Professional Jeweler Archive: Get a Grip

August 2001

Professional Bench/Tool Tips

Get a Grip

Modification boosts efficiency

Technology has had a profound impact on every aspect of our lives, and the jeweler’s bench is no exception. In this monthly column, you’ll see developments in equipment and tools, and innovative ways to use them, as demonstrated by JA® Certified Master Bench Jewelers.™ Use these tips to increase profitability and improve the quality of your work.

Solitaire bezels are difficult to hold while setting. Most bench jewelers use shellac or another compound and secure the bezel to a hand-held device. At best, this is time-consuming and cumbersome. Wanting to improve turnaround time for this common task, Gerald Ledbetter of Troy Vinson Jewelers adapted his GRS BenchMate (shown on facing page) and increased his proficiency up to 50%.

View the GRS BenchMate at

This is a standard GRS® BenchMate™ that Gerald Ledbetter had modified at a machine shop. Notice the area that’s cut away (indicated by the red arrow).
The area that was removed from the top of the Bench Mate secures the round bezel without marring or distorting it. The benefit: No shellac or other holding substance to remove after the gem is set and before finishing.

– by Mark B. Mann, Director of Trade Programs, Jewelers of America

Featured Application by Gerald Ledbetter
JA® Certified Master Bench Jeweler™ and Shop Manager
Troy Vinson Jewelers, Fort Worth, TX

Photographs courtesy of Jewelers of America
© 2001 – Jewelers of America

Copyright © 2001 by Bond Communications