How to Build a Jewelry Bench

Written by anne hirsh
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How to Build a Jewelry Bench
Create original jewellery pieces at your own workbench. (jewellery image by max blain from Fotolia.com)

A jewellery bench is similar to any kind of workbench, but to make it a highly effective workspace for jewellery making, it will need a few adaptations and additions. Keep in mind that a jewellery bench is not a soldering station, so if you plan to do any soldering or other work with open flames, you will need a fireproof work area with adequate ventilation. A jewellery bench is perfect for wire forming, beading, piercing, filing, setting stones and doing a variety of other tasks. The amount and type of storage you build into your bench will depend on the type of work you plan to do there.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • 4-by-8-foot sheet 3/4-inch plywood
  • Circular saw
  • Five 8-foot sticks 2-by-4 lumber
  • Drill/power driver
  • 3-inch screws
  • Wood glue
  • 1 1/4-inch screws
  • C-Clamp
  • 4-by-4-foot sheet masonite pegboard
  • Pegboard hooks
  • Plastic craft drawer set
  • 1/2-inch wood screws

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Cut off one end of the plywood sheet at 27.5 inches, resulting in a 48-by-27.5-inch sheet and a larger leftover sheet. From the leftover sheet, mark out and cut a 55-by-30-inch sheet. Cut two 52-by-6-inch strips from your remaining plywood.

  2. 2

    Cut your 2 by 4 lumber into two 55-inch pieces, eight 34-inch pieces and three 23-inch pieces. Standard 2 by fours are 96 inches long, so you should be able to get all of these cuts out of five pieces if you cut a 55- and a 34-inch piece from two, then two 34- and one 23-inch pieces from the next three.

  3. 3

    Lay the 55-inch pieces on the ground with the 23-inch pieces between them, one at each end and one at the middle, all on their 2-inch sides so the wood forms what looks like a boxy "8" that is 55 by 26 inches (23 plus the width of the long pieces). Screw all of these pieces together using 3-inch screws to drill into the ends of the shorter pieces through the sides of the longer ones. Use two screws per site of attachment and predrill holes if the wood starts to split.

  4. 4

    Apply a thin layer of wood glue along the top surfaces of this box and attach the 55-by-30-inch piece to the top with 1 1/4-inch screws, lining it up flush with three sides and leaving a 4-inch overhang at the front. Attach this to the box frame for your desktop.

  5. 5

    Divide your 34-inch wood into pairs and lay one flat on its wider side, then line the other half of the pair up along its length resting on its 2-inch side so they form an L. Screw the pieces together to form the legs for your table.

  6. 6

    Flip the table top over and clamp a leg to the inside of one corner with a C-clamp. Screw the leg to the table with two screws into each 2 by 4. Repeat for all four legs.

  7. 7

    Stand the table up on its legs and use 1 1/4-inch screws to attach the two remaining plywood strips to the legs on the front and back sides of the table, making sure their tops are level at approximately 8 inches off the ground. Run a line of glue along the tops of these strips and place the 27.5-by-48-inch piece of plywood on top of them, tapping it into place with a hammer, if necessary. Carefully screw it into the support strips, predrilling to avoid splitting the wood, if necessary.

  8. 8

    Screw the masonite pegboard to the back of your workbench, allowing 2 feet to show above the bench top and the rest to hang below it. Add pegboard hooks for your frequently used supplies and tools on the upper part and your lesser-used supplies and tools below the work area.

  9. 9

    Remove the drawers from a plastic craft drawer set and drill four holes in the bottom of the casing. Using 1/2-inch wood screws, screw the casing to the underside of your desktop, near the back so you can access the upper drawers. Alternatively, you can drill holes in the back of the drawer casing and bolt it to your pegboard. Replace the drawers to complete your bench.

Tips and warnings

  • If you do pierced sawing work, bolt your piercing board to the front edge of one corner of your desktop so you don't have to work around a C-clamp, as you would with a temporarily installed piercing board. Using bolts instead of screws or nails will allow you to remove it if necessary for other work, then replace it without additional damage to the desktop's surface.

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