Sisterhood of Traveling Bench

Sisterhood of Traveling Bench


Published On: 01-12-2014 09:42pm

Comments: 5 - Hits: 0

Category: Wire Journal

I've got a new/old jeweler bench that has served several jewelers in the past. It's a handmade jeweler bench out of Koa wood proudly made in Hawaii by a professional carpenter about 20 years ago. From what I can tell, this chestnut brown bench is made of a combination of mostly timber, plywood, metal, and as the table surface is 1/8" of pressed wood affixed to an inch and a half thick of timber sandwich. I've longed for a real jeweler bench so imagine how happy I was when a friend told me she's selling her jeweler bench and offered it to me at a great price. 

I'm thrilled that Wanaree passed me down this jeweler bench. She's moving to another town an hour away from Quincy and downsizing. Wanaree is a well known gifted young PMC artist and a traveling teacher that has received several prestigious awards, including the winner of 2013 Saul Bell Award and got her work displayed in a museum. I hope her success rubs on me as well :))

Wanaree wasn't the first person to own the bench. She got it from another jeweler who moved in and then out of Quincy, IL. A torn label affixed onto one side suggested that this bench had been used in California as well (and the most obvious one is the handwritten address on the piece of plywood underneath the soldering tray). A well traveled bench yet sturdy. I had to drive some loose nails in with a hammer and that's about it.

Now bask in the glory of this newly cleaned bench as you'll never see it in such state for a long time once I get to use it! ;)

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Bonus feature: a flying cat! Notice that every drawer is in a different size.
And oh! I got two pieces of stumps as well! Those are huge and a bitch to move.

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Look at that sexy curve. Red colored stripes on the front are magnetic strips. Hopefully, I'll find my tools faster this way. 

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I was told this is a soldering tray. It's a metal box that slides in and out. But I think I'll use it as a catch tray. Maybe I'll line it with leather. Two holes next to the bench pin are ring mandrel holders. Too bad the big hole is a wee bit too small for my mandrel. I screwed in my red bench pin onto the pin that came with the bench.

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That spindle on the front left is a flexshaft hanger. It has a metal hook near the top. 
Studio helper is being helpful.

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The surface of the table is full of singe marks and other stains. A silent witness of great things in the making. Do you think if I ask nicely, it will tell me the trade secrets?

Reader's Comments

By popnicute on 01/13/2014 @ 06:31am

Thanks, everyone! This year started off pretty good. I have the same feeling that this bench will get a lot of use and a lot of fun to work with! :D

By Guest on 01/13/2014 @ 12:45am

It's a great bench from a fabulous artist and person! This bench will bring you lots of hard work and great rewards. Congratulations!!!

By Guest on 01/13/2014 @ 12:17am

I sense that you're going to have a lot of fun working with this bench! The drawers are very nice for sorting things. I have mine organized by task; sanding; burs; hammering; cutting, etc. It makes finding the tools quick and easy. Have fun!!!

By popnicute on 01/13/2014 @ 12:15am

That's what I'm gonna use it for, catching dust and bits. With my HF bench I finally had the idea of using one of the drawers as catching tray but it's a bit awkward to use. So happy I have this bench now!

By Guest on 01/12/2014 @ 10:28pm

The tray is just for catching your dust and bits. I know I spend a lot of time trying to find that little bit that just fell into my tray! Most people who work in precious metals keep their bits sorted and either send in their scraps to a refiner, or reuse them themselves. I've never seen anyone solder anything in the tray.

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