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JohnnyK

Reconstituting Bone Dry Clay

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I bought a used kiln from a little ole lady who was moving and decided to give up on her ceramics hobby. As part of the deal and in an effort to help clean out her garage, she gave me six 50# boxes of clay which are bone dry.

What would be the best way to go about reclaiming these bricks?

JohnnyK

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An alternative to Neil's trick is to hang the pillow case outside in a shady area where the wind will get to it. The bag will evaporate water, the weight will drain out some water, and the clay will not have to be rotated very often. You can peel the bag off the clay when drier, cut and invert the outside to inside, slash cut the rest a few times and then pug, slash cut some more and re wedge.

 

best,

Pres

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I have re-hydrated bags of dry clay by putting the "block" in a plastic bag, usually the bag that it came in from the supplier, and then immersing the bag into a bucket of water.  I leave the bag in the water for a couple of weeks and then test to see if it is soft enough to wedge, if too hard back to soaking. 

 

If the original bag is damaged or missing, I use a thin walled plastic trash bag. 

 

Polyethylene plastic bags allow water to slowly migrate from the water side into the clay side until the diffusion reaches equilibrium and then the migration slows way way down.  This technique has reclaimed cone 04, 5, and 10 clay that was three years old in about 3 weeks.

No having to crush, soak, and redry before wedging. If you let is soak longer than necessary, it will not become soup from being over watered. Also there is very little un-mixing of the clays and spars used in the clay body recipe that can occur from creating a slurry. 

 

LT

JBaymore and TallTayl like this

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Being mechanical minded: has anyone ever used an auger bit to drill a series of holes in the block to speed up absorption? An auger bit would produce shaving instead of dust: which could just be thrown back into the soak bag. Random thought of the day.

Nerd

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you do have to get the lumps out. the smaller and dryer the chunks are, the faster they will absorb water and get into a slurry. I have a nice little home made machine for mixing slurry.

http://community.ceramicartsdaily.org/gallery/album/728-paper-clay-home-made-mixer/

1/4 hp motor mounted to channel iron that slides into larger channel iron mounted for the height of a 5 gallon bucket.

I dry my recycled clay on or on plaster.

Marcos

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Being mechanical minded: has anyone ever used an auger bit to drill a series of holes in the block to speed up absorption? An auger bit would produce shaving instead of dust: which could just be thrown back into the soak bag. Random thought of the day.

Nerd

If I can catch the clay before completely dry, I use dowels to poke holes down into the block. Then squirt water into the holes. Then water into the bag.

 

If the clay is just too stiff to wedge. Slice it bread thickness and dip in water and rebag. let it sit over night.

Marcia

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Being mechanical minded: has anyone ever used an auger bit to drill a series of holes in the block to speed up absorption? An auger bit would produce shaving instead of dust: which could just be thrown back into the soak bag. Random thought of the day.

Nerd

Yep, been there done that.  Powdered about 20 LBS this way, ton of work, for the same results everyone else gets by letting it soak.  Also wore out the bit.  Hammer is good.  Drill is bad.

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i remember reading in one of the threads that LT is talking about. 

 

and then i found this youtube. 

This works slick and I have tried poking holes, crushing, geez you name it.  This method  is stupid easy, tidy, and I have a zillion 5 gallon buckets around anyways.  

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i remember reading in one of the threads that LT is talking about. 

 

and then i found this youtube. 

This works slick and I have tried poking holes, crushing, geez you name it.  This method  is stupid easy, tidy, and I have a zillion 5 gallon buckets around anyways.  

 

 

 

If you have the same exact volume of usable wet clay, all you would have to do is weigh both wet and dry, subtract the difference and you know exactly how much water needs to be replaced.

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