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Jewelers Vise


Love the Darwin Award warning!


And you have to wonder, is this just a precaution, or have they actually gotten questions on the topic?


Well technically anything is bulletproof, even jello, you just need a lot of jello between you and the gun. I suspect it’s partly tongue in cheek, but with some people being ready to sue at the least excuse… Who knows…
When I buy a carving knife and the legal beagles have the company put a warning that it is sharp and may cause personal injury if used inappropriately…


I’d say from the choice of wording that it was intended as a bit of sarcasm, but in our lawsuit happy society it can also serve as a “see, we did warn the customer”, should some fool shoot for their own Darwin Award using the product.


In America it seems that the ultimate answer to all of the questions in the
universe is" Lawyers and Insurance".
I find it amusing that in France the books of matches have no “Close Cover
Before Striking” warning on them. And it used to be that there were no
"Child proof" lighters there either.




Jett Ballistic


Time for me to revisit this topic. I am ready to buy an engravers vise, block, ball or whatever they are called to hold my heavy walled bezel bracelets so that I can use a punch and hammer to roll the bezel. I probably need a fairly heavy one to hold the size work that I do. I have been using a machinists vise and, while it holds the work, it is difficult to keep turning it as I work around the bezel. I am looking at either the GRS Standard or a Lindsey Goliath. Any advise or suggestions about these two or other vises would be appreciated. Who knows, maybe I will start to learn how to engrave. I do need another obsession. Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year…Rob


Me too,watching!


Hello Rob, maybe its time to take up fishing…possibly ice fishing… “Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas & Happy New Year” to you. … PS: I have some contacts on Engravers Blocks/Vise/Ball or whatever you call them, let me know and possibly I could help you out on that. Regards, Richard Lucas… you can contact me on my email address.


It’s nice to have a dedicated space for the standard size ball, to avoid lifting it frequently.

If you will be using it sitting down, think about using the ball with your future microscope, and determine if you will need to lower the vise in order to see your work.


Since I will be striking a punch with a hammer first directly in from the side of the bezel and then down from an angle, will the typical engraving ball move under this force reducing the amount of energy that goes into moving the bezel or is there enough mass for this not to be a problem. I don’t imagine that what I am doing is much different from hammer and graver engraving of steel and other harder metals. As I read the description, at least of the GRS Standard, there appears to be a way to reduce or stop the movement of the ball. Is this the case for all engraving balls, Lindsay in particular?


Hi Rob,
I was thinking of a vise like this one from Amazon. I have one of these and it is pretty sturdy. You could secure the only slightly bent cuff in the vise’s rubber jaws or you could bend it completely and (I think) get it around the back of the vise, using some wood blocks as spacers to get the jaws open wide enough to get the clearance you need.If I were you I would also consider a hammer handpiece. IDK how long it will last nor if the vendor is still selling it, but I got a Foredom-labeled one (clone??) on ebay for about $35.

The link for the vise is here:'s+vise


Does any one use the vise in the following link to hammer set heavy bezels. Seems like it would work just fine and not cost what a good engravers ball would cost. Yes it is Christmas morning. Still waiting for the kids and grand kids to wake up…Rob


Compliments of the season, family likewise all still in the land of nod.
So, as im primarily a hammer man, 99% of my work is wrought, some uletide thoughts on mans oldest tool.
I realised many yrs ago this forum aint for me, tho i read it for entertainment, and made some good friends who are like minded.
Re the vice you link to, its not the way to go!!.
You can do better than that!
Even if your like most here a saw solder and set man( I dont think you are by the way)he second most important tool one shoud have is a proper iron smiths leg vice. They were made down to 3in jaws, ive several all secutrely bolted to my
main bench, as they are my my third hands.
Be lost without it. In moving metal, whether hot or cold one has to have some kind of anvil, to push back against the pushing forward of the hammer.
What better than the tool desgned for the job?
You need a bench strong enough to fix it to, then any improvised metal lump. to place under the work.
As you are setting heavy bezels you need a concave piece of say 1/2 in steel , suitably smooth and polished to push back against the hammer and punch.
Ive a lovely one id give you from Santa in Dorset if you were nearer,. To make a 360 deg turntable assy. I use a 50mm ball hitch with a matched trailer coupling it goes onto with a clamp to lock it in any position I need.
Bit of steel work needed but im siure you can do that.
Work here? just on Xmas eve ran the “Day” 1in dia die in the drop hammer and did 50 in 2mm sterling.
all came out just lovely.
an hours work.
I have in the machine a 275 lb hammer, and the drop was 2 ft. You have to be quick to catch that so it doesnt double stike. The work jumps out of the die. Lovely to watch!
Used an 1/8in thick by 1in dia soft 999 ali force over the silver, , spread to 1.3/4 in dia ! most satisfying. If I drop say 3ft it spreads to 2 1/4in dia!
You cant pick it up as its too hot.
Just love hammers.


The GRS Benchmate Multi-Purpose Vise will work for hammering heavy bezels.

You could probably devise solutions to work around a couple of limitations I’ve encountered concerning how wide the jaws can open and if your work piece is too big to allow the vise to fully revolve:

The jaws will open up to 1 7/8", but in order for the vise to continuously revolve the jaw opening needs to be 1 3/4" or less …otherwise, one jaw hits an obstruction and stops the revolution.

A flat long sheet, will clear the top of your bench during the revolution if it is placed no more than 1/2" down from the top of the jaws.

If your large work piece extends down into the vise jaws deeper than 1/2" from the top of the jaws, in order to continuously revolve you are limited to 3" of space from the center of the vise to an obstruction.


I have been concerned about the limitations that you raise and they may cause me to go the extra expense of a true engraving vise. My concern about the vise, other than cost, is will it move (try to roll) when I strike the punch. This will take energy away from moving the bezel wall and impact accuracy. The description for some true engraving vises talk about a type of detente that keeps the ball from moving, but I can’t tell how this works. In the end, if there is enough mass in the ball, it will probably work. Thanks…Rob


Hi Rob,

I have this vise, and while I like it for clamping pieces I need to saw or file odd angles, it’s not a good choice for hammering. The rotating axes would make the overall assembly too loose for solid blows, I think.



I had to spend some money in 2018, so I ordered a GRS Standard from Otto Frei. They were on a 10% discount the day that I ordered it and the Lindsay vise would have been on back order into 2019. Hope I didn’t make a mistake. More when I know it…Rob


II now have a GRS micro-block. I spent the afternoon working on my first project, an eternity style ring. I love how smooth and easily I can spin the block to flip the ring from side to side. I think you’ll like your standard block.