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Walker Pug Mill maintenance question

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I recently purchased a Walker Pug Mill via a surplus school auction and would like to learn what lubrication is needed and how often should I add it.  Currently I have been running it about an hour a week (several short runs each day) and all is well.  I do not know it's maintenance history so wish to get a fresh start.   It is in great shape for the $226 I paid and is proving to be a real asset for my studio.

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Heavy gear oil change once a year for the gear box. Motor is pretty well free of maintenance. Depending on use, don't allow clay to dry out in the long worm tube, I would often clean it when taking off for the Summer. If you will be using it all year round pretty much good to go. You may want to put damp towels in the hopper, and make certain the cover is on the end of the worm tube if down for a month or two. Other than that, you should get many many years of service with it. I am jealous. 

I really would caution you to keep the safety devices in play as an accident with that beast can be difficult to recover from. It has enough torque to chew up a maple rolling pin, as I had a student try it out one time when I was absent. The sub never got called back!

 

 

best,

Pres

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Thank you for the help.

Finding a good deal on equipment can take time but building a studio is worth it.  A Walker pug mill is a serious tool and can process plenty of clay so keeping it in good shape makes working easier.  Here is the link to the auction where I got it:

https://www.publicsurplus.com/sms/auction/view?auc=2069051

I understand that the safety equipment is there for a reason so I am respecting the need, while I remain the only one using the studio I may have friends over who do not know the tools like I do.  

 

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Pug mill looks to be in reasonably good shape. Discoloration around the gear box may mean a bad seal. The rubber coupling in is great shape telling me the machine has either had one replaced or has not been heavily used. The interior blades on the hopper look to be aligned so no problem there. Seems like you made a good purchase. Have you replaced the key lock to start it up yet?

 

best,

Pres

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I'm jealous.  If I saw one of those for sale around me, for a decent price, I'd jump on it!

I was lucky to have one, in my second District, and loved it.  My other Districts, I use the human puggers, known as students.  Those can also tear up a maple rolling pin, if you're not careful...

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When I got it home, I opened everything up to check it out . A pleasant surprise was finding it in  "as new" condition.  Opening up the key switch box I was able to reset the lock to ON thereby bypassing the lack of a key.   I flipped the on/off switch on and it started right up.  I still have the safety switch / emergency stop bar to control the motor so all is working great.  The discoloration around the gear box looks like oil spill from prior service. It has no leaks or other problems after several months of use.   I am a happy camper.

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Good news for you, I am jealous, as is Ben. You know this pug mill you don't have to stand over when running it, load a few pieces of clay, some water or slop, let it run, every few 20 minutes or so walk by to check out. If you get dog ears run some more, if too dry run some more if too wet the same. Great machine almost maintenance free.

 

best,

Pres

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@Pres if you get dog ears, then the clay needs to be balanced out with more cat.

 

My question, regarding the Walkers is, why are they no longer being made?  They are a great product, especially for a classroom setting.  I realize the large hopper, which is a big selling point, is probably also a liability.  But there are the safety features you mentioned Pres.  I just like the fact, that you can use it as clay storage too.  Don't have time to pug it all that day, or just don't need to, that's fine.  Close the tip, and seal the extrusion tube.  Every other pugger I've seen, has a tiny hopper, and in order to get a lot of clay out, that day, you have to put a lot in.  That's just too time consuming, for a classroom.  It took me an entire Block class period, to pug one person's clay, the only time I tried to use one of the smaller ones for reclaiming clay.  After that, it was just easier to do it manually.    And with the Walker, it was easy to throw in slop, due to the large hopper.  

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