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#21 Stellaria


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Posted 01 April 2014 - 03:57 AM

Huh. Yeah, it sounds like you'd be a perfect candidate for the hacksaw blade tools. He sells them ready-made on etsy, too. And he has videos on how to use them, as well.

#22 ChenowethArts


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Posted 01 April 2014 - 07:04 AM

I saw this same hacksaw tool video quite a while back and have to admit that I am a huge fan!  These make terrific trim tools and great tools for 'chattering' effects.  Last Christmas, these were the best received gifts to clay-art-potter friends.  The wood handle may be extra work and not completely necessary, but it sure makes for a more comfortable fit.



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#23 Pres


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Posted 01 April 2014 - 08:13 AM

Years ago I had access to a free outlet of new band-saw blades. These were in different tooth count, so I could have some with small fine teeth, and some with courser teeth. I used a vise, and a mallet to cut them into lengths, used a pair of pliers and a belt sander to remove the burrs and shape the edges of the flat lengths, and used a torch with the mallet and a vise to bend 90's and 45s in them for trimming. These were some of the very best tools I had, and with a wooden handle, I saved broken fettling knife handles, they worrked very well. At the same time for very little cash I had a whole series of tools for the handbuilders for scraping, and scoring.


Hack saw blades are my favorite tool for leveling of a plate form before trimming in the foot. They also work very well to smooth the inside of the foot ring. I buy bulk packs from Harbor freight.

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#24 Chantay


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Posted 01 April 2014 - 09:28 AM

I will see if I can exchange a wood worker guy I know to make me some.



- chantay

#25 potterbeth


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Posted 02 April 2014 - 10:26 AM

Metal can melt though kiln wash. Check your kiln shleves. If the metal touches and permeates the kiln shelf, it will leave a metal scar that remelts with every firing and can ruin the bottom of any pot that touches it. (Words from experience when the metal wire a student decided to experiment with on a piece ended up as a puddle that melted through the wash and onto the kiln shelf. It was impossible to chisel or grind off and still active years later.)


Also, I don't think the metal came from your tools...most likely from other work with metal in the vicinity. What you're describing and what your picture shows would require losing a piece of metal from your tool that you would notice at once. Clay is abrasive (some more than others); metal tools wear down over time.

#26 MMB


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Posted 03 April 2014 - 09:52 AM

Sorry your clay got contaminated Chantay


Metal in recycled clay is a problem. My sad story is that I do metalworking in the same studio as where I throw clay. I was noticing ugly dark spots in some of my finished pieces and they turned out to be metal particles that were thrown out when I was cleaning up welds with a grinder. You would be surprised how far the grinder shaving fly... some right into my slop bucket!


I am more careful now and never aim the grinder anywhere near where the clay is being worked. I also have a fine mesh screen over the slop bucket. It slows down drying time but Keeps, at least the big chunks out. I also put a garbage bag over my wheel to keep stuff from getting into the wast tray.

Same thing for me that has had me spreading the two aspects of my studio to the far ends. Clay is on the far left, glass/wood in the middle, and metal on the far right. My angle grinder is my best friend on most days and I find that the dust can go the distance. Not to mention the wire brush pieces that fly off during use. I find them in my laundry. Ill be at work and wonder what is poking me on my shoulder...yep metal wire.


Chantay just use it as a test clay like the others have mentioned. Even for test glaze tiles, considering if there is a leeching of the metal after firing youll know it wasnt in the glaze. I have some old terra cotta that got plaster flakes in it that I use from time to time as throw away pieces. You could even use it to make supports for clay pieces during firing.

#27 HBLB229



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Posted 06 April 2014 - 03:21 AM

Oh man how do you get a big piece of metal like that in your piece without noticing it while throwing or trimming! :o

I too have worn through several trimming tools and I decided it's caused by a) cheap tools and B) trimming too dry. Since buying some good tools an being more careful about drying, I've seen leaps and bounds of improvement. It's really hard to trim with a dull tool and/dry clay. I thought I was just bad at that step, for the longest time! Now I don't have nearly as many problems.

I mostly use Laguna b-mix and I too have had problems with "stuff" in my clay! Most recently it was a length of plastic cord. Like fishing line but much thicker. Ruined a nice pot I was working on! :/

#28 Mark C.

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 02:35 AM

I checked my tools and they are still all in one piece.

I trim with a bison tool and metal will break it as will dropping it as its made from carbide.

Laguna clay has had lots of Stuff in it but most is not metal. Consideing how much clay they make its pretty low really as to contamination.

wood -rocks-caulk.


Mark Cortright

#29 ayjay


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Posted 07 April 2014 - 05:28 AM

Oh man how do you get a big piece of metal like that in your piece without noticing it while throwing or trimming! :o


The clay was a bit of a mish-mash of leftovers of various samples, I just threw a couple of mugs in a hurry  to get rid of it, I certainly never felt it whilst throwing and it wasn't visible after it had been trimmed, it just sort of popped out and appeared after it had been bisqued - I considered trying to pull it out - I considered just ditching it - in the end I just glazed it and fired it.


I've rubbed off any major protrusions with a diamond pad and am growing to like it, as do some others:  it's going on sale with some other bits at a small local sale in May, (same price as the other mugs). I'll point it out to anyone who attempts to buy it and let you know if it sells. B)

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