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GRS Benchmate question

I was introduced to the Benchmate awhile back by a jeweler that
thought I would gain great benefit in my jewelry hobby from it .He
was right ,I am limited to use of only one arm/hand and thus must
clamp or rig a holding device for everything when trying to make
jewelry .The problem or reason for this post is to ask what I’m
doing wrong .The Benchmate is the greatest thing ever made for
someone in my position , it allows for items to be held at any angle
when cutting , filing or setting a stone , but for some reason the
plastic pads that actually hold the item will not last for “me” more
than 1 or 2 pieces .I clamp a simple wedding band in , saw through 1
time I have to tighten it again , saw through the second time size
the ring down
and its loose again ,take the ring out and it is
melting the plastic and cutting a half circle out of the pad .Close
the ring , solder it , turn the pads to a new side re clamp , clean
up the joint with a file and its already starting to melt again
.Clamp a piece in to set a stone , example , Royal flush setting as
described by Bradney Simon found in the orchid archives .Clamped
ring in 4mm wide 2mm thick , marked locations , drilled hole less
than 1/2 the diameter of the stone “2.5mm stone” new drill bit so
was sharp
cut easy . Drilled 2 holes , opened Benchmates jaws and
the pad was melted to the ring actually sticky and stringy .Am I
trying to do too much too fast 2 holes without waiting between , am
I having my bit at too fast of a speed , those two things I could
understand but I know surly I cant be sawing or filing too fast to
create too much heat in that short of a time .So are there more heat
resistant pads made for the benchmate or what am I doing wrong , I’m
running out of pads for this thing and its like a second hand for
me, scratch that it is a second hand for me and I don’t know what
I’d do without it .Any place to buy these pads dirt cheap by the
gross , can ya tell I’m dependant on this thing ?



Try cutting up a leather belt and fit the top with leather pads
instead of the plastic. I use leather on my engraving ball to hold
things. Haven’t tried it with the bench mate though.


I am wondering if you could substitute leather for your plastic pads
I have no idea what the pad looks like or how it attaches to the
device but if you tell me or send a spare pad I can make you leather
ones to try I have a ton of leather as I am also a member of The
Honourable Cordwainers Guild (shoe makers :slight_smile: )

E-mail me off list and I will give you a mailing address and talk

Teri Davis
America’s Only cameo Artist

Tim, you might try gluing a thin piece of hard leather to each pad
on your Bench Mate. Better yet, use sticky wax or a removable spray
adhesive to hold the leather in place until it wears out, then
replace with new leather. Don’t know why I haven’t tried this until
I read your post, but I will.

James in SoFl