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Jim Grahl, Bench & shop chaos


Hi ,
Yup, hand engraved ands specifically for this mill.
The good news is that there are some i can touch up where worn.
There arrivals blanks so I’m looking for a gun engraver to do some additional patterns.
all in time. My son just made a rack for the dies yesterday after I took the photos and we have a stand just about ready to mount it to.
Fun stuff,


Wow Jim - thanks for the more details .

I don’t think I have a reply - that thing is just so beautiful -
I’m sure you’ll make some beautiful things with it .

Patty … speechless & somewhat green-tinged today


ohhhh! LOVE tools…LOVE tool storage!

…post pictures when you have a moment, so that I can live vicariously through you!



Jim, I really appreciate you posting all of the images of your shop. It’s endlessly interesting and inspirational. I’ve recent moved from a 500 sq ft shop to one half that size and am having trouble adjusting. I’m about to remodel to try to improve things and your set up has given me some very useful ideas. So thank you.

I also have loved looking at you wonderful work and have enjoyed trying to work out some of your methods. I’ve been making jewelry for the trade full time since the late 70’s, but this business tends to be somewhat solitary and it’s easy to stay in a bubble. It’s great to see all of the fantastic work you produced, without this forum I never would have.


Hi Mark,
Thanks , I’ve built shops for about 10 different retailers and manufacturers as a consultant, so it’s fun to play in my own space, I’m actually adding about 250 sq. feet to mine next month so I can do a well equipped photo studio.
I’m happy to share thoughts and methods, just ask. We all develop such different approaches to work with our skill sets.
It’s fun (and often enlightening) to see how another might approach a piece.


Chaos! You have got to be kidding! That is the neatest studio I ever saw.


not when you’re trying to chase a .05 mm diamond around the floor,
But thanks,
I do have fun here.


Everyone needs another mill (especially new at 200.00).
Brand X…

A guy we know just bought a storage facility (yes, people really do that)
He’s got wax pots, polishing machine and a bunch more.
I only wanted the mill, I’ll get a list together of the other pieces.
Also, have a friend selling a perry good haul of similar used equip.
List will come.
I talked to Seth about a buy / sell site, in the works.
Thanks, Jim
(No PM’S yet please, I won’t get the list together till after Tucson, also, the stuff is in Orange County, Ca. so shipping could get pricy…)


Hi Jim,

I’ve been laughing to myself ever since I read this post, but I had to go out and actually measure before replying. You’re adding 250 sq. ft. to your studio; my entire studio is only 75 sq. ft. Being a lifelong gearhead/equipment junkie, I’m more than a little jealous.



That is really neat. I am so glad that you are giving it a good home!


Ugh Jim. . . .I can’t begin to tell you how jealous I am of some of those tools (and the space to use and store them) :wink:


How wonderful is your workshop On one you wonderful photos I think on the photo #6 you have a piece of equipment that I have just found in a clean out of my club’s stuff, and not one person can tell me what it is or what it is used for, It has the Name of VIGOR on your photo but my one is green and no name, But other than that everything is the same . Oh and we have a board full of different diameter mmm best described as, looks like small Donuts.
Can you or anyone ?? please help me and tell me what that is and it’s uses?? PLEASE ??

Suzanne (Australia)


Hi Suzanne , just to be sure, please post a photo. I think the piece you’re describing in a ring stretcher. It has multiple inserts (donuts) to accommodate different shaped shanks.
You put the ring between the two rollers (inside is flat) and then gentle turn the handle to put pressure on the back of the ring and move the handle back & forth. Each time with a little more twist. It operates like a mini-rolling mill.
Useful for shaping other materials.


I’m jealous of the flivver with the blown four-banger. Truly a man after my own heart.

Dave Phelps


Thank you so much for your feedback . I am at ghe club on Saturday
9am EDT. Ill get it and post a photo then . Wha t you say makes
sense. We just got a traditional horizontal ring strecher. This
would look to be an easier way . If that is what it is can you tell
me what other uses we could do with this . Iam really excited now
and I cannot wait to get to the club to try it out . I suppose I
sould ask how to use it or are there any videos on UTUBE or
Ganoskin that depict same ??? Thanks again Jim
Regards Suzanne e


Hi David…
It’s a work in progress,
Built A engine, 39 trans, 40 rear end, original from crate GMC 371 blower.
All’s rebuilt on to steel tube in the body>
Thanks for noticing,
I’ll work in pix of our 50 Stude somehow.

Thanks for taking a good look.
Try running some silver wire through and see what happens, It’s an easy way to do low dome with out of round.
Just play, I don’t think you can hurt it…


Commander Cody would love that car (or hate it, depending). OK, now I have to ask. How did you fit a GMC blower to a Model A head? Is there a manifold available or are you a machinist on par with your work as a goldsmith? Looks almost like a direct bolt-on from here.

I saw the left quarter panel of your Stude next to a couple drill presses. It looks a little closer to road-ready. Nice paint from what I can see. So you shoot too?

I think I also saw an English wheel under the bikes in front of the Studebaker. Are you going to roll out a new hood and fenders too? You’re having way more fun than any one person should be allowed to have, ya know.



Hi Dave,
Yup…, machinist training too.
The intake is a dual Stroburg, spacer/adaptor plate to blower, mirror imaged on top for carb to blower. Haven’t done the snout or figured the pully ratio yet.
I’ll work in Stude pic when I get back from Tucson.
A lot going on there …
Other cars too…
More to come


how cool is that!!!


Hi Jim,
Just looked at all the pics of your w/shop.
Interesting that ive most of what you have there plus a lot more thats specific to my wrought work.
What I dont see are any fly presses? or big polishing machines?
I dont have the jewellers benches shown, working mostly with the third hand the leg vices.
Im coming to the end of the 1st stage of my reorganisation of said main work area. Machinery moving today.!!.
From previous posts I may have mentioned ive other big machines which are in another work area. These are the drop hammers and coining hyd presses.
also in the barn ive the somewhat bigger flivver! This is /was a 3.5 ton commercial van that didnt meet my needs so modded it so it did. Its now running under the UK 7.5 ton regs.
I reengined it from a 2.5ltr 4 pot 4 stroke diesel to a 3 cyl 6 piston 2 stroke diesel with twice the power. The Junkers aero engine type with a rootes blower.
You mention your son? is he following in your footsteps?
Hope you have moment to reply.