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Pugaboo

Website To Order Pottery Tools Cheap

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As I have mentioned before I have been hired as the new pottery director, I am scheduled to take over in May when the current director retires.

 

I need Need NEED new tools for the studio, there are maybe a handful of old, bent, abused tools there now. To teach classes to students I am going to need a minimum of 12 of each tool I list below and it would be nice to have 24. I went through the tools I use here everyday, every time, I work in the studio and have tried to eliminate any that are not absolutely critical to work. I need a website I can get these as cheaply as possible, wholesale or something. The budget is miniscule to nonexistent for new tools so chances are I am going to have to pay for some myself. In other words I need them CHEAP.

 

Flexible Serrated Metal Rib

KEMPER wooden tool #JA3

KEMPER Wooden tool #WT3

Fettling Knife

Sherrill Mud Tools Red Rubber Rib

Wire cut off tool

Needle tool

 

The last 2 I could get away with just a few. But the rest I need 12-24 of each. Any suggestions where to look to get these as cheaply as possible?

 

T

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I use Dick Blick for most my classroom tools. They have the basic tools at a good price, and offer free shipping for schools and such.

 

Clay King has a wider variety and fairly competitive prices as well.

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terry, most teaching studios tell their students that part of their costs will be the purchase of their own tools.  i hope you plan to do that, make them responsible for the tools they use so they will take better care of them and you do not have to bear all the costs.  if they forget to bring a tool, too bad.  they need to learn responsibility for everything so you do not have trouble with them later "forgetting" to wipe glaze off bottoms, etc.

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Thank you everyone! I am visiting all the suggested places and actually stumbled across a beginners set of 8 tools that has some of the tools needed for $4 each! Wow less than the price of just a couple of the tools needed. I could only order 10 but it's a start. Now I am focused on finding the missing pieces to fill out the sets as well as more like these. I am in no way hung up on brands, I only used the ones listed so you all would know what tools I was talking about, the sets I have found and ordered are generic.

 

Yes the plan is to offer sets for sale to students, but I also need some sets on hand for everyone to use since as a community art center we offer free classes to veterans and such.

 

T

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Follow up question....

 

I am wondering for the fettling knives if I can get by using cheap paring knives from the dollar store? Reasons why this substitution won't work?

 

T

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It is funny to see your list. I am not saying it is wrong, just mine is very different.

 

I do not have any serrated metal ribs.

There are only a few fettling knifes around my studio. I cannot say they get much use.

I have a bowl of mostly green and yellow Mud Tool ribs. There are two red ones that don't get used. (This is because I use green ribs for throwing and students tend to try the same. Sigh.)

I made my own fishing line cutting tools. They last a few months, don't get kinks or split wires. One roll will make hundreds. Best of all they can be made in ~14" lengths for students and then one really long one for platters.

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Matthew, very different but not wrong. Most of the classes taught are beginner hand building classes, not wheel. Wheel is only covered for 2 weeks in a 6 week class and then if someone wants more instruction it's private one on one sessions. I have enough extras of the wheel tools hanging out around my own studio which I can donate since it's not the main focus for most of the class participants.

 

I went with the serrated metal Rib because it has several uses, scoring, shaping, smoothing, even cutting in a pinch. I prefer fettling knives to needle tools because I feel it gives a better cut and is easier to control, I only use needle tools for popping tiny bubbles on the slab roller. The red rubber ribs are invaluable and the ones I use the most, in my studio I have the red rubber ribs in several of the different shapes and for smoothing and shaping. I have a yellow, used primarily for screening glazes and slips and a green which I use for silkscreening.

 

Magnolia, THANK YOU. It's good to know someone else is using them. I will grab a few packs of them when I am in town next.

 

So far I am finding pretty decent prices on the remaining few tools needed at the various sites (thank you again everyone) except for the Sherrill Mud Tools, those red rubber ribs are pricey everywhere. I'm going to try and find a contact number for them and see if they have a program for non profit schools in hopes of saving a little bit.

 

Again thank you Everyone!

 

T

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I would get a few of the Sherrill ribs, as many as you can afford, and fill out the rest of your needs with cheaper rubber ribs. Your students will see why Sherrill ribs are better than ordinary ribs, and that you want them to benefit from a great tool but could only afford a few. This will encourage folks to buy their own. One person buying a $5 rib for themselves is not much to ask, compared to you buying $5 ribs for everybody.

 

Edit to add: There are plenty of clay tools where the dollar store version is just as good as anything else. And some toolmakers who are doing an exceptional job whose tools are worth the price. You can teach your students about both. And also teach them "don't expect somebody else to buy you expensive tools." At the center where I taught, we provided piles of tools, mostly the cheapest version of everything. These were used by the beginners. By the time somebody made it past the beginner phase they were putting together their own tool kits. I think I was the first instructor to bring my Sherrill ribs to class and explain why I use them. Soon, everyone had their own.

Joseph F, Pugaboo and JBaymore like this

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I used NASCA supplies for schools when I was teaching, but they don't seem to be around anymore. There is SAX https://store.schoolspecialty.com/OA_HTML/xxssi_ibeSearchResults.jsp?query=Pottery%20Kits&idx=15&ps=15&r=~TAXONOMY_LEV1%3DArt%2BSupplies%2B-%2BCraft%2BSupplies&refQuery=&relevancy=Relevancy&collection=products&searchType=productResults&minisite=10206&pageType=&a=b

with discounts on Bailey and Skutt and other ceramic supplies.

 

Marcia

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+1 for dollar store stuff plus Bailey's. Only problem I've had with Bailey's is with their free shipping code for small tools, it doesn't work whenever I've tried to use it.  

 

Another place that has inexpensive knockoff tools is Euclids. It is the american version of Pottery Supply House. The "Loonie" line of tools are fairly good. The metal ribs are thinner than the name brand ones but still okay. If you get some funding I would also have a look at this for sieving glazes, save yourself some time if you have to make large volumes of glaze. (way cheaper than talisman sieve)

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The red Sherrill ribs are nice; a good substitute can be made from pices of semi-stiff plastic packaging.  Milk bottles, cottage cheese spreads packages, make useful handbuilding tools for smoothing and shaping clay. 
 
"popsicle" sticks, and "tongue deprssors" are available at craft stores to make  wooden spatulas, and paint stirrers are available at paint stores.  
 
I use toothbrushes,plastic forks, abd serrated plastic knives for scoring tools. Paint stirrers become seam paddling tools.  Sections of 2 inch PVC pipe wrapped with newspaper and tape are excellent rollers for making slabs. 
 
Large sheets of craft foam are better than canvas for making slab work - there is no texture to be removed and the foam keeps the slabs from excessive drying.

 

LT

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I use clay king for almost all my online orders unless they don't have the product I want.

 

That being said I think your tool list is pretty close to being plenty.

 

I think you could narrow it down a little bit: Rubber Rib, Wooden Rib, Needle Tool, Cut off Tool, Wooden Knife

 

I think that is probably all you really need if your teaching beginners. The other tools while are great to have, I doubt every student would need, probably could get just 2 of each and be enough. I don't know how big your class is though. 

 

Also, I just want to say from a safety standpoint, cheap metal ribs are dangerous and sharp. If your going to get metal ribs, get the good ones from Sherrill. I have a big cheap one that I bought that I use and I have cut my finger on it several times. My small sherill one I have never even came close to cutting myself. That brings me to super glue, which I use for my fingers all the time hahah.

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<snip>  Only problem I've had with Bailey's is with their free shipping code for small tools, it doesn't work whenever I've tried to use it.  <snip>

 

 

Min,

 

If you are requesting shipping into Canada, I think you might be running up against the fine print on the Bailey free shipping offer on small tools and brushes-

 

"*Free Freight/Shipping in contiguous US only, applies to in stock items only, minimum order must be $25 after discounts are applied. Some restrictions apply." 

 

I just ordered some small tools a few weeks ago and the website discount code worked fine.  Bailey's price on Mudtools seems to be a low as anywhere I've seen. 

 

-SD

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<snip>  Only problem I've had with Bailey's is with their free shipping code for small tools, it doesn't work whenever I've tried to use it.  <snip>

 

 

Min,

 

If you are requesting shipping into Canada, I think you might be running up against the fine print on the Bailey free shipping offer on small tools and brushes-

 

"*Free Freight/Shipping in contiguous US only, applies to in stock items only, minimum order must be $25 after discounts are applied. Some restrictions apply." 

 

I just ordered some small tools a few weeks ago and the website discount code worked fine.  Bailey's price on Mudtools seems to be a low as anywhere I've seen. 

 

-SD

 

 

Thanks, but I have a US postal box and still can't ship. Their sale emails I get have the small tools free shipping on the weekend and yet they are closed then so I can't call it in. I've tried emailing them (twice), no response so just gave up and bought locally. What I really wanted from there is one of the do-all trim tools, can't get them here, shipping to Canada is silly expensive from just about everywhere. 

 

edit: just figured it out, they don't consider the trimming tool a small tool so no free shipping. 

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I found sets of inexpensive tool on ebay when I looked at a site for a pair of earrings.  They are from over seas and take a month to get them.  I bought two different sets that were around three dollars each,  I was impressed with the quality when I received them, each set had a trimming tool in them that I replace often.  It takes a while to search through the site, they didn't have a good sort feature but that was six months ago.   I believe they had wooden ribs also,  I often pick up cheap spatulas and use them to rib the inside of a pot, the dollar store would be a good source.  Young students can work with about any thing for a tool most of time they resort to using their fingers.   Denice

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/252592600583

 

 

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<snip>  Only problem I've had with Bailey's is with their free shipping code for small tools, it doesn't work whenever I've tried to use it.  <snip>

 

 

Min,

 

If you are requesting shipping into Canada, I think you might be running up against the fine print on the Bailey free shipping offer on small tools and brushes-

 

"*Free Freight/Shipping in contiguous US only, applies to in stock items only, minimum order must be $25 after discounts are applied. Some restrictions apply." 

 

I just ordered some small tools a few weeks ago and the website discount code worked fine.  Bailey's price on Mudtools seems to be a low as anywhere I've seen. 

 

-SD

 

 

Thanks, but I have a US postal box and still can't ship. Their sale emails I get have the small tools free shipping on the weekend and yet they are closed then so I can't call it in. I've tried emailing them (twice), no response so just gave up and bought locally. What I really wanted from there is one of the do-all trim tools, can't get them here, shipping to Canada is silly expensive from just about everywhere. The free shipping code for Bailey's that I have is "STFS" is that the same one you used?

 

Yes - that's the code I've used.  If I recall correctly, I think you have to enter in your shipping zipcode first - then after that you can type in the code and click the apply button. As a backup, I also put the code/offer in the notes section of the order.  Bailey always sends a pre-ship email of the order and gives you a day to confirm/correct before they ship.  This way if something happens, you could talk with them during normal business hours.

 

-SD

 

edit - you have to press the calculate shipping button

Min likes this

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I found a basic 8 piece set for $4 with free shpg on Amazon, it appears to be coming from China since it says it will take a month to get here. I was able to order 10 of them so it's a good start. Clay King has the serrated metal ribs in 12 packs for $13.41 plus shpg but if I add them to an order when I need something which I most likely will this month shpg isn't enough to worry about.

 

Georgie's also has really good prices on both tools, serrated rib and KEMPER ja3, but their shopping cart price is coming up different than their webpage price so I will need to call during business hours. That just leaves the rubber rib which I am going to call Mud Tools next week and see if they do discounts if not then will also ask Clay King and Georgie's if they do. I do have a set of 12 of all the tools in my traveling teachers kit but really don't want to take it apart since at times I can be teaching in 3 different locations each week. If I have to I'll just order a few and keep them locked up in a cabinet between classes so they don't walk out the door. Would like to have some to offer for sale though so still need to find a cheap place to get them so can resell them if a student wants to buy.

 

I guess it's a work in progress!

 

Before I forget, I have 2 glaze sieves of my own one with brushes one without that I plan to take up when I tackle the chunky glaze issue. I have a couple small talisman test sieves as well that I use here for slip but I'm not using those since they are really too small for glazes other than testing.

 

Oh and thank you Mark!

The SG issue has a plan. I found a plastic 100ml beaker hanging out in a box in my studio, like the glass one I am using. I that I am going to donate the plastic one since I like the glass one better, it's easier to read for me. Just have to find a cheap digital scale somewhere and that will be handled as well. I tried several different ways of checking SG and your way of simply filling the beaker and setting it on a scale is the simplest so I can teach them how to check the glazes once they are fixed. I plan to print and slip into plastic sleeves sheets with the glaze name, recipe, SG and mixed date and attach to each glaze container. That will help me control the glazes and help them understand the glazes as well.

 

I have started bisquing the glaze test tiles since there aren't any up there right now and have wrangled some volunteers to help get them glazed once the glazes are fixed. I need a set of white and a set of brown so it's a big job! I'm going to put up a pegboard and hang them in the glaze room so there's no more guessing what a glaze does on each clay as well as on texture. I've already got requests for overlapping test tiles as well but that will come later as right now I am just focused on getting the basic glaze colors up there.

 

It's all coming together!

 

Thank you so much everyone You have made this endeavor so much easier!

 

T

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