Jim Grahl, Bench & shop chaos

I was asked by a Ganoskin member what I used for creating a particular curved form .
So here is a short pictorial on the most used pieces in the tool shed.
There are others I’ll post as I can (tubing benders).
A couple of these are older than I am…
I thought I’d add a couple of “Bench” shots (since that’s the topic…)
So my whole shop is “My bench”. I can’t sit still so I’m pretty much doing laps around the studio, so effectively, it’s all My Bench.
Added 10-28 2016;
To add chaos to order, there are shots of the “Back room”.
I do design work in the surf and vintage auto world as well, this have also influenced my tool use in jewelry. Just more stuff to see.
The last shot is the “Front room”, where the design & research happens.


Hello Jim,

Thank you for sharing! Your “bench” is fantastic! I love your bracelet mandrel holder! Do you know where I could get one of those? …oh, wait…is that just a regular ring mandrel holder…?

And! What is the green thing on the end of the center island bench, with the handle and rolls?


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Hey Jim, TWO mills - I think you qualify as a tool aholic! Thanks for sharing and I feel a little tool lust now.
Judy in Kansas, where leaves are really turning colors and falling. No frost or freeze so far…fingers crossed.

Totally get the laps. Mine is the same way, but not so many tools. Love playing with metals.

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Hi Julie,
The “Thing” is a slip roller, among other things, you run flat sheet through it and it forms a curve (think bracelet) you can adjust it for the curves diameter.
Yes, it’s a ring mandrel holder, no modifications…
Thanks Jim

Too much fun huh…
Best, Jim

Hi Judy,
“You can’t have enough tools” (my quote, though Tim Allen might have said that too…)
Still swimming out here, cooler water though.
Best, Jim

@JimGrahlDesign What’s the deal with all the antique fans on the top shelf :wink: ??

Love the work space!
Eileen "Snow Goose"

Hi Jim,

Nice shop, I like the thin green carpet floors. It looks like it’s not too plush where one can actually roll in it with a chair.

Looks like you have multiple lathes including a Unimat with a mill attachment. What’s your opinion about it for use in jewelry, or does it being on the top shelf imply enough of a message? I saw the other one almost out of sight in an adjacent room.

Oh, and great work on those fabricated rings! It’s nice to be reminded that hand fabrication is alive and well today.


Hi Seth…
I’m a Fan fan


Hi Ede,
The brown lathe is an Elgin (from the watch factory) circa 1890 ish. I have a ton of collets + grinding accessories + stuff whose purpose is unknown… That’s my go-to of most stuff. There is a Boley to the right, more accurate, less torque. The Unimat is set up as a lathe /mill (2 motors) pretty good, lots of torque, don’t use much right now.
There is a Sheerline mill that get’s used a lot, re-worked, braced, modified for accuracy.
Thats an forties Craftsman in the dark background, again a go to for later stuff.
I’ll post shots of the back room equip. on Monday, (there’s a second half of the shop.)
Thanks, Jim

I finally got to take a look at your bench shop this morning Jim - quite impressive & thanks for sharing.

So inquiring minds want to know what is the very small Sensitive Drill press in the corner end of the bench - and is that a Die Filer by the Atlas ?? We’ve been on the look out for a small one .

Live Oak Studios

Hi Patty,
The drill press is from “Louis G Henes, San Francisco”, circa 1910.
And yes,
There are two die filers.
The one next to the Atlas is a single adjustable table , no motor or base,
cast iron, fully functional. probably mid 30’s (adapts to most files)
The green one is complete and staying. Call me on the other.
Thanks, Jim

Here’s a new acquisition…
A pattern rolling mill and rollers from a business that closed it’s doors in 1910…
My Friend’s father (Don Ross) got these pieces in a box when he bought the (long closed workshop’s) inventory.
More on that later.
The mill is most likely pre 1900. The crank handles and some of the other parts are blacksmith forged, You can actually see the hammer marks in areas. The mill’s case is assembled with square faced rivets.
There are 38 patterned and plain rollers , none hardened. They show use but great arts & crafts style design.
I won’t restore the mill. but I am cleaning up the patterns on the rollers.
I’ll show the end patterned metal when I get that far.
(Sorry Patty, NFS…)
Shop is a disaster right now, Doing some remodeling + getting ready for Tucson…

op is a disaster,

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Any Pattern rollers for sale out there???
Any type.
Thanks, Jim

Drooling in Florida…

Live Oak Studios

Jim -
OK now that I’ve cleaned up the keyboard -
It would seem to me that the rollers were made specifically for that mill.
So am I correct to think that the rollers were hand engraved ?

Very cool .
Live Oak Studios

On second thought - perhaps the rollers were commercially available & the mill was hand made to use them ?

Hi !

omg…the mother lode!


Drooling in Toronto too! Nice that good stuff ends up with people who will use it.Cheers,Karen