So in setting up my new studio, I have been thinking about how to make do with what I already have. In my old studio, I was down in the garage, and my space was not all that great. I didn't have a great workbench down there where I could sit down, and so most of my fabrication was done standing up.
Sawing was pretty much non-existant in my old workspace. To saw ergonomically correctly, you need to be sitting so that your bench pin is about chest level.
Years ago, when living temporarily in Houston, I bought this small tabletop jeweler's bench for about $100. I love this thing, in that I can travel with it, and still fabricate jewelry when we were on the road for so long.
I have taken this little bench into hotels and worked from our hotel room too many times to count! I had a foldable tray that it would sit on, but I wore that out long ago!
When we went on our Round the US trip a couple of years ago, I used it almost exclusively in all of the short-term rentals we stayed in. Now that we are going to try and find a house to purchase in North Carolina, I thought I would go ahead and splurge on a big, 60" professional work bench; but, I have decided to again modify my small one until we find our permanent digs. Since I don't yet know what my permanent studio will look like, and after a heartfelt talk with the hubs (he thinks he can build me a custom one when we find our home!) I have decided to stick with my tabletop bench for now.
|Small, tabletop bench...|
I love this little bench because it has an aluminum lined catch tray for my filings and metal dust. It also has enough space for my files and for any bits that I use regularly. Here is what it looks like now....>>>
I have a good overhead light, a pole for the flex shaft and space enough to some serious sawing!
Since this is a rental house and I don't want to mess up the carpet, I bought two, cheap welcome mats to catch any filings or bits of metal.The mats are black, so that the metal will show up and not get lost in the berber carpet. I am putting the other one under my soldering station.
Which brings me to the soldering station to the left of the mini-bench. I am using a table that my father and I built for my soldering station.
For additional protection and safety, I bought a piece of sheet metal from Lowe's and folded it in half. I placed one end along the wall, to help with any spattering or steam that my pickle pot might do to potentially damage the wall.
I folded it with the writing facing me, but that can be wiped off with some steel wool! I bought a few ceramic tiles and set them on top of the sheet metal; however, this weekend, I plan on buying some K 23 Fire Bricks from a local pottery supply place. Connie Fox uses the K 23's for her soldering station, and I want to give that a try. But in the interim, I will use my charcoal and tile set-up since I need to get some jewelry made before I can get to the pottery place.
Here is what my soldering station looks like... I use a smoke absorber when I solder, so it takes away any fumes that might burn off and I love my swivel annealing pan for annealing larger pieces of metal.
I am getting a brand new chair for my little space...a stool that is stationary and has an adjustable height. When you are sawing or doing something that requires a lot of concentration, you don't want your chair to move or it could contribute to having a heavy metal fit!
I am excited to get back to fabricating, and knowing that in one more move, I will hopefully have my dream bench. But in the meantime, I will make this little space work. I think I am just so excited to have reliable heat and air conditioning that not having my dream bench is ok for now!
Do you have any studio tips? Or are you contemplating any new tools? Please share!