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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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