I know a lot of folks don't care for Harbor freight but for those
starting out or on a budget This might be a serviceable choice.
Item #93539-ovg a 25 piece doming block and punches, 34.99$. Open
the box and check the block and punches to make sure they are all
there in the correct sizes and the block is good. Bring a rag to
clean off the cosmoline.
In my area (mid-Atlantic), that doming block and punch set is at
Harbor Freight for US $28.99. This is, I think, a sale price until
#93539 is described on the carton as having 18 holes. The block is
metal, not wood. My instructor at Gem Cutters Guild pointed out that
the metal might not be as sturdy as a pricier version’s, but I think
for now, it’ll do for me, as a beginner.
Harbor Freight also had wire brushes on sale at 3 for US $0.49, and
other items like Helping Hands for US $4.99, extra-large hemostats,
They also had an articulating (ball joint) hobby vise for US $15.99.
It has just a suction-cup bottom, though – that’s a drawback I hope
I can modify by drilling through the base for permanent mounting.