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How to use Benchmate


#1

Hi all, I just got a Benchmate basic for xmas. I’ve been looking at
it for a while and reading all the rave comments, so ti seemed like a
no-brainer. My question is how do you use the thing? I mean, theres
the handle, with the ring clamp and shellac pad. Then there’s the
hand rest. I had assumed that you would rest the hand with, for
example, a burnisher, on the hand rest to get more leverage and make
it easier on your hands. Is this correct? I have found precious
little on the basics of how this tool is used. One
article on the Ganoksin site suggests that a right hander should use
the hand rest on the left side, in which case i am confused. If you
are doing most of the work with your right hand, what is the
handrest on the left side used for? Note that I am mostly interested
in bezel se= tting stones and various finishing/sanding operations
right now. Ano= ther somewhat related question: I have Jettset and
would like to use it on the Benchmate shellac pad. If i am working on
a bezel set pendent, I guess I must have the Jettset com up over the
bezel at one or more points to hold the piece down (since Jettset is
not “sticky”). Then I cannot get at all of the bezel, since it will
be partially covered by Jettset. What do I do?


#2

First off you’ll have to drill holes in the shellac pad. Shellac is
sticky, Jett Sett and other thermoplastics are NOT. The holes will
help anchor the stuff. Best to make the holes at least 1/8". When you
put the melted stuff on, push hard - what comes through the holes to
the backside can be mashed into little “buttons,” and that will hold
it in place.

Brian P. Marshall
Stockton Jewelry Arts School
Stockton, CA USA
209-477-0550
www.jewelryartschool.com


#3
One article on the Ganoksin site suggests that a right >hander
should use the hand rest on the left side, in which case i am
confused.

I’m a little confused too. Mine is on the right side. I would love
to know how other people use theirs. If you look at the benchmate
website grstools.com it’s on the right side. You could use the
benchmate without the shellac pad and use jetset to hold the piece.
without the shellac pad it should not have to go up and over the
bezel, just on the sides.


#4

Todd - If you are using Jett set, forget the shellac pad. I use the
ring clamp, without the nylon pads, and make Jett set jigs that I can
firmly hold in the clamp. Make a ball with the Jett set, then flatten
slightly. Push into the clamp with jaws open about a quarter inch. As
you push down, form the Jett set over the clamp, covering the whole
top, and coming down to touch the sleeve of the clamp. This will make
things very stable when you hammer, or set most things. I do a lot of
production work, and have hundreds of these jigs. I make them so that
I can pop pieces in and out. As far as the rest of the Benchmate, you
will find it one of your best tools. Personally, I never liked the
rest/guard, so I took it off. Hope this helps.

A healthy and happy new year to all.

Stuart J. Adelman, Designer
www.ArtelleDesigns.com


#5
One article on the Ganoksin site suggests that a right hander
should use the hand rest on the left side, in which case i am
confused. 

I’m a little confused too. Mine is on the right side. I would love to
know how other people use theirs.

A attachment for Lefties is available. In fact some of the right
handed users prefer this steady rest that sits on the left side. It
is made in such a way that when you change the angle it can still be
used because it is combined with the back plate and does not turn. If
you need to see an image of this let me know.

Regards

Kenneth Singh
46 Jewelry Supply
46 West 46 St,
New York, NY 10036.


#6

I used the handrest for about a week and then took it off. I have had
it for 8 years or so and never even thought about putting it back on.
Try it both ways just to experiment.

Bill Wismar
www.metalbendersgallery.com


#7
One article on the Ganoksin site suggests that a right >hander
should use the hand rest on the left side, in which case i am
confused. 

"I’m a little confused too. Mine is on the right side. I would .love
to know how other people use theirs. "

Marya & Todd,

I took a class from Blaine Lewis a few years ago and he suggested to
me that I flip my support bar from the right handed style and make
it into a left handed style. It allows you much more access from the
right side. As usual, he was right. The bar isn’t in the way
anymore. To change it around, take the back and side bar off and
reattach them with the back mounted with the allen screws on the left
side. Next install the side bar attaching to the left side of the
mounting plate. Then put the tube holding attachment on the bar. The
GRS logo will be facing the workbench, not you, but that’s ok.

I love my Benchmate, especially after I changed it to a "lefty"
style. It’s considered a must-have tool. One other thing I changed
was to make leather pads to replace their plastic buttons on the
ring stick. Epoxy them in place and work away. When they are worn out
take a knife blade and slip inbetween the leather and metal and the
epoxy will let go.

James S. Cantrell CMBJ


#8
I used the handrest for about a week and then took it off

I have never used the handrest also. I don’t know how a bench mate
can be hard to use. It replaces a ring vice and leaves you with with
two free hands.

Best of luck…
Phillip