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BenchMate ideas


Hi Folks, Several years ago, based on the suggestion of Orchid
friends, I invested in the BenchMate system for my bench. One of the
last tools you could ever talk me out of… if forced, I’d give it up
just before my flex shaft. It is truly awesome and nearly
indispensable. If you’re not familiar with it, it is manufactured by
GRS and sold through most dealers… check out your catalogs.

Anyway, when attending Blaine Lewis’ New Approach School for
Jewelers, Blaine introduced me to the Inside Ring Holder for the
BenchMate, and I had to have it. At the time, I believe he pointed
out there is a threaded hole on the “other” end of the tool, and that
the brass retaining pin can be moved to that end and the tool flipped
over. Okay, fine… filed that away in the back of my

Eventually someone else pointed out that the threads on one of my
hand-held tools matches the threads on the inside ring holder. After
a little procrastination and some investigation, I discovered that a
couple tools had heads that shared this same threading. I finally
made my way down to the hardware store and picked up some threaded
rod of this type, and have now adapted two tools to be used with the
BenchMate. No longer having to struggle holding these tools steady, I
now have the extra hand I’ve often needed! I have adapted a tube
cutting jig and an engraver’s ball style holding tool to be used this

Knowing a picture is worth a thousand words, I took some photos and
put 'em on a Web page:

Does anyone else out there have any innovate ways to maximize the
use of this great tool?

All the best,
Dave Sebaste
Sebaste Studio and
Carolina Artisans’ Gallery
Charlotte, NC (USA)


New adaptations for the Benchmate system

Do you want to hold the Benchmate ring clamp or inside ring clamp up
higher for inspection ?

Buy what is called a " set collar " in 1 1/4 in. size and short
bolt which will screw into the side of the set collar. Drop the clamp
through the ring and tighten the screw to hold . Rotate it to inspect
. I use it to hold up rings to check that the stone / stones are set
level . Cost = $ 4.00

Do You want to make a shellac plate you can clamp in your Benchmate
ring clamp ?

Get a piece of brass 2 " square and 1/8 " to 3/16 " thick . Make a
cut in the center of one side 1 " deep . Now in a good vice, bend
each half over 90 degrees. The bend should be to opposite sides , one
left and one right. Now you should have 2 squares connected to a
bottom piece , one on each side. And should look , on end, like a T
. The T bottom is held in the ring clamp jaws. Drill holes to accept
ear post for ear rings , apply shellac and work on both at the same
time. Take time to file off all sharp edges . Cost = the effort of
looking for the metal.

Do you want to make holders for Jett Sett which will screw onto the
end of the inside ring clamp ? These will hold anything you can mold
the Jett Sett around in handy sized holders.

Go to the hardware store and purchase some copper caps for rigid
copper tubing . Get 1/2 ", 3/4 " , 1 ", 1 1/4 ", 1 1/2 " and 2 " sizes
. These are made of copper and will not rust. Get enough brass screws
of the same size ( 5/16 NC )which will fit into the end of the
inside ring clamp. The screws need to 1/2 long or shorter . Drill a
hole in the end of the cap which will accept the screw. Silver solder
the screw into the cap with the head inside and the screw threads
sticking out.

Melt the Jett Sett in 180 degree F. water . Not boiling water. Press
the ring or what ever into it. Let the thing cool. Do Your Thing and
then drop it back into 180 degree water to remove. Cost = $ 3.00 to $
5.00 each size. When you order your Jett Sett, Rio Grande has a 4
page guide to its use . The guide is free.

If anyone has problems, please email me off list.