Metal Workshop on a Budget

This is how I made a functional metal workshop in a spare bedroom for about $200 (tools extra).  I've got everything I need to fabricate copper, brass, and silver into great jewelry packed into half of the spare bedroom.  The other half is my office.  Total room size is about 12' x 15', or around 180 square feet.

Being budget minded is especially important when you are just starting out.  Serious thought must be placed on what you want to invest your money in.  I've chosen to put more money into buying metals and tools rather than fancy furniture and workbenches.  I hope this post gives you some ideas for creating your own workshop.

Mini solder station   

Microwave cart picked up at a Goodwill for $15.      

The top is covered with some leftover ceramic floor tiles turned upside down.  This is adequate for my little hand torches.

There are two shelves in the cabinet portion for solder supplies and etching and patina solutions.  Yep, it's the chemistry lab.

What you don't see in this photo is the fire extinguisher which is just beyond the right edge of the pic.                                                         


Another second hand store score for $15.  Nice sturdy desk that stands up to sawing, sanding, hammering, etc.   

 I put up some cork squares for hanging notes, drawings and inspirations.  This shot doesn't show my hammer rack or the magnetic tool bar hanging above the bench.  They show up in the last photo.


Tool Chest

I tracked this down on Craigslist.  A fellow won it at a car show and he already had a couple so he sold it for some cash.  It's a US General brand available at Harbor Freight.  It was new in the boxes and he sold it at their typical sale price minus the sales tax.

I keep my metals, wire and doo-dads in here along with tools and works in progress.  I'll save the detailed photos for another post.


Polishing Station
This is my newest addition!  Very exciting!

4" lathe from Rio Grande.  The cardboard box is part of my "dust collection" system along with the mini vac hanging on the wall above.  

I should mention that the cabinet that it's sitting on was another used furniture purchase.  It's a bath cabinet with 4 drawers which are handy for holding wheels, compounds and dust masks.  It was missing the top so  I got a piece of pressed wood from the Home Depot scrap bin for 51 cents

Put it all together and I have a very comfortable work space.
 Notice the hammer rack and the magnetic file and tweezer holder above the workbench.  Very handy!

I'm sure I'll collect more goodies and eventually out grow this space.  My next tool investment will likely be a flex shaft (using a rotary tool now).  I would love a rolling mill and a disk cutter, but for now I am able to use the ones that they have in the studios that I frequent for classes.

Let me know if there is anything in my workshop that you'd like to know more about. I'll have more detailed "items" lists in the future.  And I'd love to hear about your workshop and tool dreams too.  Please leave a comment!    

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