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phicri72

Drying Slab Built, Lidded Boxes

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I just made my first slab built box with a removable lid. I did the kind where you measure down about an inch and cut around the box, not a design with a lid that just sits on top. My question is, after cutting out the lid, adding a handle, smoothing where the two pieces meet to insure a good fit, but still have smooth edges, etc...how do I go about drying the piece? They are a little less than leather hard. Should I just leave the pieces together so they shrink relative to each other? Do I need to put a hole in either piece even though the place where the lid rests on the box is not airtight? Will the two pieces just end up sticking together due to moisture and gravity? Sorry for all of the questions. I can find all sorts of answers on through google on how to bisque and glaze fire them, but really nothing about drying them beforehand. 

Thanks for any info!

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Leave the pieces together so that they dry evenly, as you mentioned. No need for additional air holes.

If the lid is very tight and/or the handle may be fragile place a strip of paper across the opening before placing the lid in its seat so that if it's difficult to remove (doubtful) you can lift it out with the paper strip.

Dry it slowly so that the joints won't open. A damp box is ideal, or place a bucket upside down over it. Simply a precaution.

Good luck.

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You might want to put a tab of clay either on the lid or the pot than can catch the opposite edge to keep the lid from sliding off if it is bumped.  Some paper clay will help it stick, hoping this makes sense I haven't had my coffee yet.  Denice

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A few questions about your box. When you cut the lid, did you use an angle on your knife to create a gallery like effect that allows the two pieces to fit together and not slid too much? If not did you use a curved line all the way around? If no that did you add an extra narrow slab inside of the lid or the pot to fit into the other piece to make the two hold together? Some form of gallery/galley such as these will help to make your piece much more useful, and less chance of having the lid damaged. As to drying, if inside with forced air heat, I would cover the pot with a plastic trash bag to help it dry slower. If in indirect electric heat, uncovered is probably OK. 

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