Good set of stakes for an intermediate student

He’ll all, I am an intermediate student, at best, and have been using
improvised stakes (e. g. A trailer hitch in a vise) for forming. I am
getting ready to invest in a good set of stakes and would like to
know your thoughts on the vertical vice and stakes by Bonny Doon, the
Fretz stakes, or others. I have been following the hydraulic press
thread with great interest, because it is another option for me, but
a friend/teacher nearby has a press, so I dohave access.

As always, not a lot of money to spend and not tons is space in my
studio. Thoughts?

Terry Beery

Hi Terry,

I think it depends greatly on what you want to do. Vessels?
Bracelets? Rings? That will determine what you need.

If you want to do teapots, the Fretz stakes will be useless. If you
want to do things the size of a bangle bracelet or smaller, the
Fretz stakes will be very handy indeed. What I can tell you about
the Fretz stakes is that (A) they really are stainless, and (B) I
took a rockwell tester to one of his hammers that I purchased, and
it really is Rockwell C50. (Hard as blazes.) So they’re very high
quality. Quite spendy, but worth it, if you work in their range.

The Bonny-Doon vertical vise is very useful for grabbing smallish
stakes, or steel bars used to make stakes larger than the fretz
line, but smaller than full-sized silversmithing stakes. Machined up
from solid steel, so quite tough. I’ll probably plop down the money
for one of them sooner or later, if that tells you anything.

Full sized silversmithing stakes must be either forged from steel
(for/by you) or scrounged. You can still buy new ones, but they’re
insanely expensive.


I own two vertical vises and multiples of the matching anvils, I
really like them for teaching anti-clastic shapes, rings and
bracelets, to my students.

For my personal projects I usually use my Fretz stakes, I adapted a
benchmate mount for them with multiple height recievers at my bench.

Can you provide a picture of how you adapted the mount? I would much
ratheruse my bench than the 1/2round stump I have all my stuff
mounted to now.



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