Clay, Application to Refinement


home   content   tools   wire tool P40-1   finisher F18-1.75   rake -3CRV  links


Chavant Tool Enhancement


Wire Tool P40-1"

The purchasing of various clay tools from Chavant will provide an instantaneous tool kit at a reasonable price but you will find that you can improve the performance with a little additional work to the blades or cutting edges. You will find this to be the case for most commercially purchased tools.


Let's take a selection of the most commonly used tools and modify to improve performance, wire tool P40-1", finisher F18-1.75 and rake- 3CRV.


The photograph on the right shows the tools as you receive them.

Packaged nicely and clearly marked, indicating the particular tool that has been purchased.




After removing the wire tool from the packaging, the first impression was a nice sturdy tool with a good size diameter wire. The wire length varied from 2 1/4" to 2 3/4" and the handle length that the wire was set in was 5 1/2" long. Overall a good solid tool.

On further inspection, the round end of the wire tool had been ground on the outside face to provide a cutting edge but not to the mid point of the wire. The inside still retained its original half round wire profile. The overall diameter was found to be less than 1" though it may have been 1" prior to being ground.

In its original state it would cut the clay but not as cleanly as one would like. A lot more pressure would be required.


To resolve this there are several options;


1. Re-grind the outside to the mid-point of the wire. The radius will then be falling away from the cutting edge giving a sharper cutting face.

2. File away from the cutting edge on both sides of the wire to create a triangular section.

3. Re-grind and file to create a triangular section.



As you can see from the close-up photograph, the inside of the wire is still the original round form.


To enhance the tool I have decided to use option three. Regrind the outside curve until it hits the mid point of the wire then file material away to create a triangular section.

The photograph to the right shows the first stages in the enhancement of the wire tool. 


The outside has been dressed on a bench grinder to meet the mid-point of the wire diameter and the inside has been filed to produce the cutting angle.


On the reverse side of the wire, the cutting angle has been filed on, giving it a triangular cross section. 


With the wire having a symmetrical shape we can file teeth into one side of the wire for sketch modeling. This leaves the opposite side smooth, for finish modeling of the clay surface. De-burr the bottom face with an oilstone and the round wire tool is set to go.


You will find after the modification the wire will cut the clay surface with very little pressure, compared to the unrefined original version.


With the round end of the wire tool complete let's continue with the square end, wire tool P40-1. This page will complete the overall improvement of this particular wire tool available through Chavant.



Copyright © 2004 - 20 Steven Austin