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Topic: pasta machine  (Read 1515 times)
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rebecnik
« on: November 09, 2010 07:57:09 PM »

Almost every time I roll clay through my pasta machine, some clay stays on the rollers. It's extremely frustrating! And then I try to clean it off using a warm washcloth and blu tack. While that gets most of it, it doesn't get everything. Sometimes (quite randomly), when I roll another color through, speckles or even large chunks of old colors mar my beautiful blends. Help, please!
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Diane B.
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« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2010 08:27:45 AM »

There are a lot of factors that can cause those things to happen (especially with the blends because the surface has to be pristine through so many rollings).  Those can range from the type of pasta machine you have and often how old it is (actually the older the better usually), to the brand/line of clay you're using (how soft/sticky it is) and how warm it is just before going through, whether you've removed the "fenders" (helps with crumbs/flecks), etc, and whether you're using any techniques to improve those things.

You can read a bunch of stuff about those issues on my Pasta Machines page, under several of the categories or sub-categories like Cleaning (& Taking Apart), Sticking, Very Thin Sheets, Types & Brands (though the very latest info isn't there yet), and Streaks though you didn't mention those:
http://glassattic.com/polymer/pastamachines.htm
(Btw, if you're having problems every time you roll the clay through, the possibilties would definitely include the line of clay you're using as well as probably others.)

Also, you'll notice in that Cleaning category that the best way to clean rollers is with mineral oil or alcohol or glycerine (or even scrap clay or white bread, etc), not with water because water isn't a solvent for polymer clay and it's also not good to possibly work moisture into the clay because of later problems with bubbling or plaquing. 

There might be other suggestions too on the Blends page:
http://glassattic.com/polymer/blends.htm
And if you're unfamiliar with cooling and/or leaching the clay and various types of additives, this page has a bunch of info on those:
http://glassattic.com/polymer/Conditioning.htm

You might want to say which pasta machine you have, the type of clay you're using, and whether you've already tried some of the fixes/preventatives in those pages too.


HTH,
Diane B.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2010 08:30:49 AM by Diane B. » THIS ROCKS   Logged

POLYMER CLAY "ENCYCLOPEDIA" 
http://glassattic.com/polymer/contents.htm
few of my photos
http://s96.photobucket.com/albums/l163/DianeBB
(had to move them from YahooPhotos, so many now without captions)
rebecnik
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2010 05:45:41 PM »

Wow, thanks much for the detailed reply! I'm going to take a look at this information and see if something can help! But for now...I kind of figured it may have had something to do with too much plasticizers. I thought of that after typing the original message. I use Studio by Sculpey (very, very soft), Sculpley III (usually quite soft as well), and Fimo. I haven't used any Fimo alone yet (always mixed with Sculpey), because I'm trying to get rid of my stock of Sculpey without wasting it. Oh, and I use a Sculpey PM. I'll give a shot to the suggestions and be sure to pay more attention to whether or not the softer clays stick more. Thanks again!
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rebecnik
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2010 05:19:19 PM »

So, I've learned a few things! Good for me! I'll have to remember to use rubbing alcohol. I always used water, because I had read many times that water is used as a release agent in molds. I also think I'm going to take off the top fenders, too. I just have to make sure I know what I'm doing before I start, because I read in the "taking apart" section that some people disassemble them and the machines don't work correctly afterward. Thanks again!
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Diane B.
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« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2010 09:17:11 AM »

Glad that helped.  Hope you won't have problems with the taking off the fenders--there should be some photos linked to from my page that could help and/or be sure to take pictures as you go (maybe on Desiree's site at least--can't remember), and there may even be some videos at YouTube by now though pasta machines aren't all exactly the same.

Quote
I use Studio by Sculpey (very, very soft), Sculpley III (usually quite soft as well). . .

Studio by Sculpey is actually a line of clay that's kind of different from the rest.  It has fiber-like inclusions in it, kind of a papery-foamy feel, doesn't stick well to itself, and also doesn't come in saturated, dark or translucent colors. All the colors are intended to "go together" as is, and were created for the Donna Dewberry classes on making "home items," not for a lot of the other things that polymer clay is used for.  It's reasonable clay if the limitations aren't a problem for a particular project though. 

Quote
. . . , and Fimo.

Don't forget that there hasn't been just one "Fimo" for years now.  There are currently two "lines" of it --FimoClassic and FimoSoft.  FimoSoft was put out a few years ago to compete with Sculpey III for the kids market and is fairly soft**, its colors sometimes come off on hands, and is medium in baked strength and ability to get detail.  FimoClassic is one of the two "best" ones left (though none of the brands/lines are as good as they "used to be") along with Kato Polyclay, followed by Premo and Cernit.

** actually the few times I've tried FimoSoft, some of the bars have just had an icky quality to them that's hard to describe...basicall y I just had a hard time getting them to do what I wanted to do and that I'd always done; those bars didn't behave like other lines, but maybe it was just a problem with certain colors or production runs?

Diane B.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2010 09:24:19 AM by Diane B. » THIS ROCKS   Logged

POLYMER CLAY "ENCYCLOPEDIA" 
http://glassattic.com/polymer/contents.htm
few of my photos
http://s96.photobucket.com/albums/l163/DianeBB
(had to move them from YahooPhotos, so many now without captions)
rebecnik
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2010 10:16:49 AM »

I had no idea that SbS was made for something so specific! I do absolutely love its suede-like texture and the luscious colors.

I think when I get better at working with clay and when I start trying to sell my stuff, I'll start buying Premo and Kato. But for now, I'm not a serious enough clay artist to spend that kind of money. Honestly, I can't wait to start selling, because I've already spent plenty of money on the supplies and clay itself! But that's how you get started, right? Smiley
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Diane B.
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« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2010 09:17:27 AM »

Quote
when I get better at working with clay and when I start trying to sell my stuff, I'll start buying Premo and Kato. But for now, I'm not a serious enough clay artist to spend that kind of money.

Actually, of the precolored clays Kato Polyclay is often the cheapest or at least the same as other brands for the small packages (and less for the larger packages) for several reasons...mainly, the company that manufactures it doesn't really want to spend the money to fully market this "minor" venture of theirs into polymer clay since they're mostly famous for their plasticine clays and other products. 
And if ordering the clay from Donna Kato herself (at prairiecraft.com), it's even cheaper for both the small http://prairiecraft.com/polyclay/KP3.html and the large packages.

Sculpey III is a bit cheaper (for the same size) when purchased online.
And Studio by Sculpey is more expensive than the others (at least online...can't see local non-sale prices from computer).

Quote
I've already spent plenty of money on the supplies and clay itself! But that's how you get started, right?


Yep, that's certainly one good route! Grin  And whichever clays work well for what you want to do are great.
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POLYMER CLAY "ENCYCLOPEDIA" 
http://glassattic.com/polymer/contents.htm
few of my photos
http://s96.photobucket.com/albums/l163/DianeBB
(had to move them from YahooPhotos, so many now without captions)
rebecnik
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2010 11:49:12 AM »

Actually, of the precolored clays Kato Polyclay is often the cheapest or at least the same as other brands for the small packages (and less for the larger packages)

I just looked at the link you included and...WOW. Thank you. Thank you for opening my eyes! Hooray for quality, decently-priced clay!
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