For some reason, I always have trouble determining which extruder disc to use on a particular project. I can picture in my mind the size snake I want, for example, but I can't translate that to picking the right size disc. I end up laying all of the circle-shaped discs side by side and studying them, holding each one up next to my project. Still, the snake I choose somehow ends up being bigger than I would have expected from the size of the disc hole.
I think I have trouble translating the hole size of the disc into what the side view will look like once it's extruded, if that makes any sense. Is it just me? Or do you guys have this problem too?
In an attempt to make this process slightly easier for me, I made an extruder disc "cheat sheet." I extruded a sample of each shape and glued it alongside a scanned image of the disc itself. Seeing the actual snake size — not just the hole in the disc — seems to help me pick the right disc for my projects.
Here's instructions for making your own extruder disc cheat sheet, if you're interested.
Makin' An Extruder Disc Cheat Sheet
- Place your extruder discs on your scanner and scan them in. (Feel free to use mine — it has the 20 basic discs that come with the Makins Ultimate Clay Extruder.)
- Print or copy this onto a transparency sheet (if possible). Using a transparency will make it easier to match up discs & figure out the best sizes for projects.
- Condition some scrap clay, and use your clay gun to extrude samples of each disc. For each one, extrude only slightly more than you need for the sampler, then switch out discs and continue.
- Trim any misshaped edges and bake the clay samples.
- Use LocTite Control Gel super glue to attach the clay samples to the cheat sheet.
If you prefer, you could make your cheat sheet from polymer clay. Just roll out a sheet of translucent clay and press the extruder discs in to make an impression. Attach your extruded clay sample directly to the clay before baking. You could even cut your sheet into little squares and punch holes in the corners to make a keychain sampler.
Here's hoping this helps us all pick the right disc every time!
What Are All these Discs for, Anyway?
Speaking of making better use of all your clay discs, I came across this description from Makin's explaining what all the different discs are for. It might help you brainstorm a few new ways to use some of your discs:
- The round discs are for vines, stems, borders and letters.
- The screen discs are for hair, grass, straw and floral stamens.
- The flat slot discs are for weaving baskets, lattice, ribbons and bows.
- The square, triangle, and half round discs are for bricks, logs, borders and can be cut and used for small beads.
I know I was surprised and pleased at how well the clover-shaped disc worked as a border on my Tin Can Pincushion. It definitely made me want to sit down and figure out creative uses for other discs.
Have you found unique uses for some of your extruder discs? I'd love to hear about it!
Posts In This Series:
- Review: Makin's Ultimate Clay Extruder
- How to Use and Clean the Makin's Ultimate Clay Extruder
- Getting to Know Your Extruder's Discs
- Video: Extruder Basics PLUS Making Coiled Extruder Beads
- Silent Extruding: Getting Rid of the Squeak
Buy the Makin's Ultimate Clay Extruder now.