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Which extruder is the best?


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#1 metal and mud

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 07:50 AM

I plan to purchase an extruder for my home studio. I am a very dedicated hobby potter. I plan to use it to produce coils, primarily. I use both red and white clays, so ability to clean the extruder is important. It could be mounted on the wall or on a table. I don't need one of the large extruders with the wheel. So, experienced potters, which one would you recommend? Brent or North Star? Or another manufacturer?

#2 neilestrick

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 08:04 AM

I don't like the Brent. The sliding yoke is kind of dangerous and awkward. The North Star works well but has a small chamber. I'd go with a Scott Creek aluminum barrel.

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#3 Benzine

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 08:16 AM

I don't like the Brent. The sliding yoke is kind of dangerous and awkward. The North Star works well but has a small chamber. I'd go with a Scott Creek aluminum barrel.


*Shakes Fist* Dang you neilestrick, I was going to say the exact same thing, for the exact same exact reasons! Curse my slow login!

Seriously though, I fully agree. The first extruder I had, in a classroom, was a Scott Creek, and it is still my favorite. The one I had, wasn't the aluminum barrel version, but it was powder coated, making it durable, and easy to clean. The plunger, also locks into a series of rungs, instead of the aforementioned "Yoke" set up, on the Brent, which I also used and didn't like. The collar on the Brent, is the quickest, to remove, since you just have to turn it. The Scott Creek, has the three pins, which work well, even in a classroom setting, where the students found every single way, to improperly reinsert the pins. In six years, I never lost a pin....Though one did get bent up pretty bad, and had to have some readjustment done, in the Industrial Tech room.
I am just not a fan of the North Star. The small chamber, the permanently attached plunger and the plastic dies. I didn't like any of it. I also did not like the twin wing nut system, that secured the dies, to the rest of the extruder. It's not that extruder didn't work well, it does, but it's just not as good as some others, in my opinion.

So, to summarize, everything that neilestrick said.......
"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#4 Pres

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 08:29 AM

I plan to purchase an extruder for my home studio. I am a very dedicated hobby potter. I plan to use it to produce coils, primarily. I use both red and white clays, so ability to clean the extruder is important. It could be mounted on the wall or on a table. I don't need one of the large extruders with the wheel. So, experienced potters, which one would you recommend? Brent or North Star? Or another manufacturer?


I had a Brent, and then a Bailey in my classroom over the years. Both used the mentioned clevis set up on a pipe. This can be dangerous, but if you pay attention to what you are doing, not too bad. In 30 years of using them I never had a student accident on the extruders. Over the years, the Bailey held up really well, the Brent not so well as it was an early model with threaded plastic die holder. The Bailey went for twenty years with no repairs until the hinge bolt holes were wore out. I replaced them easily with Bailey parts. If you are going for just coils, you probably don't need a Bailey, but if you might do hollow forms later etc. the Bailey is worth it. In the last few years there I added a second Bailey, and we made some custom dies over the years for both extruders. I taught separate projects based on extruder construction as one of my units.

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


#5 Mark C.

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 10:12 AM

Brent has a better grooved rack system now.I would get this one as its built like a tank and the head comes off with a twist just make sure you specify this model not the sliding yolk model
The sliding yolk model is still available but it can be awkward

I use almost daily a brent and a
Scott Creek which is modified to fit a Brent head.
The Brent is still made better.
Mark
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#6 Benzine

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 10:20 AM

Mark, are you talking about this one?:

http://www.continent...yID=55&PID=1362
"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#7 Chris Campbell

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 11:22 AM

How to NOT have to clean an extruder.

Get plastic grocery bag. Insert clay. Pound to shape of extruder barrel. Cut hole in bag in corner where die is.
Use.
Pull out when empty. Dump clay. Clean die only.

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#8 perkolator

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 03:08 PM

BEST extruder on a small scale is probably a die on the end of a de-airing pug mill - sure it's one of the most expensive options, but you get a pugger!

Personally, I'm a fan of the clevis/shackle designed wall extruders. Mostly, I think it's because they can accept more material inside the chamber. We've had a Bailey version in our studio for over 20yrs and no accidents if you know how to use it, and everyone gets trained. Last year I had to repair the lever handle where the shackle pin pivots/passes through, because we actually wore through the steel! Repaired with a sleeve and now it's WAY stronger and makes too much sense. I've used the North Star and was not a fan. Even their slab rollers don't seem to be up to par with the competition.

#9 Mark C.

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 03:25 PM

Mark, are you talking about this one?:

http://www.continent...yID=55&PID=1362


Yes thats the one-I recommend for classrooms and multi users


I have the shackle one and have zero issues with it but some folks(especially in class situations have it slip and it can be a shock)
For me we use an extruder 4-5 days a week and the Brent head system is the best-I threw away my Scott Creek head and wielded on the Brent barrel side pins and fitted it with a brent head-now its the best of both worlds. We have worn down two plunger heads over time and replaced them-its almost time for the third-The All Brent extruder has held up a bit better.
We only use porcelain now and the rust is a non issue.
Extruders are like cars everyone has a favorite-we need them to have quick change heads and hold up well in heavy use-Brent has done that-Scott Creek almost so
Northstar-well I will not say anything as it would not be nice-well maybe for super light hobby use every 8th Sunday afternoon.
Mark

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#10 metal and mud

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 04:09 PM


Mark, are you talking about this one?:

http://www.continent...yID=55&PID=1362


Yes thats the one-I recommend for classrooms and multi users


I have the shackle one and have zero issues with it but some folks(especially in class situations have it slip and it can be a shock)
For me we use an extruder 4-5 days a week and the Brent head system is the best-I threw away my Scott Creek head and wielded on the Brent barrel side pins and fitted it with a brent head-now its the best of both worlds. We have worn down two plunger heads over time and replaced them-its almost time for the third-The All Brent extruder has held up a bit better.
We only use porcelain now and the rust is a non issue.
Extruders are like cars everyone has a favorite-we need them to have quick change heads and hold up well in heavy use-Brent has done that-Scott Creek almost so
Northstar-well I will not say anything as it would not be nice-well maybe for super light hobby use every 8th Sunday afternoon.
Mark



#11 metal and mud

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 04:13 PM



Mark, are you talking about this one?:

http://www.continent...yID=55&PID=1362


Yes thats the one-I recommend for classrooms and multi users


I have the shackle one and have zero issues with it but some folks(especially in class situations have it slip and it can be a shock)
For me we use an extruder 4-5 days a week and the Brent head system is the best-I threw away my Scott Creek head and wielded on the Brent barrel side pins and fitted it with a brent head-now its the best of both worlds. We have worn down two plunger heads over time and replaced them-its almost time for the third-The All Brent extruder has held up a bit better.
We only use porcelain now and the rust is a non issue.
Extruders are like cars everyone has a favorite-we need them to have quick change heads and hold up well in heavy use-Brent has done that-Scott Creek almost so
Northstar-well I will not say anything as it would not be nice-well maybe for super light hobby use every 8th Sunday afternoon.
Mark


I try again. :) I posted my query before I left for work this morning and hoped I'd have a reply. Thank you for all your opinions!! I knew they'd vary based on experience and particular needs of the potter who used the extruder. It looks like North Star is the big loser and Brent the seeming favorite. ( I do plan to use it more than every 8th Sunday afternoon.)

#12 Denice

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 05:16 PM

Chris mentioned putting a plastic grocery sack in the barrel first, I use the plastic bag the newspaper comes in its long and narrow, make sure you poke a hole in the bottom first. My extruder is one I made from a bumper jack about 20 years ago, the plans were in a Ceramics Monthly Mag. Denice

#13 bciskepottery

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 05:21 PM

I used a Brent at a community studio and when time to purchase my own . . . bought the Northstar stainless steel. No regrets. Would do it again. I like the thicker plastic dies than the aluminum discs from Brent. I recently purchased a set of Michael Sherrill dies . . . well worth the money.

#14 Mark C.

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 08:57 PM

You can make your own dies from plastic -wood or aluminum-All my dies are forms I made-like handles or whatever-You can also buy blanks (solid dies) and cut your own patterns. Its easy with jewelers saw and files or dremil tools.
The best dies are ones you make just like the pots.
Mark
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