Ode to a bench pin

There are a few things in my studio I could gladly do without. My bench pin is not one of them. Fortunately, I’m not in a position to need a replacement — YET. I suspect the demise of my beloved bench pin would trigger an existential crisis, and it seems this might be a common feeling among jewelry makers.

metal+mettle

My bench pin is no more. Reduced to a mere stump, it has come to the end of its life and has to be replaced. Still, I find it hard to let go of it. I look at the scars left by the tools and I reminisce about the projects I have lived with these past years.

old bench pin Old worn out bench pin

A bench pin is a small wedge-shaped wooden extension of the workbench and, as humble as it may look, it is a very important piece of equipment. In fact, as Michael David Sturlin notes in his excellent article “Bench Pin Basics” (in Art Jewelry Magazine. September 2012), for us goldsmiths, “… the bench pin is the center of our world”. And I would add that it might be the most personal piece of equipment as well. Let’s explore how one can develop a better relationship with it.

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