Hacking a Jeweler’s Bench

Over the past month I’ve been working on setting up my own little jeweler’s bench in my little home studio. After researching “real” jeweler’s benches, I came to the conclusion that they are really expensive, so I needed to find something that worked with my budget. It seemed to me that I could repurpose an old desk and it could be a great starting point for customizing a place to work, so I kept an eye on Craigslist and the 4 Sale Fairbanks North Star Borough Facebook group for a bit to see what was available in the area.

Thankfully, a few desks popped up and I sent a message to arrange to stop in and see them. I was starting to worry it would be a challenge to even find a used wooden desk in Fairbanks. It turns out there is a little out of the way shop on Bias Dr. called Hidden Treasures. What a surprise! I had lived in that neighborhood for at least 8 years and never knew it was there. It is definitely worth a visit, but give a call ahead of time because they aren’t always open.

A view from inside the heated building at the Hidden Treasures location
An inside shot of the Hidden Treasures store

Only one of the desks was the right size, but it was wood and in decent condition. The owner and I set to fitting it in my Wrangler, Tetris-style and I was on my way. Turns out, it fits my space quite well and I can imagine a number of customizations I’d already like to do.

I shot of the old desk after I got it upstairs
This is clearly a basic,no-frills used desk
Handwriting on the side of one of the drawers
While cleaning it up I noticed some handwriting from the factory of the stock number and style

For instance, raising the top a few inches seemed like a good idea. I want to be able to secure a bench pin to one of the support blocks under the raised desktop. That’s something I will finish up this weekend.

A shot of the desk with the raised surface
The desk with a raised surface

While this is all happening, I’m getting inspiration from the Web, and oh man is there plenty out there. Some of my favorite finds are below. I’m thinking of ways to make them myself and fit them to the current space.

Rotary Tool organizer
This rotary tool organizer would be pretty simple to put together
Thoughts for organising drawers of tools
Such handy drawer organization!

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