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[Source] Dome stake, reasonably priced?


I can’t find a dome stake as used in “Jewelry Making Tips and Tricks
of the Trade” by Stephen O’Keeffe. It is only slightly domed and is
designed to be inserted into a hole in a wood block. In the photo on
page 12 it appears to be short and wide, looking like a round bench
block but with the slight dome. On the internet I’ve not been able to
find one like it and the ones I do find are very expensive ($75 and
up). I’d appreciate your help in finding it.



Hi Barbur,

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but $75 for a new vertical
stake is pretty cheap, these days. (at least in the States.)

The cheapest supplier I can think of who’s quality you’d like would
be Kevin Potter. ( Looking at his site…yup. $75. You
might be able to find some cast junk for less than that, but it
would be junk.

Welcome to the wonderful world of scrounging. Keep your eyes open,
and hit lots of swap meets. Eventually one will float by. If you need
one right now, you can either pony up for a new one, or make your



Harbor freight has a number of great stakes intended for bodywork
(autos) and very usable- I got a set of 7 for under 20 dollars with
an enamel coating that i removed easily revealing a stainless steel
casting underneath that i then polished (easily accomplished with
some Tripoli then Dialux white or whatever compound you like for
polishing ferrous metals (I do not use this polishing wheel in the
studio though as i don’t risk cross contamination. I keep a second
motor in the tool shed for non-jewelry making polishing tool
maintenance etc.). The also sell large “dolly’s” that are already
highly polished and with a good bikram for use in large anvils in 3
styles- occasionally more than three. their dolly’s run about 13
dollars and are every bit as good as a 100 dollar stake. When i lost
my entire studio in hurricane Katrina I had to be creative in
replacing EVERYTHING on a zero budget while trying to rebuild my
home ( which still needs windows, floors and paint among other more
insignificant repairs that I may never be able to afford!). I found
these stakes at Harbor Freight and love them for large forming and
the set above mentioned for smaller jobs- all-in-all with my decent
PEPE tools doming punches and dapping blocks sets I have everything
I could ever want in forming (well, except Fretz’ miniature bezel
stakes!) tools for under 400.00. I would seriously consider H. F.
tools forming stakes as they are reasonable well made ( just check
them while at the store for any problems or if ordering online,
check them immediately and call to get an RMA if any have problems
like a pitted mirror finish or other casting related errors. The
enamel chipping off of the smaller sets can be a good thing if you
don’t want to keep it blackened- Actually if it’s chipped and you
want to leave it enameled you should exchange it anyway as rust will
get under the loose coating and cause problems down the road.).
The 7 smaller stakes can be welded to cold rolled steel rod if you
don’t want to screw them into a block for use (that’s what I did to
make them easy to drop into the anvil ) also making them easier to
store upright. Coat all of them after polishing when necessary with
light coating of carbolene, micro-crystalline wax, any light machine
oil , or "enjen joe’s " paste-y stuff that he calls “brown polymer”
(the guy was offering it to Orchid about a year ago- it has problems
that the guy wasn’t ready to hear but the stuff is around and
reasonable for tools- look in the archives if you didn’t get a sample
from him back when), even WD-40 works in a pinch). It is a far better
deal than paying vendor prices for stakes that do the same things
though are intended for a different market. rer