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#1 smokin pots

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 01:59 PM

I've heard several pottery swear by a surform, some saying they couldn't do without it.
I have attempted several times to get a good grasp of using one, but it sure is not my favorite tool.
What is the proper dryness stage to use it, and how do you go about smoothing the surface out after you use
it, if you decide you want it smooth?
I am sure....I am doing something not quite right.
Any tips?
I thank all who offer help and suggestions.
juli
la paloma texas pottery

#2 Idaho Potter

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 02:18 PM

Juli, I use my small hand-held ones when the clay is leather hard ( like a good aged cheddar) and when close to what I want, ease up on the pressure so the grooves aren't as deep, then use a metal rib to finish the surface. If there are small imperfections, I brush on some terra sig and work that in. I'm sure there are other ways, but this is mine.

#3 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 02:47 PM

I use a surform at the leather hard stage. I also use bits of hacksaw blades to remove bumps.
I use a slip ti fill and smooth with a rib.
Marcia

#4 smokin pots

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 03:47 PM

Marcia, and Idaho Potter,
Thanks for the help. From reading your responses, I think I am being a little too aggressive, and not lighting up at the end. I, too, work it at the leather hard stage, but thought it might
need to be a bit dryer to avoid the deep grooves, but I now think not. I will go back and lightly fine tune, and then use a rib to smooth and maybe a slip to fill.
juli
la paloma texas pottery

#5 neilestrick

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 03:50 PM

They cut very aggressively when new. Be gentle. I like my old, dull ones best.
Neil Estrick
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#6 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 07:11 AM

this is how I refine large tarpaper formed vessels.
Marcia

#7 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 07:13 AM

didn't attach on first attempt. sorry. This is how I refine the edges of large tarpaper foams.

Marcia

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#8 Pres

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 08:01 AM

didn't attach on first attempt. sorry. This is how I refine the edges of large tarpaper foams.

Marcia


Earlier you mentioned the use of hack saw blades. I have always used hack saw blades to sharpen up edges, and make certain joins have continuity. I used to also have access to used band saw blades. Different blades would have close or far distanced teeth that would allow fast removal of material and then use finer blades to clean up, then the flat edge to finish. These days I rely on packages of 50 hacksaw blades to get the work done. Some I will heat up to bend into hoop tools and other trimmers.

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#9 Chris Campbell

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 10:53 AM

Pres ... Could you post images of those tools made from the blades?

Chris Campbell
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#10 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 03:00 PM

Pres,
I use the hacksaw on edges too. I worked for a sculptor while I was in Grad school as the final form finisher for plaster models before they went to the foundry.
I used the surform and hacksaw blades back then as well.
Marcia

#11 flowerdry

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 08:24 PM

I love the different textures I can get with the surform and will sometimes intentionally not smooth the surface.

Doris Hackworth

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