Monday, October 29, 2007

Tools I Can't Do Without

Home Made Bevel - I can't even remember where I got the wooden block for this tool. It knocked around the studio for a long time before I realized I could attach a wire and slide it along the edges of a slabs to cut a bevel for joining pieces at a 45 degree angle with a lightweight, neat seam. A worm of clay on the inside; application of a roller on the outside to keep the edges sharp. It's so simple: the block, plastic-coated jewelry wire, 2 screws and washers. Used it for years and years. Never had to tighten the wire.

Level - Perfect for keeping everything square and level. Especially when hand building something. You can suspend this light-weight level in the center of a plastic ruler and make certain the top rim of anything is level and true with the other side. I sometimes use it on the wheel too. Of course my wheel is absolutely level, but it's nice to double check the top edge of things.

Graduated Hole Cutters - Bought these in Japan. Musta' walked a mile off somewhere into the boonies and rice paddies to a building loaded with clay goodies. (Where the heck was that, Rick Mchaffey?) I guard them with my life, since I only have one set. They always go right back into the plastic sleeve they came in when I'm finished. You can see how small the gradation goes down to. You could almost do something intravenous with the smallest one, I swear. Have never used it, but have certainly used the larger ones. They are very sharp.

Bison Tools - Absolutely the best trimming tools going. Beautiful, easy, comfortable handles. This is a few of the ones I use. Wonderfully handmade tools by master toolmaker, Phil Poburka, You can find them at You can find Phil at

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