Clay, Application to Refinement


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The hogger is used primarily for removing vast amounts of clay, especially when there is a change in design direction. It is good for cutting back the clay prior to adding hot clay when dragging in new sections. It is also used for cutting material away when transferring points, as in creating a symmetrical model.


The two hoggers opposite represent handmade and purchased versions. The purchased version comes in a variety of sizes, 1"- 1 1/2"- 2" diameter sized blades.


Handmade hoggers can be made to what ever size that you require.


To make a mid-size hogger we will need the following materials:-


Steel                       12"x 1/4"x 1/8"       To produce the blade.

Copper or Brass  5/8"x 1/2"Dia.         Ferrule for the handle.

wood                      6"x 1 1/4"x 1 1/4"   To turn for the handle.

2 part 5 minute Epoxy resin, for gluing in the blade.


An alternative to turning the handle for the hogger would be to purchase a large file handle. This would essentially do the same job.


Clamp the length of steel against a 1 1/2"- 2" diameter steel pipe ( depending on the size of hogger you wish to make.) with a clamp or in a vise and bend around until the legs cross over at approximately   3 1/2".


At the point where the legs cross over, bend the legs until they line up at 90 degrees to the top of the curve.


The legs will have a twist through bending i.e. the legs are off-set at the cross over point. Re-clamp one half of the blade and leg in the vise and apply sufficient pressure to align both legs above each other.



After bending you should have a blade that looks the same as the photograph opposite.


The ferrule is cut from a length of 1/2" diameter copper pipe. This will be installed on the handle after it is turned.

To control the bending a quick setout board can be marked out. This way the blade can be placed on top of the drawing and the legs can be viewed to ensure proper alignment. (Sketch opposite.)


With the main bending of the blade complete we shall sharpen the blade after gluing into the handle.


Next we should prepare for turning the handle.


Set-up the 6"x 1 1/4"x 1 1/4" wood in the lathe and turn the handle to the desired shape. Allowing enough shoulder for the ferrule to cap over.


While the handle is in the lathe it is a good time to apply a paste wax to seal the handle. Then burnish it in with a rag.



With the handle turned we now need to drill the hole for setting the blade in.


To secure the handle in the vise for drilling, a set of holding blocks need to be made. This is a simple procedure, mark-out two 45 degree angles to produce a V notch in two pieces of wood and clamp the handle in the vise.


With the handle now held vertical, drill a hole with a 5/16" drill bit to the depth of the legs of the blade. Test fit the blade to ensure that the hole is deep enough.

With the handle still held in the vise, now is a good time to glue the blade into position.


Take the blade assembly and rough file the legs, this will ensure good grip for the resin. Place masking tape around the outside of the ferrule and raised 1/8" above the lip. This will help to stop the resin from over spilling.


Mix equal parts of 5 minute Epoxy resin and apply to both the legs and the hole. Insert and use a twisting motion to push the blade assembly into place, this will help to remove air trapped in the hole.


Allow the resin to cure then remove the masking tape.


The blade is now ready for sharpening on the grinding wheel.


Now that the hogger is fully assembled we can sharpen the blade on the bench grinder.


Loosen the table and set the angle so that you will be grinding from the bottom to the top of the blade (see sketch opposite) Make sure when grinding that you quench the blade often to stop over heating, thus prevent softening the blade.

As you can see from the photograph on the right the blade is nicely sharpened.


At this stage you could file teeth into the blade but that is a matter of preference.


The photograph on the left shows the completed hogger.


It has a sturdy blade and the handle is large enough where you could use both hands to grip if need be.


With this type of tool you would be able to remove a lot of clay in a short period of time, making design changes that much easier.

Copyright © 2004 - 20 Steven Austin