I manage a community clay studio which serves roughly 100-200 people each month - students, renters, beginners, professionals, kids, adults. We provide all the tools one needs to work in clay, and for the most part our tools stay in good shape.
That said, I struggle to keep our wire tools in decent condition for more than a couple weeks. I have been buying the Kemper Cut-Off tool (~$2.50 each), but with such constant use, the wire frays and becomes uncomfortable/painful to use pretty quickly. Getting poked with frayed wire is an annoyance to our long-term customers and a turn-off to studio participants new to clay.
Does anyone have suggestions for a DIY wire tool?
* Deep sea fishing line/wire - When the smaller gague Kemper wire frays or splits, I'll use this heavier gague wire in the Kemper dowels. These last longer, but ultimately suffer the same fate.
* High test thread tied to washers - These do a great job and take much longer to brek down, but they tangle something awful. These feel like i'm just trading one problem for another.
Current DIY ideas:
* Kevlar string/thread - I'm fearful this will tangle just as badly as the last thread.
* Hemp string - I think this would probably break down with repeated exposure to water.
* Tennis racket stringing - I don't think this would tangle or kink, but it's generally very thick.
The wire tool may simply be pottery's version of the foul ball... constantly lost and replaced. But I'm on a mission to figure out a better way. Any advice or ideas will be appreciated.