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Ginny C

Hollow Die Extruder. Clay Not "healing"

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I just purchased some hollow dies for a square wall-mounted extruder in a shared pottery space. (No one in charge of the room. It's a non-profit Artisan Learning Center, well equipped but no one using it now was there in the beginning.) The only dies they had previously were for solid items. I want to extrude hollow shapes, and I was excited to try the new dies this morning, but it was a failure! Instead of one hollow tube it produced two halves of a tube, completely separate from each other.

 

The dies came with a cross-piece with three bolts to fit into the die and the center piece. I installed the die in what seemed the logical way, with the connecting bar above the die, and loaded nice soft B-Mix clay.  The shape came out in 2 sections, all the time.    

 

The cross piece is flat (maybe 1/16th inch thick) and about 1 1/2 inches tall.  Seems like a much smaller connection would be better at letting the clay get itself back together in time!!

 

Any suggestions?? What did I do wrong? Thanks for any help.

 

 

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I'm not there right now.  The dies are from TA Metal in Canada.

I think, from reading earlier posts on extruders, that the bar across is too close to the die. At least the way we installed it.  Will go back now and see if it can be moved up. Also might file the top edge of the opening to make it slightly beveled.

 

More later!

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If you'd like I can send pictures of my hollow die from my smaller Scott Creek clay gun so you can perhaps base your die on this one. It's a large piece so the bar is about 2 inches away from where the extrusion exits the gun.

 

Another thought: Have you made sure the clay is very moist? My extruder works with wetter clay better. 

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I should add that it works perfectly now that I understand it!  And a shout out Tyler Allanson at T.A. Metal for his helpfulness!  His was the only place I found that sells the hollow dies individually so you can order just the shapes you want. Much more cost efficient than the sets most ceramic places sell.

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