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Modeling Tools
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Stuart



Joined: 29 Nov 2006
Posts: 834

PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 7:47 am    Post subject: Modeling Tools Reply with quote

The best thing I can suggest is to make all your own tools.
The wooden tools are mostly spatula shaped at one end and a variety of shapes at the other, mostly made in boxwood or similar tightly grained woods to avoid splitting and too much absorption of water from the clay. (causing the clay to stick to the tool.) Very frustrating!!

'Drag tools' you can make with old pencils paint brushes or whatever and make the loops and square ends from bits of various sizes of sprung steel. Small engineering companies . Guitar strings are good for smaller tools. Burn them into the ends of the wood and wrap with finer wire and fix with resin or super glue.

There are a wide range of sizes in the wire tools. They are all wrapped with finer wire to enable more control. An unwrapped wire tool or 'drag tool ' as we call them in the UK tends to be much more difficult to control.

A turntable can be made from a 'lazy susan' (revolving cake stand) or even better an old bar stool with the seat removed and a wooden base in place of it.


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Lori



Joined: 11 Jan 2008
Posts: 264
Location: Colorado

PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 4:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stuart - I've have found that problem - clay sticking to the wood on some of my older tools. Can they be shellacked or sealed with something - like nail polish, acrylic polymer, or polyurethane?
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Lori Kiplinger Pandy
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Mario Mutis



Joined: 30 May 2009
Posts: 21

PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lori, My teacher mentioned to use lindsey oil, just to dip the wooden tool in oil for 1 to 2 hours and let it dry in the sun hes been doing this for more than 50 years now so im pretty sure what hes talking about Very Happy
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Lori



Joined: 11 Jan 2008
Posts: 264
Location: Colorado

PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Mario - that sounds like a really good idea.
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Lori Kiplinger Pandy
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Heidi Maiers
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Joined: 23 Feb 2005
Posts: 1223
Location: Near Portland OR

PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I was going to suggest the same. But if you're trying to find a supplier, keep in mind that it's linseed oil (sounded close though Mario Very Happy )
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Lori



Joined: 11 Jan 2008
Posts: 264
Location: Colorado

PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Heidi - I thought that's what he meant. I might have some here, but I wonder if lemon or orange oil would work as well?
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Heidi Maiers
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Joined: 23 Feb 2005
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Location: Near Portland OR

PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 7:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Really, I think any oil would work. I've heard of people using lemon oil. Orange oil I only use as an ingredient in my Swedish Limpa bread! Yum!
Oh, I bet teak oil would work splendidly as well. Come to think of it, teak oil by definition is either Linseed oil or Tung oil, duh.
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Lori



Joined: 11 Jan 2008
Posts: 264
Location: Colorado

PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perfect - I have lemon, orange oil and possibly even linseed - I'm going to finely sand a few tools and oil soak them this weekend - thanks everyone!
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Jeanette Lewis



Joined: 13 Oct 2009
Posts: 595
Location: Merseyside U.K.

PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 3:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Lori,
On the advice given here, I began making my own tools and experimenting - one of my favourites is a hair clip which I pressed into a plastic kid's paintbrush handle after melting it a bit on the gas burner on my stove. really good for small work.( I think maybe my kitchen now does not smell as good as Heidi's - must now go and check out what Lima bread is... Smile )I added a bit of steel florists wire to secure it further...
and Mario, thanks for the tip, will also be searching for the teak oil from the garden shed!
Jeanette


Last edited by Jeanette Lewis on Sat Mar 06, 2010 9:18 am; edited 1 time in total
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Stuart



Joined: 29 Nov 2006
Posts: 834

PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 3:33 am    Post subject: BOXWOOD Reply with quote

Lori
As you're in England you will be able to get boxwood. This is the very best for small modelling tools.

The grain is so close you can hardly see it and therefore it doesn't split and doesn't soak up water.
All modelling tools used to be made of this and similar, but often even well-known sculptor suppliers are selling tools of lesser quality now, and frnakly, they're no good!
Also over time boxwood absorbs oil from your hands and so you don't need to add oil very often.
Just stand them in the linseed oil from time to time. They last for ever!

You can get boxwood from a good wood supplier. Usually in their 'exotic' wood section.
It's used for making good quality tool handles of all sorts, and so if you look around markets where they might have second hand tools you might find some there.

There is a lead beating tool that used to be used by plumbers for bending lead pipes. Buy two! One to make tools out of and keep the other for tapping your clay into shape when working on larger pieces.
There is nothing better!
Honest!
Stuart
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Heidi Maiers
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Joined: 23 Feb 2005
Posts: 1223
Location: Near Portland OR

PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 7:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lead beating tool? Can you post a photo of such a tool Stuart? Sounds useful. Some sort of hammer?
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Last edited by Heidi Maiers on Sat Mar 06, 2010 9:42 am; edited 1 time in total
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Phil Minchinton



Joined: 02 Mar 2009
Posts: 190
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 8:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, I saw Stuart using one in his DVD for consolodating the clay on his Simon Bolivar portrait and thought it was a good idea. I use them normally for dressing lead metal flashing around chimneys or to form aluminium sheeting for car bodywork - so they're pretty useful. The wooden ones come in beech but could be made from any tight grained wood and they are now made in plastic as well in various sizes. I've seen old ones sold on ebay for small sums - just look for lead dressing tools - well worth owning!



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Heidi Maiers
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Joined: 23 Feb 2005
Posts: 1223
Location: Near Portland OR

PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent, thanks Phil!!


...hmm, finding plenty of suppliers in the UK, but nothing in the US so far. Will keep looking...
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Heidi Maiers
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Heidi Maiers
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Joined: 23 Feb 2005
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Location: Near Portland OR

PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 11:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I've searched "Lead Dressers", "Beech Lead Sticks", "Lead Bossing Sticks", and variations of those, along with hardwood mallet, plumbers mallet, and other. I've found dozens of sites that carry them - ALL in the UK. Does anyone know if they go by a different name here in the US? Or are they just not used here? My husband says he used to use one when he worked for the phone company, but doesn't remember what they were called. I suppose you could get a regular hardwood carvers mallet and grind one side flat, but wouldn't be quite as long or have the same feel as the dresser. I've been using a piece of 2x4 all this time and I can see where this tool would have so many uses!
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Thaine Sprenger



Joined: 28 Feb 2009
Posts: 103
Location: Coolidge AZ

PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The thinner one I see in 'google images', the 'lead dresser'? Scottsdale artists school sells something similar... it's a tool Barbel Dieckmann designed. Ah ha! Now we know what it may have been inspired by.

But as to the thicker ones, the 'lead bossing sticks'...
Stuart may be able to tell us if a piece of 2 X 2 is capable of doing the same thing! I've been using a scrap piece of wood like that for some time too. But mine inadvertantly is just tappered a bit and looks like a club of some kind. People may laugh, but not to loud if I glare at them while holding it in my hand! {not really! Smile }
But... Peter Rubino had a similar 2x2 about 8 - 10 inches long. He used the flat end of it a lot to tap and firm the clay... and shape the clay. You can see him use it in his videos. I don't recall him wacking the clay with the side to often.


Last edited by Thaine Sprenger on Sun Mar 07, 2010 5:36 am; edited 1 time in total
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