Part One of this guide covered basic jewelry workbench terminology. Next up: How to choose a jeweler’s bench. The short answer is, there is no single bench that’s perfect for everyone. You’ll need to identify the set of features that are most important to you, then narrow your search down to some potential benches that fit your jewelry work, your jewelry-making space and your body. This short list should help you get started.
Small, light-duty benches provide dedicated work space and organization in tight spaces, such as at the back of a retail store where quick repairs are performed. They’re also economical enough to buy in multiples for banks of benches in jewelry-making workshops and classrooms—a perfect way for beginners and students to get started.
When paired with separate stations for soldering, forming or polishing, these full-size benches offer good work space and storage, as well as more solid wood for added stability.
The best workbenches for custom jewelry work and heavier metal forming tasks, handcrafted benches are designed to keep up with professional jewelers as they acquire more techniques and tools over time. Solid hardwood and extra-sturdy construction are fully customizable; added features like adjustable-height feet and catch trays are instantly adaptable; and extra-wide, extra-tall models offer a wealth of work space and leg room.
Tall people absolutely need a tall bench—look for one that not only sits high enough to put the bench pin at your chest level, but one that also includes enough room below the center drawers for your legs and knees to fit comfortably.
When paired with an adjustable chair, a bench with adjustable-height feet and center drawers will ensure that your feet stay on the ground while your work is comfortably in reach.
If you host open studios or share a co-working space, getting a bench with at least one locking drawer to store valuable materials and personal items is a must.
It may seem counterintuitive at first, but an extra-wide bench offers ample workroom in one consolidated footprint—an alternative to setting up multiple work stations when space won't allow it.