Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Ongoing Saga of the Bench Improvement No. 2

Yesterday went pretty well. The cabinet door knobs used on the bench drawers were added to the plier rack. A little easier to move around that way.

Relocated the lamp from right side to left. It was mistake to place it on the right side because it did not reach far enough over the primary work area.

The post holding the flex shat motor was way too high, so that was shortened as much as possible. Much more convenient now.

There remains more work to be done. Future projects include fastening a backboard with a small shelf attached to the top of the bench. This will give some additional space for storage. Then I need to do something with the drawers. There is wasted space in them, and the tools rattled around, and that's not good as they could become damaged in some way.

A rack for some of the hammers needs to be developed, and a really don't like pegboard. although some folks seem to use it and like it.

Today, if time permits, I will do something about the bench pin, which doesn't seem to be very handy.

More coming later, John

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Ongoing Saga of the Bench Improvement

Going back in time, when the bench arrived, then unpacked, the assembly began. It very quickly became apparent that all was not well. Misaligned holes for the bolts which would hold the bench together meant that it was going to be more effort to put it together than advertised. So, nothing to do but get out some bar clamps to hold everything together and re-drill the holes.

But, with some help from my wife, we managed to get it together. Then another problem appeared. Instability. No matter that the bolts were tightened down, the bench remained shaky. So, a short trip off to the scrap wood pile and cut four pieces to fit between the legs, inside and out, and a piece between the legs on the backside, and bolt them all in place. Gee, it worked! Stability achieved! The back piece does double duty. It also holds a multiple outlet strip for the electrical supply to the flex shaft, lamp, computer and anything else that might need to be plugged in.

The next item to work on was the drawers which didn't fit right, and I didn't like the built in drawer pulls. A little sanding and installing small cabinet drawer pulls I had saved for a few decades, made things more convenient. Another door pull was added to the catch tray.

The double shelf arrangement above the catch tray had a hidden hazard. Accidentally pull it out too far, and oops, it tips and anything on it spills. Another trip to the scrap pile and cut two strips like the ones already installed, screw them in place and now, no more tipping. Adding the door pulls to the double shelf made it much easier to pull it out and push it back.

The arm rests which came with the bench are horrible. They were thrown out as being useless. I really didn't need them, anyway.

The moral of the story is simple: Buy cheap, expect cheap. If any reader is contemplating the purchase of a jeweler"s bench, save up more cash and buy a bench that is, at least, a step up from an economy model. Make sure it's made from solid wood. You will be glad you did.

More later on the on going saga of bench improvements. Maybe my struggles will help someone else.


Friday, July 23, 2010

Copper Beads

I have decided to re-post the photo of some experimental copper beads I have been making. Lots of procedural mistakes were made. When I begin to make them again, the process should be less taxing.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Homemade Plier Rack

The Lindstrom RX pliers which I use for wire work have never fit satisfactorily on any commercial rack that I am aware of, so after years of fiddling with various means of storing them, I finally hit on the one shown in the photo. It's roughly made, but it works. That's the main point. Everything you see in the lower photo of the rack is from scrap wood and aluminum angle.

The rack is adequate to hold all the pliers I use in doing wire work, plus pearl tweezers and a crimper. The overall dimensions are approximately 13 1/2 x 7 1/2 x 4 3/4 inches. The aluminum angle is 1 x 1 inch.

I will probably add a couple of knobs on the outide of the two upright pieces to make it easier to transport.

Next time, bench improvements.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Starting Anew

Some changes in the wind.

First, I have deleted all posts which I have made to this blog. Some needed to have been deleted some time back. Everything halfway worthwhile has been saved in a separate location.

I am taking a hiatus from posting for awhile. I badly need to take some time to simply reorganize my work spaces. I have been meaning to do this for sometime now. Some of you have seen a photo of what I euphemistically call the Metal Werks, which is located in the garage. Unfortunately, the garage also houses one of my wife's art tables which is now covered with junk, mine, plus some of her other art supplies and a couple tons of unsold artwork. Then there's more of my junk, plus a work bench which is piled to overflowing with tools and more junk. A machine table holding drill press, grinder, sander that needs a new belt, and a big vise. Then there's the table saw, the chop saw and the band saw, which needs a new blade. Then there's all my saved craft supplies from way back, paints, papers, and just miscellaneous junk. Well, some of it isn't exactly junk, it's stuff that may or may not be used in the future. Then there's the work bench with the rolling mill and shear, the little lathe, the other tools, dapping block and punches, disc cutter, the second flex shaft, etc., etc. Anyway all that take up a bunch of room and it's reached a point of no return unless I simply buckle down and go to work rearranging, and getting rid of some of the junk. But, that's not all.

I've been threatening to modify the cheapo jeweler's bench I bought last year. That's still on the to-do list. There's again the problem of space that has to be resolved. Being confined to the laundry room is problem enough, but there is the fact that we have to get a wheel chair in and out of the laundry room door, and in and out of the door that leads to the garage where there is a ramp for the wheel chair, so we can take it through the garage and out to the car. So space which might be utilized under other circumstances, can't be.

I have obtained some ideas from a fellow blogger, John De Rosier. He has the neatest, most organized jeweler's bench. If you want to see someone who is innovative, inventive, and organized, you should check out either his blog, The Jeweler's Files, or go to Flickr and search for Speetog. I am sure you will be amazed at what he has done.

O.K., I'm done for awhile. Check back in a couple of weeks. I just might have something to show. No promises.

Best to all. John