Lapidary / Gemstone Community Forum

Lapidary Shop / Moderator, Catmandewe ( Tony ) => Share Our Shop And Or Work Area Pics => Topic started by: Windenzee on May 31, 2015, 05:15:09 am

Title: Help sorting setup for new workshop
Post by: Windenzee on May 31, 2015, 05:15:09 am
Hi everyone,
I am in need of some advice on how best to set up my new working area. I do both lapidary cabbing, carving and silversmithing.
My husband has built me ashed to work in and we are nearly at the stage to sort out the work benches etc.
 Should I place the silversmithing  area in a different part of  the shed tonthe lapidary carving or could I have them on thebsame bench?
I have 2 windows in thenshed so good lighting. I know that it is best to have then lapidary carving by natural light. Is this the same for the silversmithing?
I will be having my soldering area in the back of the shed  away from the naturallight omitnis easier to  see the change of colour for the metal.
My polishing wheels will be on the back wall.  Am still not certain where to put my trimsaw and if I should also have my cabking by a window!,
Should all my polishing wheels be on seperate benches? I have 1 for my silver, 1 for cerium oxide and hope to end up with my diamond polishing wheels seperate to my cabking (in the future)
Any advice would be helpful. The shed is only 4.330 meters by 1.58
Thanks in advance for your help.

Title: Re: Help sorting setup for new workshop
Post by: slabbercabber on May 31, 2015, 06:27:01 am
It is really all about how you work.  Do you switch back and forth between media?  How much room do you need for tools?  How much floor space do you have?  Can you set up for a natural progression or is batch processing more your speed?  The only thing you might want to be careful about is cross contamination between polishing wheels.  I would want to keep stone polishing wheels in a different area from metal polishes.

Title: Re: Help sorting setup for new workshop
Post by: Debbie K on May 31, 2015, 08:10:02 am

I'm still struggling with the perfect set-up myself, but I recently acquired a jeweler's bench at which I can do all soldering, sawing and stone setting, etc. It is in another room. Something to think about: Is the shed going to be very secure? I wouldn't want to leave my silver or my jewelry tools (prone to rust) in an outside shed. If people know that you are making jewelry, they often think nothing of mentioning to others, etc., and pretty soon totally strangers know that some lady down the road makes jewelry... and jewelry is always worth stealing. 

I have a separate carving area as the process slings mud everywhere that is in the alcove of my studio. I have an elevated bookcase on top of an old formica desk to carve upon. I've strung up a clear shower curtain in front of the bookcase to keep things clean. The case holds the carving paraphernalia and books. My rocks are off to my right; behind me to the right my rock grinder, to the left a workbench (holds my caster when I cast and heavier tools like anvils, etc., and on the wall behind me a taller workbench with kilns, faceting machine, pickle pot, large torch and annealing pan and trim saw. Above the workbench for the entire length of the wall are cabinets that someone in the neighborhood threw out that store all kinds of supplies. I'm always on the lookout for solid wood or plywood cabinets. As luck would have it, they fit exactly. We had to modify one (shortened) to install a vent for the kiln. I do wax burnout and enamel, and the fumes from either aren't good for you.

I do not polish metal with the buffer in my work area; I take it outside and do it in the open. I hate the black filth that comes off the wheels; and ditto to the dry grinder or sander. I work in a tiled, sheetrocked area, and I try to keep it clean.

Before we built the benches, I measured the room and every piece of furniture and equipment I was planning on placing there and used graph paper with little cut-outs to arrange things in a way I thought would make sense. I have no windows, so you have a consideration that I didn't. You don't need to please anybody but yourself. I would, however, recommend putting your rock grinder in a position that you are able to see the door; at least in your peripheral vision. When I am grinding I'm totally deaf and it's not a good thing to have your back to a door and have someone walk up behind you while working.

My husband gave me half of our one car garage (the other half is a utility room) to get me off of the dining room table. For the most part, it's worked. I suspect your husband is dreaming of a reality without sandpaper, steel wool or wire brushes littering his kitchen and dining room, a world without rocks in the freezer. For some reason, the rocks in the freezer really annoy him, but unless he buys me a little freezer just for rocks, it'll keep happening.

Good luck, and I hope your new work area makes you more productive!

Debbie K

Title: Re: Help sorting setup for new workshop
Post by: Windenzee on May 31, 2015, 08:22:48 am
Hi all,
thanks for the comments. Yes the shed is very secure. In my back garden so people ould have to go through the house to get to it.
Sounds like I will be keeping the silversmithing  down one end of the shed and the lapidary work up the other. May set up a curtain to contain the dust. I do work mainly wet so dust is limited.
With the silver polishing was thinking of containing it buy enclosing the wheels in a perspex box. Have done something similar  with my cerium oxide wheels and also have one for carving in if neded (a bit restricting though. )
At present I have the small spare bedroom but need to seperate the lapidary and silversmithing from my other arts re paintings, thus the shed. I threatened my husband with confiscating  part of his shed tnus I now have my own.