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Making Clay Glandes (Read 3783 times)
mgreenfield
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Making Clay Glandes
Apr 17th, 2004 at 10:33am
 
I got a block of ready-to-use clay at a local hobby store, pulled off a 24gram piece and let it dry out.  It ended up at 20grams, ....about 15% shrinkage.

This morning I cut the block into 75gram pieces, ...which should dry out to about 60grams.    These pieces rolled into balls just a little larger than a golfball, ...about the size of a handball.

I noted that by "moving my hands right", I could produce the classic glande shape "very naturally", and very quickly.   Interesting.    Also, I noted that directions on the box said keep finished-piece thicknesses to 1/2" or less for even drying without cracking.  Also, interesting. 

This experience may provide more explanation for the shape of ancient glandes.     mgreenfield
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Johnny
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Re: Making Clay Glandes
Reply #1 - Apr 17th, 2004 at 12:58pm
 
Have you tried to sling them?
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Whipartist
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Re: Making Clay Glandes
Reply #2 - Apr 17th, 2004 at 5:14pm
 
Interesting.

I made some clay glandes sometime last year.  I just used modeling clay.  I didn't have any problems with them cracking or anything and interestingly, the shrinkage was very minimal aswell.  It must be a different type of clay. 

Remember that lead glandes are also typically almond shaped, and they don't have any problems with cracking.

Lastly, the clay glandes I made, exploded on impact with anything hard.  They work great for a netting backdrop, but not a fence.  Let me know if your glandes are more durable than the ones I made.

                                      Ben
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mgreenfield
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Re: Making Clay Glandes
Reply #3 - Apr 17th, 2004 at 9:18pm
 
So I can report on durability, etc, the material is called "Marblex" Self-hardening Clay.  Not cheep, but I sprung the $7 for an experiment.  They're drying on a cookie rack on the kitchen counter.   We'll see about durability.

Interesting how easy they were to make.  1/ Moosh the clay all together, then make it into a sphere, by rolling it between my two hands.  2/ Using almost the same motion, roll the sphere into a sort-of football, then 3/ flatten the football with a sort-of back and forth hand motion to give the flattened almond shape, somewhat thicker in the middle.

With practice, I figger a person could form 2-3+ glandes per minute.    Makes it very likely ancient slingsters preferred using their own custom ammo over picking up the less predictable odd stone.   mgreenfield
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mgreenfield
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Re: Making Clay Glandes
Reply #4 - Apr 19th, 2004 at 6:43pm
 
Almond-shaped clay glandes are AWFUL!!   What were those Romans thinking???   How the heck did they make them work???   

The "sharp" edge of the almond-shape catches on the release cord, making launches VERY! unpredictable.   The flat side of the almond-shape is an absolute sail in the wind.    If the glande gets off sideways, it has the flight characteristics of a thrown bathroom sponge.  If there's a crosswind, it veers downwind like a really bad slice in golf.

IF this was the preferred shape for ancient Roman slingers, they knew something we don't have a clue about!!

I'm going back to cylindrical ammo.  mgreenfield
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Hondero
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Re: Making Clay Glandes
Reply #5 - Apr 20th, 2004 at 2:15am
 
Mgreenfield, the almond Roman glandes were made of lead and due to its small size they worked very well. The clay glandes of the antiquity were football shaped, of circular cross section, or at least Ive not seen yet any clay almond shape proyectil. Really it is not necessary this shape for clay proyectiles due to its biger size and also because the clay have enough adhesion and clench to the pouch, that was the effect looked for with the almond shape little glandes, in regard to the glandes to take a good spin in the launching, in my opinion.
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