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#1 tjbanjo

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 08:02 AM

I am hopefully getting a pug mill for my school's ceramics studio. It looks like I'll have about $5500 to spend on it. Any recommendations? How long can I expect a pug mill to last? Well beyond the 5 year warranty that I've seen on some, I hope. What's the difference between de-airing and non (I know, one removes the air from the clay and one doesn't. But, what does that mean in terms of wedging work?)

I would appreciate ideas and hearing about your experiences with pug mills. My options pretty much seem to be between Shimpo and Peter Pugger, I think. I might be able to find a Venco, but I'm not sure about that.

By the way, I'm in China, so if you respond and I don't get back to it right away, check back the next day.

Thanks,
Bob
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#2 Stephen Robison

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 09:30 AM

Over the last few decades I have purchased several pug mills for universities. Venco was my favorite for a while, The peter pugger is good, the bluebird is pretty good. But the best one I have worked with with students is by far the Baiely pugmill. I just ordered another on in the spring and it should be here soon. The safety and all the other features make it my favorite for the cost! The one I just bought was about 5,500 with a tile extrusion nozzle. Not sure how their extrusion nozzles work but imagine from demonstrations I have seen they work fairly well. Which ever one you decide on it will be better than not having one. One thing I would suggest is to not let beginners use it so they actually learn to wedge also!
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#3 tjbanjo

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 06:38 PM

Yes, I definitely plan to teach them to wedge first. I'm looking at it as a huge labor saving machine, since nearly all of the clay I've bought here so far needs serious working, either more moisture or a lot less. Also, it'll save an enormous amount of time in recycling clay. It'll also save my body the added wear and tear.

I'll look, but I don't think I can get Bailey products here.
Bob

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#4 Mark C.

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 11:07 PM

I'd go for the one you can get parts for easiest .
I favor the PP but they are only 3 hours from here. China is on the other side of the planet from me.
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#5 tjbanjo

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 07:31 AM

I'd go for the one you can get parts for easiest .
I favor the PP but they are only 3 hours from here. China is on the other side of the planet from me.
Mark


So, have you had to replace parts on yours? How long did it last before you had to replace things? I'm looking at putting a few hundred pounds through it each semester, so maybe 600 pounds or so per school year. Some of that would probably have to go through more than once to get the consistency right (more/less moisture). I'm hoping to expand our school's ceramics classes in the future, so it would eventually get more work. But for now, 600 pounds a year doesn't seem like much for a pug mill. It seems like a lot for my wrists and shoulders, though.
Bob

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#6 Mark C.

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 01:17 AM

No replacement parts as most mills are made like tanks.
600#s per year is not going to wear out a thing-Wear are the vencos made now? maybe they would be less shipping if they are closer to you.
Mark
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#7 tjbanjo

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 06:50 AM

What's the difference between de-airing and non (I know, one removes the air from the clay and one doesn't. But, what does that mean in terms of wedging work?) How much wedging do you still have to do with a non de-airing pug mill?
Bob

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#8 clay lover

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 07:16 AM

I have a new Peter Pugger, de-airing, advertised as a wedging machine. So far, I am taking clay from it, cutting the logs into the lbs. I want to throw, and slapping it on the wheel, minimal coning to center, and much easier to pull up. I have not tried this with pugs larger than 3 lbs, but will soon.
I'm guessing that when combining several pugs to get ,say, 10 lbs, that I will need to wedge the pugs together, but the clay is SO smooth, that should be easy.

#9 tjbanjo

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 07:57 AM

I have a new Peter Pugger, de-airing, advertised as a wedging machine. So far, I am taking clay from it, cutting the logs into the lbs. I want to throw, and slapping it on the wheel, minimal coning to center, and much easier to pull up. I have not tried this with pugs larger than 3 lbs, but will soon.
I'm guessing that when combining several pugs to get ,say, 10 lbs, that I will need to wedge the pugs together, but the clay is SO smooth, that should be easy.


That sounds great. I'm trying to find a de-airing one here for $5500 or less, since I've heard good things about de-airing. They seem to cost more here for some reason. Either that, or the sites I'm looking at for US prices are old and are displaying outdated prices, I don't know.
Bob

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#10 OffCenter

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 08:43 AM


I have a new Peter Pugger, de-airing, advertised as a wedging machine. So far, I am taking clay from it, cutting the logs into the lbs. I want to throw, and slapping it on the wheel, minimal coning to center, and much easier to pull up. I have not tried this with pugs larger than 3 lbs, but will soon.
I'm guessing that when combining several pugs to get ,say, 10 lbs, that I will need to wedge the pugs together, but the clay is SO smooth, that should be easy.


That sounds great. I'm trying to find a de-airing one here for $5500 or less, since I've heard good things about de-airing. They seem to cost more here for some reason. Either that, or the sites I'm looking at for US prices are old and are displaying outdated prices, I don't know.


A quick check shows that The Peter Pugger Claylover suggested (VPM-9) is available at Big Ceramic Supply for $3649 including shipping. Obviously, she loves it. There may be better deals on new ones but that is the only place I checked. I have that pugmill and am the only person in the whole world who doesn't like it. I've heard good things about the Bailey MSV25 ($3450) and know a potter who loves it and claims it does a better job than the Peter Pugger. It takes up more space. Both will pug with de-air on or off. Taking 10 or 15 minutes to check around, you probably can find better deals than I've suggested here. Also, you may want to look at used and reconditioned pugmills and other brands.

Jim
E pur si muove.

"But it does move," said Galileo under his breath.

#11 tjbanjo

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 08:09 PM

[/quote]

A quick check shows that The Peter Pugger Claylover suggested (VPM-9) is available at Big Ceramic Supply for $3649 including shipping. Obviously, she loves it. There may be better deals on new ones but that is the only place I checked. I have that pugmill and am the only person in the whole world who doesn't like it. I've heard good things about the Bailey MSV25 ($3450) and know a potter who loves it and claims it does a better job than the Peter Pugger. It takes up more space. Both will pug with de-air on or off. Taking 10 or 15 minutes to check around, you probably can find better deals than I've suggested here. Also, you may want to look at used and reconditioned pugmills and other brands.

Jim
[/quote]

My problem is that I'm in China and I can't pay to ship something like that over here, so my options are fairly limited if I stick with known brands. I would rather stick with a brand that has a good track record so there's less chance of things going wrong. If I were in the States I would have more options, but as it is, I think my options are Shimpo, Peter Pugger, and possibly Venco, though I'm not sure about that one. I need to do more research.

Why don't you like that pug mill? I need to know good and bad before I make a decision.

Thanks for the input.
Bob
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#12 OffCenter

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 09:45 AM

[quote name='tjbanjo' date='17 October 2012 - 09:09 PM' timestamp='1350522543' post='23748']
[/quote]

A quick check shows that The Peter Pugger Claylover suggested (VPM-9) is available at Big Ceramic Supply for $3649 including shipping. Obviously, she loves it. There may be better deals on new ones but that is the only place I checked. I have that pugmill and am the only person in the whole world who doesn't like it. I've heard good things about the Bailey MSV25 ($3450) and know a potter who loves it and claims it does a better job than the Peter Pugger. It takes up more space. Both will pug with de-air on or off. Taking 10 or 15 minutes to check around, you probably can find better deals than I've suggested here. Also, you may want to look at used and reconditioned pugmills and other brands.

Jim
[/quote]

My problem is that I'm in China and I can't pay to ship something like that over here, so my options are fairly limited if I stick with known brands. I would rather stick with a brand that has a good track record so there's less chance of things going wrong. If I were in the States I would have more options, but as it is, I think my options are Shimpo, Peter Pugger, and possibly Venco, though I'm not sure about that one. I need to do more research.

Why don't you like that pug mill? I need to know good and bad before I make a decision.

Thanks for the input.
Bob
[/quote]

Oh crap! If you mentioned that I missed it. I guess that would make a difference! As for your question, I hesitate to answer because when I asked about my problem with pugged clay here a while back, almost no one here had the same problem and most raved about how wonderful their pugmill was similar to Claylouver above. I also suspect that my Peter Pugger is as good, if not better, than most other pug mills (the Bailey may be better) and I'd have the same problem with those pug mills. In short, the clay I pug comes out crap clay no matter if it is just pugging up some clay that got a little too dry or reclaiming scraps or if it is de-aired or not de-aired. When I dig clay or make my own clay I let it age at least 6 months before using it. When I buy clay in the little 25 lb bags, except for being too wet, it is almost always good clay (and, obviously, I know it has been pugged). Maybe it sits in various warehouses long enough to age before I get it. Maybe I'm just real picky about clay? I have no f***king idea why it is but my pugmill ruins clay to the extent that I have to let it age at least 4 months and sometimes a lot longer before it is useable.

Jim
E pur si muove.

"But it does move," said Galileo under his breath.

#13 tjbanjo

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 12:02 AM

[/quote]

Oh crap! If you mentioned that I missed it. I guess that would make a difference! As for your question, I hesitate to answer because when I asked about my problem with pugged clay here a while back, almost no one here had the same problem and most raved about how wonderful their pugmill was similar to Claylouver above. I also suspect that my Peter Pugger is as good, if not better, than most other pug mills (the Bailey may be better) and I'd have the same problem with those pug mills. In short, the clay I pug comes out crap clay no matter if it is just pugging up some clay that got a little too dry or reclaiming scraps or if it is de-aired or not de-aired. When I dig clay or make my own clay I let it age at least 6 months before using it. When I buy clay in the little 25 lb bags, except for being too wet, it is almost always good clay (and, obviously, I know it has been pugged). Maybe it sits in various warehouses long enough to age before I get it. Maybe I'm just real picky about clay? I have no f***king idea why it is but my pugmill ruins clay to the extent that I have to let it age at least 4 months and sometimes a lot longer before it is useable.

Jim
[/quote]

Ah. That would be frustrating, and I see why you might think it's something you're doing. I've never heard of that problem before, but my experience is rather limited. Hope you figure out what's causing it happen.
Good to know that experiences may vary.
Bob
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#14 Pres

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 09:24 AM

[quote name='OffCenter' date='18 October 2012 - 09:45 AM' timestamp='1350571509' post='23771']
[quote name='tjbanjo' date='17 October 2012 - 09:09 PM' timestamp='1350522543' post='23748']
[/quote]

A quick check shows that The Peter Pugger Claylover suggested (VPM-9) is available at Big Ceramic Supply for $3649 including shipping. Obviously, she loves it. There may be better deals on new ones but that is the only place I checked. I have that pugmill and am the only person in the whole world who doesn't like it. I've heard good things about the Bailey MSV25 ($3450) and know a potter who loves it and claims it does a better job than the Peter Pugger. It takes up more space. Both will pug with de-air on or off. Taking 10 or 15 minutes to check around, you probably can find better deals than I've suggested here. Also, you may want to look at used and reconditioned pugmills and other brands.

Jim
[/quote]

My problem is that I'm in China and I can't pay to ship something like that over here, so my options are fairly limited if I stick with known brands. I would rather stick with a brand that has a good track record so there's less chance of things going wrong. If I were in the States I would have more options, but as it is, I think my options are Shimpo, Peter Pugger, and possibly Venco, though I'm not sure about that one. I need to do more research.

Why don't you like that pug mill? I need to know good and bad before I make a decision.

Thanks for the input.
Bob
[/quote]

Oh crap! If you mentioned that I missed it. I guess that would make a difference! As for your question, I hesitate to answer because when I asked about my problem with pugged clay here a while back, almost no one here had the same problem and most raved about how wonderful their pugmill was similar to Claylouver above. I also suspect that my Peter Pugger is as good, if not better, than most other pug mills (the Bailey may be better) and I'd have the same problem with those pug mills. In short, the clay I pug comes out crap clay no matter if it is just pugging up some clay that got a little too dry or reclaiming scraps or if it is de-aired or not de-aired. When I dig clay or make my own clay I let it age at least 6 months before using it. When I buy clay in the little 25 lb bags, except for being too wet, it is almost always good clay (and, obviously, I know it has been pugged). Maybe it sits in various warehouses long enough to age before I get it. Maybe I'm just real picky about clay? I have no f***king idea why it is but my pugmill ruins clay to the extent that I have to let it age at least 4 months and sometimes a lot longer before it is useable.

Jim
[/quote]

Pugged school clay for years with an old Walker. Not deairing, and so large a hopper you could have thrown a cadaver into it. At any rate, I always pugged a bucket and set it aside using one done earlier with the kids. This allowed me to age the clay a few weeks before the next load. Our clay was always a mix of slaked clay, what I call clabber(slop with slight vinegar-aged) and student scraps. The clabber usually was seemed to help the consistency, and double pugging helped make certain there were not lumps with that pug mill. Always covered pugged clay with a damp towel before putting on the lid.

Simply retired teacher, not dead, living the dream. on and on and. . . . on. . . .                                                                                 http://picworkspottery.blogspot.com/


#15 OffCenter

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 09:36 PM

Pugged school clay for years with an old Walker. Not deairing, and so large a hopper you could have thrown a cadaver into it. At any rate, I always pugged a bucket and set it aside using one done earlier with the kids. This allowed me to age the clay a few weeks before the next load. Our clay was always a mix of slaked clay, what I call clabber(slop with slight vinegar-aged) and student scraps. The clabber usually was seemed to help the consistency, and double pugging helped make certain there were not lumps with that pug mill. Always covered pugged clay with a damp towel before putting on the lid.


The first pugmill I used was a Walker. I miss the big hopper. It was a bit on the dangerous side. The on/off button was the only safety feature. The ceramics professor told us beginning students that where he studied pottery, a girl went to the studio one night to pug clay alone and her long hair got caught in the auger and she was pulled into the hopper and pugged with the clay. True or not, it worked as a "safety device"!

Jim
E pur si muove.

"But it does move," said Galileo under his breath.

#16 tjbanjo

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 07:35 AM


Pugged school clay for years with an old Walker. Not deairing, and so large a hopper you could have thrown a cadaver into it. At any rate, I always pugged a bucket and set it aside using one done earlier with the kids. This allowed me to age the clay a few weeks before the next load. Our clay was always a mix of slaked clay, what I call clabber(slop with slight vinegar-aged) and student scraps. The clabber usually was seemed to help the consistency, and double pugging helped make certain there were not lumps with that pug mill. Always covered pugged clay with a damp towel before putting on the lid.


The first pugmill I used was a Walker. I miss the big hopper. It was a bit on the dangerous side. The on/off button was the only safety feature. The ceramics professor told us beginning students that where he studied pottery, a girl went to the studio one night to pug clay alone and her long hair got caught in the auger and she was pulled into the hopper and pugged with the clay. True or not, it worked as a "safety device"!

Jim


Sometimes the best safety training is the stories like that. You still remember it, and I'd bet you'd still be careful around one of those pug mills because of it. Even if you're skeptical, you'd think, "Well, just in case there's some truth to it . . ." I remember that my high school wood shop teacher's finger stubs were a good safety device, too. Made us think about what we were doing.
Bob

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#17 Pres

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 09:48 AM


Pugged school clay for years with an old Walker. Not deairing, and so large a hopper you could have thrown a cadaver into it. At any rate, I always pugged a bucket and set it aside using one done earlier with the kids. This allowed me to age the clay a few weeks before the next load. Our clay was always a mix of slaked clay, what I call clabber(slop with slight vinegar-aged) and student scraps. The clabber usually was seemed to help the consistency, and double pugging helped make certain there were not lumps with that pug mill. Always covered pugged clay with a damp towel before putting on the lid.


The first pugmill I used was a Walker. I miss the big hopper. It was a bit on the dangerous side. The on/off button was the only safety feature. The ceramics professor told us beginning students that where he studied pottery, a girl went to the studio one night to pug clay alone and her long hair got caught in the auger and she was pulled into the hopper and pugged with the clay. True or not, it worked as a "safety device"!

Jim


Walkers had a cage over top that stopped you from reaching inside completely and a knee kick in the front. At the college I first used one in, both of these had been removed/disabled. There was also a story that went around about a former student that slipped while pugging clay-pushing the clay in with his hand. We heard that he had lost last 3 fingers of rt hand. Later when I was doing grad work-not in the ceramics program-prof did not like me. I saw an older gentleman working in the studio-yep he had only a thumb and pointer finger with scarring on the stump. Did I ask him-no I did not, but certainly gave second thought to the story. At school I always kept the equipment up to manufacturers specs-safety devices always working, and everything in good repair. It took a little more time, but I certainly slept better at night.

Simply retired teacher, not dead, living the dream. on and on and. . . . on. . . .                                                                                 http://picworkspottery.blogspot.com/


#18 tjbanjo

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 12:59 AM



Pugged school clay for years with an old Walker. Not deairing, and so large a hopper you could have thrown a cadaver into it. At any rate, I always pugged a bucket and set it aside using one done earlier with the kids. This allowed me to age the clay a few weeks before the next load. Our clay was always a mix of slaked clay, what I call clabber(slop with slight vinegar-aged) and student scraps. The clabber usually was seemed to help the consistency, and double pugging helped make certain there were not lumps with that pug mill. Always covered pugged clay with a damp towel before putting on the lid.


The first pugmill I used was a Walker. I miss the big hopper. It was a bit on the dangerous side. The on/off button was the only safety feature. The ceramics professor told us beginning students that where he studied pottery, a girl went to the studio one night to pug clay alone and her long hair got caught in the auger and she was pulled into the hopper and pugged with the clay. True or not, it worked as a "safety device"!

Jim


Walkers had a cage over top that stopped you from reaching inside completely and a knee kick in the front. At the college I first used one in, both of these had been removed/disabled. There was also a story that went around about a former student that slipped while pugging clay-pushing the clay in with his hand. We heard that he had lost last 3 fingers of rt hand. Later when I was doing grad work-not in the ceramics program-prof did not like me. I saw an older gentleman working in the studio-yep he had only a thumb and pointer finger with scarring on the stump. Did I ask him-no I did not, but certainly gave second thought to the story. At school I always kept the equipment up to manufacturers specs-safety devices always working, and everything in good repair. It took a little more time, but I certainly slept better at night.


I have always been a firm believer in appropriate safety equipment, it's the way I was raised. If someone wants to be stupid with their own equipment and it won't hurt anyone else (like wiring up the spring-loaded safety guard on a circular saw - sheesh!) then keep it at home, don't do it where someone else might get into it.

On the other hand, we Americans tend to be overly cautious/safe. There's a big difference between "as safe as possible" and "as safe as necessary".

It looks like I'll be getting a Shimpo NRA-04S. The claim is that it, "Produces practically air-free clay without a vacuum." That would be nice, since I don't have the money for one with a vacuum pump.

Bob

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#19 tjbanjo

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 04:53 AM

A friend and I were looking at the dies that can be purchased for the Shimpo pug mills and we were wondering:
Posted Image
What the heck is that top shape for?

And, good news, since the pug mill costs less than I projected, my principal has approved a small slab roller, too.
A good day.
Bob

"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot




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