by laurie jane kern on May 12, 2011

Over the past few months I have written about how it is important to strike the metal on the stake in the correct manner. This implies that you are not only striking the metal at the correct angle but that the stake is at the correct height for YOU.

Deb and I have been working on both of these subjects because I have had issues with them but mostly having my stakes at the correct height. My set up has been clamping my stakes in my vice which is bolted to my work bench. This put the striking surface of the stake at the height of my chest which is way to high for me. I resolved this by standing on a sprinkler box to raise me up but I was not quite at the correct height many times – for the stakes from Potter USA I was a bit too low and for the Dixon stakes I was a bit too high. I was never JUST RIGHT

As more time went by I knew I had to get a stump to mount my stake holders on.  I looked at getting a real wood stump and then mounting it on wheels but because my primary workspace is in the house on the second floor, I was not too keen on hauling a big hunk of wood up the stairs; I use the garage for things like drilling, buffing and grinding but not for raising unless it is very hot and the electricity has died. 

Then one day while browsing through the Rio catalog I saw a modern Anvil Stump – laminated wood with adjustable aluminum legs. The picture not only had an anvil mounted on it, there was a stake holder too.  It was the price that dashed me – 295 smacker-oos! I added it to my list of items I wanted to purchase [and as we all know that is almost everything in the Rio catalog] but I figured it would be several months before I got around to ordering it since I still had to pay for the tuition for Haystack but there was airfare to get to Maine well.

In April I bit the bullet and decided that I had better get the stump – I wanted to do some raising but I was nervous about doing it because I knew my current setup was not the best.  I then started to search the web for a better price. Since this stump is actually made for Farriers, I figured there might be a blacksmith or farrier shop that had it for a bit less. It took a few hours of comparisons of not only base price but shipping as well but eventually I did find a good deal and I ordered it and it arrived about 5 days later.  After sitting in the box for a few days I unpacked the stump and moved it upstairs into my work area. Then I had to mark the positions on the stump where I wanted my two stakes mounted and my husband did the drilling and screwing down of the holders plus he also vacuumed the floor when he was done.

I have a stake in each holder and this past Sunday I was working at the stump on another Shibori bracelet – forming the cuff. I have not adjusted the legs yet because I am experimenting with my rolling chair height to see it I am comfortable sitting while doing my raising as I normally stand.

Here are a few pictures showing the stump with my stake holders. For your information the legs do come attached and are adjusted via screws with an allen wrench and it comes with 4 ‘L’ plates and screws for locking down an anvil.

Update: July 23, 2011Since people are asking - I found the best price for the stump at 

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