Anyone ever embed wire mesh in the clay for support?

I'm thinking of creating a guitar body in clay and wonder if anyone has
ever used wire screening inside of the clay for structural support. I
fire to cone 7 and assume that the wire would likely melt but then
solidfy when cooled. I would think that this might add some resistance
to cracking over just plain clay.
Has anyone ever tried this?...that is using wire screening insice the
clay body?
Reply to
btpanek09
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Haven't ever tried this, and I'd be very interested to hear of any results. However, I have put metal a kiln at cone 6 (copper, steel, aluminum) and can tell you that it *oxidizes* long before it melts. The result with wire is like chow mein noodles, only more brittle... not something you could use for support!
What I don't know is what would happen inside a clay body. My guess is that the clay would not prevent much oxidation. On the other hand, you could probably prevent or reduce the oxidation by coating the wire with a flux of some sort, maybe borax. But then you'd have that flux interacting with the body, as well. Might soften the body too much at temperature. (Though if the body survived that, it should be better vitrified which is probably what you want for a good "ringing" tone.)
Regardless of the approach you finally use, I'd love to hear about the final result with the guitar. Sounds like fun!
Best regards,
Bob Masta dqatechATdaqartaDOTcom D A Q A R T A Data AcQuisition And Real-Time Analysis
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Home of DaqGen, the FREEWARE signal generator
Reply to
Bob Masta
In message , Bob Masta writes
Not for support, but I've sprinkled snippets of 36 swg (very fine) copper wire on to a freshly-glazed pot before firing to cone 7 oxidised. With a white glaze, the random copper colouring is quite interesting.
Reply to
Jake Loddington
I don't think this will work. Not only would the screen, probably iron, likely oxidize during the firing, yielding iron oxide (rust), but it would also react with and weaken the clay. You might want to look into paper clay (clay with paper fiber added) to see if it will do what you want.
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Reply to
Dewitt
Trouble is that clay shrinketh as it dries and wire doesn't (it dry already) If it's stiff enuff to give support my guess is that its stiff enuff to cracke the clay esp if its IN the clay... A possible way out of this (that i've used) is to make your wire armature a bit smaller than the size you want and then pad it out with screwed up paper to get the size... Newspaper being cheapest... The paper then burns away in the kiln and leaves you with an oxidised support that you can simply break up to remove.... Good Luck Eddie
Reply to
Eddie Daughton
Greetings,
I am excited about your project. However, I am interested why you would need the reinforcement of steel in your guitar? Like any fine instrument, it is all in your design. Reinforcement can be attained with the design and support structures utilized. I would suggest playing with multiple styles, forms and design layouts. What is the worst that could happen? None would work? Maybe they all will work and you will have multiple models to utilize and sell. I would also think about casting and slip pouring your guitar body. Remember that steel and wood look great with clay so if you find that there is design flaws in a total clay body guitar, then retool your design to accept a wood or metal component to accomplish the guitar. It would be fun to work on the acoustic differences of clay bodies and glazes. You could spend the rest of your life perfecting this dream. Go for it!
Utilizing a raku clay body may give you less shrinkage, a more forgiving clay body and a lighter instrument. You can fire the Raku clay body to cone 6 or 10 depending which body you prefer. Dakota Potters in Sioux Falls, S. D. has one of the best Raku Clay Bodies I have ever used. They also have a clay slip that would work great for slip casting your components.
Do not be afraid to add a wood neck to your clay guitar body. Wood and clay look very good together. Just be prepared with superior engineering of your design layout to absorb stresses put upon the instrument with regular use and even the extremes.
Let me know how it works out!
Chad Everson The Clay Empire Igniting Imaginations with the Wonders of Clay!
Reply to
The Clay Empire
Thanks for all the interesting suggestions. I was planning on using a wood neck and center block to mount pickups and controls, plus I couldnt see a total clay guitar being sturdy enough to survive more than a few attempts at playing. (great for those Pete Townsend finishes though) On the other hand a cast neck would be possible, and frets would just be clay bumps...probably have a problem with warpage on firing.
I think I may not bother with any metal within the clay since it probably would create more problems that it solves. I do plan on usings slabs and placing reinforcing connections between slabs. Also since guitars for the most part are "babied" and not dropped or purposely banged, it may last for quite a while before getting cracked.
I also plan on making the body about 10% larger than designed to allow for shrinkage. I also plan on sticking with my cone 7 stoneware so that the clay becomes fused, instead of remaining open (like in a Raku body).
Reply to
btpanek09
How do you plan to deal with the stress of the strings? There's quite a bit of torque on the neck and the body of a guitar created by stretching the strings. And the strings won't reach the proper tone without being stretched.
Reply to
Spunky the Tuna
The wood neck will also be attached (glued/epoxy) to a wood body piece (1 X 3) that will contain the pickups, bridge, and controls with the clay body glued onto its back. The wood will take all of the stress from the string tension. I plan on using a Telecaster guitar kit (Saga brand) as the base for the neck and electronics, and add the wood body plank of maple.
Reply to
btpanek09
(in article ):
That ought to do it. So the clay body is going to be pretty much ornamental? Interesting idea. Let us know how it works out?
Reply to
Spunky the Tuna
Yes for the most part ornamental, but I also expect some enhancement or effect on the sound since this is similar to how a neck-through body guitar is constructed. Still in the idea stage but I will hopefully get to work on it soon.
Reply to
btpanek09

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