Mysterious stake

Discussion in 'Horological Tools' started by Steve Barnes, Jan 14, 2020.

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  1. Steve Barnes

    Steve Barnes Registered User

    Apr 16, 2019
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    I recently bought a vintage 'MKS Standard' staking set, which includes a mixture of MKS and K&D stakes, and MKS stumps. I've been working my way through them to learn what they are used for. I have now identified all except one stake and one stump (see pic attached).

    I am guessing that the two are connected, as the stump is made of brass and not hardened steel as are the others and the tip of the stake is also brass. I'm guessing also that the stake's attractive spherical red plastic top suggests it is not to be struck, twiddled maybe.

    The stump is a solid flat-face of c3.5mm diam and the stake tip is c2.5mm diam.

    The stake is stamped with the MKS logo and the number 50 (it may have no significance but all the other MKS stakes are also stamped with the word 'FOREIGN', but red-top is not).

    There is excellent online information on K&D stakes and their numbering, but I have not been able to find any info on MKS stakes, so the number 50 doesn't help.

    I suspect this 'mystery' will be solved very quickly.

    On a side matter, there is also a roller remover tool, which unfortunately is broken (see second pic). This is a great shame as it is a beautiful item and extremely nifty. I am thinking of buying a K&D version, which I have seen available, but I would very much like to find an original MKS one. However, I think I won't have much choice in the matter.

    Regards


    MKS red-top stake and stump.jpg MKS roller remover.jpg
     
  2. musicguy

    musicguy Moderator
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    Jan 12, 2017
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    Moving to Horological tools section


    Rob
     
  3. Steve Barnes

    Steve Barnes Registered User

    Apr 16, 2019
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    Well, not as quickly as that, it seems.

    Looking at images of staking sets from Marshall, Boley, Star, Seitz/Bergeon, none show (so far) such a stake or a brass/bronze? stump. Also, this mystery stake does not appear in other discussions on staking sets found in searches of this forum.

    The attached pic shows clearly the one stump in an MKS set (not mine) made of brass/bronze.

    There is a cross-reference document on the web that lists punches from K&D and the makers above, with their different numbering systems, but not MKS.

    Never mind. Maybe one day a researcher will come across a document in a Tokyo museum and – Eureka (or it's Japanese equivalent) – there it will be in all its red-topped, brass-tipped glory, with full description attached.

    Or maybe not . . .


    mks_brass_stump.jpg



    PS: Thank you, Rob, for moving this.
     
  4. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Steve,

    I have a staking set from a long-defunct UK firm, (Southerns), which was actually made in Japan, and that has exactly the brass faced stake and stump you show. I think the stake with the red knob is intended for fitting hands, and the stump is used whenever you need to avoid marking the underside of the work. It also has the identical roller remover. From your picture in post #3, the box and the rest of the stumps look exactly the same as well; does the box lid have a curved glass insert? If so I think your comment about a Tokyo museum is spot on!

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  5. Steve Barnes

    Steve Barnes Registered User

    Apr 16, 2019
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    That is excellent, Graham, thank you. I can sleep now. Unless, of course, it's for a completely different use that someone else suggests ;-)

    I confess that the Tokyo reference was not an accident as the front of the case has a label saying: 'Meikosha Mfg Co Ltd Nagoya Japan.' I thought saying 'Nagoya museum' would be a bit too 'smart alec'.

    And yes it has a curved glass cover too. Perhaps 'Southerns' was importing MKS sets and had the right to put its name on them, rather like watch retailers' names on movements bought from elsewhere.

    I could send a pic of mine but it would be no different to a Google images search on 'MKS staking set'.

    BTW, no hits for a search on 'Southerns staking set' so maybe MKS got its export act together after an exploratory market test with Southerns.

    Just thinking aloud but does your glass cover have MKS etched into it or is it clear with the Southerns label below?

    Who knows, you may have the only Southerns staking set in existence!

    Regards

    PS: I have now bought a Marshall roller removal kit (see pic), which is the closest I have found to the MKS one. No spring loading, so not as nifty but close!


    marshall_roller_remover.jpg
     
  6. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Steve,

    Try searching for 'Southern Clock & Watch Supplies Ltd' and you should find some old adverts at least. They were a very large materials house, much as Cousins are today, and they put their own brand name, ('Precista'), on a lot of bought in products. I think they went out of business around 1987.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  7. Steve Barnes

    Steve Barnes Registered User

    Apr 16, 2019
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    Ah, there they are! Searched on "Precista staking set". And the familiar glass cover has Precista etched into it. And there is the red-top stake and the brass stump. That search also threw up an identical set with AGT etched in the glass. So, yes, that's what MKS was doing.

    Yes, adverts for Southern too. 'All roads lead to Orpington,' apparently. Or they did then.

    So it looks as though only MKS did this special stake and stump. I feel rather privileged now ;-)

    Regards

    SteveB
     
  8. wefalck

    wefalck Registered User

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    I think Southern went ouf of business in the mid 1990s. I have catalogue dated '1990-93'. It lists Bergeon, Precista and KWM staking sets. No photographs, only outline drawings.
     
  9. Steve Barnes

    Steve Barnes Registered User

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    The red plastic top certainly suggests "don't hit me". A few taps with the fingers would suffice, I suppose.
     
  10. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Steve,

    I must confess that the red knob has stayed in the box since I bought it, (it seems intended for pressing rather than tapping), but the brass stump has been handy now and again.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  11. Steve Barnes

    Steve Barnes Registered User

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    Yes, pressing would be better. Or a delicate combination of light taps, gentle pressing and a little skilful twiddling.

    Either way, I'm extremely pleased that the thoughtful watch repair engineers of Nagoya have bequeathed us such a legacy.

    I'll leave the thread there, Graham, with again many thanks for your helpful explanation.
     
  12. Ben S.

    Ben S. Registered User

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    I read in a book recently that there was once a brass stake that could be used to close a too-loose hairspring collet. You weren’t supposed to hit it, just use your fingers I think. Perhaps this is it?
     
  13. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Ben,

    I know Bergeon make a special tool for this, (3007), and you can also close loose collets in the watchmaker's lathe, with care, but I haven't come across a staking set tool for this purpose.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  14. Moebius

    Moebius Registered User

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    I use this tool to close a loose hand pipe, very useful.
     
  15. praezis

    praezis Registered User

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    I did :).
    Regularly use a cone punch for this purpose.

    Frank
     

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