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TimFitz

Alternative to a staking tool set

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I know repair tools are expensive & for me money is critical. So I would like to know if there is an alternative to those huge Staking tool sets I see for sale? I feel this is holding me back in my goal to learn as much as I can about watch making. Replacing a balance or jewels is an essential part of the trade. So what are the options? 

Your opinions would be much appreciated.

Thanks

 

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Well, instead of buying a set, you might try and find some individual pieces that are not that expensive to start. First, an anvil which can be as simple as a metal block with some holes in it. Better is an anvil that supports the punch and keeps it square to the work, I've seen serviceable ones sell on the bay for not much money.

Unfortunately,  the punches are very specialized, and I can't think of an alternative off the top of my head. They are, however, also available individually or in groups both new and used, and can be inexpensive if you are willing to clean them up yourself. 

I was patient, and finally found a serviceable set used that I purchased for a bit more than $50, you can probably do better than that if you take your time.

My suggestion would be to download and study  material that @tomcolson has so kindly made available here -

http://kanddinverto.weebly.com/

and then hone in on the items you need to do the jobs that you have at hand. 

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this would be better if the price stays low I can only see the international shipping postage on it but it may be cheaper in America.  it has a revolving anvil with different hole sizes. You can also pick up punches cheap of the bay.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-K-D-Watchmakers-Staking-Set-/282113586763?hash=item41af47b64b:g:fHAAAOSweXhXl1M1

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I was also about to point out you can get vintage staking sets staggeringly cheaply, I got a bergeon star set, complete, with extra punches, in fine, precise working order for under £100, though I doubt I could get that good a deal again. 

However, yes you can do a lot without the actual anvil and just get a staking block and stakes cheaply and easily. 

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ebay  ug !    ebay tools and delivery errors are even worse.    there is a need for a smaller, cheaper staking set.    a lot of those punches and anvils  can be made on a lathe.  use drill rod and then  harden it.   vinn

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My situation is like yours. For a hobby i cant afford a complete set, although i am always searching for a cheap acceptable one. Currently for my 1-2 watches under repair i make my own stakes and tools. For me this process is just like as exciting as tinkering with watches.

Edited by szbalogh

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I picked this up from ebay for a restoration project and I wanted one anyway, so the resto so far is going well.  All the holes in the box have a punch of some type, will upload images when it's finished.  It cost £33.00 or $43.00.

last 3 images are: rusted in box, after soaking in white vinegar, and soaking in 3 in 1 oil.

 

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ebay is going to be your best bet. You can also try Uncle Larry's Watch shop. I bought my K&D 600 series for about a 100 bucks and had fun restoring it. Again, Uncle Larry's has a good selection of individual punches. One thing to watch on ebay is the sets that people are selling that are full of doubles or damaged bits left over from sets they buy to complete the set they already have.   

A great way to clean up the stakes is to chuck them up in a cordless drill and use steel wool and then go to 1500 wet dry paper and finally use a quality metal polishing paste. Mine came out looking spectacular, much better than they ever did coming from K&D. The process is gentle enough that I did not change the diameter of the stakes. Use the appropriate caution around the business end of the stakes. You don't want to alter or round  off the ends at all.

Like yourself, I have to buy used and then spend the time to restore...some times I have just as much fun doing the restoration of the tools as I do using them...:)

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As a veteran of a number of eBay staking set purchases, I concur with those above that it's a good way to get started. Complete sets in great condition go for top dollar but the prices for less complete sets requiring a little TLC are much more reasonable.

I started out using only abrasives to clean up the stakes as described here. Currently (today in fact!) I start with an overnight soak in EvapoRust to remove most of the rust and convert what's left to black iron oxide. Then I use fine 3M radial bristle disks to polish up the working and marked ends. I take great care with the working ends to insure that I do not round over corners, etc. Usually the highly polished working ends are the least rusted parts of the stakes.

I'm not a fan of vinegar for rust removal since it will remove clean metal along with the rust. EvapoRust or electrolytic derusting will not. An important note about EvapoRust: be sure to completely immerse the objects being treated. Any object breaking the surface will be etched along the waterline (deeply if you leave it long enough). One of my staking sets is very sad that I know this.

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