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Wedging Table Surface Options

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I know this topic has been covered before so I apologize for posting it again, but I haven't had any luck finding the information via the search option.

I need to make a wedging table and I recall that there were some other options for surfaces besides plaster and canvas.

Also, if I do end up using canvas, are there any tips for getting and KEEPING the canvas stretched tight?

 

Any other wedging table tips would be appreciated.

 

Thanks everyone...I love this forum.

Doris

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To keep canvas clean, just wipe it down with a wet sponge, which helps keep the dust down.

In regards to attaching the canvas, it all depends on how easy you want it to be to remove. You could use a staple gun to anchor the canvas to a wood frame, but it will be hard to remove. Alternately, you could install the screen in snaps into the surface and have the other half of the snaps in the canvas. So the canvas could just be popped off.

An even easier solution is to us the picnic table cloth holders.

 

In terms of other materials, wood works well. It's porous, sturdy, and easy to clean.

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Doris,

 

If you make the canvas moist before stretching it, it will become quite tight after drying.

 

As for other alternative surfaces, you may try HardiBacker (Home Depot: http://www.homedepot.com/p/James-Hardie-HardieBacker-5-ft-x-3-ft-x-1-2-in-Ceramic-Tile-Backer-Board-220023/100170507) or a piece of drywall (with edges taped over).

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Go to your local lumber yard (hardware store) and buy a sheet (18 or 20 mm) compressed sawdust board.

It looks like this:

post-19541-0-53827600-1389779679_thumb.jpg

 

All our work surfaces are covered with this board. We even have small boards to move stuff around and/or set up additional work areas.  Forget this fabric/plywood nonsense, if you can ;)

 

Clay will not stick to this surface (unless it gets too wet) and you can clean it with a moist sponge. Simple, durable and last a long time.

post-19541-0-53827600-1389779679_thumb.jpg

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I like plaster. My table is next to my wheel and I use it to recycle wet clay as I throw. I can wedge up the wet scraps and throw it during my throwing day.

I am careful not to chip it. I clean it with a scraper and then wash with a sponge. My current plaster wedging table is about 15 years old.

 

Marcia

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I have a big hydrocal slab sitting on a very sturdy wood table. It is easy to keep clean. I am very careful with it and would not recommend it for a group or student situation. When I am hand building and need to wedge a smaller piece of clay without it drying more, I wedge on Formica.

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I use canvas stapled onto plywood. Unfortunately, after 35 years, I have developed a one inch square hole right where I want to wedge. Not gonna change it though.Too lazy.

TJR.

DirtRoads likes this

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I use canvas stapled onto plywood. Unfortunately, after 35 years, I have developed a one inch square hole right where I want to wedge. Not gonna change it though.Too lazy.

TJR.

Hey, what are you doing up there in the Great Frozen Tundra? The canvas is not repaired, the photo gallery is still not updated...

Babs likes this

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I cast a 3 1/2 inch cement slab that is about 4X5 for my wedging table. i with canvas, and clean it down regularly. This has been in use now since '87. Before the table I used to wedge on the concrete garage floor which gave me the idea to just cast the slab. the base is 2X4 and plywood attached to the garage wall.

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A friend of mine has a wedging bench at his college studio that is about 10 feet long with a smooth concrete top. It is a dream to wedge on. Best surface ever. Easy to clean, and can be scraped without damaging it.

 

I use canvas over particle board. The current canvas is going on 15 years. It is held in place with screws and washers around the edge so it will be easy to change when the time comes.

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I use the backer board that is made for tile installation, and it works very well....strong,

somewhat absorbent, non-shedding, and light enough to "sandwich" slabs and flip

them for even drying.

acg likes this

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My studio wedging table is about 35-40 years old.  Made it for my first real studio. 

 

I cast pottery plaster into a wooden frame on a self-constructed set of table legs.  The plaster is about 4-5" thick and the table is about 32" x 4 feet long.  Embedded in the plaster (centered on standoffs) is a 110 VAC soil heating cable for growing plant seedlings (very low heat level) wired to a switch and a cord type plug.  The top working surface over the plaster is tightly stretched heavy canvas.

 

I scrape the canvas when damp with a plastic putty knife.  If it needs more cleaning... a lightly damp sponge takes care of it.  If I am in a period of very heavy use and the plaster is getting too damp, I flip the switch overnight... and by morning.... dry.

 

I don't slap wedge.... I use the oriental spiral method.  I've replaced the canvas only a couple of times in all the time I've had it as a FT potter.  Original table, original plaster.  Good investment.

 

best,

 

...............john

Rae Reich likes this

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Wow. Thanks everyone.  This is more options than I think was previously discussed, so I'm glad I asked.  On the other hand, sometimes when given too many choices I can get a bit indecisive.  No matter...one must just...

 

                         SEIZE THE CLAY!!!

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Seems to me options are nice for the surface, but one thing to remember-a wedging table takes a lot of abuse any way you wedge. So make certain you have a good sturdy base and some way to anchor so it does not move around on you.

I wedge the way John does, and yet also use the cut and slam technique when clay is wet in some places and much drier in others. This especially happens after the clay freezes. The outside surfaces of the block will be very wet and the center pretty stiff and dry. So the first things I do are to cut off the edges reverse them back onto the block and slam each time I do this. After a few dozen of these I am ready to wedge the clay. Either of these motions requires a table that will not move when you are working the clay.

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Concrete makes a great work surface. I recommend Concrete Countertops Made SImple for ideas, tips, material choices, and long term care.  There is good information available via web search, but this book is well illustrated and covers a variety of design concepts.

 

All that being said, I still use my old 2'x2' plaster slab  more than anything, probably because I'm ornery :wacko:

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Hi, I also use plywood cover with stapled on canvas, but the board is not permanently attached to the table but attached with L brackets that keep it firmly in place so it can be removed & replaced with another board with drywall on plywood covered with canvas.

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I use #10 cotton untreated canvas duck. It shrinks nicely. Yes, nicely. 

 

Staple it under the table top edge/board. Don't worry about "how tight." 

 

Then, just get some hot water and sponge it to soak the canvas.

 

It shrinks up like blue jeans... and does not loosen with use.

 

Here' a photo of my wedging table. I also have two large work tables also covered with cotton duck.

 

It lasts for years, and mine seem to stay tight forever...

 

Luck!

Lena   

post-59424-0-13544300-1390498953_thumb.jpg

post-59424-0-13544300-1390498953_thumb.jpg

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