If you’ve been following along, I’m at the end of my rock polishing hobby bench series of posts. The first post was the wall I built, the second was my industrial/steampunk inspired light (made of pipe), and now, the final product, the workbench itself. In keeping with the industrial look, I used pipe to build the base, 2X6 lumber for the top, and mounted all my toys for polishing rocks and gemstones.
The bench base:
Let’s start with the base. I used 3/4” pipes and pipe nipples to create a sturdy foundation for the top (important because I don’t want it to collapse). The entire base is just under ten feet long and about twenty-four inches wide. I built it to accommodate a barstool height chair and it works perfectly. Just the right height to work the stones.
Here is the base after I painted it black to match the light (got to be coordinated, you know).
The bench top:
The top, as I mentioned above, is made of 2X6 lumber. Nothing fancy, just off the shelf interior pine boards. I used my pocket hole jig to create screw holes to join the boards together (makes it sturdier, I think). I sanded it lightly, mostly to remove the markings from the boards, then put it on the floor, top side down so I could attach the base. Below is the assembled top.
I attached the base using 1 5/8” drywall screws through the flanges I installed on the top of each nipple. Nice and secure. Then, I asked John, my rock hunting companion and brother, to help me move it into the basement (which meant taking it across the lawn and through the basement door, rather than trying to take it down the stairs inside). Once we got it there, we centered it on the wall and that was that!
I cut a hole in the top for my Highland Park cabochon drive belt to pass through and reach the motor that I mounted below the bench. I built a small belt guard to keep things from getting caught up in the belt (safety first), and drilled a few holes for water and drain lines. In addition, I mounted my Rock Rascal next to the HP equipment. Of course, I left room for faceting equipment (one day). I also added a variable speed bench grinder with a felt polishing wheel for final buffing of the stones.
At the very end of the bench, I left space on the wall for my homemade flat lap. Now all my toys are in one place, and it’s easy to move from one to another. I even added some anti-fatigue mats on the floor, just for comfort when I’m standing up on the hard concrete.
The final product:
There you have it! The final step of the project. I’ve used it a lot since I finished it and everything works just as I wanted it to. Overall, a fun project that wasn’t too difficult, and I’m sure it will keep me busy with the rocks I’ve collected.