With that in mind, let's begin with one of the most important things of all: where I do my work. In my case, it's done at this watchmaker's bench. Though it's called a "watchmaker's" bench (and indeed, watchmaker's use them), clock-makers and repairers use them too. It's also quite similar to many jeweler's workbenches.
The key characteristics are:
- Its height
- The number of drawers
- Features designed to catch falling parts
Compared to most tables and workbenches, the watchmaker's bench is quite high. When used in conjunction with a short chair (note to self: get adjustable stool) the repairer's head is fairly close to the surface of the bench. This minimizes the amount of hunching and straining needed to see very small parts on the bench.
This bench has 16 drawers and, believe me, they are all full. I've got almost every tool I routinely use at arm's length. The drawers make this possible. I also have a magnetic tool holder in front of the bench and a small shelving unit on the wall to the left. Really, it's only when I need to use the watchmaker's lathe that I need to get up.
Finally, the bench is designed to minimize the loss of small parts. The side and front edges of the top have a short apron, so nothing can roll off. The font edge has trough routed into the surface. Small object trying to roll off the bench in that direction and likely to roll into this groove and stop. Finally, directly above the stool, there is a fabric-lined tray that slides out. The front edge is pulled close to the body, so that any part that comes that way should drop into the tray, rather than into your lap or on to the floor.
It's a fine bench and I've already become so used to the locations of objects, that I can grab the right drawer handle almost without looking.
More on the workshop, tools, and clock repairs in later posts. Thanks for reading!