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Thread: Which Work Bench is Best....?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Posts
    16

    Default Which Work Bench is Best....?

    HI Everyone,

    I guess it's a highly subjective question... But, which commercially available bench is best for Jewellery making and setting?

    I've spent a while on the kitchen table and now the tool collection (and the damage to the table) has forced me out of the kitchen and off the table!

    I want to invest in a decent bench so i started looking at Cookson, walsh Cousins ect...

    I want a table that will be good for general soldering, making, forming ect but also setting with a gravermax and microscope.

    I started looking at the superior durston table and the Italian ones on Cousins, anyone got any views?

    Cheers
    Nick

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Posts
    16

    Default

    Slight update on this, I've seen on Cousins they have a separate bench type for stone setters...
    To me, it's doesn't look very different from the "normal" benches.

    Does anyone know if "normal" benches can support microscope, gravermax and normal jewellery construction?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    2,460

    Default

    I’m not sure there is such a thing as a normal bench. Many of us have self builds suited or often not to all our needs! I bought a bespoke bench recently which I didn’t like. Too high, didn’t like the tray drawer for lemel etc and I sold it on. It wasn’t the sort of bench I’d trained on but is obviously the sort that some use. I had started with an old office desk with a half circle cut out for the benchskin many years ago.
    If possible then have a bench made to suit your needs and height that’s comfortable to work at but will probably never have enough room if like me you spread out and continue to buy more stuff!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    South Australia
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    1,055

    Default

    I built my own, easy for me as I am a Cabinet Maker by trade, I don't like the one bench for everything concept, e.g a separate bench for heavy work and a separate bench for soldering and melting metals, I do understand that you may have to compromise due to space restrictions I would attempt to visit some retailers in person so you can sit at the bench to appraise it, or as Caroline said have one made to suit.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Central London
    Posts
    7,492

    Default

    Some essentials:
    It should:
    Be rigid and stable, preferably screwed to the wall.
    Have an up stand at the back and around the sides, because items wander and fall off.
    Have a skin, or drawer, to catch lemel and fallen items.
    Have protective flooring against hot dropped objects and stains from liquids.

    A cut out is traditional and convenient when working, but does use up a large proportion of your work surface.

    Even if building one yourself, it is well worth visiting a showroom as Caroline suggests, for a close inspection. Walsh Hatton Garden is good if you are in the south. Dennis.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Posts
    16

    Default

    Hi all,

    Many thanks for your replies!

    It would seem as i feared, there is no perfect bench...

    I would love to make my own bench, which i tried too a while ago, but i discovered... I'm terrible with wood.

    Unfortunately, space is an issue. I have room for one bench.

    Out of interest, has anyone used one of those durston benches?

    Cheers again
    Nick

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Romsey
    Posts
    4,814

    Default

    Setting benches are often slightly different - the ones I've seen are more ergonomic for scope work, while being little to no use for general bench work.
    I use a scope with my bench; I need to use a drop plate with the GRS kit to get the clearance under the scope though. I believe the newer Benchmates are supposed to get around that issue by being more height adjustable than the older one.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Posts
    16

    Default

    Hi Peter,

    Do you use a benchmate in place of a ball vise?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Scotland
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Romsey
    Posts
    4,814

    Default

    For setting, I usually use a GRS microblock. Just been using one to hold some 1/2" round to carve a new touchmark, but I really ought to have used the big vice.

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