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Cast unfinished hammers and stakes

In the Orchid Forums and articles there is mention of “Casting
Specialties, W 51 N 545 Struck Lane, Cedarburg, WIS 53012,

Is this company still in business? I have tried their phone number
but get a message that it is no longer in service. reallly wanted
the hammer set and was thinking about thte stake set.


Hi Terry,

I’ve been trying to get a response out of them for years. No dice.
The phone was active as recently as 2 years ago. I left a couple of
messages saying “I want to give you money…call me back!”. Nada.

I resold some of their stakes 20-odd years ago, and they were never
the best about timely communication, even then. I suspect they’re
long gone.


I have tried to contact them several years ago and through some
investigation found they are no longer in business, many of the
foundries in the US are closed and the ones that are still open were
not interested in low volume castings. I started making stakes for my
self and now they are available through myself and otto frie the
stakes are made of steel not cast iron and they are machined from the
solid. Many schools and universities are using them. They are very
durable and much stronger than cast iron and you can get a better
finish on the stake since they are not porus.

Hope this helps.

They are very durable and much stronger than cast iron and you can
get a better finish on the stake since they are not porus. 

The casting specialties stakes were indeed porous, and often a good
bit of work to finish. You got them as raw castings, often with
pronounced mold lines, so they took a good deal of elbow grease to
finish up.

But they had the advantage of being really cheap, Giving you a full
set of stakes and forming hammers (handles came with too) well within
the reach of student budgets. I seem to recall the whole set was
under 200 dollars. Now, that was a lot more money then than it is
now, but still, it was a lot cheaper than anything else available
then, or now. You couldn’t get a really good mirror finish on em, but
frankly, for most raising work aside from final planishing, that
makes no difference at all, and with planishing, the difference was
only a little bit more work polishing… I bought a set in the early
70s, and still have all the stakes. The hammers I mostly gave away,
since decent hammers aren’t as costly as stakes, and the casting
specialties hammers had a habit of sometimes actually breaking. But
the stakes still get used, and work as well as they did 35 years

It’s too bad they’re not still available. There are good stakes
available, such as Kevins, but none can match that great budget level
price that may be essential for students and those just starting out
who simply cannot afford more