If you've ever tried to give someone directions for how you made a polymer clay project, you probably ran into that question: "What pasta machine setting did you use?"
It's not an easy question to answer. First of all, various pasta machine brands have different settings.
- Some have #1 as the thickest setting.
- Some have #1 as the thinnest setting.
- Some have 9 settings.
- Some only have 6. (Is my Atlas 150 the only one that just has 6, by the way? Is it just a really old model?)
Aside from all that, it can just be darn hard to remember what setting you used. Oftentimes for me, I kept going til my sheet was big enough for whatever it was I was covering, without regard to how thin it ended up.
Just in case you ever find yourself in the same boat, here's a quick project that may help you tell (after the fact) what setting you used. It can also be useful for comparing two different machines &mash; for example, to help tell your friend with a Makins machine what setting she should use to match your Atlas's #2 setting. Or if you're trying to plan a project that requires a specific thickness, you can use these disks to find the perfect one.
- polymer clay
- pasta machine
- cookie cutter
- number rubber stamps or needle tool
- drinking straw for poking hole (optional)
- Condition clay. Roll it out to the thickest setting of your pasta machine.
- Use a cookie cutter to cut out a disk from this setting.
- Use a number stamp to mark it with the number of the pasta machine setting this disk matches up to. (If you don't have number stamps, you could carve the number with a needle tool.)
- Repeat for each setting on your pasta machine. If you want, you can poke a hole in the corner of each disk before baking. After baking, thread book rings or yarn through the holes to keep the disks together.
- If you're making several cheat sheets, use a different color of clay for each pasta machine to avoid any mix-ups. Use a Prismacolor marker to write the brand of the pasta machine on the back of the thickest disk.
- If you need to have accurate measurements, you could write the actual thickness of each disk on the back with a marker.
Now when someone asks you what pasta machine setting you used, you can just compare your project's thickness to each disk til you find the right one.