I've just finished my last commission (not forever, just the last one for now!) and spent this afternoon cleaning up the studio to get it ready for the next project. While I was at the enlarger's for the life-size, I learned a LOT of really cool stuff! One thing I learned was a fast, easy way to clean tools. Now, y'all might know how to do this already, but it was new to me and I'm always happy to share stuff I learn!
Prior to learning this, I'd scrape the clay off my tools with another tool, then wipe off whatever was left with a towel or cloth, but there was always some residue left and I never got the handles clean enough to suit me. I never used any solvents on them - I didn't want to take a chance on messing them up. (I'd tried that once and wound up with a sticky handle on a wooden tool that took a LOT of scrubbing to get un-sticky. No more shop cleaning stuff for me!)
So here's their trick. They used a propane torch (I used a long stick lighter like you use to light a grill or candles) and run the flame over the tool for a few seconds, even over the wooden handle. Wipe with a cloth, repeat as needed and soon it will be clean, really really
CLEAN! Wow! I will be starting my next project with really CLEAN tools for the first time . . . ever? Hmm, close to it, anyway!
Simple things can make me so happy! LOL Hope you find this useful.