Funny you should mention this.
We’re just now finishing up final machining on our version of a
’tilting’ bench pin. Except ours is a rig that’lllet anything that
mounts onto a standard GRS dovetail rotate up to 45 either way.
So you can use whatever bench pin you like. You’re not stuck with an
aluminum one that’ll contaminate your sweeps and files. It also has
a little setting dial to help you automatically set it for 9.5,
10.5, 11, 12.5, 13 and 14 degree tilts in either direction, for hand
cutting blanking dies. (Hand cutting them isn’t as precise as using
our saw guide, but we thought it would be useful for people who
aren’t making all that many dies.)
Don’t know for sure about pricing yet, but I’d guess in the 75-ish
range. (We have to get some done before we know for sure what they
cost us to make. All else proceeds from there.)
Should be available from us in about 3 weeks, and the big suppliers
not too much longer after that.
Where our version came from was that we’ve gotten a bunch of
requests to make our steel bench pin tilt a bit, mostly for people
who were trying to pierce under a microscope, and wanted to tilt a
little off to the side so they could see past their frame to where
the blade was actually cutting. (Microscopes being stuck looking
straight down at the pin, they couldn’t see past the frame of their
saw.) (Of course our swivel blade clamps will let you get around
Now that I’m almost done tooting our horn, I can explain about some
of the other toys on the market.
Rio’s “up and down” bench pin holder is intended for people using
microscopes. It lets you put a pair of GRS brackets on it, on on the
top, and one on the bottom, and switch around between them. It also
lets you put an engraving ball shelf on one of the brackets, and
then adjust the height of the ball to get it comfortably under your
scope. The problem with using your normal bench pin attachment point
with a scope is that the scope requires "X"distance between it and
whatever you’re focusing on. Which is usually a lot higher than
where you’d put your head normally. So either you drop your pin down
into your lap, or you become a giraffe. Which is where the
adjustable widget comes in.
The only reason I haven’t bought one personally is that I have a
hunk of aluminum I machined up with a bunch of different places to
put GRS dovetails, and that (A) does the same job, more-or-less, and
(B) I already have it dialed in for my scope and engraver’s balls.
But if I hadn’t already done that, I’d pony up in a heartbeat.
Our stainless pin is designed for people who’re doing a lot of
piercing. It’s stainless for a couple of reasons:
(A) it’s much stronger than all the aluminum ones out there, which
means it bounces and vibrates less.
(B) The thin metal pins let you use the full stroke of your blade,
without losing half your stroke to the thickness of the wood
underneath the pin, which is more efficient if you’re doing a lot of
© Aluminum causes the same sorts of eutectic alloying problems
with silver and gold that lead does. Get a spot of aluminum on your
silver when you go to try and anneal, and watch it eat an ugly
little hole in your piece. Which is why we go through all the
trouble to machine ours out of stainless steel: it won’t contaminate
your files or sweeps.
The flat metal bench pins aren’t the best thing on earth for filing,
which is why you’re starting to see more of them now that the GRS
dovetails have become so standard. They make it easy to swap out
bench pins in a hurry, so now it’s possible to have several
different pins, depending on what you’re doing, rather than trying
to make one pin do everything.
Hope this helps,
(AKA the guy who normally posts as Alberic.)