Wednesday, April 14, 2010

using clay to cut dies for the extruder

I've just been cutting more dies for my 4" Brent extruder barrel.  I roll out a fairly thick slab of clay, about 1/2" thick, and then cut a circle which is slightly larger that the 2-handled die holder, made of aluminum in the first picture.  After the clay circles have dried to leather-hard, and using brass hole cutters, I 'outline' the form which will be the hole through which the clay will pass, and then I 'connect the dots (holes)" to make the opening.  In the second photo, you can also see the back side, --the side which the clay hits first--, which has been opened up more with a bevelling cut around the hole, allowing the clay to pass across a more refined line as it exits the die/extruder.  I fire the dies to cone 2 (and am using Rovin's RO82m clay body).  The strength of the clay allows me to use the die over and over, and the ease of making a new die is so accessible that I can do one in relatively short time.   (the little 'D' shapped die in the first photo was made from some scrap clay I didn't want to throw away.  With the large metal washers I can block off the open area so that only the small opening is used for the extrusion.) 

Monday, April 12, 2010

cutting hardie backer board or durock for the tile base in a metal table

I have finished cutting and snipping the durock (cement board with woven fiberglass threads inside) for several small metal tables.  Here are some of the tools and a photo of the 'nipping' process which I use to remove little parts on the outer edge which need to be rounded off.