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Everything posted by e.s.malte

  1. I dried the tiles that I carefully extruded at right angles to the handle of my extruder so that they came out of the extruder straight. They have remained pretty straight after drying . I'll try the other suggestions such as using drier clay but for now I'm quite happy - thanks for your help everyone The Big Blue is made by North Star - it looks great but is quite expensive and takes an age to get in the UK (I've been quoted August / September for delivery). Thanks again!
  2. Thanks for the replies everyone. I knew that the ready-made North Star dies had an angle on them. Unfortunately my extruder is fairly basic and only really has room for a 3 or at most 4mm thick die (most of my dies, including those in the photo above, are 3mm aluminium). I'm in the market for a new one - either a Bailey or North Star I think - I will definitely make the new dies with an angle. I extruded a few feet of clay through one of the apertures in the first die in the photo above this afternoon, ensuring that the axis of the aperture was at right angles to the extruder handle. It came out reasonably straight after the first couple of inches; I'll report back how it dries! I also take the point that extruding may not be the best method for making these forms and I'll investigate other techniques as well. Thanks again for the guidance everyone.
  3. Thanks for your replies Mark C and Chilly. I've attached a picture of two of my border extrusion dies. I haven't paid any attention to the alignment of the apertures when extruding, and I guess the extrusions are probably coming out with a slight curve if I haven't aligned the apertures with the axis of the extruder handle. I thought that if I straightened them on placing them on the plasterboard that they would stay straight. I'll try ensuring that the extrusions are straight when they emerge from the extruder and see how they dry. I will try cutting from a sheet as well, although as you can see, most of the extrusion are not simple rectangles in cross-section. I'll also try varying the consistency of the clay (thanks Chilly) to see whether that helps. I'll report back to this thread in a few days - thanks for your suggestions.
  4. I've started making tiles and am successfully keeping them flat during drying by sandwiching them between pieces of plasterboard (drywall). All of my tiles are about 3/8" (10mm) thick. However, when drying border pieces, say 1" x 4" x 3/8", although they stay flat (in the z-axis), they nearly always bend upwards or downwards (in the y-axis). I'm using molochite-grogged clay appropriate for tiles and using a wall mounted extruder to make the borders. I'm drying the borders very slowly, say for a couple of weeks, but they nearly always bend by the time they've dried. Does anybody have any suggestions as to how I can stop this? I've tried using pieces of wood between the plasterboard to constrain the bending and butting many rows of the border tiles up against each other to try to keep them straight, without much success. I'm trying to make several feet of the borders at a time. There must be an established way to do this, judging by the amount of straight border tiles I see almost every day! Perhaps a dedicated type of drying rack? I've searched in vain to find one. Thanks in advance for your help.
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