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cstovin

Argh!! Giffin grip gripe, anyone else have issues?

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I am about to toss this thing through the window; I’m at a loss....I’ve had it about a year, have a shimpco whisper wheel.

its taking me 15 minutes minimum to trim a wine cup; I have a bat under the trimmer, there is over 1/8” of play once it’s tight to the pottery; 

once I get something centered, it’s constantly knocked off center because the hands don’t grip tight enough?  Out of 15 cups, I have 7 now that aren’t terrible but the doors are lopsided

 

anyone else have issues like this?  I called the place I got it from, “too bad”;  this was supposed to make life faster and easier; I HATE trimming on a piece of foam, but even that’s better?

any ideas?

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10 hours ago, cstovin said:

I am about to toss this thing through the window; I’m at a loss....I’ve had it about a year, have a shimpco whisper wheel.

its taking me 15 minutes minimum to trim a wine cup; I have a bat under the trimmer, there is over 1/8” of play once it’s tight to the pottery; 

once I get something centered, it’s constantly knocked off center because the hands don’t grip tight enough?  Out of 15 cups, I have 7 now that aren’t terrible but the doors are lopsided

 

anyone else have issues like this?  I called the place I got it from, “too bad”;  this was supposed to make life faster and easier; I HATE trimming on a piece of foam, but even that’s better?

any ideas?

A few questions and suggestions:

Why do you have your GiffinGrip on a bat? I have mine adhered directly to my wheel head and it clips on nice and tight. 

Have you tried dismantling it, bringing it back to the factory set up and re-assembling it? Maybe that's why there's some wiggle?

You've had it a year, has it always done this? 

I noticed that with mine if I tried to trim when my pieces were just a hair too soft, I would get squeamish about tightening the pieces all the way to avoid warping the piece near the rim. But once I recognized the problem and waited until they were a little harder, I found I could tighten it very strongly and it would hold the piece just fine. There are also some different holder pieces, some that come with the GiffenGrip and some you can buy extra that are made for different shapes and made to be able to move closer to the center of the wheel if you need to trim narrower pieces. Also the ones with poles, that hold a piece higher up. Hope any of this helps. Good luck. Maybe try calling/emailing Giffen Grip directly? I had an issue a while ago and they were very helpful over email. 

K

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I agree, the grip should be directly on the wheel head and tight.  It should run true.  If you put your finger on the rim and rotate the wheel, it should run true all the way around.  With the pot centered and tightened up, it should run true.  There should be no play between the 2 main pieces of the grip.  The choice of grabbers should be close to the top of the pot.

This is a bitchen tool, something is wrong that can be corrected.

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I read something about turning the grips around, sounds like a setup issue.

I read something more valuable, about how this is a crutch and we shouldn't use it.

Sorce

 

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1 minute ago, Sorcery said:

I read something more valuable, about how this is a crutch and we shouldn't use it.

Sorce

 

That was probably from me! I'm not a big fan of tools like the Giffin Grip if they're being used in place of learning a skill. I don't allow them in my studio because it causes too many problems between the advanced students and the beginners, and my studio is supposed to be a place for learning, not just doing. I really push mastering the foundation skills, including centering for trimming. But if you've learned how to center and trim well without one, and it makes your life easier, then go for it. Personally, I've found that there are too many limitations with the Giffin Grip to make me feel like I need one.

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I think I've read your Griffin gripes!

I don't throw at all, but what makes the most sense to me, is this scenario where, one has a thousands cups to trim, a broken Griffin grip, and, well isn't this the perfect time!, An inability to get a new part or unit......

And not having that crutch makes you not able to pay rent, you lose your housing, end up divorced, and kicking a wheel somewhere in a shack In The woods, whistling primitive tunes, while learning to trim like a real potter!

I personally, also find the sausages useless, or, crutchy...

I wonder/know, that this product likely only exists because people don't keep their tools sharp enough. 

It's not like pots haven't been made for thousands of years without this. Only now that 8 of 10 humans are .... PC?...slow...ah...

Such a strong opinion from a handbuilder!

Hahaha! 

Sorce

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I learned on a Giffen Grip.  And I have to agree with Neil, it did set me back a bit with my trimming skills.  I now mostly use a foam bat(I really like to trim now!) or center on the wheelhead,   however, I have found the Giffen grip to be helpful with tall pieces.  So that is what I use it for.  When my giffen grip arrived lo those many years ago, it was warped. Badly.  I called the company and they were wonderful.  That is always my first tactic.  Call the company.  Maybe a couple of times.  Like the threads on customer service, it is important for companies to have repeat customers.  So they sent a new one and I returned the warped one.  Please contact them again. 

Roberta

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So I have always said learning to trim comes 1st as its a skill I use weekly -that saids my giffins save me time as a production potter. U still trim pots teh old ways as well depending on the form.That said triming 40 cereal bowls the giffin save about 1/2 the time.

so here are some suggestions take your grip apart and clean it-I lube mine with silcon spray once a year as it gets sticky and does not slide-spray the bottom piece not the top.

Make sure the setup is spot on and  set the grip up directly on the wheel head if you can. Spend the time getting it set up right so its dead on true and has no play.

Then it should slide  easy and the grips will work well.

I think its all in the setup (your issue)

Edited by Mark C.

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After 4 years of trimming I purchased a Griffin Gripp and love it. There are things I do not use it for but to me it is worth it. The tabs on the bottom can be finicky to get in the right place but it should  be tight on the wheel head and not on a bat. Look closely at the tab settings they are small to read and might need a magnifying glass. Make sure they are all set exactly  the same, don't give up on it yet and make it fit the wheel head correctly.

Only issue I have had is sometimes when I run the holders all the way in one of the holder jam or get out of line.

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I tap center and use chucks, but not because I view the giffin grip as a crutch, just because they're so expensive! Holy cow!  Chucks and lugs are free and haven't set me back any.  For bowls and plates I use a foam bat and id be willing to bet it's faster than using a giffin grip, just because I set a bowl on, tap tap trim, no lugs, no problem.

If I come across a good deal on a giffin I'll grab it, seems handy for decorating as well.

 

If you feel yours is defective I'd give them a call and see if they can help you out.  

Edited by liambesaw

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I have been using a GG since they first came out years ago. I had at that time been doing all of the other options, centering on wheel head, wet thrown chucks, bisque thrown chucks, hump chucks for bowls, bowl chucks. All that said, when it came to large platters, or chalices, or really tall narrow vases, pitchers with pulled and uneven tops, or some other pieces, these options were often frustrating or inadequate. Along came the GG, and I first relearned how to trim, how to place the arms for best trimming, when to use just the pads on the bottom or use arms or use the reversed pads for large diameters. Then I started using plumbing parts to create chucks for things like chalice stems, or trimming honey jar lids or other pieces. Go back to not using the GG, NEVER! Do I still center by hand, on occasion, but compare the time for 50 mug trims by hand centering and by using a GG. The experienced GG user will beat the centering by hand easily, and the result is the same.

IMHO

 

best,

Pres

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2 hours ago, neilestrick said:

That was probably from me! I'm not a big fan of tools like the Giffin Grip if they're being used in place of learning a skill. I don't allow them in my studio because it causes too many problems between the advanced students and the beginners, and my studio is supposed to be a place for learning, not just doing. I really push mastering the foundation skills, including centering for trimming. But if you've learned how to center and trim well without one, and it makes your life easier, then go for it. Personally, I've found that there are too many limitations with the Giffin Grip to make me feel like I need one.

Respectfully

Couldn't disagree more.  In our age, probably hundreds of skills are discarded every year in technology.  I don't know how many people drive a stick shift (as an example) or learned this year, but fewer all the time.  I guess all firing in your studio is not some kind of wood fire kiln, cause that's a skill probably none of have from start to finish.  Skills are only retained as long as they are useful, and then forgotten.  It takes me a lot longer to tap on center, because it's not a useful skill for me.  Otherwise it can only  become an object of affection for anachronistic purposes.

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Truly, some skills are archaic, but something to be said for the basics. That said, I never. . . . never allowed students to use the GG until they had mastered centering with clay chocks or water to hold center/hold down then to trim. The idea that when they would go to college, or another studio or have their own, maybe there would or wouldn't be a GG. If only one, do you wait to trim a mug, or try to learn how to get along with out. My belief is to be able to do without, then never have to rely on the technology.  I taught at a HS with 6 wheels, and usually had 6-12 students in the Ceramics 2 classes. With one GG in the early years, you can see how there would be a problem. Take that to a college or studio direction where there may be 20 students. Do you buy 20 GG's?

 

best,

Pres

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Learning to tap center is a skill I have used for 45 years -still use it every month even though I own 3 griffen grips

Having more skills is better than less skills

If you want to  really get it here is one 

driving a stick shift and an auto-you might say well all my cars are auto and I do not need to know that stick shift stuff but wait you are in a small third world contry and all the rentals are stick shift -maybe it even in a new world country .

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I hardly ever use it anymore. I like using a foam bat so much more. With sharpie rings at almost every conceivable size it seems so much more convenient but I prob don't make near the number of different forms that need trimming that many of you guys make (A lot of mugs and cups) and trimming is really just a minute or two hit and the GG also seemed to be more likely to cause slight warping for me (my error I am sure) and take more time than it was worth to setup. Ditto with wads of clay. The foam with a light hand to steady just seems to work really well.  

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35 minutes ago, Mark C. said:

Learning to tap center is a skill I have used for 45 years -still use it every month even though I own 3 griffen grips

Having more skills is better than less skills

If you want to  really get it here is one 

driving a stick shift and an auto-you might say well all my cars are auto and I do not need to know that stick shift stuff but wait you are in a small third world contry and all the rentals are stick shift -maybe it even in a new world country .

I call my clutch Jeep "Millennial Theft Proof". 

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An issue with the GG and a Shimpo wheel is that the mechanism of the GG is that counterclockwise torque (assuming a typical US counterclockwise wheel) on the base of the GG causes the inertia of the sliding top to press clockwise with respect to the base, which causes the arms to move inward on their spiral tracks. This is exactly the same as the initial tightening on the ware while putting it in the center. This keeps it gripped during the trimming. However,  the Shimpo wheel stops very quickly when you back off the pedal, much faster than other brands. As a consequence, the top of the GG tends to keep some of its counterclockwise momentum with respect to the now stopped base, which has the effect of very slightly loosening the arms. It is at that point where the ware moves off center, but you probably didn't notice it happening.

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This thread has brought up another interesting comparison that I don't doubt has been covered before.  The teaching/shared workspace environment and the solo studio.  Whether the solo studio is a production potter or someone like me who is something else, the focus and requirements just are not the same.   I can confidently say I've never needed to tap center and others can cry heresy.  I guess both are true.

The GG is the simplest, most durable, effective tool for the job.  IMO (as always)

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4 minutes ago, Dick White said:

An issue with the GG and a Shimpo wheel is that the mechanism of the GG is that counterclockwise torque (assuming a typical US counterclockwise wheel) on the base of the GG causes the inertia of the sliding top to press clockwise with respect to the base, which causes the arms to move inward on their spiral tracks. This is exactly the same as the initial tightening on the ware while putting it in the center. This keeps it gripped during the trimming. However,  the Shimpo wheel stops very quickly when you back off the pedal, much faster than other brands. As a consequence, the top of the GG tends to keep some of its counterclockwise momentum with respect to the now stopped base, which has the effect of very slightly loosening the arms. It is at that point where the ware moves off center, but you probably didn't notice it happening.

Use a piece of rubber shelf liner material to reinforce the ability to hold center.   Also protects the possibly over dried rim.

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rubber stop/disk of sorts doesn’t help; I slow the wheel down slowly, I knew about the wheels tendency to stop too fast; I can center, tighten the GG and have it immediately off center, so frustrated; it doesn’t matter if it’s a cup or a 5 pound pot; same resulted :(

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Since you have had one work before with no issues-whats the differeance now-the wheel -the bat its on?? you or the GG?

whatever it is Its most likely operator related 

As I said get rid of the Bat (just another out of round issue) and try the setup again (aligned the grip feet to wheel head) like you do when its new. Start over and then see what happens. I have usaed one a a whisper before so Iknow its not the wheel.

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5 hours ago, CactusPots said:

Respectfully

Couldn't disagree more.  In our age, probably hundreds of skills are discarded every year in technology.  I don't know how many people drive a stick shift (as an example) or learned this year, but fewer all the time.  I guess all firing in your studio is not some kind of wood fire kiln, cause that's a skill probably none of have from start to finish.  Skills are only retained as long as they are useful, and then forgotten.  It takes me a lot longer to tap on center, because it's not a useful skill for me.  Otherwise it can only  become an object of affection for anachronistic purposes.

So learning how to trim without a Giffin Grip is no longer a useful skill? I should require every student to buy a Giffin Grip if they want to learn how to trim in my classes?

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5 minutes ago, neilestrick said:

So learning how to trim without a Giffin Grip is no longer a useful skill? I should require every student to buy a Giffin Grip if they want to learn how to trim in my classes?

Would make your job a lot easier :lol:

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