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Melissa F.

Will wood particles in my clay cause any major problems?

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Searched around for similar posts and only found one. So I’ve been gifted a large wooden table with a particle board top that I’ve been using for wedging. As of late lots of little bits of the particle board are getting stuck to the clay when I’m rolling out for hand building. They aren’t deeply embedded but deep enough that I’d mess up  my pieces if I tried to wash them out. I’m using a sandy buff stoneware from standard ceramic (509). These pieces are going to be a bit more rustic in look so I won’t mind if there are tiny divots after firing, but my main concerns are 1) Will it negatively affect the kiln at all (I use someone else’s) and 2) will it affect how the glaze takes 

(I can never attach a photo as it always says they are too large...any tips for that as well?)

thanks friends! 

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I don't think you have anything to worry about, my reclaim routinely has chunks of bark and leaves and bugs in it and it comes out just fine.  Your kiln will be fine too and it shouldn't affect the glaze since it will burn out in bisque firing

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The odd piece of organic material will burn out.  I'd pick out any piece that I found, but especially my recycled clay will come out of the bisque fire with an occasionally divot where something burned out.  I'd fix the table so it's not an ongoing issue, It would be really hard to quantify the amount of organic material that is burned out of commercial clay.  Let's just say that there is some.  And you have some more.

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2 minutes ago, Melissa F. said:

Awesome thanks guys! If sanding it down doesn’t take care of it I’ll put a piece of solid wood on top or fill it w plaster. 

I love my plywood top wedging table, unless I'm wedging for an hour straight it releases the clay perfectly every time.

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A plaster table is really handy for adjusting wet clay to a dryer state.  Lots of reasons why you would want to do that.  If made correctly, it will hold up fine.  Mine is almost 20 years.  I have a canvas cover tied down and another on a frame to slip over.  One for dark clay, one for light.  Never sticks to clay.

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12 hours ago, liambesaw said:

I love my plywood top wedging table, unless I'm wedging for an hour straight it releases the clay perfectly every time.

Do you find you need to replace the plywood frequently due to peeling? 

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56 minutes ago, CactusPots said:

A plaster table is really handy for adjusting wet clay to a dryer state.  Lots of reasons why you would want to do that.  If made correctly, it will hold up fine.  Mine is almost 20 years.  I have a canvas cover tied down and another on a frame to slip over.  One for dark clay, one for light.  Never sticks to clay.

I’ve made a few plaster slabs for wedging but one broke because I didn’t let it cure long enough. I also had issues with plaster dust getting into the clay but I’m assuming that’s also because it wasn’t cured long enough or I didn’t sand it enough. Either way can’t beat plaster for reclaim! Makes the job so easy. 

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32 minutes ago, Melissa F. said:

Do you find you need to replace the plywood frequently due to peeling? 

Nope, but I've only been using it a year.  It was a cheap 2x2 section of 3/4 Baltic birch, just a scrap at home Depot that cost me 5 bucks.

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For sure it has to properly cure.  I use hardware cloth inside the slab for strength .  It's like chicken wire with 1/4" squares. 

I'd make it 2" thick for a wedging table that's going to get body slams of clay.

The canvas cover contains any dust from plaster.

Baltic birch is high end plywood, not the cheap stuff.   I would expect a full sheet to be more than $50  even for thin  Excellent score.

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33 minutes ago, CactusPots said:

For sure it has to properly cure.  I use hardware cloth inside the slab for strength .  It's like chicken wire with 1/4" squares. 

I'd make it 2" thick for a wedging table that's going to get body slams of clay.

The canvas cover contains any dust from plaster.

Baltic birch is high end plywood, not the cheap stuff.   I would expect a full sheet to be more than $50  even for thin  Excellent score.

That's about the price I paid, a little discount since it was a scrap, but I only needed a 2x2 square

IMG_20190401_105843_253-1209x1209.jpg

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