Pottery tools #2: Personal clay tools, cutter, wire and new handles

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Blog entry by mafe posted 01-06-2015 04:08 PM 4218 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Modeling tools - for clay blog Part 2 of Pottery tools series Part 3: Mafe's clay tools - spatulas from hack saw blades »

Personal clay tools
cutter, wire and new handles

I had some bad quality Clay Ribbon Cutters and was tired they bended also a cutter wire but with useless handles and this was why I got going.

This is what it is all about, making a simple personal wire clay cutter and a Clay Ribbon Cutter.

My wonderful daughter gave me this set for Christmas, after I had made the new cutter, so now I have a fine selection and can trash the cheap cutters completely, what a lucky dad I am.
(Andy I burned them, here because they have a tendency to fly away where I go with them, smiles).

Spin the lathe…

Shape away.

Ends fitted to the brass ferules, used the size I had.

Here comes the fun part.
Inside a car window washer there are a long thin stainless steel bar, this is really cool for many projects and can be found in the trash at almost every gas station.
This one I bend to the desired shape with pliers.

Drill a hole in the handle, so I can make sure my version will never fall out as the cheap once I had.

Cutting a dado for the cutter.

Now I can let the ferule lock the cutter in place.

Like this…

Here we are, a cutter.
I also epoxy the ferule in place, but basically that is not needed.

To make it really sharp I now shape the cutting edge and the cutter are ready for use.

The wire cutter handles are turned and I drill a hole through the center.
One side just a wee bit smaller than the wire and half way through from the other side, with a bigger drill for the securing.

Then loop around a wee piece of spring, to secure it and tighten in.
Here you can also make a knot if you use fishing sting instead of wire.
(The advantage of wire are that it is more easy to untangle.

So that’s it folks!
My Personal tools, it is a extra joy to use something your own hands have made, at least for me.

I also use these painters tools a lot for the clay, but did not like the bad quality lacquered handles, so I decided to upgrade them while I was at it.

First the old handles had to go.

One of them got a new handle same shape, but a wee bit bigger to fit my hand better.

Like so after oil, polish and wax.

The other I wanted to be a palm fitted tool, so it got a small round handle.

Here they are in my clay tool box.
I have been using the tools for a while now and are really happy with them.

You might also be interested in my Clay rolling and cutting board:

Hope it can inspire others to make their own tools or bring more life to existing once.

The best of my thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

7 comments so far

View Brit's profile (online now)


7744 posts in 3294 days

#1 posted 01-06-2015 04:18 PM

Your burning is forgiven Mads, they came out great. Whenever I see the tools you create, I find myself wanting to use them and venture into new realms of creativity with new materials. I haven’t modeled clay since I was at school. I have used a lot of plaster and filler though. Does that count? Probably not.

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 3308 days

#2 posted 01-06-2015 06:45 PM

Mads a nice set not CDO :)


-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View johan's profile


162 posts in 3962 days

#3 posted 01-06-2015 08:38 PM

Mads thanks for the tips From time to time i sometimes need to make moulds to use on the copy router i build and good tools makes a difference thanks for sharing just had a thought it can come in handy as a scraping tool in tight spots as well

-- Johan, South Africa,

View Sodabowski's profile


2388 posts in 3285 days

#4 posted 01-06-2015 08:49 PM

Whoa, man, I didn’t know about the windshield brushes that they had a steel bar! Definitely going to raid the thrash at the gas station next time I visit the parents! Thanks for the awesome tip =)

-- Thomas - there are no problems, there are only solutions.

View stefang's profile


16711 posts in 3786 days

#5 posted 01-06-2015 09:07 PM

Nice Mads.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Roger's profile


21007 posts in 3256 days

#6 posted 01-06-2015 09:40 PM

Nothing better than personalizing your own tools. Nice ones Mafe.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View Schwieb's profile


1890 posts in 3913 days

#7 posted 01-07-2015 02:14 PM

Very nice in every way Mads.

-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.

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