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Throwing Comfy


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#41 Benzine

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 10:10 AM


In regards to the plaster wedging surface, I do plan to make a smaller board, that I can set on top.

Another question. I currently have a single bat, and am looking to get more. I know a lot of people here, make their own, but I'm not sure I want to attempt that, at the moment. I was just going to go with the plasti-bat, because I'm used to those. But I noticed that Bailey has a Wonderbat listed, with removable 6" square inserts. I think this would be a great choice for me, as I do a lot of mugs and bowls. The best part is, for thirty bucks, you get the main bat, with six square inserts. So that's much cheaper, than buying six plasti-bats......Yes, I know, but still not as cheap as making dozens of my own.... Does anyone have any experience with the Wonderbat, or a reason, why they wouldn't be a good idea?


I've been using the Wonderbat system for a few years. It's great for throwing many small pieces and not taking up lots of shelf space (for those of us who like to throw on a bat), but there are some downsides. When the bats are super clean there is some wiggle room, so I actually have to put little pieces of clay between the parts to get the bat to stay still. When the bats AREN'T clean they can be hard to push in and pry out, so they need be in a sweet spot of dirtyness to work well. Also, they warp, so many of mine don't sit flat anymore. The description claims that the pots will release when leather hard, but in my experience the pots don't release until they're close to bone dry - I have used these bats with at least six or seven clay bodies, and I always have to wire off.


Very good to know. I thought they claimed, they wouldn't warp, but they just state "Warp Resistant".
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#42 Heidi K

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 10:58 AM



In regards to the plaster wedging surface, I do plan to make a smaller board, that I can set on top.

Another question. I currently have a single bat, and am looking to get more. I know a lot of people here, make their own, but I'm not sure I want to attempt that, at the moment. I was just going to go with the plasti-bat, because I'm used to those. But I noticed that Bailey has a Wonderbat listed, with removable 6" square inserts. I think this would be a great choice for me, as I do a lot of mugs and bowls. The best part is, for thirty bucks, you get the main bat, with six square inserts. So that's much cheaper, than buying six plasti-bats......Yes, I know, but still not as cheap as making dozens of my own.... Does anyone have any experience with the Wonderbat, or a reason, why they wouldn't be a good idea?


I've been using the Wonderbat system for a few years. It's great for throwing many small pieces and not taking up lots of shelf space (for those of us who like to throw on a bat), but there are some downsides. When the bats are super clean there is some wiggle room, so I actually have to put little pieces of clay between the parts to get the bat to stay still. When the bats AREN'T clean they can be hard to push in and pry out, so they need be in a sweet spot of dirtyness to work well. Also, they warp, so many of mine don't sit flat anymore. The description claims that the pots will release when leather hard, but in my experience the pots don't release until they're close to bone dry - I have used these bats with at least six or seven clay bodies, and I always have to wire off.


Very good to know. I thought they claimed, they wouldn't warp, but they just state "Warp Resistant".


They also tell you to dry them and store them vertically, separated by something like a dish rack, and while mine are vertical, I've never managed to get something like a dish rack to separate them (I have enough trouble fitting everything into my space as is, I don't need these to use twice as much space as their volume would require), so it could be my fault that they're warped.
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#43 Benzine

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 12:45 PM

The "Non-warpping" factor, is why I was initially thinking of Plasti Bat. I just like the removable insert aspect of the Wonder Bat. Is there a Plasti Bat that has a removable insert? If there's not, there should be!
"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#44 MichaelP

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 01:28 PM

The "Non-warpping" factor, is why I was initially thinking of Plasti Bat. I just like the removable insert aspect of the Wonder Bat. Is there a Plasti Bat that has a removable insert? If there's not, there should be!

One of the main features of the WonderBat is that it allows the wears to dry on the bottom. In this respect they behave almost like plaster bats. You leave your piece on the removable part of the WonderBat and just let it dry "as is". Plastic bats don't have this important feature.

#45 Benzine

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 02:09 PM


The "Non-warpping" factor, is why I was initially thinking of Plasti Bat. I just like the removable insert aspect of the Wonder Bat. Is there a Plasti Bat that has a removable insert? If there's not, there should be!

One of the main features of the WonderBat is that it allows the wears to dry on the bottom. In this respect they behave almost like plaster bats. You leave your piece on the removable part of the WonderBat and just let it dry "as is". Plastic bats don't have this important feature.


To me, that's a moot point, as I'm used to cutting mine off anyway. Also, as Heidi stated, the clay doesn't always release from the bat, when it should. Not that it matters, as the Wonder Bats are still looking like my best option.
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#46 clay lover

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 07:45 AM



Thanks Gents.

Honestly, I've thrown off the wheel head, for most of my time, working on the wheel.

In college, I used bats, which makes sense for a shared studio. At my first teaching job, none of the wheels had bat pins, so myself and the students, just threw on the wheel head. At my second job, all the wheels had pins, and we had quite a few bats, so I of course, just used those. At my current job, one of the wheels had pins, which I removed, because we had no bats, with pin holes. So we just throw off the wheel head there too.

So I've got nothing against throwing off the wheel head. I just thought it would be quicker, to have something quickly removable, that I didn't have to let dry.

Generally, when I'm doing a series, I'll throw them, let them air dry for several hours, either on the wheel head or on a bat, cut them off, flip them over to let the bottoms dry, pull some handles if applicable, trim the feet(?), then attach the handles, as the handles have dried nicely while I was trimming. Since I have normally done this in my classroom(s), the process usually got broken up into days, and I'd have to cover the projects, in process. It will be nice, that I shouldn't have to do that now.


I have Euclid's version of the wonder bat and use 6" bisque tiles ( from Lowe's ),in it. The pieces don't get wired off and come away from the tiles when dry enough with a perfectly smooth bottom. If I need them quicker, I can set them out of the bat onto a wire rack so that the air gets under the tile and helps it dry faster. Great for small pieces and space saving.


Ha, that's a great idea! The tiles just happen to fit in there thickness wise huh?


They just happened to fit that brand. I first got some at the shop in Arrowmont's campus, but discovered that the Lowe's ones were the same. Only caution, the tiles will grind off you ring finger in a heartbeat if you go after that flange of clay at the bottom of a piece. I never even feel it happening, and WOW, nail gone to the blood!. Had to learn to leave that bit of clay and use a wood tool to trim it off when finished throwing the piece.

The trick, I think, is to be able to just wait for them to release, even if hurrying the drying with a rack. They will come away smooth as a whistle and still damp enough to sign, but if you tug on ones that are too wet, you will end up with a warped bottom.




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