Here’s a side project that I recently finished. Let me introduce you to the Trimming Shield!
I bought a Giffin Grip a while ago and use it to trim a lot of pots. It has a lot of advantages but one of the (only?) problems I’ve found is that it adds about an inch and a half to the wheelhead. This is a problem because the surface is up higher than the splash pan for my wheel and some of the clay that I trim off ends up on the floor. Then I step on the clay and track it around my studio and before I know it everything is covered in dust. My splash pan also doesn’t fit very well around the Grip. I came up with a few possible solutions.
(1) I could just not use the Giffin Grip. (But it is quite useful for some things!) (2) I could just trim… very… slowly… so the trimmings don’t fly off the Giffin Grip. (But who has time for that?!) (3) I could just let the trimmings fall on the floor. (Okay, so that’s what I’ve done for a long time!)Â (4) I could just give up working with clay and make things out of Play-Doh. (But that colorful stuff doesn’t hold up as well in the kiln!) I finally got around to a better option:
(Insert glorious trumpet sound here)
As you can see the shield is open at the top left where there is a modified plastic trash can. After I finish a trimming session I pick up the back shield and dump in the clay scraps. Then I slide the front shield (big part) off the wheel and dump in the scraps. And I’m cleaned up in less than 20 seconds!
I started by taking a lot of measurements around my wheel. After figuring out the dimensions I needed I found a suitable material. Mostly a double-thick piece of scrap cardboard and some extra matboard. (My wife always asks me why I keep every scrap of anything-that-I-can-get-my-hands-on. I tell her that December 2012 isn’t that far away(!) but it’s really for projects like this.)
After making the proper cuts I glued the folded cardboard in place with some Liquid Nails (maybe not the perfect choice but it’s what I had on hand). I traced the inside of my splash pan on the cardboard and removed the middle so it would slide under the wheelhead just like the splash pan. I had to make the cardboard thinner around the inside to fit so I peeled off one layer of the cardboard. Then I added some duct tape to prevent the ends from getting torn up.
The matboard was folded and glued in the same manner and acts as the back shield which catches most of the clay. I found some old spray paint and added a couple thin coats to help prevent the cardboard from sucking up water from the clay trimmings.
I’ve tried this new trimming shield and it works quite well. Fantastic even, considering it was made completely of scraps and things I had lying around. Not pretty, but it gets the job done.