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The Watchmaker’s Staking Set

by Jordan Ficklin

Staking SetThe staking set has 1,000 uses, or so I have been told. The staking set is a collection of punches (stakes), anvils, and cutters which are used in combination with their base. The base has a rotating set of round holes and can also accept the anvils and stakes. The headstock lines up perfectly with the base. The tool is used by aligning an anvil or a stake in the base and another stake in the headstock. The workpiece is placed between the two and the appropriate action is taken.

Some of the most uses for the staking set are:

  • Forming a rivet, especially for a balance staff
  • Reducing the diameter of a round hole in a plate
  • Removing the roller from a balance
  • Removing friction staffs from the balance or pallet fork
  • etc . . .

base Most the time I don’t realize what I need the staking set until an opportunity arrives. Feel free to leave some comments about what you use your staking set for.

My staking set consists of several different kinds of punches. It has

  • Flat cylindrical punches
  • Cylindrical punches with a hole
  • Domed punches
  • Domed punches with a hole
  • Inverted cone punches with hole
  • Various Anvils
  • Centering Punch
  • Three sided punch (for tightening rollers — but never do that!)

Many staking sets will also have punches for rollers, for stretching metal, & a myriad of other useful things.

stakeMy set is a standard Bergeon set, and honestly it is disappointing. The punches are poorly tempered and the tips deform easily. Of the modern sets, I would recommend a Star Staking Set, I have used them and they are nice. Old American staking sets are also wonderful. In my shop I also have an old Kendrick & Davis set which is very nicely done. In addition to the normal staking tools it also has a jeweling attachment for inserting, removing & adjusting friction jewels. When purchasing a used staking set it is best to view it in person. Each of the punches should be symmetrical, polished, and hard without any dings, scratches, or rust. An incomplete set is not a problem because stakes can still be obtained new or used, individually. I don’t know that all the bases accept the same size stakes, but the three I have used have all had the same size stakes. Some of the anvils required using a different setting on the base.

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  1. wnkt
    Posted April 28, 2009 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    I used the staking set for just about everything that needed riveting over, punching out, driving in and more that you couldnt do otherwise.
    The fun part is when you had to get someone else to hammer on the punch for you while you held the piece with both hands. Hopefully you got someone with a light touch….luckily I worked with another watchmaker and a couple jewelers so they took directions well.

  2. wackyvorlon
    Posted August 13, 2009 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    Correct me if I’m mistaken, but isn’t that the $800 staking set?

  3. J.Peter
    Posted August 13, 2009 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    I believe the current price is about $800 for the Bergeon set, but as I mentioned I would spend just a little more and get the Star set, it is superior.

  4. figitdigit
    Posted December 8, 2009 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

    I just bought a staking set from ebay .. thought it was something else ,,, a stamping tools set for makeing designs onto silver or gold ….just getting into a hobby making stuff .. and wondered what i can use this staking set for .. what different uses does it have ? i dont feel right returning it to the guy from ebay as its not his fault i thought it was something else .. so I work with SS. and gemstones ,,, sometimes i need to drill holes .. but mostly i wanted this tools set to be a stamping tool…. any ideas what i could use this for ?

  5. J.Peter
    Posted December 9, 2009 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    figitdigit, What this set is really good for is forming rivets. Perhaps you could rivet some sterling together and make some articulate jewelry. Apart from that, I’m not sure how you could use it.

  6. Bob
    Posted January 14, 2010 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    I’m a gunsmith. I use my K&D set to knock out small pins. I use the #50 with the holes in them…fit a piece of round music wire to the size I need..lay the part on the anvil…and drive the pin out. One hand holds the part..the stake is held in the anvil…and the other hands using a brass hammer drives out the pin.

  7. Posted October 8, 2010 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    I have an octagonal stake (various size holes in it) that I use for making rivets. There are also “cuts” along one side. They are angled at about 45 degrees. Could someone tell me what they might be used for? I’ve seen them on other models, so there has to be a use for them.

  8. nick
    Posted October 22, 2010 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    I’ve just pick up an original star staking set for £12.00 I’m now a very happy!

  9. J.Peter
    Posted October 22, 2010 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    Nick, I’m Jealous!

  10. Joe "Palooka"
    Posted November 20, 2011 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    I have a jeweler’s inverting staking tool that I use to set rivets and push in or remove pins. With a third hand holding the material in place, I always set the rivets perfectly. Mine is an old FR by M. J. Lampert, US. I work on old telegraph keys and small tool repair.

  11. Posted May 27, 2012 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    I have a MEIKOSHA staking tool set with a glass lid. I have no idea how to use it but would love to try if only somebody could direct me to a web site for learning.
    Buy the way is it worth keeping, selling or throwing away I don’t know much about these things. Looking forward to some feedback PLEASE.
    Thanks Steve. 27-05-12

  12. Bryan
    Posted November 6, 2012 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    We have this stake set in our school kit, honesty it’s the biggest collection of garbage I’ve ever seen. It’s impossible to rivet a balance without doing more bending to the stakes than the rivit itself. The stakes simply can’t be hardened at all. Just O1 steel. They also have a nice point on the hammer end to destroy any nice brass hammer you might have. Bergeron, you should be ashamed!

  13. davestanda
    Posted November 8, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    I can’t understand Why someone would pay 800 dollars for a staking set(that the quailty isn’t there for the price) when there are some many better staking sets out there, i would bought a k and d with the jeweling attachment,,other specialized jeweling tools, and still have money to buy something else needed…even if i had the money for an 800 dollar set, i still can’t see why someone would be this one,instead of a boley or something with micrometer attachment…

  14. Posted January 14, 2013 at 2:00 am | Permalink

    The german made Star is the best it runs about 1695.00 us and has mor than the bergeon set
    an old K&D Inverto with jeweling attachements is also nice if you can get one complete and in good shape sincerely Watchmakers Lab

  15. Posted January 14, 2013 at 2:02 am | Permalink

    It is disapointing to hear the bergeon is a badly made set if you can get the old Bergeon/Star it is also nice

  16. Douglas Skinner
    Posted May 15, 2016 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    I have a Marshall which I bought from eBay and restored. I also recently came across a really old set (a National, I think) that dates from the turn of the century. It appears to be listed in an old Swartchild’s catalog from that era. The anvil, punches and stumps are mounted on a nice wooden disk that are under a glass bell. I got it from an estate sale and restored it. Beautiful!

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