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Leola

Making Tubes Clay

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My question is, how do i create tubes from clay. 

I need to make tubes, but im fighting with the clay. I did it on the wheel but these are actually to big. 

And i want symmetrical sharp tubes to create. Does anyone have a idea how to do this?

 

The other things is that i want a u-bend of a clay tube, but also sharply. Maybe the only possible way is slipcasting?

Some told me that it is possible to bend a wheel thrown cylinder , but until now it didn't work out for me sharply and keeping the symetrical shape of the cylinder in tact (sorry if my english is not so good. )

 

I hope anybody can provide me with tips. It would be very helpfull for my process, thank you

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An extruder would be the simplest way to make nice tubes. You can even make your own dies if needed. For a u-bend, extruded may work if you can bend the clay as it comes out of the extruder, although you'd still have to bend it more afterwards, which may collapse it. People on here who extrude would know best. Slip casting would always work.

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These are made easy with an extruder depending on diametere and length needed. You can use an expansion box on the head of an extruder and make very large diameter ones as well. You will need a hollow core adapotor to make them hollow in center. The extruder book  lays all this out if I recall.Any top brand extruder-brent- baily-scott creet has these adaptors. You can make your own as well.

If longer tubes are are needed a pug mill can extrude them as well like a shimpo-baily or etter pugger.

 

Mark

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Thank you so much for the helpfull comments. 

Since i dont have a lot of money for a extruder, was lucky to find this just now

http://ceramicartsdaily.org/ceramic-studio-equipment/clay-extruders/diy-clay-tools-video-contest-finalist-2/

Going to try it! 

Thanks again for the fast reply and helpfull information, getting really excited to make one now

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I have pulled tubes of clay over a dowel. Once pulled, you roll the dowel lightly to loosen the tube from the dowel. These are good for straight tubes, and slight curves. I have also cut these at angles and rotated 180 to get 90 degree turns or 45's or whatever you need. I learned the technique years ago from a student at Penn State that was making pipes to sell at the Penn State festival-early years 1974 or so.

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extruder works great like already stated.  if they are larger diameter tubes, you could also hand build them over a form - something like a PVC/ABS pipe or Sonotube.  Just make slabs of clay and wrap around a tube that's got a layer of newspaper wrapped around it (so it doesn't stick to tube).  smaller tubes with dowel technique works great also, especially since it's a fast method - just make a coil and shove dowel down the center (size of dowel and clay coil depend on size desired), then roll it a few times to expand the clay and release from dowel like Pres described above.

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For the most part, I use the method that Pres describes.  I have the same challenge that you describe making sharp turns or U-turns with tubes.  The same method can apply by compressing and gradually bending a tube off of a dowel.  I still make my sharpest turns on the wheel, throwing a tubular ring, and then trimming it to a round contour.

Making tubular horns, I use a spoutmaker (from Axner, I think) to make tapered tubes...it is about 18" long (see below)  The process is basically the same as using a dowel, but the result is a tapered tube:
spoutmaker.jpg

Combining the curved tubes and the tapered tools, I have made a number of musical instruments like the one below:
tall-mugphlute_2013.jpg

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Michael Sherrell (Mud Tools)

makes amazing forms from extruded tubes. Check his work out.

 

I use tubes of all sizes by preparing a paper sleeve around the tube. Then I wrap a slab of clay around them both join the seam and slide the clay tube off. If you look at some old PMIs maybe you'll find my article on Bird baths. That lis how I make the stem.this photo is from my architectural ceramics workshop at La meridiana in 2003. One of my students is removing PVC pipe from the tube. For large tubes, the outside is wrapped in tarpaper for support.

post-1954-0-69645800-1392770131_thumb.jpg

post-1954-0-69645800-1392770131_thumb.jpg

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