Clay, Application to Refinement


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Clay Mouse (Build)

The previous chapter, clay mouse, explains the various uses for this tool. We will use the dimensions given in that summary to build the smallest mouse. The material thickness for this particular job is 1/16" steel plate.


From the dimensions given, the steel plate was marked out and the blanks cut out on a metal bandsaw, or alternatively the blanks can be cut out with a hacksaw. The rough cuts were then filed to the given lines.


The D was drilled out and then filed to shape. The notch that seats over the base plate was filed out to provide a snug fit.( illustration right )



The photograph to the left shows the blanks set-up in the home made brazing hearth. Two scrap pieces of steel were used to support the center spine of the mouse. This was checked with a square to ensure a right angle to the base.


The parts were then cleaned with emery cloth and de-greased with acetone, flux was then applied before brazing.

The parts were heated to cherry red and then the brazing rod was applied.


As you can see from the photograph the braze flowed over the whole base of the clay mouse, this will prove to be a big job to clean up.



After much filing the majority of the braze was cleaned up. The D was filed to a sharp chisel like edge and the scribing point was filed to a sharp cutting edge.


Even though the braze flowed over the entire base, it still remained flat with very little distortion. To ensure that it was flat I honed the base on a diamond stone. 


The other option is to true the base by using wet and dry on a flat surface.


The end result was a very strong tool ideally suited for trimming in recessed pockets.


To build this tool, download the technical illustration.


Clay Mouse PDF


Copyright © 2004 - 20 Steven Austin