I set up my workbench so that students can stand on the sides and front while I teach. I also plan to install a video monitor so they can see close-ups while I work (someday when I’m rich). It will sit on the counter to the right of my bench.
In the past, I worked on a typical jeweler’s bench. but I found that I like more room and storage drawers than it can offer. So, I placed two kitchen cabinets from the local home improvement store on each side and a 7-foot counter top sits across them. I now have a nice storage area for my tools on both sides of me and plenty of work space.
I have two different types of chairs, an office chair (which sits low) and a tall stool. When I want to roll out my metal clay I can sit up high on the stool and look down at what I am doing.
I have several types of torches. My air acetylene torch is sitting on the floor at the end of the counter top. The tank has a chain across it so it cannot fall. Unused tanks have steel caps on them and are also placed safely in the same corner. I have my soldering supplies stored in the drawer under the granite. I had left over granite from my last house that I am using to protect the wood counter top. (It’s a little over-kill, bu it works. A Solderite board will work just fine, too.) Right now, I have my pickle pot sitting under my tools hanging on the wall. I sometimes use Sparex for pickle and the fumes from Sparex will rust my tools on the wall! So, I will most likely opt to use the citric acid based solution (which is also more Earth friendly).
At this time, I only have one kiln. I placed my kiln away from the student area behind my workbench. This way, no one can lean against a hot kiln or potentially ruin another student's fragile greenware. Keeping the kiln behind me also sends s a subliminal message: Don’t go over here, this is my area. Only people who are invited will venture here.
I have two areas for students to work. The counter to the left of the studio has places for three flex shafts and good lighting. I have installed computer drawers (short height drawers) under each place that hold tools and can acts as catch drawers when needed. There will be a table in the center of the room for more students (Whenever my husband’s desk finds a home.)
This is where I will place tools for students to work with, work examples, and handouts. The dehydrator is also located here. Various tools used in workshops are stored in the bottom cabinets, while books and supplies are stored in the shelves above .
I have a fire extinguisher located at chest level at each doorway and one next to the soldering station. These should never be blocked. As mentioned before, I am renting this space, so I cannot install a vent. But there are windows on three sides of the room I can open to obtain a cross breeze when needed. I can also place a small box fan on the window sill to help pull fumes outside.