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A total newb question about trimming ....


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I tend to enjoy throwing small mouth vases and skinny neck bottles but I am having the darnedest time trouble shooting how to trim them. (Still, I realize I probably posted this question over 5 years ago) 

I don’t have a Giffen grip. 
 

I have thrown chucks but when using wet (I allow them to set up for a bit) they tend to leave marks of clay where the pot rests on them.  I have also tried putting plastic on the wet chucks so they don’t leave marks but then the piece slides around.


when I bisque a chuck, I attempt to use wads to keep the piece centered and clay wads don’t seem to stick well when I use a bisqued chuck. 
 

I know I’m probably doing something super obvious but I can’t seem to figure it out. 

please help me figure this out. I have been altering my throwing to make the bottoms thin and pre trim freshly thrown pieces on the wheel head before removing them. But I would like to be able to trim more sometimes. 

Edited by Rebekah Krieger
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I try to trim a small mouth bottle as much as possible right after throwing it, when the bottle is still right side up and attached to its batt, using a Dolan 120 tool.

https://www.baileypottery.com/c-096-120.html

Then I finish trimming when leather hard on a bisqued chuck. I don’t use clay wads, I just work gently and slowly, and re-center the pot every time I knock it off center. But there’s usually very little trimming to do. 

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One way you have not tried is wet the wheel head and center the vase back onto wheel head . It will stick down with a damp surface. Then once centered (tap centering really helps )but one can do it other ways. Now its easy to trim the vase (except for very bottom). I do this on say a large pitcher  with a spout as long as my bottom is not thick.

The bisqued collars work as well. Maybe you are trimming to wet if they are getting marked up?

Edited by Mark C.
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Yeah, if you’ve got a drastic taper, you’re better off avoiding trimming where possible. A neatly rolled foot can give a vase a subtle lift, and is less time consuming. But if you have to trim them:

One thing that is less widely taught about bisque chucks than it should be is that you have to soak the chuck before using it. Otherwise, it absorbs water from the clay wads, and makes them shrink and loosen, which I think might be what you’ve observed. Dunk it in a bucket for 10 minutes before trimming and pat it dry.

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2 hours ago, Rebekah Krieger said:

I tend to enjoy throwing small mouth vases and skinny neck bottles but I am having the darnedest time trouble shooting how to trim them. (Still, I realize I probably posted this question over 5 years ago) 

I don’t have a Giffen grip. 
 

I have thrown chucks but when using wet (I allow them to set up for a bit) they tend to leave marks of clay where the pot rests on them.  I have also tried putting plastic on the wet chucks so they don’t leave marks but then the piece slides around.   ...

I know I’m probably doing something super obvious but I can’t seem to figure it out. 

please help me figure this out.  ... 

I solved this problem twice with different approaches:

1. I made a "chuck" out of a big lump of moist clay; did not center the lump, just "centered" a hole in the lump, covered the hole with a cotton handkerchief; placed the bottle in the "hole" and started trimming. when all the trimming was done, the "chuck" was wedged and put back in the clay bag to be used for making pots (or chucks).  

2. Since each bottle was on a separate bat, I set the bat aside for the bottle to stiffen, and then trimmed bottle already stuck to the bat.  the bottom thickness was cut by hand with a knife or a sharpened spoon. 

Have seen others used a tin can attached to a bat and lined with soft foam.  

LT
 

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Like Callie said, soak your bisque chucks ahead of time so that they don't suck the moisture out of the clay you use to protect the bottle. One other tip is don't use clay wads. Use a thick coil on the bisque chuck instead, then use a trimming tool to cut the coil into a symmetrical surface. Assuming your bottle is symmetrical it will drop right in vs. needing to adjust the wads to center and level the bottle.

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when I bisque a chuck, I attempt to use wads to keep the piece centered and clay wads don’t seem to stick well when I use a bisqued chuck. 

 

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I agree that when using a chuck put a soft clay coil around the top of the chuck.  I use 'chucks' which are anything in the house that will fit the neck of the pot.  I don't have room to store bisqued chucks.  Lin

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I use a bisqued chuck and a square piece of 1/4" thick foam in which I have cut an "X" across the center. I put the X cut in the foam piece over the neck of the bottle and then invert the bottle onto the chuck. The thin foam both aids in holding the bottle in place in the chuck and avoids the marks on the shoulder made by the hard chuck.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey Rebekah,

I trim everything right side up.   For things like pitchers I trim the top and incise the lip before I pull the spout.  I used to trim like everyone else but over the years,  have morphed into this method.   :)

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35 minutes ago, akilspots said:

i've never really liked bisque chucks now i will just throw a quick chuck then torch it with one of those handheld bernzomatic torches till it's stiff enough to hold whatever bottle i'm trimming.

I do the same.  My bisque chucks sit on a shelf because they're kind of a pain, the leather hard ones are best

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