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Do I need a staking set?


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So I'm a newbie, 90% through my first disassembly of an ST36 (can't get the barrel lid off but that'll be my next thread 🙂  )

As I acquire basic tools I also try and read as much as I can and have become aware that this is not only a learning hobby but can be an expensive one.  Microscopes, winding sets, cleaning machines, lathes, etc etc, and staking sets.

I've pretty much resisted all of the above until I cut my teeth and decide if I'm in the game long term.  As I progress I think I'll be all in and one of the things I think I'll need eventually is a staking set.  I know there are options and that the new sets are over $1K (less for a Chinese brand, but I'd prefer the Swiss stuff if I can afford it).  It seems like K&D is a fine option and I've been on the Ebay watch list for a while and see sets go from $200 to $600 or higher.

So my questions are:

1. If I persist in this fascinating hobby, will I eventually need a staking set?

2. What are the main things you use it for?  I know they are sort of a rivet/de-rivet device and are use for balance staff removal and hole opening/closing duties, probably a lot more.  I mean with the full-bodied 18R that has 120 stakes and about 20 or so other accessories, there has to be more, right?

3. If I decided to go new, are their still Swiss companies that make them?

It sort of looks like a tool that you mostly don't need and it sits, but when you need it, you need it.

Anyway, just wondering what you'all think,

 

Thanks.

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I think you’re on the right train of thought, you don’t need one till you need one. If you’re working on recent movements that are not very old then it is probably last on your list. From what I have learnt here and elsewhere the K&D vintage sets are the best overall, I’m sure folks will pipe in with their ideas too, hopefully. Don’t get hung up on it right now, you will know when. Unless you’re like a lot of us, we seem to be tool junkies then watch junkies 😂

 

Tom

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45 minutes ago, linux said:

So my questions are:

 

1. If I persist in this fascinating hobby, will I eventually need a staking set?

2. What are the main things you use it for?  I know they are sort of a rivet/de-rivet device and are use for balance staff removal and hole opening/closing duties, probably a lot more.  I mean with the full-bodied 18R that has 120 stakes and about 20 or so other accessories, there has to be more, right?

3. If I decided to go new, are their still Swiss companies that make them?

It sort of looks like a tool that you mostly don't need and it sits, but when you need it, you need it.

You will likely need a staking set at some point if you will be working on vintage watches.  Finding a good set can get expensive (vintage or new).

However, if you are just starting out in watchmaking, I'd place getting a microscope ahead of a staking set.  I just got one and am kicking myself that I wasted time and money by not biting the bullet and getting one early on.  So much nicer to use for servicing a watch than loupes, visors, or digital microscopes.

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…of the vintage watches I work on 8 out of 10 cats need at least the barrel arbor play addressed and usually the center wheel too. In hindsight a staking set would have been after screwdrivers and oilers but before winders…

A new set will be a hard and expensive endeavor. Get in line at Cousins…or study the auctions for used. I think I was lucky as the set I have is well loved but the bloke before me thought of everything I may need. Thanks mate…

Edited by rehajm
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4 hours ago, linux said:

my first disassembly of an ST36 (can't get the barrel lid off

Not really a problem yet. You want to practice assembling and disassembling the watch you don't need to assemble or disassemble the barrel right away. Besides if you open up the barrel and take the mainspring out ideally need a mainspring winder to put it back in that's another tool you may not want to buy yet. So for right now the barrel assembly is fine assembled. You need to practice assembling and disassembling preferably without breaking too much

4 hours ago, linux said:

but I'd prefer the Swiss stuff if I can afford it)

In other words new Swiss staking set I like that. But you're also going to need to buy a new Swiss lathe to refinish your Swiss staking set because are not doing a very good job. The local college teaches a Rolex sponsored watch repair program. There required to purchase the toolset from the school who purchases all brand-new Swiss tools. I've talked to some of the students and they say the same thing they had the refinish all the staking set punches because they weren't finished very well at all. Both of them now are very happy because they acquired vintage staking sifts.

4 hours ago, linux said:

K&D is a fine option

Here is a website with more information

https://kanddinverto.weebly.com/

As you have a location under your name that's helpful so I can make a recommendation. I have a link to an Association a horological Association. The Association has chapters scattered all across the country. The chapters can be interesting or not interesting it depends on the people running each of the chapters is a look at the website and see where the chapters are located. Does look like there's one in Georgia but some other neighboring states might be more interesting.

What is really useful for the Association is several of the chapters will get together and have regional meetings. These are often open to the public if you don't want to join the Association. Regional meetings become interesting because they have a Mart where stuff is bought and sold including horological tools. Sizable percentage of my tools have come from going to the local regional meeting or national meetings. They have one national meeting a year where everybody comes together and at least in the old days when the Association was much bigger you're looking at a lot of people and a lot of opportunity unfortunately eBay has cut into all of this. But still you can at least go and look at things like horological things

https://www.nawcc.org/

 

 

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18 hours ago, gpraceman said:

You will likely need a staking set at some point if you will be working on vintage watches.  Finding a good set can get expensive (vintage or new).

However, if you are just starting out in watchmaking, I'd place getting a microscope ahead of a staking set.  I just got one and am kicking myself that I wasted time and money by not biting the bullet and getting one early on.  So much nicer to use for servicing a watch than loupes, visors, or digital microscopes.

Now that's good advice and is actually high on my list.  I wanted to at least get through a few practice disassembles with the loupes so I'm comfortable using them when needed.

I remember that Alex Hamilton at watch repair tutorials did a youtube video where he said that a microscope is "The One Tool That Will Make You a Better Watchmaker".

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