Clay, Application to Refinement


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Chavant Tool Enhancement


Rake - 3CRV

The Chavant rake, 3CRV has a 3" curved blade supported by a 1/4"x 1/8"x 2" leg assembly. This is bonded into a 3 1/2" handle with a brass ferrule. The tool feels solid enough although I prefer a larger handle and a longer leg assembly.



As you can see from the photograph on the left, the blade has a 45 degree angle ground onto the blade to provide a sharp cutting edge.


I have found when using this tool that the back edge of the angle tends to prevent a clean cut to the surface, especially when modeling into a concaved surface.

To improve the performance of the rake we can re-grind the angle to approximately 1/3 of the overall width of the blade. This will allow the rake to be used at an angle where your knuckles are not dragging along the clay surface and still manage to cut clay cleanly.



The blade has been divided up into three equal parts. The angle can be achieved by either grinding on a bench grinder or filing to shape.

The photograph on the right shows the two extremes of the two angles. The newly ground angle will provide all the necessary clearance when modeling into concaved pockets.


Once the angle has been ground on, use a file to fine tune the cutting edge. 


The same procedure can be used for improving the opposite side of the blade.


With both sides of the blade re-ground to the new angle, we can now decide if we want to file in teeth. This gives the option of having a tool that can be used for sketch modeling and finish modeling. 


With my own rake I tend to have two different types of teeth filed in, a coarse teeth pattern for rapid clay removal and a fine teeth pattern for fine tuning the clay surface.


All surfaces are ultimately cleaned up with steels to produce the final surface.



As you can see from the two photographs above, the angles on the blade are more aggressive compared to the original rake. With this improvement to the blade, you will find when modeling, that the clay can be removed with control and minimum effort.


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