Clay Beams and Columns

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Building a Set of Beam Molds (continued)

  • Bases: 3-foot 1-by-6 pine or fir or 3/4-inch plywood

  • Stops: 6-foot 1/4-inch-by-1/2-inch screen mold or 1/4-inch plywood

  • Forms for large beams: 4-foot 1-inch-by-1-inch pine square molding

  • Forms for small beams: 2-foot 1/4-inch-by--inch screen molding

  • 8-12 finishing nails (3/4-inch long)

    To make the bases for the two molds, cut the 3-foot 1-by-6 into two pieces, one 26 inches long and the other 10 inches long.

    To make the guides to hold your removable forms in place while molding the clay, cut the
    1/4-inch "stop" material into two 26-inch pieces and two 10-inch pieces.

    To make the removable molds for the large beams, cut the 1-inch-by-1-inch pine square molding into two 20-inch pieces and save the leftover piece for a spacer to use while you are nailing in the stops.

    To make the removable molds for the small beams, cut the
    1/4-inch-by--inch screen molding into two 10-inch pieces and save the leftover piece for a spacer to use while you are nailing in the stops.

    Constructing the large beam mold: First, nail one 20-inch piece of "stop" material along one edge of the 1-by-6 base using 3 or 4 nails. Then, set up the mold as shown in the illustration (on the previous page). Set your leftover piece of 1-inch-by-1 -inch stop in the center as a spacer. Then nail the other spacer in place using 3 or 4 nails.

    Constructing the small beam mold: The only difference in making the small beam mold is that you turn the
    1/4-inch-by-- -inch leftover piece on edge when you use it as a spacer and you don't use quite as many nails.

    You are now ready to make clay beams using these molds.

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