I always keep a small conditioned sheet of each color… no less than 3”X3”…
mine happens to be #1.
NEVER run clay through the machine in bunches… only feed slices no thicker than your thickest setting into the rollers!
KATO is a tough firm clay that works up beautifully! However, you CAN NOT expect to work with it and have your finished pieces last for any length of time without proper conditioning.
By all means, if you can make it happen – GET A MOTOR!
Especially if you have joint issues in your arms… I had TWO torn rotator cuff surgeries in two years. I couldn’t clay using the crank. I went NUTZ without my clay!
flip so the fold goes through first, always! It prevents bubbles.
take a thin slice off the block – I use the 1 LB blocks
place on the bottom edge
I’ve found that the lighter colors tend to crumble more… it varies from batch to batch, color to color.
always fold left to right with edges slightly off… turn fold to face down, run through PM, repeat.
Your mileage may vary with this method, but it works well for me and is the way I teach how to work with KATO, something I’ve done exclusively since Donna and Vern developed it years ago.