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Some clay pipe making questions.

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#1
I'm looking to make some clay pipes as gifts and after reading this awesome thread https://pipesmokersforum.com/community/threads/operation-clay-pipe.8260/ front to back I think I got a pretty good idea of how to make the gin. What I'm wondering is what clays should be used and how important is the compression for strength. I've tried out a couple reproductions but none seem to be quite as sturdy as the one in the video is there a trick or something to that?
At 2:05 she bangs it against the table hard enough to break most of my clays...
 

dwaugh

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#2
Deiter, the clay I used in that thread was, if I remember correctly, a stoneware slip. I don't know if slip (liquid clay), is ever as strong as clay with a lower water content (although I'm sure that has been extensively studied). Also, because the pipes I made, and many of the commercially available pipes, are slip cast, they tend to be thinner, and therefor weaker. The other factor that will effect the pipes is the firing temperature. I fired the pipes at a number of different temperatures, but never to "maturity". If I had fired them at a higher temperature, they might have been stronger, but as a tradeoff they would not be as absorbent (to what extent that would matter, I have no idea). If I ever made more, I would try to make a mold like shown in the video, as apposed to the plaster slip casting mold. Let us know how you make out!
 
#4
Deiter, the clay I used in that thread was, if I remember correctly, a stoneware slip. I don't know if slip (liquid clay), is ever as strong as clay with a lower water content (although I'm sure that has been extensively studied). Also, because the pipes I made, and many of the commercially available pipes, are slip cast, they tend to be thinner, and therefor weaker. The other factor that will effect the pipes is the firing temperature. I fired the pipes at a number of different temperatures, but never to "maturity". If I had fired them at a higher temperature, they might have been stronger, but as a tradeoff they would not be as absorbent (to what extent that would matter, I have no idea). If I ever made more, I would try to make a mold like shown in the video, as apposed to the plaster slip casting mold. Let us know how you make out!
So would a normal off the shelf stoneware would be fine for this or should I aim for a kaolin if I'm doing non slip cast pipe?
I have a small forge and I'm planning to just load it up with charcoal and cover it with a lid insulated with some sand would that get it hot enough for long enough to fire kaolin? I've done some cups doing that but I mainly used lower temp clays and glazes.
 
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