Neverknead Review

NEVERknead Polymer Clay Machine Review

I had been claying just a few months when I had seen an advertisement for the NEVERknead Polymer Clay Conditioning Machine and it intrigued me. I went to NEVERknead.com and began reading everything & watched all the videos. I was very impressed and knew right away that this tool would help me so much with my claying. My hands are not very strong and conditioning clay would be very painful for me within a few minutes. I had just discovered polymer clay and I was not going to let this little hurdle get in my way, I added the NEVERknead to my wish list.

 

A few months later…

Neverknead Review Pic 1One day the doorbell rang and it was the mail carrier delivering a heavy package he was kind enough to put the box inside the doorway for me. I was not expecting anything so when I looked at the sender’s information all you could hear next was a high-pitched squeal come out of my mouth. I recognized the name & was absolutely shocked it was from Debra Ann of NEVERknead. What did my husband do this time ? I was a good girl and did not touch the box at all, it stood in the front hallway all day and I didn’t move or wiggle the box again, but I did glance and smile at it all afternoon from afar.

 

It turned out to be a gift that had arrived a few days early and of course he let me open it as it would have been pure torture to make me wait any longer, so with my heart fluttering every second I carefully opened the box.

 

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I am so excited and I have the biggest smile on my face that my cheeks are starting to hurt. I opened the box and I see it is my favorite color light baby pink! You can tell there was a lot of care taken in packaging this box up.

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There is a little assembly required written instructions were included. I also found a step by step video tutorial assembling your new neverknead. The box arrived exactly as shown in this tutorial and the instructions for the assembly were easy to understand.

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My assembled light baby pink NEVERknead isn’t she pretty!

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It has pre-drilled holes that are for bolting down to a work surface. I will NOT be bolting down mine as I will be moving it around in my studio as needed and besides that my work tables are not ones that can be drilled into.

Non Skid Liner
Non Skid Liner

If the NEVERknead is not going to be bolted down I highly recommend a slip proof surface under it, you can also use the grip type drawer liner that can be found in household kitchen departments.

Since my machine isn’t bolted down, when I am using very hard clay I stand up directly in front of it for better control, when I warm-up or condition softer clays then I am able to sit down to use my NEVERknead very comfortably without it moving very much on the non skid pad.

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NEVER carry the NEVERknead by the base plate grip on the thick metal flaps on the curve of the body or from the bottom for handling.

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I had ordered a batch of clay a few months ago and when it arrived several few bars were hard as a brick then I went to slice a bar and it crumbled into a big mess. I worked on this bar of clay off and on for a total of 2½ hours using clay softener, my body heat {sitting on it even} adding the crumbled clay bits into rolled out sheets of translucent & running it through the clay machine nothing worked this clay was beyond repair. For this review I am using another bar of clay from that same bad batch, if this Fimo bar can be saved I will be amazed.

1st pressing – I pulled the handle down as far as it would go, I could feel the plunger pressed down on the clay just a bit.

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Rotated the clay ¼ turn – I used this method of rotating & pressing to avoid air bubbles.

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2nd pressing – I was able to pull the handle down a bit further.

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After each pressing I rotated the clay ¼ turn.

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3rd pressing – The handle went down a little further the plunger made a small dent in the clay.  Rotated the clay ¼ turn.

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4th pressing – The plunger is pressing down into the clay even more. Rotated the clay ¼ turn.

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5th pressing – The clay is getting softer but it still feels firm but I can feel that it is starting to wake up. Rotated the clay ¼ turn.

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6th pressing – The plunger is pressing down deeper into the clay it has a hardness to it still but I can feel it loosening up. Rotated the clay ¼ turn.

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7th pressing – It feels about the same. Rotated the clay ¼ turn.

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8th pressing – The plunger is pressing deeper into the clay, it’s beginning to have a squishy feeling to it. Rotated the clay ¼ turn.

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9th pressing – It is still crumbling and not workable yet. Rotated the clay ¼ turn.

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I was able to break the clay in ½ and added just a few drops of the clay softener between the two layers of clay.

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10th pressing – The handle and plunger are now moving with ease and with little effort the clay is remarkably much smoother with this pressing. Rotated the clay ¼ turn.

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11th pressing – There is improvement the clay is extending further on the base plate beneath the plunger.

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The clay is soft enough that I could squeeze it in my hands but it is still too stiff to form.

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12th pressing – There is more ease when pressing down the handle.

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I tore the clay into 3 chunks, adding two more drops of clay softener between the layers stacking them for the next pressing.

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13th pressing – Oh YES this is getting softer the plasticizers in the clay have loosened up. Rotated the clay ¼ turn.

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14th pressing – Now this is a squish!

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I can now squeeze the clay in my hands with less effort than before let me see what happens after one more pressing.

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15th pressing – SQUISH! You can see how much softer and pliable the clay is it’s ready to be rolled out.

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I flattened the clay with an acrylic roller without much effort now it feels more like a nice new soft bar of clay that had just been conditioned and flattened.

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The clay is soft enough to be put into the clay machine first pass on the thickest setting.

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It stayed together and there are no tiny bits of crumbled clay anymore, folded the sheet of clay in ½ and ran it through the clay machine a 2nd time.

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The steps I had taken with this review were the minimal amount of steps it took to get this hard crumbled bar of clay to a usable condition. It could use a few more passes in both clay machines but as it is now I could start using it.

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It took me about 15 minutes to take this bar of clay and get it into a nice softer workable condition. A similar bar took me over a 2 ½ hours what a difference! This bar of clay was once destined for the trash can is now ready to use, with very little effort.

The creator of the NEVERknead Debra Ann being a clayer, knew what was needed and invented this wonderful machine. All of the machines features and details can be found here.

Update:

I have had my NEVERknead Clay Conditioning Machine for 2 years and I have found that I use it almost every time I sit down to clay. I no longer dread opening a new package of clay. Conditioning polymer clay was very hard for me with my hands, and it would cause radiating pain in my neck, back and shoulders because of this I would have to clay in sessions working the clay a little at a time then having to take a break. This really interfered with my creative flow, being to sore to do anything else. This machine was my solution it works better than I ever imagined and I highly recommend it for anyone that does a lot of claying it saves so much time and effort.

The NEVERknead is a necessity tool for me and I use it almost every time I clay, it’s one of my most cherished tools in my studio it has allowed me to continue claying & to continue following my passion with polymer clay. I use my NEVERknead for a lot more than just conditioning clay, you can see them here.  This will give you an idea of what you can also do with it.

If you decide to get a NEVERknead, I suggest you look at the website and compare with other places. I noticed you can find 20% off codes, and also depending on where you are located the shipping costs could be less direct from the website than from Amazon.  Just a suggestion as I am always looking for ways to save.