Hi Orchid Community. I need a class on the GRS Benchmate system. I’m interested in adding the benchpin and the mounting plate to my studio. I know there are so many other attachments and that is where the confusion comes in. I already have a ball vise and I think there is a little table thing it can sit on. Does anyone know if there are any videos or good places to go to really understand all of the options. I was just looking at Rio’s area on this and there are like 4 or more different brackets just for adjusting height. It is all very confusing if you have never used the system before but I saw a video where someone had the system and they were taking things off and adding other things and I just fell in love with the versatility. Thanks for any help you can provide.
Depending on your bench layout and budget, having more than one dovetail plate mounted can be handy.
The ball vise platform may or may not give you enough room to work. It depends on the size of the ball, how far up the jaws project from the ball, and if you want to tip the ball over 90 degrees away from you, say to work on the side of a piece. If you don’t need to do that it should be fine.
I use the fixed-height mounting plate (where you have to screw dovetail plates in at the height you want) and that works in a limited way. Unscrewing plates to re-position them will get old in a New York minute (which is 4 tenths of a second).
The adjustable ones are quite expensive. It might be prudent to start out with a fixed-height plate, and if it seems you need to adjust the height, to just get another one and attach a dovetail plate at a different height and swap the mounts.
I’m using an older Benchmate and am getting more unhappy with it, because there are several screw-tighteners for the different motions, and they stick. You cannot gently rotate or twist or tilt to get your piece in a more useful position. Trying to gently move things doesn’t work. A little pressure does no good, and with just a bit more it suddenly breaks free and shoots past what you want. Maybe things should be greased, I dunno. Nylon washers might have been a good idea, GRS… Having said that, with arthritis in my holding hand I would not want to be without the Benchmate.
Rather than spend a fortune getting all the goodies because they look good in videos, it might make more sense to get just what you really need right now and add components when your needs demand them.
Another thing about GRS Benchmate components, don’t drop them on your toes.
Thank you Neil, I appreciate your advice. What I want immediately is the bench pin which is fairly inexpensive so I think I will just start with that and go from there.