Lucy Clay Tools: Clay Conditioning Machine
LC Machine Review
There are a wide variety of clay conditioning machines [better known as ‘pasta machines’] on the market today. If you watched my unboxing of the LC Machine, you are likely eager to know what I think. Here’s my thoughts on the LC Machine.
Lucy Clay Tools
Lucy Clay Tools is a company that is based in the Czech Republic and makes high-end polymer clay tools. These tools are not your standard polymer clay tools. They have been rethought, reengineered, and truly bring a high quality and ease of use to some “standard” polymer clay tools. While this LC Machine review is not endorsed or requested by the company, I am writing it for my loyal readership who has been anxious to know my thoughts on the LC Tools Machine.
My LC Machine
The LC Machine is available in two different sizes: Elephant and Mammoth. Due to the large volume of clay that I condition on a daily basis, I purchased the Mammoth*. The LC Mammoth price tag is very high compared to a decent run-of-the-mill pasta machine like the Atlas 180 and comes in at a whopping $520 US dollars [compare to the D.R.E.A.M. Machine at $345. This is NOT an inexpensive tool. I would classify this is a “luxury” tool. You can condition polymer clay without the use of this tool.
LC Machine Review
I will do my best to assemble all my thoughts in a manner that is best suited for my readership. If you are looking for an extremely in depth review with polymer clay conditioning machine comparisons, I highly recommend The Blue Bottle Tree’s expert review.
- Who Needs It: I would personally recommend the LC Machine for the intermediate to advanced clayer. The LC Machine would be an extremely valuable tool for those who condition a large amount of clay at a time; sculpturists and large piece artists included.
- Usability: While the LC Machine has some new features consisting of balance wheels and width (depth) wheel, it is extremely easy to use. Even a novice clayer will not have any difficulty if figuring out how to use this [see note below].
- Best Feature: Hands down the best feature of the LC Machine is it’s width capabilities. No other polymer clay conditioning machine on the market can match the width range this machine has with largest gap being 12mm.
- Best Result: I have achieved the best results with the Machine on the largest and mid-range settings. Superior & easy conditioning. Superior “cranking” due to the 2:1 gear ratio, not found on any other clay conditioning machine.
- Worse Feature: The worst feature of the current model (I have the first release and as of this review no new modifications have been made to the current Machine) are the width guides [also called Limiting Guides]. In fact they are a complete failure. In all honesty, they do not even work. Do not spend the extra money at this time for them. Rather, make your own width guides with this free tutorial.
- NOTE: The Blue Bottle Tree shares that new Limiting Guides should be available soon and that the company is aware of this issue.
- Worst Result: The one problem that this machine did NOT solve was the rippling of the clay on the thinnest settings. Please know that this is a problem with ALL clay conditioning machines, some more so than others. Lucy Clay does sell plastic sheets to aid in the rippling of the clay at thinnest settings, although I have not tried those as of this time.
- Ease of Assembly: If you watched my unboxing, you know that the LC Machine comes fully assembled. You will need to add stickers as well as checking & tightening the scrapers prior to using your new Machine.
- Customer Service: Customer service is definitely an issue with this company. I have both an XL Extruder and a LC Slicer from the company and have had NO customer service issues up until this purchase. I had a variety of issues with this purchase including non-delivery of the Machine. However, within a few emails, Jiri was able to work everything out for me and I received my Machine within 4 days of his shipment from the Czech Republic.
- Overall Opinion: I absolutely love my LC Machine. I have not reached for my Atlas even ONCE since owning the LC Machine; in fact my Atlas is in it’s new home … on a shelf, high up in the studio. The LC Machine is a beast. It has yet to fail me or be unable to conquer and condition even the oldest of clays. I am duly impressed. And the best part, with the width setting being wider you do NOT have to pre-cut your blocks of clay down to size anymore.
- Is It Worth It? If you are a polymer clay artist who is working full time in polymer clay (working 20+ hours a week with clay) or conditioning large amounts of clay at one time (1 pound or more), I can not recommend the LC Machine enough. If however, you are a hobby clay artist or someone who works with clay 8 hours a week or less, there is no need to purchase such an extravagant Machine. An Atlas or Makins clay conditioning machine will work just as well for small use clayers.
- NOTES: As is typical with all LC Tools products, Jiri has reengineered a machine that is common to us. YES, it is different. YES, it will take a little getting used to. The new width settings are nothing to fear or worry you and should NOT be taken into consideration when purchasing the LC Machine. Within several days the adjustments will become as second nature to you as the pasta machine that you are replacing.
- TIPS: Very shortly I will be writing up a “Tips” guide for using your new LC Machine. Look for it in the next few days in a separate posting.
If you have other questions about the LC Machine, please leave them in the comments below and I will answer those questions too.
*The LC Machine was purchased and paid for with my own money. The LC Machine was NOT sent to me by the company or for review purposes. As always, my views on this machine is solely my own.
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Thanks for joining me today,