Chainstay dimpling for completed frames - tools?

Does anyone have a good design for a simple tool for chainstay dimpling? I have used a tool made out of a vise grip similar to

Also - there seem to be two schools of thought - making a thin dent like

… or making a bigger impression like

Curious to know what works well for people.

Just to re-state, I’m looking to make a tool for dimpling stays on already-built frames. I have a great tool for dimpling before the chainstays are stuck on.


I wish there was but I have not found one yet.

A lot of info here


Brian Chapman’s is my favorite.


I made one, trying to copy Alistair’s design, but my version requires three hands, since the wooden tube block is a separate piece:

I’ve always wanted to make the Vise-Grip style, but haven’t come across a cheap set that seem big enough.

-Jim G


With the c-clamp one, how hard is it to turn the screw? Did you add an extra long lever or anything?

One problem with the Vise-grip one I used is that the non-dimple side still left a small impression on the tube. The wood block design seems better in that regard - you can make or use a different block depending on the shape of the outside of the chainstays.

I’m embarrassed to admit, but I’ve used some sockets and tube blocks.

Was a three (more like five) hand operation.


On the few frames I’ve squished, it wasn’t that hard to turn the screw – I didn’t need a cheater bar or anything like that. Though I suppose it depends on the wall thickness of the particular chainstays.

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