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making your own cut off wire/tools --- those 'thin' flexible metal

updated sat 3 mar 07


pdp1@EARTHLINK.NET on fri 2 mar 07


Hi Mel, all...

Long ago, I had a design for a small flexible Stainless Steel Rib...two
sizes actually, of the same shape.

It was the shape I evolved for myself...and it was a dandy. Kinda like a
letter "D" but an asymetrical curve of course, and one end having a rather
small radious.

I believed in it, it was and is a great little shape and a fantastic,
flexible little Rib.

I contacted a Metal Stamping outfit a few blocks the prices for
having the two sets of Stamping Dies made, for the two respective sizes of
Ribs I wanted to manufacture.

At a used Machinery place, I traded an old Radial Arm Saw and some other
stuff as a down payment for a smallish-to-medium size circa 1919 five or
seven ( I forget now ) Ton Stamping Press ( weighed probably 9000 pounds,
but I wanted one which would be good for whatever else I came up with within
it's range, that might be more taxing than the Ribs)...I located sources of
the 'correct' thin Stainless Steel...I had made quite a few dozens by hand
already and got rave reviews on them...and I was of course all happy and
excited with all of it.

My thought was to either sell them very reasonably, or, more likely, just
give them away as a small consideration to accompany purchases of the
Trimming Tools.

These were to have the name "BISON" fairly deeply embossed in their center
area so as to make them easier to grip. Which of course was one more Die set
to have made, but it really helped the grip, and as you know, these kinds of
Ribs can be a little slippery to hold onto sometimes.

Anyway, somewhere around that`time I started thinking on how mine had got
away from me a few time...I had been cut, not badly, but meaningfully, and
of course it only takes a split second when ribbing the inside of a Bowl,
smallish Bowls especially! - for one tiny false move and the free end of
that Rib "grabs" the side, digs in and comes swinging around rather fast
even on a 'slow' Wheel speed...and of course the edges OF the Rib are kind
of 'sharp' in their way! All the moreso once broken-in well from use...

And I thought about those aspiring, impending neophyte Potters, kids even,
old people, and everybody else of whatever degree of experience and
practice, anyone who for the tiniest moment might forget or be distracted
from having their attention "on" how they are holding it, who in my mind,
could all too easily cut the living be-jeeeezes out of themselves with these
otherwise charming little Ribs...

So, changed my mind, traded my equity in the old Stamping Press for
something else ( for the sound of Wind I think it was, ultimately ) ,
thanked the Die Makers again for their price work, which they had not
charged for anyway, and bowed out.


And true!

Now I myself would still use them for my Work if I was Throwing again...but
I definitely appreciate the potential for injury.


Las Vegas

----- Original Message -----
From: "mel jacobson"

<<<<< snip >>>>>

> the only accidents that i ever had to clean up where from those
> stainless steel ribs from kemper, and that over long cut off wire.
> cut hands, deep cut hands. scared the hell out of me...a potential
> law suit...and i threw out every one of them. a hell of lot worse
> than barium or even lead. a 7 inch cut, right to the bone of the palm.
> now that is scarrrrrry. and that was a woman in dubai. had four
> others cut at my school. then i got rid of them all. never have them
> around me. only wood or rubber.

> mel

> from: mel/
> website:
> Clayart page link: