Lapidary / Gemstone Community Forum

Custom Designed Jewelry => Silversmithing / Metalsmithing for Jewelry Design / Tutorials => Topic started by: Iwannarock on February 02, 2016, 11:33:46 am

Title: Wanted GRS Benchmate
Post by: Iwannarock on February 02, 2016, 11:33:46 am
Would anybody know of a used GRS Benchmate around? I would like a new one but the way the Canadian dollar is compared to the USA dollar it's brutal, our Canadian dealers want almost $700 for the stone setters package while you folks only pay $436.

Title: Re: Wanted GRS Benchmate
Post by: Debbie K on February 03, 2016, 09:19:24 am
No, I don't. But I will say that I've seen them on Craigslist once in a blue moon.

Your best bet is to let everyone around you know you are interested in learning how to make jewelry. Don't say you are making jewelry; this can create a lot of new problems. People making jewelry - things worth stealing. Maybe someone has a great-uncle or aunt that used to do those sort of things and maybe they can't anymore. Look at all garage sales and estate sales in your area for "metal working", "jewelry", "gemstones" or craft tools. Or auctions for jewelry stores.

If there is any lapidary or jewelry/metalworking club in the area, join it and get on their mailing list for information about upcoming sales.

Familiarize yourself with the components of these tools, as if you are lucky enough to find them for sale it's likely that they are in several places and pieces are "missing". Most people wouldn't have a clue what these things are used for and may think that they're vises or holders. This might help you negotiate prices down; it did for me in the case of some Allset tools that didn't have all it's pieces.

I have a GRS and it is used, I got it from a man going to a nursing home. If you ever use one, you will want it, especially the soldering station with the best third-hands I've ever used.

Debbie K

Title: Re: Wanted GRS Benchmate
Post by: Iwannarock on February 03, 2016, 11:38:09 am
Thanks Debbie K, I just thought it would a long shot to check here. I'm at the point I do require one especially for setting stones and I'm also looking at it as a third hand too, my wife is also starting to do some jewelry and every once in a while she doesn't have the use of her left arm with arthritis, so kinda looking to be able to help her with it too. Not sure if I can justify the soldering accessories for it as I have a dedicated soldering station separate from my bench but then I read all of the reviews about the third hands.......

I was originally at looking at getting one of the GRS engraving vises, not so much for the engraving part but to hold pieces for sanding, filing etc, but then I started looking at the Benchmate and all of the angles you can lock it in, it seems for the smalls I have been doing it would be an awesome clamp. And as far as anyone in our lapidary club, it seems I am the most advanced so no chance of buying one from a member, I guess I will have to wait til our dollar gains or I just bite the bullet and order one.

Title: Re: Wanted GRS Benchmate
Post by: dickb on February 03, 2016, 12:02:55 pm
I would look for jewelry stores that are closing. You may find one that way. Hard to find a used one but if your in no hurry, I can be done.

Lots of luck to you.


Title: Re: Wanted GRS Benchmate
Post by: Debbie K on February 03, 2016, 03:41:30 pm
Second what Dick said. And also don't give up on your club getting access to one. Our club gets donations from retired/deceased rockhounds all the time with all kinds of wondrous stuff. Just let the folks know that if something like that shows up or if some one calls trying to get rid of stuff to let you know. Rockhounds, on the whole, are the nicest folks in the world and usually extremely helpful.

The third hands are THE ABSOLUTE BEST I've ever used. They're incredibly steady and making prong sets are a snap using it with one additional third hand. Things stay where you put them, and that's always the hardest thing when it comes to soldering. I use it more than anything else on the GRS, and I have the one with most of the goodies. I even have a ring holder that will work with it that's not a GRS tool.

I made a base holder that fits into the GRS out of a universal holder that is great to hold small things for engraving, just soldered a piece of thick bar brass on to a screw that fits into the universal hold. It works really well.

You know, GRS also makes an inside ring holder that is held in a vise. ( It's considerably cheaper than the entire Benchmate package. I've also seen these by other makers, but couldn't find the links.

Debbie K

Title: Re: Wanted GRS Benchmate
Post by: Iwannarock on February 04, 2016, 07:56:07 am
Thanks for your input Debbie K again, in my mind I was trying to talk myself out of the GRS 3rd hands as I have 1/2 dozen of the cheap ones and yes I do know you get what you pay for but what you are saying and all of the other reviews I've seen are now leading me to purchase the whole system, adjustable height plate extra bench pins etc, it's just seems it's a complete well thought out robust system which will serve for decades to come, now I just have to convince the wife to give me my Birthday and Christmas presents early as I still have my Christmas money tucked away.

And yes rock hounds and their families are the best and I am the one who usually sees the donations first, as I'm one of the younger members with a truck and still a strong back ura12