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Watchmakers do it on a bench!

neighmond

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Pocketsforwatches and RocCoCarl just today had some pictures in their threads of watchmaker benches, something I know lots of us love to look at. MrRoundel has a legacy bench also, so I believe. I know there's been plenty of posts with watchmaker benches in them, I thought it would be neat to see the benches people have restored, repaired, and generally made their own. The bench has such an intimate connection with its user it's always been my belief that part of the workmen gets infused so thoroughly that even two right next to each other off the line can be as different as day and night.
DeLadd bench.jpg

Here's one I was entrusted with from my good friend Steve Stanford, who was a watchmaker up in Spirit Lake when I was a kid. It had been painted at one time, I stripped it and repaired the broken corners, it has beautiful cast iron drawer and door pulls. Here's a better picture.

Steve's desk.jpg

DeLadd bench.jpg Steve's desk.jpg
 
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neighmond

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some old progress pictures that got found today:

6.JPG

Stripping paint from side.

6 (1).JPG

Most of the Paint off.

Damage to frame on carcus.jpg

Broken corner upper left front. It had been broken quite some time.

broken corner.jpg

Another break.

100-0018_IMG.JPG

From the top-you can see three breaks, there's one underneath too.
 
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neighmond

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3 (2).JPG


Clamps enough to go Round!

6 (7).JPG


I think every corner was loose or broken-120 years is a lot of living!

100-0004_IMG_2.JPG


If there was ever a hillbilly clamp job.....

3 (9).JPG


Poor old thing was getting there!
 

MrRoundel

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No, Mr. Roundel doesn't have a legacy bench, he has what is referred to as a le-gassy bench. I'll leave it there.

Kidding aside, my bench is nothing to brag about. It's a purely utilitarian piece that's virtually all plywood. It does however have mahogany veneer on the top and sides, but still plywood. I know it doesn't age as well as those nice solid-top models, as it doesn't really open up and breathe...Wait, that's guitars. Never mind. :whistle:

As I said, my le-gassy bench is nothing special. But I only paid $100 for it. And as an added bonus, there were a few tools in it. Nothing particularly special, but there. Oh, and it has a little vise on it. It too isn't that great, but it works for holding my K&D MS winder and LG Open-all. Oh yes, and a nice one of those semi-box hinge cases made by Crescent Watch Case Co., a Regent trademark. Nice gold-filled case, FWIW.

By the way, neighmond, old pal, do you still have your roll-top bench? Cheers.
 
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neighmond

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By the way, neighmond, old pal, do you still have your roll-top bench? Cheers.
Not anymore, when I left a former employer he claimed it was his.
 

neighmond

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I have a workbench, only 16 years old but my great grandfather sold roll top workbenches out of their wholesale business on Maiden Lane in 1914 for about $38.00 plus delivery, don't you wish today. Currently the bench is a little top heavy with useless stuff.

View attachment 697283
Yours is plenty nice! Looks like you got it all fixed up to suit too!
 

MrRoundel

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On the guy who absconded with your bench, I'll bet you taught his cuckoo bird some nice new words before you left.

Image of my utilitarian bench...

B94F80FA-AE63-4672-A3D4-515439C29206.jpg
 
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neighmond

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neighmond

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Another update on the poor old bench!

100-0014_IMG.JPG
Clamps on the drawer nest!

6 (21).JPG
Gluing the back.

2.JPG
More clamping.

6 (18).JPG
Gluing the top..
 
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Les harland

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Martin G

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Does it matter what sort of clamp job it is as long as it works?
Sad how many great oak pieces got set to smoke on a burn pile making room for "new" stuff... I was able to rescue this one, and am sure glad to have it. It is fairly deep, so it tends to accumulate a lot of stuff, but it's my stuff, and I love it!

IMG_4375.JPG
 

bwclock

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Sad how many great oak pieces got set to smoke on a burn pile making room for "new" stuff... I was able to rescue this one, and am sure glad to have it. It is fairly deep, so it tends to accumulate a lot of stuff, but it's my stuff, and I love it!

View attachment 698140
Here are the watchmakers benches I use in my clock repair business. The first photo shows the two benches in the main work area; the second photo shows the bench in the cleaning room. The first two benches are old and are of good quality and have thick sold wood drawer fronts. The bench on the left of the photo is older than the one on the right.

The cleaning room bench is of recent manufacture and of lousy quality compared to the older ones. It has plywood drawer fronts with very thin wood on the recesses that serve as drawer pulls. One has already pulled out and the others would certainly if any amount of weight were in the drawers. The solution is, of course, to spend a couple of hundred bucks to purchase drawer pulls (see third photo for reference). There are other issues and I do not think this bench would serve anyone well as a "daily user". I got this "new" bench for free and am not aware of what they cost but feel that a person would be better served with an older bench.

I have been working at the two benches in the first photo for over thirty years, on a daily basis. The one improvement(well, actually, "repair") I made is adding the drawer pull to the center drawer of the blonde bench, which is my main bench. There is a lot of weight in that drawer and over the years the wood lip one pulls wore down to the extent it was becoming more difficult to pull open the drawer. The darker bench is a standard 15 drawer bench and the blonde bench is a standard 19 drawer bench. Both configurations are serviceable, but I prefer the 19 drawer format, probably because it is where I spend most of my time and I have gotten used to it. The lathe on the blonde bench does take up a bit of surface space but I find having a lathe affixed to the bench preferable to a moveable lathe on a Borel base. The darker bench is taller because it has a wood floor. The shelves on this latter bench(a later addition) do not interfere with someone sitting at it wile using the lathe(second operation occasional use) or the mini drill press but might become annoying if one were to sit at it all day.
Bruce

Benches copy.JPG cleaning room bench.jpg drawer pulls.png
 
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neighmond

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Here are the watchmakers benches I use in my clock repair business. The first photo shows the two benches in the main work area; the second photo shows the bench in the cleaning room. The first two benches are old and are of good quality and have thick sold wood drawer fronts. The bench on the left of the photo is older than the one on the right.

The cleaning room bench is of recent manufacture and of lousy quality compared to the older ones. It has plywood drawer fronts with very thin wood on the recesses that serve as drawer pulls. One has already pulled out and the others would certainly if any amount of weight were in the drawers. The solution is, of course, to spend a couple of hundred bucks to purchase drawer pulls (see third photo for reference). There are other issues and I do not think this bench would serve anyone well as a "daily user". I got this "new" bench for free and am not aware of what they cost but feel that a person would be better served with an older bench.

I have been working at the two benches in the first photo for over thirty years, on a daily basis. The one improvement(well, actually, "repair") I made is adding the drawer pull to the center drawer of the blonde bench, which is my main bench. There is a lot of weight in that drawer and over the years the wood lip one pulls wore down to the extent it was becoming more difficult to pull open the drawer. The darker bench is a standard 15 drawer bench and the blonde bench is a standard 19 drawer bench. Both configurations are serviceable, but I prefer the 19 drawer format, probably because it is where I spend most of my time and I have gotten used to it. The lathe on the blonde bench does take up a bit of surface space but I find having a lathe affixed to the bench preferable to a moveable lathe on a Borel base. The darker bench is taller because it has a wood floor. The shelves on this latter bench(a later addition) do not interfere with someone sitting at it wile using the lathe(second operation occasional use) or the mini drill press but might become annoying if one were to sit at it all day.
Bruce

View attachment 698290 View attachment 698291 View attachment 698292
My use everyday watch bench is a twin to your dark one-a Roseburg made in 1947. It's a wonderful bench! I am the second owner, Curt Glessner brought it new in 1947 and I got it in 1993.
 

bwclock

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My use everyday watch bench is a twin to your dark one-a Roseburg made in 1947. It's a wonderful bench! I am the second owner, Curt Glessner brought it new in 1947 and I got it in 1993.
Cool. it is great to know the history of items we own. I remember the original owerof my blonde one but the dark one's appearance is a mystery to me. I bet your dark bench looks nicer than mine in that it probably does not have the shelves. The shelves are unsightly but they sure have come in handy.
Bruce
 
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neighmond

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My bench is signed by the original owner. I cannot read his name, but the date is clear 1897 or 1899. I love the drawer pulls too. The pictures are before restoration.



View attachment 698294

View attachment 698295
The pulls are gorgeous!

Handles stripped.jpg
Here are mine, after boiling and seasoning with hot oil.

signature.jpg
Signature on drawer bottom. usually you can barely see it, It doesn't show this dark unless you wipe mineral oil on it, then it gets light again as soon as the oil evaporates. It says "CHARLES DeLADD/10 31 88"

Buffer spring made from trophy plate.jpg Drawer buffer.jpg
These are buffer springs for the two centre front drawers. God knows how long they have been there but there was no reason to do away with them.
 
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neighmond

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The pulls are gorgeous!
Cool. it is great to know the history of items we own. I remember the original owerof my blonde one but the dark one's appearance is a mystery to me. I bet your dark bench looks nicer than mine in that it probably does not have the shelves. The shelves are unsightly but they sure have come in handy.
Bruce
Curt's bench.jpg
Here is Curt's desk. I hope he's happy, I've tried to do as good with my work on it as his was.

Curt Glessner, the bench's first owner and a good friend.
 
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neighmond

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Neat! It shows honest wear from the years of use.

Now it would be nice to see what everyone has in the drawers!
You asked for it! Top left to lower right:

100-0054_IMG.JPG 100-0053_IMG.JPG

100-0041_IMG.JPG 100-0043_IMG.JPG
 

neighmond

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100-0042_IMG.JPG
Center just over apron.

100-0044_IMG.JPG
Right, second from top.

100-0045_IMG.JPG

100-0046_IMG.JPG
 
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neighmond

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Right side heading downward.

100-0048_IMG.JPG 100-0047_IMG.JPG

100-0050_IMG.JPG 100-0049_IMG.JPG

100-0052_IMG.JPG
 
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bwclock

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Cool, thanks It is interesting to see what others use in the normal course of events. It is my bedtime. I will post my bench drawers tomorrow.
Bruce
Here are photos of the left bench, starting from the drawers on the left side, under the lathe. I cannot figure out how to label the photos, as you did in your prior posting
Bruce

IMG_5353.jpg IMG_5353.jpg
 
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bwclock

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Oops. For some reason, probably because I am "slow" these photos are messed up. If you ignore the first three, which are duplicates of the bottom right three drawers, the others are in sequence, starting with the middle drawers.

Maybe I will do better when I send the drawer contents of the main bench. I doubt it however as there is noting in my past that might indicate any learning capability when it comes to technology!
Bruce
 
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bwclock

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Oops. For some reason, probably because I am "slow" these photos are messed up. If you ignore the first three, which are duplicates of the bottom right three drawers, the others are in sequence, starting with the middle drawers.

Maybe I will do better when I send the drawer contents of the main bench. I doubt it however as there is noting in my past that might indicate any learning capability when it comes to technology!
Bruce
Here goes on the second bench, my main bench. The second photo shows the two drawers under the lathe, containing items pertinent to its use(chucks, extra headstock...). The next three photos show the the center drawers. The next photo is the pull-out tray. The remaining photos show the drawers on the right side of the bench, in sequence from top to bottom. The drawer on the left side of any photo is the drawer immediately above the drawer on the right side of the same photo.

Watchmaker's benches are a wonderful convenience in my experience. They allow one to sit in one place and have many of the tools and supplies one uses daily within reach. Additionally, one does not have to look for things as the bench drawers provide organization. After a while, a repairman knows as a matter of instinct what tool is in which drawer. Work flows smoothly, birds chirp and the sun rises..
Bruce

Benches copy.JPG IMG_5363.jpg IMG_5364.jpg IMG_5365.jpg IMG_5366.jpg IMG_5374.jpg IMG_5367.jpg IMG_5368.jpg IMG_5369.jpg IMG_5370.jpg IMG_5371.jpg IMG_5372.jpg IMG_5373.jpg
 

neighmond

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Here goes on the second bench, my main bench. The second photo shows the two drawers under the lathe, containing items pertinent to its use(chucks, extra headstock...). The next three photos show the the center drawers. The next photo is the pull-out tray. The remaining photos show the drawers on the right side of the bench, in sequence from top to bottom. The drawer on the left side of any photo is the drawer immediately above the drawer on the right side of the same photo.

Watchmaker's benches are a wonderful convenience in my experience. They allow one to sit in one place and have many of the tools and supplies one uses daily within reach. Additionally, one does not have to look for things as the bench drawers provide organization. After a while, a repairman knows as a matter of instinct what tool is in which drawer. Work flows smoothly, birds chirp and the sun rises..
Bruce

View attachment 698427 View attachment 698428 View attachment 698429 View attachment 698430 View attachment 698431 View attachment 698432 View attachment 698433 View attachment 698434 View attachment 698435 View attachment 698436 View attachment 698437 View attachment 698438 View attachment 698439
Such fun! This thread is turning out to be a dandy!
 

neighmond

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IMG_20220303_155528706.jpg
My boss's dad built three of these benches, and had to build all three again when a fire spoilt the first three! The tops are Formica, the draw fronts are cherry, and the sides are cherry veneer. They are a joy to work at.
 

Thomas Sanguigni

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My bench was bought at an antique store. Someone had stored it in an outside shed or barn. The back foot board was eaten by termites. I had to pop off the bottom and make a new board. It was poplar for sure. I also had to make a side for the top and re-glue lots of parts. The termites loved the glue. The maker used only square nails throughout the construction.

Before restoration:

006.JPG
 
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neighmond

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My bench was bought at an antique store. Someone had stored it in an outside shed or barn. The back foot board was eaten by termites. I had to pop off the bottom and make a new board. It was poplar for sure. I also had to make a side for the top and re-glue lots of parts. The termites loved the glue. The maker used only square nails throughout the construction.

Before restoration:

View attachment 698489
Look at that poor thing! It's night and day after getting fixed up, isn't it?
 

neighmond

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The fat man strikes again! This was on Facebook marketplace about 45 minutes away, and I responded about 5 minutes after the add went up. They said "sale was pending" and they'd let me know if it fell through. Well I went along my merry way thinking that was the last I'd ever see of that and they sent me a text a couple weeks later asking if I was still interested. Does Pope Francis know the Our Father? I went the next night and got it, bench AND stool for about as much as a tank of gas costs.

311670236_5605078952875340_7811867701376561809_n.jpg
 

Kevin W.

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Clicked on the posting and this came up, no idea as to why,

1669873280293.png
 

neighmond

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You forgot to mention that it's a salesman's miniature. :p
Funny you should mention sampled! In high school I had an art assignment to make a depiction of my work or hobby; here is what's left of it, the draws were cardboard and went astray. The box it was in was decorated up like my shop of the time, I think I might have a few pieces left in the attic.

PXL_20221202_165008609.jpg PXL_20221202_165034745.jpg PXL_20221202_165213164.jpg
 
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neighmond

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Funny you should mention sampled! In high school I had an art assignment to make a depiction of my work or hobby; here is what's left of it, the draws were cardboard and went astray. The box it was in was decorated up like my shop of the time, I think I might have a few pieces left in the attic.
View attachment 738708
PXL_20221202_171537875.jpg

PXL_20221202_171150546.jpg
 
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