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Recommended String For Cutting Off The Hump

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I'm just starting to practice throwing off the hump, and would like to learn to cut my pieces off with a length of string attached to a handle (let the string wrap around with the wheel turning slowly, give a little tug at the right moment, presto).  Yesterday I tried with the only string I could find around the house, which was waxed dental floss.  That didn't go well -- it wrapped around the clay, and then just kept sliding.  Eventually I managed to work it through, but it was not pretty.

 

I imagine I'm looking for something with some more tooth.  Any recommendations?  If you can specify where to buy it as well, great -- I'm imagining a trip to Home Depot, Target, or maybe Michael's (craft store).  Thanks in advance.

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I use a ball of twine from the hardware store. It is twisted, poly something, and works well for cutting off the hump. I have a wooden rib, that I made about 3 inches long, kind of chunky that has a hole in the handle end. Tie the string n there, use the rib to make a cut line, then let string wrap around and pull through with handle. Length of string is about 16".

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I use waxed linen thread, what I use is from the jewelry section of the craft store. I use string for larger forms. For smaller things, I use a stainless felting knife. I wet the knife, and while the hump is spinning I cut and lift. The knife is used like a spatula to life and place it on a board.

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I throw off the hump most of the time and have found that if you want an commercial clay tool, the 'nylon clay cutter' from Kemper Tools is what I usually use. It is like their wire cutting tool which comes with two wooden toggles on the ends, but has a soft braided nylon string instead of wire. When I buy one, I cut it in half in the middle of the string so that I have two matching string tools. I hold onto the wooden part and the loose end of the string wraps around the clay on the wheel (in the cut line that I have marked under the pot with a wooden tool or rib - like Pres said) to cleanly slice off the pot.  I rarely have to tug the string, just let it wrap around and pull gently to slice straight through the bottom. 

Now that I think of it, I believe that there is a Van Gilder string tool that is specifically designed for this as well.

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I used to used coarse black cotton thread. Now I use dental floss. I have had the same piece for probably 10 years. Works great for cutting lids off the hump. I don't throw much else off the hump as the bottoms crack. Must be a flaw with my clay.

i suggest that you give the floss another go.

TJR.

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Thanks again all.  Amazon is sending me 15 lb braided fishing line (150 yards -- might have to take up fishing); be here on Monday.   $7, and I don't have to go to the store -- gotta love it.  (If I already had the skill, maybe I could make the dental floss work, but I think the wax is working against me.)

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I used what I had, cotton string. It worked fine, and is still working, but it is starting to rot away slowly. Time for new string! The good news? It lasted me at least 4 years. Glad you got something that is better than cotton, but even cotton works. 

 

 

I throw off the hump most of the time and have found that if you want an commercial clay tool, the 'nylon clay cutter' from Kemper Tools is what I usually use.

I have one of those nylon cutters and they are terrible for cutting the pots off the bottom, but I'm glad you said this as now I can reuse my old cutter tool! Thanks!

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