so you can control how fast it loads not to mention have much more flexibility.

Mystic
28-03-2011, 09:21 PM
28502851285228532854how about these then, we took the bench apart and did more pics, also the upgrade of the bench top

medusa
28-03-2011, 10:15 PM
those are much better and clearer, though 4 is out of focus. I'd still like to see the construction on the drawers, but then I'm a bit of a drawer obsessive. If you can stand a little further back and crouch down, you won't get the bendy legs either. and if you have space to not have it tight in a corner then it will look bigger and better as well.

I should say that Mr Medusa is a photographer, so I have had this kind of stuff hammered into me for over 20 years.

Mystic
07-04-2011, 04:22 PM
Unfortunately, I don't have the room for your suggestion, so I think that I will just have to work with what I have for the moment, anyway thanks Medusa for your feedback. In my dream world I have a nice big studio with lots and lots of room, maybe when I grow up I shall have this................ah well we can all dream eh!! and this is something that won't cost anything lol!!

Arborvita
05-06-2011, 06:46 PM
Is it me or are there loads of us local? Wisbech, Spalding, peterborough etc?

Only advice for your site is what has been said already. Pictures could be much more better. Different angles, backgrounds, close-ups. Having a dedicated website rather than a free one too. But you have a great product there so maybe that will sell itself!

Leigh

Mystic
11-06-2011, 07:50 PM
Unfortunately Leigh, I don't have the funds to have a website I need to pay for, and my knowlege of building a website is beyond me at the moment. It was my friend that did the one I have, so for that I was very grateful. So whereabouts in Wisbeach are you???? I have lived in Spalding for approx 4 years, and I have just found a place in Peterborough where a bunch of like minded individuals meet every Monday evening. You can find them on facebook under Handmade in Peterborough, they are a nice bunch of people. Just had a look into your website, and I love your stuff.......may I ask you a question about the copper, what do you use to stop the coper from going dark? do you use varnish or something else????? I have some recycled copper that I would like to use coz silver is just too expensive at the moment.

Petal
16-06-2011, 04:25 PM
Hiya Maggie, long time no see. [] I'd recommend using some rennaisance wax to stop copper from becoming tarnished. You just put some onto the piece with a cloth and polish it and it should be fine.

xxxx

Mystic
16-06-2011, 06:34 PM
thanks shweetie, appreciate it, how the devil are you my dear??????give Baz our love xx