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Plaster/hydro-Stone Bats


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#1 John Hertzfeld

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 08:26 PM

What are your thoughts on plaster bats? I have seen two casting systems, the Lester system and the pure & simple system (links below). Does anyone have experience with either of these or another simply reproducible system?

Another thing, I was thinking about using hydro-stone (usg) for a more durable work surface.

I am aware of other bat options, I have a couple types I use now. I'd like to have a better handle on a system before spending the money on a system.

http://www.axner.com...ompleteset.aspx
http://www.pspottery..._bat_molds.html

#2 schmism

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 08:57 PM

In my world a plaster bat for throwing would be fragile.  I KNOW i would shave plaster off that would wind up in the clay creating problems.   

 

I make plastic ABS bats from 4x8 sheets of ABS i can get at menards.   Just like the black plastic ones you find online.  

 

I also have made masonite bats which work fine for the work i do.  They do warp slightly when your drying large bowls/plates on them overnight because they absorb water out of the bottom of the bowls.   Once they dry out completely they flatten back out else i just flip them over and use them on the other side (cup side down)



#3 John Hertzfeld

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 09:08 PM

Yes, I feel that I would be shaving a certain amount of plaster each time as well, that is my reason for thinking about hydro-stone.

#4 Min

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 09:55 PM

I have been using plaster batts for a long time. I made them with #1 Pottery plaster and springform cake pan rings. I have yet to have any blowouts from plaster getting in the clay, and don't find them fragile. I really like them for wide base platters.

I don't have pin holes in any of my batts, if you need them to have holes for wheelhead pins I have read that you can make them by putting a short piece of plastic tubing (like for aquariums) over the pins on the wheelhead and cast directly on the wheel. If you do it this way the tubing supposedly stays with the batt so the holes are less likely to get loose. I have also used a giant embroidery hoop for my really big batts and cast them on a counter top without the pinholes.

If you don't need batt pin holes plaster batts stay firmly in place with the Xiem Batt Mate.

edit: I have also seen a potter use a giffen grip to hold the batt on the wheel head. This would be useful if you take the pot of the wheel then need to put it back on again with less time spent centering it.



#5 Mark C.

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 10:14 PM

I throw about 90% of my production pots on plaster bats

I never get plaster in pots

I am familiar with pure and simple (I even own a plastic mold system from her as it came with some other stuff I bought once)

They live just a few hours from me.(pure and simple)

I do not use any of that for bats

I make my own as you can-you can use pottery 1# or casting plaster for more hardness.-mine are all 1# pottery plaster as it sucks water very well as far as drying. They wear over time just part of the deal.They will last you many many years.

I throw on over 50-80 of them every throwing day just about.

They suck the clay dry and release the forms same day or next -whatever you need.

They dry out in an hour of sunlight or heated shop in winter

I use small metal pie pans for most small work

These are a bit harder to find but you can find on the net find them-I think thru amazon last time

They are 5 inch on the bottom of taper and 6.5 on the top.

If I throw 7-8#s of clay or larger I use a plaster bats made form regular 9 inch metal pie pan(at the top)

These forms are also at resturant supply stores

I do not use metal tools with them mostly wood tools so I do not gouge them

I stick them to a clay pad I throw on the wheel head-I keep this wet and covered for about 1 week before needing a new pad. Use an tool to pop bats off and water to stick them down.Rough the pad while turning when adding water.

You can see them here in this photo.

Since I carry a ware board full of pots(and bats) I need them to not be huge-When I started potting in the 70s I wanted large bats since those days I have learned that smaller is better

This also can be sanded smooth again every 5 years of heavy production

I have about 80-100 of them in both sizes.

I use plastic bats for large flat work-like pie plates or chip and dips or dinnerware plates.

This post made me think I need to put that system up on potterbarter some day

You can see more of them in photos in my gallery.

Mark

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Mark Cortright
www.liscomhillpottery.com

#6 John Hertzfeld

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 10:47 PM

pm me with a price and I might save you some time...

 


"I am familiar with pure and simple (I even own a plastic mold system from her as it came with some other stuff I bought once)

They live just a few hours from me.(pure and simple)" Mark C.

 



#7 fullmoon

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 08:02 AM

I have used the Lester system for about 8 years and recently used Hydro-stone to cast the bats.  I have cracked one of the #1 plaster bats throwing ~12 pounds of clay down, but I probably had something under the bat. I have had two of the plastic "pin holes" break out of the plaster and therefore recently tried Hydro-stone.  I think the plaster bats dry somewhat faster but have been very satisfied with both. After casting the bat I do bevel the entrance to the pin hole a bit more  to make it easier to get the bat over the pins.  They stay centered , have a very smooth surface against my hands and I have not seen anything suggesting plaster in my pots.I cast them on Formica sink cut outs  that you can usually get for free from a cabinet shop,producing a very smooth top surface.

Jack



#8 MichaelP

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Posted 29 June 2014 - 03:36 AM

I like Versa-Bat system (http://www.dickblick...rsa-bat-system/) and use it with commercial and DIY Hydro-Stone tiles. No need to worry about the pin holes.

 

I made templates using large plastic kitchen cutting boards: I just cut properly sized square openings there. The boards have the same thickness as the tiles I make. Each board allows me to make a few tiles in one shot (2-4 depending on tile size).  I lubricate the templates, attach them to a piece of old Formica countertop using clamps, spray everything with soupy water and pour Hydro-Stone. Placing something flat (glass or another piece of Formica covered board) on the top surface of Hydro-Stone would make is smoother, but I'm fine without it. A simple cleanup/filing off sharp corners is all that is needed afterwords. Slight lubrication of templates (using oil, grease, vaseline, etc.) along with the flexibility of the plastic boards make removal of tiles easier. One day I'll get a thicker plastic and make "real" molds (pockets instead of holes) to eliminate the need of attaching them to a smooth surface.

 

When I need a large bat, I use Hydro-Bats made by The Ceramic Shop guys: http://www.thecerami...3/Standard-Bats They work with standard wheel head pins.



#9 Benzine

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Posted 29 June 2014 - 09:06 AM

Michael, I purchased the Wonderbat system, that is similar to the Versa-Bat system, but it only accepts one size of square inserts. It is a cheaper system though, Thirty five bucks, and it comes with six inserts.
I actually thout about purchasing some for my clasroom wheels, but I'm just afraid they'd get a little beat up. The inserts are snug, and I could see a student using some heavy duty tool to remove the insert, and chip the bat..... ah youngins'...
"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#10 MichaelP

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Posted 29 June 2014 - 10:50 AM

Benzine,

 

I use the wide end of this type of bottle opener to gently pry the tiles: http://www.amazon.co...s=bottle opener Versa-Bat has access notches on two opposite sides of the tile bed to catch the tiles.

 

Let the youngsters work with Masonite tiles to get a feel of the system.

 

Mike



#11 Wyndham

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Posted 29 June 2014 - 01:11 PM

For a DIY, get a12" round plasti bat and cut an 8" sq out of the middle, notch one corner to get the bats out. Then go to home depot and have them cut a 8ft x 4ft hard on both sides 1/4 in Masonite board  to 8 inch squares. They charge a few dollars for the cutting. You'll have all the bats you need for a long time.

Do that again with 6 x6 in for mugs.

Glue several, maybe 3, Masonite 12inch  bats together and cut out the 8x8 in sq with a jig or scroll saw and make the plaster of hydrostone inserts on the cheap

 

Wyndham



#12 Benzine

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Posted 29 June 2014 - 06:17 PM

Michael,  I have plastic Speedball bats, for three of my four wheels.  The fourth wheel has a recessed head, so I cast an inner portion, for a bat to sit into, with a notch.  There tends to be a bit of suction, due to the water and slurry involved.  I have found something that works well (Second tool down, right below the wire):

 

http://www.dickblick...addle-tool-set/

 

It has the curved, tapered end, that can be used to pry the bat up.  That's not why I bought the tool set, but hey, it's a nice little bonus.  

 

Whyndham, that's a great solution.  I'd imagine you'd have to sand the Plastibat a little bit, after cutting out the square.  Cut plexiglass is pretty sharp, so I'd imagine a Plastibat is as well.


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#13 Wyndham

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Posted 29 June 2014 - 08:09 PM

Yea there's a bit of cleanup. Plasti-bats sorta melt & cut at the same time and my cut was less then perfect, but it shows up for works everyday.

The bats I'm talking about are the solid black plastic ones.

Wyndham



#14 John Hertzfeld

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Posted 12 November 2014 - 10:10 AM

Ok, so I finally got around to making a chuck and casting some plaster bats. The chuck is a $6 bar stool seat that I chose for its thickness, 1" boards tend to warp. I drilled holes in the bottom and formed some scrap into the shapes that form the chuck, a groove was put into the surface to allow the chuck to center to the pan while casting.

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#15 fergusonjeff

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Posted 12 November 2014 - 11:29 AM

I almost purchased the bat system (I think called Pure and Simple) John has made for himself, but I backed out at the last minute.  I have had lots of warping issued with wonderbats and was looking for something more stable.  I ended up casting simple round plaster bats (mostly using pie plates and slices of concrete tube forms) and they work really well.  I use a bat mate and the plaster just sticks to it as suggested by someone on this list.  I have used them hundreds of times and not had a single bat slip or wobble since.  If anythinig they can be a little difficult to pry off the bat mate.  Cost is probably around $0.50/bat.






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