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OffCenter    82

After reading reviews and articles about pugmills, I decided to buy a Peter Pugger (the smallest one). During my first incarnation as a potter back in the '70s I used Walkers and Bluebirds. I loved the Walker but those aren't available anymore. I've had the Peter Pugger 2 years and have only used it a few times because, first, it is almost as much trouble as just mixing clay by hand and, second, the clay that comes out is the most unplastic, unusable crap I've ever seen. Even when all I'm doing is running some clay through it to even it all out (same wetness) and put really nice plastic clay in, it comes out horribly unplastic. Even aging it doesn't help much. I've got some Frost and Southern Ice that I ruined by pugging it over a year ago and it is still crap clay. I've tried adding a little beer. I've saved slip to add instead of water. I tried adding a little Ball clay. Nothing helps. Anyone else out there experience anything like this?

 

Jiim

 

Hi Jim,

YES ME. and I thought that I was alone. I have a PM- 50 deairing pugger and I agree with you. This machine is like the Kings New Clothes! The company that make it sing its praises and all I get is crap clay just like you. Also the de-airing bit keeps clogging and does not work either. I have given up basically and I don't use it any more. Frankly it was a complete waste of money. Right now it will not even pug out the clay any more and I have to take it apart to clear it out. Just a chore at this stage. I would love to sell it but I cant do that with a clear conscience.

Sorry I don't have better news or a cure for you.

 

Hi Lewis... The strange thing is that you and I are a very small minority here. Do a poll of people with pugmills or even just Peter Puggers and the majority would say they like their pugmill. I got an email from someone at Peter Pugger a few weeks ago after he saw this thread and he shocked me by starting off with admitting that the bad clay was the fault of the pugmill. He even put up a video on Utube showing how to correct this fault in the machine but then took the video down a few days later.

 

Jim

 

Interesting. What was the fix he suggested?

 

They seemed to think the problem was the de-airing. One the phone Jared (I think) said that at high speeds during de-airing the force of the clay trying to back up into the de-air chamber was too great and it would prevent de-airing (or something like that) and the video showed someone turning the speed down when the vacuum dial started bouncing around. To me that just showed that the Peter Pugger is poorly designed. I don't think it has anything to do with ruining my clay.

 

Jim

 

Funny how, the Ol' Walker we've discussed before, a machine that you can't even buy new anymore, seems to do a better job, than the modern machines. Sure, it didn't de-air the clay, but I never minded a little wedging.

 

Yes, I'd trade my $4,000 Peter Pugger for a Walker any day.

 

Jim

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Benzine    609

After reading reviews and articles about pugmills, I decided to buy a Peter Pugger (the smallest one). During my first incarnation as a potter back in the '70s I used Walkers and Bluebirds. I loved the Walker but those aren't available anymore. I've had the Peter Pugger 2 years and have only used it a few times because, first, it is almost as much trouble as just mixing clay by hand and, second, the clay that comes out is the most unplastic, unusable crap I've ever seen. Even when all I'm doing is running some clay through it to even it all out (same wetness) and put really nice plastic clay in, it comes out horribly unplastic. Even aging it doesn't help much. I've got some Frost and Southern Ice that I ruined by pugging it over a year ago and it is still crap clay. I've tried adding a little beer. I've saved slip to add instead of water. I tried adding a little Ball clay. Nothing helps. Anyone else out there experience anything like this?

 

Jiim

 

Hi Jim,

YES ME. and I thought that I was alone. I have a PM- 50 deairing pugger and I agree with you. This machine is like the Kings New Clothes! The company that make it sing its praises and all I get is crap clay just like you. Also the de-airing bit keeps clogging and does not work either. I have given up basically and I don't use it any more. Frankly it was a complete waste of money. Right now it will not even pug out the clay any more and I have to take it apart to clear it out. Just a chore at this stage. I would love to sell it but I cant do that with a clear conscience.

Sorry I don't have better news or a cure for you.

 

Hi Lewis... The strange thing is that you and I are a very small minority here. Do a poll of people with pugmills or even just Peter Puggers and the majority would say they like their pugmill. I got an email from someone at Peter Pugger a few weeks ago after he saw this thread and he shocked me by starting off with admitting that the bad clay was the fault of the pugmill. He even put up a video on Utube showing how to correct this fault in the machine but then took the video down a few days later.

 

Jim

 

Interesting. What was the fix he suggested?

 

They seemed to think the problem was the de-airing. One the phone Jared (I think) said that at high speeds during de-airing the force of the clay trying to back up into the de-air chamber was too great and it would prevent de-airing (or something like that) and the video showed someone turning the speed down when the vacuum dial started bouncing around. To me that just showed that the Peter Pugger is poorly designed. I don't think it has anything to do with ruining my clay.

 

Jim

 

Funny how, the Ol' Walker we've discussed before, a machine that you can't even buy new anymore, seems to do a better job, than the modern machines. Sure, it didn't de-air the clay, but I never minded a little wedging.

 

Yes, I'd trade my $4,000 Peter Pugger for a Walker any day.

 

Jim

 

As you know, there are people selling them out there. Sell your Peter Pugger, and buy one of those. You'd come out somewhat ahead on the deal, since the Walker's are usually being sold for a grand or less.

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Pres    896

Funny how, the Ol' Walker we've discussed before, a machine that you can't even buy new anymore, seems to do a better job, than the modern machines. Sure, it didn't de-air the clay, but I never minded a little wedging. Yeah, but when you consider the compression that a Walker put the clay through in that long barrel pushing the clay out the side in that 3X5 opening, it did a great job of removing 70-75% of the air. My kids always thought it funny when it "farted". If you watched the clay consistency keeping away from "dog ears", and not getting too wet, there was a sweet spot where the clay was excellent, de-aired or not.

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LEWIS    1

After reading reviews and articles about pugmills, I decided to buy a Peter Pugger (the smallest one). During my first incarnation as a potter back in the '70s I used Walkers and Bluebirds. I loved the Walker but those aren't available anymore. I've had the Peter Pugger 2 years and have only used it a few times because, first, it is almost as much trouble as just mixing clay by hand and, second, the clay that comes out is the most unplastic, unusable crap I've ever seen. Even when all I'm doing is running some clay through it to even it all out (same wetness) and put really nice plastic clay in, it comes out horribly unplastic. Even aging it doesn't help much. I've got some Frost and Southern Ice that I ruined by pugging it over a year ago and it is still crap clay. I've tried adding a little beer. I've saved slip to add instead of water. I tried adding a little Ball clay. Nothing helps. Anyone else out there experience anything like this?

 

Jiim

 

 

Hi Jim,

YES ME. and I thought that I was alone. I have a PM- 50 deairing pugger and I agree with you. This machine is like the Kings New Clothes! The company that make it sing its praises and all I get is crap clay just like you. Also the de-airing bit keeps clogging and does not work either. I have given up basically and I don't use it any more. Frankly it was a complete waste of money. Right now it will not even pug out the clay any more and I have to take it apart to clear it out. Just a chore at this stage. I would love to sell it but I cant do that with a clear conscience.

Sorry I don't have better news or a cure for you.

 

 

Hi Lewis... The strange thing is that you and I are a very small minority here. Do a poll of people with pugmills or even just Peter Puggers and the majority would say they like their pugmill. I got an email from someone at Peter Pugger a few weeks ago after he saw this thread and he shocked me by starting off with admitting that the bad clay was the fault of the pugmill. He even put up a video on Utube showing how to correct this fault in the machine but then took the video down a few days later.

 

Jim

 

 

Dear Jim,

 

I tried very hard to make my Peter Pugger work for me. Sadly it never really worked and I believe that it is a flawed concept. It is a perfect way to turn good clay into bad. My base studio clay is B-Mix and that is hard to ruin but this Pugger is really good at screwing it up. I personally have met rather few people who are really happy with theirs and there are several in my neck of the woods that do have them.

All I need to do now is clean it out completely and leave it as an expensive relic, or maybe one of those who love it would like to find someone to buy mine, its has really low mileage!

 

Michael Lewis

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Idaho Potter    62

Sorry, Lewis, but I really like my Peter Pugger. Wyndham says it's better taking it out of the hopper rather than the pug nozzle. Hmmm, I guess that's what I do when the machine has been just sitting for a long time, but I don't dig it out of the hopper. Instead, I pug (and de-air)about 8 lbs. of clay and set it aside. Then I continue to pug de-aired clay, and when the hopper is sorta empty, I reload the 8 lbs. and other scrap/slop mix it up and let it sit overnight. The next day I work all the scrap/slop that I have and sometimes even toss in 25 lb. bag of new clay. Other than reworking the clay that's been sitting in the pug end, it seems to work fine for me.

 

Jim do you use porcelain for the most of your work? I know that doesn't mix well in the aluminum or cast metal puggers--they recommend their stainless steel model.

 

I'm really sorry you guys are so unhappy with Peter Pugger.

 

Shirley

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OffCenter    82

Sorry, Lewis, but I really like my Peter Pugger. Wyndham says it's better taking it out of the hopper rather than the pug nozzle. Hmmm, I guess that's what I do when the machine has been just sitting for a long time, but I don't dig it out of the hopper. Instead, I pug (and de-air)about 8 lbs. of clay and set it aside. Then I continue to pug de-aired clay, and when the hopper is sorta empty, I reload the 8 lbs. and other scrap/slop mix it up and let it sit overnight. The next day I work all the scrap/slop that I have and sometimes even toss in 25 lb. bag of new clay. Other than reworking the clay that's been sitting in the pug end, it seems to work fine for me.

 

Jim do you use porcelain for the most of your work? I know that doesn't mix well in the aluminum or cast metal puggers--they recommend their stainless steel model.

 

I'm really sorry you guys are so unhappy with Peter Pugger.

 

Shirley

 

 

I use a lot of different clays, including clay I dig, but probably use cone 6 B-Mix, cone 6 Frost, Lizella, and cone 12 B-Mix Woodfire the most. In another thread here a while back, there was an in depth discussion of possible reasons for the problem and possible solutions and I think I'll get around to a solution sooner or later but it's on a back burner.

 

Jim

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LEWIS    1

Sorry, Lewis, but I really like my Peter Pugger. Wyndham says it's better taking it out of the hopper rather than the pug nozzle. Hmmm, I guess that's what I do when the machine has been just sitting for a long time, but I don't dig it out of the hopper. Instead, I pug (and de-air)about 8 lbs. of clay and set it aside. Then I continue to pug de-aired clay, and when the hopper is sorta empty, I reload the 8 lbs. and other scrap/slop mix it up and let it sit overnight. The next day I work all the scrap/slop that I have and sometimes even toss in 25 lb. bag of new clay. Other than reworking the clay that's been sitting in the pug end, it seems to work fine for me.

 

Jim do you use porcelain for the most of your work? I know that doesn't mix well in the aluminum or cast metal puggers--they recommend their stainless steel model.

 

I'm really sorry you guys are so unhappy with Peter Pugger.

 

Shirley

 

 

I use a lot of different clays, including clay I dig, but probably use cone 6 B-Mix, cone 6 Frost, Lizella, and cone 12 B-Mix Woodfire the most. In another thread here a while back, there was an in depth discussion of possible reasons for the problem and possible solutions and I think I'll get around to a solution sooner or later but it's on a back burner.

 

Jim

 

 

 

Hi Shirley,

I am of course very pleased indeed that you 'really like' your Peter Pugger and please do not apologise for that, in fact more power to you for finding that it suits your needs. For me, if I can't just simply use something successfully and within a reasonable period of time, then I would rather forget it and concentrate my studio time on what I like doing best which is making ware. I am just trying to make my life much simpler or far less complicated and my experience with Peter Pugger has not worked for me sadly in that regard. The fact is I am a one clay studio and to make my life even simpler, I have surrounded myself with three kilns which are, a Geil 16 cubic foot downdraft gas kiln which is run by computer, a Skutt 10 cubic foot top loading electric kiln also run by computer and a small manual Skutt electric sample kiln. I also have a Laguna Pro-v seamless spray booth exhausted by a 10inch in-line fan through aluminum trunking to the outside as I spray or airbrush most of my glazes using a banding wheel. I also have many other studio hardware goodies to speed the process all of which seem to work well for me and all of this is crammed into about 600 square feet of studio space. So you will see from the aforementioned and I am sure you will also appreciate, that I have quite seriously tried to surround myself with no brainer stuff to smooth the path of what I like to spend my time doing the most. Sadly, the actual principle of Peter Pugger, which is indeed quite wonderful, in practice just does not seem to work for me, as much as I would dearly love it to.

Michael Lewis

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clay lover    133

Pres, can you explain " Dog ears" ? I get that sometimes in the first 10" of a new batch. Some times I run that 1st pug back through. It seems to happen most often when I run some after not using the mill for a week or so.

 

I am very careful to not mix so much that I get the clay warm. I need and make different consistencies of clay and don't see that this happens more with damper or dryer pugs. Any clues?

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Well I have a VPM 9. Bought last year. Used about 4 times. Having issues with significant pitting in the chamber after leaving clay in pugger for 6 weeks. Have only pugged Earthenware and a little Stoneware. Talked to Peter Pugger today. Initial conversation with company was not very encouraging . Will let the forum know how the customer service is for this extremely expensive piece of equipment that lays claim to a pugger that "Stores moist clay indefinitely".

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OffCenter    82

Well I have a VPM 9. Bought last year. Used about 4 times. Having issues with significant pitting in the chamber after leaving clay in pugger for 6 weeks. Have only pugged Earthenware and a little Stoneware. Talked to Peter Pugger today. Initial conversation with company was not very encouraging . Will let the forum know how the customer service is for this extremely expensive piece of equipment that lays claim to a pugger that "Stores moist clay indefinitely".

 

Weird is the only way I can explain my experience of their customer service. Someone from Peter Pugger contacted me after seeing a post here and, surprisingly and refreshingly, started the email saying that it was the pugmill's fault that the clay was coming out ruined. He wanted me to call but I said email would be lots better then he said they were posting a video of how to solve the problem. They did and I looked at it once intending to come back to it when I had more time, even though, it was pretty obvious to me that the video did show a flaw in the design of this very expensive machine, it would not be the cause of my ruined clay. When I came back the next day to look at the video again it was gone. I don't thank my ruined clay is caused by the pugmill, but explaining that would take too many words here. I know a lot of people here love their Peter Puggers, but I think they are poorly designed and way too expensive. I'd take an old Walker of Bluebird any day over a Peter Pugger.

 

Jim

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Pres    896

Pres, can you explain " Dog ears" ? I get that sometimes in the first 10" of a new batch. Some times I run that 1st pug back through. It seems to happen most often when I run some after not using the mill for a week or so.

 

I

Dog ears is a term I heard or read years ago. It refers to the rough edges that come out of the pug mill that rise away from the surface in rough raised edges. On the Walker, the dog ears would be in the corners pulling away like little barb wire triangles sticking out on all four corners randomly. Running the clay back through the mill with a slight be more water would usually smooth it out. When pugging, I worked for a smooth rectangle with no bumps(air bubbles) circular valleys(harder clay next to softer), no dog ears (non homogeneous), or broken areas(too dry lumpy clay). All in all, with the Walker, if you watched for these things you would usually end up with clay that was extremely well prepared and easy to wedge with much of the air removed. 

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flowerdry    128

Pres, you gave me a good laugh...answering the dog ear question 2 years later.  I see you subscribe to my philosophy of "I get to everything....eventually."

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oldlady    1,323

that is ok, doris, unless you are responding to a cry for help from the middle of the river.

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Pres    896

Pres, you gave me a good laugh...answering the dog ear question 2 years later.  I see you subscribe to my philosophy of "I get to everything....eventually."

Actually, I go to my blog and check on the page views. If there is something I missed, I catch it that way. Kind of going around the horn to get to China! :D

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