The secret of Magnetic organization from our friend Lawrence Weathers

What I need now is a device which prevents studio members from dropping tools and valuable extruder parts in our washing tub which collects clay and heavy metals from glaze for disposal.

Going through the muck prior to disposal is always a treasure hunt.

Never Misplace a Tool Again!

by  Lawrence Weathers  Ceramic Arts Daily - April 27, 2016

I noticed that I was spending a lot of time digging through the mess around my wheel to find tools. I had tried numerous plastic containers to hold them, but this didn’t work very well because at least half of the tool was hidden from view, so it was difficult to identify which one I wanted without pulling most of the tools out. Even worse, sometimes I would knock one of these plastic tubs over, sending a bunch of tools to the floor. I needed to keep my tools completely visible. Also, since I’m not very good at putting things back where they belong, I didn’t want a system that would require me to put a tool in a specific place each time to find it again.

Since my throwing area is bounded on three sides by steel shelves, the vertical sides of the shelves were unused storage space that I could utilize by putting magnets on my tools. This allowed me to have easy access to them and be able to see all of them at once. Also, I didn’t need to put tools back in the same spot. Any shelf edge would do, and there were a lot of them within arm’s reach.


.I bought 40 6 mm × 3 mm grade N42 neodymium disc magnets online for less than $10. Most such magnets are grade N35, but since they were so cheap, I decided to go with a 20% stronger magnet. The stronger ones worked so well that I ordered 40 more

Attaching the magnets is easy, you’ll just need a drill and some epoxy. Bore a shallow hole slightly smaller than the diameter of the magnet in the side of each tool. For better adhesion of the glue, it’s best to rub the magnet back and forth on a piece of sandpaper to create a rougher surface. Fill the hole with epoxy. Then press the magnet into the hole and clamp while it dries. Make sure that the surface of the magnet is slightly above the surface of the tool..


I also use magnets to store my metal tools, such as needles, ribs, and those made from hacksaw blades. With these, you can just put a magnet on the shelf edge and stick the metal tool to it.

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Comment by Marina Reijsmeijer (Kleierij) on May 5, 2016 at 5:15am

I guess you could put a fishing net in the tub before you fill it with waste and hope the treasures stay in the net when you pull it up before you dump everything in the second container. Or put the net over the second container as a sieve.

I collect clay slip in a container lined with a bag, so I can remove the slip easier than to try and ladle it out. I collect glaze waste in a different bucket, let it dry an use it to glaze the inside of a narrow vase.

Comment by Norm Stuart on May 3, 2016 at 1:04pm

We use these 68 liter containers as a sink.

The next day, after the clay and metals in the glaze have settled to the bottom we pour off the water into the garden and dump the settled clay into an identical container to dry out before dumping it into the trash.

Some fire the waste before disposing of it to make it inert, but we don't.

Comment by Marina Reijsmeijer (Kleierij) on May 3, 2016 at 3:18am

Could you place a piece of mesh over the tub or its drain? It is also really great to have a sponge going into the clay and the puck mill :)

I love and will try the magnet system. Right now i have a piece of tube isolation over the rim of my wheel and stick needle tools in it. Plus a simple box and shelve.


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