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So my whining on another thread about dealing with "infirmaries" brought on a suggestion for extruding by Min.

 

@Pres, how about using an electric caulking gun? Ryobi makes an inexpensive one ($40 in Canada)  500 lbs of push force. I know the battery and charger would be expensive but if you already have those?

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After about a week of thinking about it and researching, I spent part of an afternoon at a lumber/hardware store and came up with what I hoped would be a solution.

I purchased the following:

  1.  Length of 1 1/2" inside diameter plastic pipe. 
  2. Reduction collar
  3. Electric Caulk gun sold without battery
  4. One battery and charger kit

At home, I cut the pipe to 81/4 ", as a standard caulk tube is 8 1/2 inches. I also cut off the end of the reducer, which gave me a collar to add to the end of the pipe. I also used a 1 1/2" hole saw to cut a Plexiglas plug to fit between the end of the plunger and clay,as a caulk tube has a plastic plug on it to keep caulk from getting to the plunger.  

I then removed the plunger end from the toothed rod with the center screw, and then the screw that held the backing plate and the plastic plunger end together. Using my dremel with my drill, I set up a bit to grind/sand the metal and plastic to the 1 1/2" diameter extruder tube. Then replaced these back on the toothed rod.

Well wedged clay was placed in the assembled extuder, the die on the end of the tube, the collar over top fitting on to the tube, then the clay( well wedged and rolled out to fit), and lastly the protection plate for the plunger with a little space in the end of the tube. Lastly the entire thing was placed into the caulk gun/clay extruder and within 3 minutes I had the three and a half lengths of handle around 8" long. So smooth, no cross lines from short pumps of the manual type handle, and so easy on my hands. Once again, Thanks to MIN!

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Caulk gun with battery

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8 1/4" X 1 1/2" diameter pipe, handle extruder die, collar made from reducer coupling, end for plunger of caulk gun

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Only change on Caulk gun was to grind/sand plunger end to fit into 1 1/2 ID pipe

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Plunger has a metal backer for plastic front, I separated both by removing center screw and side screw-simple.

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Set up for drill to change diameter of any pieces needed to be ground, cut smaller.

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Full tube of new power extruder gave me these teapot handles till the plunger was at the end of run

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This is getting a bit of use. I have more teapots to do, and 60 more mugs to finish up. I have also been looking at some design options with added on decoration and some hand built galleries for altered thrown forms. This because of the rise in the center walls when squaring a thrown bowl for lid. Lots of thinking to go yet. I have also heard from some that intend to do the same as they are running  into similar problems.

best,

Pres

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You gave me a great idea!   I have a metal cookie press set that has heavy duty components,   I think I can convert it to be used with with the power extruder.   If I have trouble with it I will just show it to my husband.  He loves to figure things like that out,  he is disappointed when I do a project like this without his help.   Denice

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