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2nd Best choice to benchmate systems?


#1

Does anyone care to share any alternative setups that are nearly as
useful as the Benchmate systems? I’m a young history teacher who does
this a a hobby so im wondering if there are 2nd best choices that
might fit my needs and budget. I need a bench pin and would like an
inside of ring holder.

I’ve done some searching and all I really see are 400 dollar set
ups. I appreciate any advice.


#2
Does anyone care to share any alternative setups that are nearly
as useful as the Benchmate systems? 

Try just a standard cheap wood bench pin, and similarly cheap
wood/leather jaws ring clamp. As sold, consider these tools
unfinished. You need to shape, especially the bench pin, to serve
your needs. Notches can be cut to better support the ring clamp
while you work, and the ring clamp itself can be notched to hook onto
an edge of the bench pin. With bench pins that remove easily and are
held in a clamp (the GRS bench pin holder, which you can buy
seperately, is a great such system, for much less than their whole
setup, but you can get other cheaper bench pin clamps too), you are
also not limited to just one bench pin. You can set up one for
piercing flat sheet, another for filing castings that may work
better with angled surfaces to the pin, and another with a ring clamp
shaped curve cut into the edge to better support the ring clamp.
While I have, and use, the GRS systems, frankly, for the bulk of my
work, I use the standard wood clamps. Faster to move around, faster
to change workpieces, and somewhat more mobile for different
positions. Most of the worlds jewelry gets made with the cheap
traditional bench pins and holding tools, so don’t feel you must get
the GRS system. It’s a great tool, but it’s not something you cannot
work without.

Peter


#3
Does anyone care to share any alternative setups that are nearly
as useful as the Benchmate systems? I'm a young history teacher who
does this a a hobby so im wondering if there are 2nd best choices
that might fit my needs and budget. I need a bench pin and would
like an inside of ring holder. 

There is definitely an alternative and it calls Nothing. Banchmate
may have some value to production jewellers doing the same procedure
over and over again. Totally unnecessary for hobbyists and beginners.
Simple wooden pin is all that one need. Pin can be modified to suit
particular preferences. Check out my videos on benchtube for ideas.

Leonid Surpin
www.studioarete.com


#4

Richard- With a school teacher’s budget, I’d just go with a
traditional wooden bench pin and a hand held ring clamp. You could
probably buy them both for under 50 bucks. I’ve made millions of
dollars of jewelry over the years with just such simple tools.

Have fun and make lots of jewelry.
Jo Haemer
timothywgreen.com


#5
I've done some searching and all I really see are 400 dollar set
ups. I appreciate any advice. 

Well, the good thing about the GRS benchmate system is that you can
buy what you need, when you need. You don’t have to spend $400 on a
setup that works for you, just buy what you need.

I guess the real question would be what do you need an entire $400
setup for?

P@
www.patpruitt.com


#6

There must be as many different ways to hold jewelry and findings as
there are jobs to do. Regular bench pins and wooden ring
holders/clamps, to all sorts of holds you can create using setters
wax or thermo plastic materials like Jett Set. Just to name a few
choices.

I have sawed off broomstick handles, drilled holes in blocks of
scrap wood, used the bottoms of old silver plated candle holders,
and even pieces of cheap angle iron, etc. All these old problem
solvers are in drawers of the shop, nearly all are either covered or
filled with either wax or Jett Set. Amazing the different problems
that arise and require some creative problem solving to hold steady
(I specialize in repair).

I also now have a pretty complete set of the BenchMate system that I
acquired over time. Once I had a job when the work station in the
shop was alread y outfitted with a complete BM system. I was hooked!
Fast and solid!!! Especially when you begin to add such upscale
tools as a Meijji and GRS handpieces.

When I can combine all my various old holders I made myself, the
Bench Mate system and my old Engraver’s block/workholding clamp I
can very quickly change to any of a very wide selection of holders,
and even then there are times I still have to sit back for a few
seconds and come up with something to solve a specific problem job.

An example of such a need, was a recent job with a large number of
small tube setting that had to be set with semi precous gemstones,
and then lasered into a necklace.

The solution I came up with was to solder all the tubes to the edge
of somegold scrap, set them, prefinish them and then cut them off.