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Artificial Gravity

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Min    784

One unexpected bonus of having bought an Bailey Mixer Pugger a few years back is I spend zero time now trying to fix a pot that isn't quite what it should be. Not a second thought to toss it into the pugger, much faster to throw another one than try and fix it. The stainless lining has no issues with porcelain like the aluminum ones do.

 

I originally bought the pugger after tearing off the long head of my right bicep (sports injury) and needed the pugger to get back to work. Now that I have it I wish I had bought it some twenty plus years ago when I started out. I have a small workshop and the pugger eliminates all bags and buckets of dusty dried up clay, and nothing gets wasted. The mixed and pugged clay comes out wonderful to throw and it's always the right consistancy for what I'm throwing. I think a lot depends on the volume of scrap you generate and the condition of the clay you buy.

 

One other point, the resale value of puggers seem to hold up well so some of the initial investment will be returned at a future date. I have the Bailey stainless lined deairing model MSV25 and it is just as good as their website demos. (no, I don't work for them)

 

Min

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Biglou13    202

if your making clay body from scratch it makes sense

if you cant or dont like wedging large quantity of clay

 

funny thing is. some people dont like pugging, (can be physically demanding depending on pugger

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bciskepottery    925

there hasnt been a single argument made for getting a pugmill that makes any economic sense.

 

 

 

Assuming a pugmill cost of $3,500 and you purchase your clay at a rate of 44 cents per pound, you would need to recycle/reclaim nearly 8,000 pounds of clay to break even. And, assuming you could pug 400 lbs/hour, it would take a minimum of 20 hours to reclaim 8,000 lbs, not including time for cleaning, maintenance, etc. So, in terms of recycling/reclaiming, the economic argument may be hard to make for individuals.

 

The cost of carpal tunnel syndrome surgery (doctor fees, hospital fees, hospital stay, physical therapy, lost income, etc.) ranges from $10,000 to $29,000 (Livestrong web site). In terms of cost avoidance, an investment of $3,500 vs. cost of surgery due to wedging, hand reclaim, etc., -- one could make an economic argument for purchasing a pug mill.

 

Potters buy pug mills for various reasons, some are ecological (reuse, recycle, reclaim), some of health-related (avoid surgery, reduce wear and tear on body as you get older, etc), some are economic (large volume pottery shops producing large volumes of wares and they mix their own clay bodies), and some are work/personal preferences -- a few friends I know pug their clay because they find it easier to throw than clay out of the bag.

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I am glad I read this!! I am starting to feel encouraged to dump my smelly slop bucket out in my yard! I started making a second one for a separate clay body because I didn't want to mess with the unpredictability of mixing clay bodies. Re wedging scraps is one thing, but the trim and slop I was planning to recycle is starting to reek up my basement! laugh.gif

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clay lover    133

besides its got a really cool name and the folks that make it seem like the kind of suppliers the industry should support.

 

 

 

I have gotten most excellent advice and usage help from the P P tech guy. He was amazed that I had read the manual BEFORE I called him, Ha !

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Well, there have been many arguments, both pro and con, for buying a pugmill.

After reading them, I find that many cannot distinguish between an ECONOMIC reason, and a PERSONAL, or perhaps PHYSICAL reason fro buying one.

Buying a pugmill, as one poster said, makes NO economic sense, if the price of clay remains below the cost of your time, plus the cost of the mill, plus electricity, plus maintenance. I suspect the price of clay will always be less than the above factors.

As far as clay mixing goes, pugmills aren't that good at mixing clay from raw ingredients. That's why clay mixers have been invented and are sold - my supplier has a giant MIXER, and the contents of that are then pugged. They don't use the mill to MIX their clay. Wonder why?

I still say it makes no sense to buy a pugmill, and the only ones benefiting are the PM makers.

In fact, it doesn't even make sense to reclaim clay, by ANY method.

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Biglou13    202

I only have limited pottery experience

 

I've only uses shimpo pugger. Peter pugger and bailey Have a function that mixes but they are only oneI've seen via video/ web. So to my knowledge only these 2 mix pug and de air.

 

I'm reading betweent the lines here but... Are you pug mill owners saying that you do not wedge clay? That you just use clay direct from pugger? Do you wedge commercially made clay?

 

I was taught to wedge everything.

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OffCenter    82

Several threads in the past have debated the value of pugmills. In one of those I complained that my pugmill ruins my clay. Out of many responses to that thread no one here shared my experience except for one person who said it ruined his friend's porcelain. As you can see in this thread just about everyone loves their pugmill, some to the point of being almost orgasmic! My pugmill is a de-airing Peter Pugger. It ruins everything that goes into it de-aired or not. I have avoided jumping into this thread because I don't really care to see 10 people reply to this post with their raves about how wonderful their Peter Pugger is. What did make me decide to post this is that ironically I got the following email this morning (complete except for the name).

 

"Hi Jim,

I read your question in the Ceramic Art Community forum, a few years back about the problems you were having with your pug mill, I’m having the exact same problem, when the clay comes out of the die it’s “dog toothed, grainy and has no plasticity, were you ever able to come up with a solution??

Thanks in advance."

 

Jim

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OffCenter    82

I only have limited pottery experience

 

I've only uses shimpo pugger. Peter pugger and bailey Have a function that mixes but they are only oneI've seen via video/ web. So to my knowledge only these 2 mix pug and de air.

 

I'm reading betweent the lines here but... Are you pug mill owners saying that you do not wedge clay? That you just use clay direct from pugger? Do you wedge commercially made clay?

 

I was taught to wedge everything.

 

 

According to the ads and to people here like Claylouver, you should be able to skip wedging. But even if your pugger does produce ready-to-throw clay, wedge. Wedging is good for a lot of things like aligning the particles, etc. but, most importantly, it introduces your hands to the clay you are about to throw. My clay doesn't NEED wedging but I can't imagine throwing without wedging it a little first.

 

Jim

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OffCenter    82

I saw those threads containing your comments on the PPugger, Jim.

You should sell it, because 'they have great resale value.'

 

You have GOT to love OffCenter!

 

 

Selling something like that is a major pain. I just can't deal with showing it or avoid loosing my temper with people who'd think I want to sell it for next to nothing. Also, I can use it for the first part of the process of processing dug clay and I plan to use it to make bricks when I have time. So many things to do and so little time. Maybe I shouldn't have taken that 35 years off!

 

Thanks for that final comment but I think that sentiment is not shared by all here. It may have even caused some to spit out their morning coffee.

 

Jim

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clay lover    133

I only have limited pottery experience

 

I've only uses shimpo pugger. Peter pugger and bailey Have a function that mixes but they are only oneI've seen via video/ web. So to my knowledge only these 2 mix pug and de air.

 

I'm reading betweent the lines here but... Are you pug mill owners saying that you do not wedge clay? That you just use clay direct from pugger? Do you wedge commercially made clay?

 

I was taught to wedge everything.

 

 

I I was also taught to wedge everything, by a man with no deairing pug mill!! at a school studio with many different types of clay, some so dry we had to soak it before we could wedge it.

 

All that is behind me. I do wedge now, to align the clay particles, but now I do it with clay that is not too dry to wedge, which sometimes it comes out of the bag being. The clay is evenly wet, which is part of the job that wedging is for, so all I do is minimal wedging with perfectly moist clay for me. No amount of wedging by hand produced the quality of throwing clay that I now have. I am already acquainted with my clay.

I encourage you to find a friend with a DE-AIRING peter pugger and ask them to do some reclaim for you, or let you throw some of what they have run through their machine. Then you can decide for yourself, which is ,after all, the only thing that matters.:)src="http://ceramicartsdaily.org/community/public/style_emoticons/default/smile.gif">

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I agree with Jim, got to have a little wedge before throwing just to help me respect the material. Wedging has a 'goldielock' force that runs throughout clay, and it helps me to get my pressures just right.

 

Bit wishywashy xD

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OffCenter    82

In fact, it doesn't even make sense to reclaim clay, by ANY method.

 

idem.

 

That's a stupid thing to say. Just because it may not make sense for some dishmaker to reclaim clay doesn't mean it doesn't make sense for someone else to reclaim clay.

 

Jim

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Idaho Potter    62

Jim, I'm sorry you are having problems using your Peter Pugger. Do you think it's because you use porcelain?

 

I've had mine for almost ten years, and in my case it was a physical need. I'm old. I get cranky when I hurt. Students don't like cranky teachers so much. Admittedly I don't use it as much as I did when I bought it, but the problem is with me, not the machine. I've quit teaching due to health problems (like my body falling apart) so now I can be as cranky and I want or need to be.

 

I bought the darn thing to keep me going, and I hope to be using it for another ten years (that's how far I'm willing to look into the future)--all times and calendars are adjusted as need be.

 

Shirley

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OffCenter    82

Jim, I'm sorry you are having problems using your Peter Pugger. Do you think it's because you use porcelain?

 

I've had mine for almost ten years, and in my case it was a physical need. I'm old. I get cranky when I hurt. Students don't like cranky teachers so much. Admittedly I don't use it as much as I did when I bought it, but the problem is with me, not the machine. I've quit teaching due to health problems (like my body falling apart) so now I can be as cranky and I want or need to be.

 

I bought the darn thing to keep me going, and I hope to be using it for another ten years (that's how far I'm willing to look into the future)--all times and calendars are adjusted as need be.

 

Shirley

 

 

Shirley... Getting old is a ###### isn't it? Sometimes I think every bone in my body is aching at the same time! But I enjoy self-medicating. The whole pugmill thing boggles my mind. I am real picky about the condition of the clay I use and I must like it a lot harder than others here because I've never opened a bag of commercial clay that wasn't way too wet to use yet I see post here about new clay being too hard. It's not just porcelain (but porcelain is the worse). I use B-Mix Woodfire for my cone 13 work, cone 5 B-Mix for my cone 6 work, Lizella red for cone 3 and 6 work, Southern Ice for cone 10 and Frost for cone 6. Plus I experiment with other clays and use clay I dig on my property. All of it is ruined when pugged. I've tried adding beer to help it age and adding a little ball clay thinking that I may be losing some of the finer particles while throwing. I've got several clays that have been aging almost a year since pugging and they are only a little improved and still not good enough for me. The two porcelains that have aged almost a year are just as bad now as when they came out of the pugmill. So, I simply don't know why my Peter Pugger ruins my clay but like I posted somewhere else, I've adjusted to it. Instead of working out every morning, I recondition clay by hand. That way I get a great workout and perfect clay. I'll use my pugmill to make bricks.

 

Jim

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OffCenter    82

Golly Gee! I guess you can't use the word b i t c h here without the software subing pound signs!: "Shirley... Getting old is a ###### isn't it? Sometimes I think every..."

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Benzine    611

"Students don't like cranky teachers so much"

 

What a coincidence, I don't like cranky students.....

 

 

And Jim, don't let the machines censor you. That's the first step in their takeover of mankind. First it's that, then the next thing you know, we're in The Matrix.

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Idaho Potter    62

Okay you guys! I love it when Jim and TJR get going and NOW we have Benzine? Thanks for the fun, at my age laughter makes for an exciting day. I shall chuckle my way through dinner. Heck with it, I'm gonna drink.

 

Shirley

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In fact, it doesn't even make sense to reclaim clay, by ANY method.

 

 

idem.

 

 

That's a stupid thing to say. Just because it may not make sense for some dishmaker to reclaim clay doesn't mean it doesn't make sense for someone else to reclaim clay.

 

Jim

 

 

Economically, it does not make sense to reclaim clay by ANY method.

I have done my own figuring, as have others that are better at the ceramics game than me.

 

I don't think it's a stupid thing to say, at all.

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Frederik-W    23

We took the clay from the earth, so don't be afraid to give some back!

 

 

I agree. "Recycling" clay is not the same as recycling consumer waste in order to save the environment.

If it does not pay do not do it.

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OffCenter    82

In fact, it doesn't even make sense to reclaim clay, by ANY method.

 

 

idem.

 

 

That's a stupid thing to say. Just because it may not make sense for some dishmaker to reclaim clay doesn't mean it doesn't make sense for someone else to reclaim clay.

 

Jim

 

 

Economically, it does not make sense to reclaim clay by ANY method.

I have done my own figuring, as have others that are better at the ceramics game than me.

 

I don't think it's a stupid thing to say, at all.

 

 

If you had taken the time to read the early posts to this thread, you might possibly understand why I called your silly grand proclamation stupid. Whether it makes sense or not to reclaim clay depends on the kind of ceramic work you do. A production potter turning out the same pots he/she has been producing for the past decade has very little reclaiming to (if he/she's any good) and it may be a better use of their time to toss what little scrap clay they have but try to wrap your head around the fact that some of us see very little difference between being a production potter and working in a factory and are not interested in making the same pots over and over and over. Since you can't be bothered to read previous posts to a thread before making your know-it-all grand proclamation I'll copy post #12 here:

 

It depends on your needs. As long as clay is relatively cheap, a production potter's time is probably better spent making more dishes than reprocessing clay. Of course, a lot of production potters make their own clay and need pug mills for that. Back when I was a production potter in Denver we would have laughed at any potter who bought his/her clay in 25 lb bags. For potters more interested in creating new forms than making more dishes you may use more expensive clays and, most importantly, You many have to throw twenty 20lb bowls to get the new shape you're looking for, meaning that 19 of those bowls or 380 lbs of clay needs to be either tossed or reworked. I bought a Peter Pugger to reprocess my clay but was so disappointed in what it does to the clay (especially porcelain) that I don't use it except to process clay I dig and clay to make bricks. My solution was that I stopped exercising in the mornings and substituted reprocessing clay by hand for an hour or so every day. My clay is perfect and I get a great workout.

 

Jim

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OffCenter    82

We took the clay from the earth, so don't be afraid to give some back!

 

 

I agree. "Recycling" clay is not the same as recycling consumer waste in order to save the environment.

If it does not pay do not do it.

 

 

I imagine Chris has to give back a lot of her expensive porcelain to the earth because she colors it. A long time ago I worked in colored clay and hated throwing away the scraps from big cakes of clay that I cut into slabs. I had a machinist make me a machine that used the thinnest strand of piano wire to cut the colored porcelain that I could laminate on both sides of a slab of recycled colored clay, which allowed me to even recycle colored porcelain.

 

Jim

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