I had this big plan to do a blog post with a tour of my studio. I took a bunch of pictures and realized that it would be long and obnoxious to include everything at one time. So today I bring you my bench.
This is a special bench. I built it by hand, entirely on my own. I used the plans from The Complete Metalsmith, but it turned out that they weren’t exactly right. So I fixed what needed fixing (boy, am I handy!) and fine tuned it to fit my needs. Did I mention that I did this using hand power tools? Of course I probably should have polyurethaned it, but too late now (not so handy after all).
Originally my garage had peg board all over the outside wall. Not just any
pegboard either, but masonite pegboard. For those of you not in the know, this is very durable composite wood board that like to stay un-warped. This is what the bench top is made of. Thus it could not just be tossed out with the other junk left in the garage when we moved in, so I incorporated it into the sides of bench. This gave me more storage space for my tools while adding stability to the bench. This is where all of my precious hammers nest. I also have my files, extra saws, tape, burnishers, and yes, that is a drywall axe on the left side at the bottom.
The plier rack was not made by me, but is still very useful and space saving. Also on the top of my bench are the smaller spools of wire that I use most often. They are just waiting until the day I create a wonderful hanging device
where they sit side by side, spinning freely as I measure what I need. You can also just barely see the stand for my flex-shaft and the bench lamp that I barely use because the overhead fluorescents are so freaking bright.
I couldn’t believe it when I made drawers that actually fit! They slide in and out and don’t even stick! The bench pan didn’t come out quite as well, it can stick and since there aren’t any sides to the bench it sometimes goes in on an angle. And it is incredibly large and difficult to handle when emptying.
As you can see, I love my bench and it was so worth the time and trouble to build it myself. Just be glad you weren’t around me in the weeks following it’s completion. I’m quite sure that my family was sick of hearing me talk about it, even if I did surprise myself with how well it turned out. Hey, just because I can work with metal does not mean I can accomplish anything with wood. But I am proud of myself.
So don’t be discouraged by the amazingly high prices of store bought benches. (And yes, they are worth it.) Try to build it your self, or have a handy carpenter type friend or relative help you out (make sure you offer beer as an incentive only after you finish work for the day!).