Specialized tools for specific crafts can get pricey. In this example, we’re talking about ball vises. If you’re unfamiliar, a ball vise is used typically in engraving and jewelry work. They allow you to hold and precisely position your work piece for very fine work. They’re also super expensive. For example, the cheapest one at GRS.com (a popular site for engraving supplies) is $385 and they go up to $1200!
As you can imagine, there are many many people out there who simply can’t abide that price tag. That’s where DIY versions come into play. Admittedly, I’ve dabbled in some DIY workhoolding for this stuff but mine were basically piles of junk. This DIY ball vise seems like a really nice tool.
What really stands out about this one, aside from the price, is the magnetic plate that allows you to position things laterally. If you’re working under a microscope, which I do, simply rotating isn’t quite enough. Being able to laterally slide things to stay in the sweet focus spot on your scope is immensely helpful.