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Artificial Gravity

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Pres    896

Also, in regards to reclaiming clay, not being economical, I would disagree. I recycle as much clay as possible in my classroom. I save several bags a year, by doing so. Which means, the next year, I don't have to order as much clay, which means I can use the money to buy other supplies. In a time, where school budgets, especially art budgets, are getting smaller, not larger, I save money any way I can.

 

I'm not as harsh as Jim's teacher though. I've never threatened, or thought about throwing a student in the pug mill, for wasting clay, and not just because I don't have a pug mill.... However, I have had very angry thoughts about the students, who waste my more "pricey" glazes. Nothing quite like seeing a student coat the inside and outside, of large, ugly vessels, with an expensive glaze, knowing that, they will toss the thing, the first chance they get. Which is why I put certain rules in place, for the glazes.

 

 

Oh yes, I'll high jack the strand on the glaze comment! I also hate to see my glazes wasted with large two gallon containers lifted off the shelf by the lids thus spilling the entire contents or the student that uses the expensive red glaze inside and out on a pot just to discover when it was fire it was FUBAR ugly!

 

Oh well, on with the thread. I also recycled/pugged to save money. School budgets have gotten tighter, and when they cut our budgets by 10% for several years. . . we had to cut corners, and recycling was one of those corners even though as a teacher you worked harder it was worth it to stay ahead of administrative penny pinching.

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JBaymore    1,432

It's kind of like with Off Center. There are two things, that man loves, splash pans and Giffin Grips. He goes from thread to thread, defending their use to the bitter end.

 

 

HOLY CRAP Benzine! You just made me spit coffee on my keyboard! For those of you who don't know, I despise splash pans and Griffin Grips.

 

Jim

 

 

laugh.giflaugh.giflaugh.gif

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OffCenter    82

This thread has reminded me of a question I had, based on the pug mills I've used. In my first classroom, our pug mill was a Blue Bird de-airing model, not sure which exactly. It a several inch, by several inch hopper, with the lever, to push the clay down. It wasn't sealed, so it had to be cleaned after every use, and worked pretty slow. Because of this, I seldom used it, and just had the students reclaim by hand.

 

At my second job, the room had an older pug mill, a Walker I believe. It has a huuuuuge hopper, a couple feet each direction. The students would just through all the scrap clay in there, it held a lot. Once it was full, I'd turn it on, and let it go to work. It had a cap for the extruding end, and a lid for the hopper. I only had to clean it once a year.

 

I haven't seen any large hoppers on the more current models. So my question is, why is that? Is it a safety issue? They don't want people hurting themselves on the dangerous clay pugger?...........or having teachers, throw wasteful students in there.....

 

 

The Walker with the big hopper and all safety things removed (if they were ever any on it) was the kind my college instructor used to pug students who threw away clay. The first story he ever told to new students was that when he was in school a grad student went into the pottery studio alone late at night to pug up some clay and her long hair got caught in the Walker and she was pulled in and created quite a mess on the studio floor. Most of us actually believed the story at least for a while. It put the fear of Walker in us which was that pugmill's best safety device. The Walker was a great pugmill that was also a mixer but was ridiculously dangerous. Even with an off bar at knee level, warning stickers, and careful instruction about the danger, I'd still question its use in a school setting.

 

Jim

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Marcia Selsor    1,301

I had a stainless Walker in my classroom for 25 years.I had a sign on it "JAWS III". Those blades were sharp. But we did use it for mixing and pugging clay. I never used pre-mixed clay for my classes in Montana. We eventually had a Soldner mixer.

 

Marcia

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Pres    896

I had a stainless Walker in my classroom for 25 years.I had a sign on it "JAWS III". Those blades were sharp. But we did use it for mixing and pugging clay. I never used pre-mixed clay for my classes in Montana. We eventually had a Soldner mixer.

 

Marcia

 

 

 

 

I also had a Walker in college and at our HS. I never removed any of the safety devices from ours and kept them in working order. In college, a different story, the kick bar was off, as was no over top guard to keep you from reaching too deep. Yes, we believed the story about the kid that tripped and lost all his fingers but the thumb and pointer also, but then these urban legends are there for a reason, I guess.

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You don't need a pugmill. Is there a community studio in your area? I manage a non-profit community studio with a pugmill. A few local small volume potters bring their trimming scraps by once or twice a year and get a receipt of donation to use as a deduction on their taxes. With fresh clay as cheap as it is, this seems much easier than investing the time, energy and money into a pugmill. Thought it is dependent on the proximity of a registered 501©(3) studio that wants the scrap.

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Mark C.    1,806

Convince me you asked

I have spent almost 40 years as a production potter making my living with clay and never had a modern pug mill-I almost got one about 5-10 years back when I asked another production potter how his peter pugger did on reclaimed porcelain (porcelain is what I use) and he told me to forget it as it never threw as good (had legs) only worked with small pots after reclaiming and confirmed the time it took to process it.

I gave up the whole idea and never looked back

 

One last note I do own on old (from the 50's or 60's) vertical alpine pug mill that I reclaimed stoneware with back in the early 70's. That clay was crappy after the pugging and never threw well-That pugmill I got at a school auction on the cheap and am givig it away to be used as an extruder.

I know a few other production potters who have pugs and said do not bother.

Clay is cheap time is not.

 

I'm convinced but I'm not thinking about buying one you are. I will ask if you do buy one let us know how you like it

I do have a place nearby that uses my scraps so thats not an issue as they turn them into road building raw materials.

Mark

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Marcia Selsor    1,301

On the old Walker that was old in 1975, we had the knee bar but not a top guard. Fortunately never had an incident. BUt many times I did cut my fingers cleaning the blades. Not as nasty as greasing the cables on a brent slab roller though. Those cables fray and prick your hands.

To Mark, we had a very old vertical pug mill in the 60s at the Phila. College of Art that looked like it was from the Industrial Revolution in the 1800s.

One student did lose a bit of a finger on it.

 

Marcia

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Benzine    610

I loved that Walker. That thing held, at least, fifty pounds of clay at a time, so I'd only turn it on, every few days. The knee bar/ About to be a Seriously Maimed Man's Switch, was functional, but I may have, continued the practice of my predecessor, and used a wood wedge, to bypass the lid close, safety feature. I was the only person, who ran the mill, so I didn't worry about student safety, and I'm fairly cautious about my own.

 

If I could find one, and had the space in my current classroom, I'd love to have an old Walker like that. As it is, I don't have the space, and instead use a couple dozen, manual style pug mills. I replace them fairly often, so they never break down, and they are extremely green, when it comes to energy use. They require zero electricity, as they run on the alternative fuel of Mountain Dew and Doritos. The downside is that they do tend to whine, when pugging, but I find, that if I apply a little sarcastic mocking, that usually goes away. Safety is generally not a concern either, as the manual pugger tends to be fairly harmless, though that can vary from model to model.

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OffCenter    82

I loved that Walker. That thing held, at least, fifty pounds of clay at a time, so I'd only turn it on, every few days. The knee bar/ About to be a Seriously Maimed Man's Switch, was functional, but I may have, continued the practice of my predecessor, and used a wood wedge, to bypass the lid close, safety feature. I was the only person, who ran the mill, so I didn't worry about student safety, and I'm fairly cautious about my own.

 

If I could find one, and had the space in my current classroom, I'd love to have an old Walker like that. As it is, I don't have the space, and instead use a couple dozen, manual style pug mills. I replace them fairly often, so they never break down, and they are extremely green, when it comes to energy use. They require zero electricity, as they run on the alternative fuel of Mountain Dew and Doritos. The downside is that they do tend to whine, when pugging, but I find, that if I apply a little sarcastic mocking, that usually goes away. Safety is generally not a concern either, as the manual pugger tends to be fairly harmless, though that can vary from model to model.

 

 

Just what I need! Can you ship me one or two? I'm good at sarcastic mocking and can get Mountain Dew and Doritos wholesale.

 

I'd gladly trade my de-airing Peter Pugger for and old beat-up Walker that still works.

 

Jim

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Benzine    610

I loved that Walker. That thing held, at least, fifty pounds of clay at a time, so I'd only turn it on, every few days. The knee bar/ About to be a Seriously Maimed Man's Switch, was functional, but I may have, continued the practice of my predecessor, and used a wood wedge, to bypass the lid close, safety feature. I was the only person, who ran the mill, so I didn't worry about student safety, and I'm fairly cautious about my own.

 

If I could find one, and had the space in my current classroom, I'd love to have an old Walker like that. As it is, I don't have the space, and instead use a couple dozen, manual style pug mills. I replace them fairly often, so they never break down, and they are extremely green, when it comes to energy use. They require zero electricity, as they run on the alternative fuel of Mountain Dew and Doritos. The downside is that they do tend to whine, when pugging, but I find, that if I apply a little sarcastic mocking, that usually goes away. Safety is generally not a concern either, as the manual pugger tends to be fairly harmless, though that can vary from model to model.

 

 

Just what I need! Can you ship me one or two? I'm good at sarcastic mocking and can get Mountain Dew and Doritos wholesale.

 

I'd gladly trade my de-airing Peter Pugger for and old beat-up Walker that still works.

 

Jim

 

 

There may be rules, in shipping that type of pug mill, especially across state lines....

 

The Walker I had at my previous job, did indeed work, but the rubber spider gear that connected the motor, and auger shaft, was beat. My predecessor mentioned it to me, and I tried to track down a replacement, but was unsuccessful. So, when I left, I told the same thing to the next guy. I still don't think it's been replaced.

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Karen B    26

After 30+ years of potting, I inherited a few thousand.

 

  • I bought a Bailey slab roller and a Shimpo pug mill.
  • I pug the clay and cut it when it is the length of the slab rollers width.
  • Place the long clay on the slab roller and pat down the side and roll.
  • So much faster than doing by hand.

Random info: Had to hire a big guy to lift the pugmill onto my table as it's so heavy, even in pieces.

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macdoodle    2

Got a local school or community center even a day care center you can donate the recyclable clay to? Maybe head over there once in a while and help kids learn about making things with clay?

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GMosko    4

For sheer money savings, the obvious answer is to not get a pug mill. BUT......some of us are getting older. The wear and tear on the back and wrists from wedging can eventually take its toll. So I bought a Peter Pugger (it is built like a tank!), and now I don't even wedge anymore! The clay is de-aired before it gets extruded. So I simply cut off a piece to the length (weight) I want, and then wedge it on the wheel. Just a few up and down movements of the clay will get the particles all lined up, and this is fantastically easier on my body than interminable wedging on a plaster table. I have found that the consistency of my clay can be adjusted to exactly what I want, too. I simply mix too hard clay with too soft clay. Life is good!

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Idaho Potter    62

I can't believe TJR didn't comment on splash pans and Giffin Grips! He must be out of town or maybe it's a Canadian holiday? Benzine and Offcenter- you guys break me up! I've already posted my opinion of Peter Puggers (thumbs up) but want to get into the kerfuffle about names and such. I go by Idaho Potter, but if you look me up on the members pages, you'll see my name. No picture of me, but then a long list of camera manufacturers have remarked that I have damaged more than one photographer's career.

 

I personally look forward to Jim's (Off Center) posts, not that I agree with him all the time, but because I enjoy his caustic wit. I find that, he, TJR, Benzine, and occasionally John Baymore tickle my funnybone. Sometimes he does get a little personal, but I picture him in full armor ready for any battle. One day he can blister your hide, and the next will defend your position to the death. He energizes a lot of discussions and is soon joined by one or all of the other of the comedy team. As I read their comments to/for/against each other, I laugh out loud.

 

So I hope everyone will take a deep breath and allow those of differing opinions and styles to co-exist. It's just words.

 

Shirley

 

 

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This is a great thread. The back of my car is now loaded with clay to go to a local school where students can have it for the cost of the energy they will expend in reclaiming it.. My hands are relieved to not have their carpal tunnels and arthritis further aggravated. I no longer feel guilty about a small mountain of unreclaimed clay. I have more room in my studio. Oh, and I saved a lot of money by not buying a pug mill.

 

I really don't care if other potters reclaim clay or not. It has pretty much no impact on anyone other than themselves. So, do whatever works for you. As for me, the cost of reclaiming outweighs the benefits.

 

Jim, please keep ranting. Life is to short to not do so.

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OffCenter    82

...not that I agree with him all the time,...

 

 

 

What the hell's that supposed to mean! Just kidding. Thanks for the kind words, Shirley.

 

Jim

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Benzine    610

I loved that Walker. That thing held, at least, fifty pounds of clay at a time, so I'd only turn it on, every few days. The knee bar/ About to be a Seriously Maimed Man's Switch, was functional, but I may have, continued the practice of my predecessor, and used a wood wedge, to bypass the lid close, safety feature. I was the only person, who ran the mill, so I didn't worry about student safety, and I'm fairly cautious about my own.

 

If I could find one, and had the space in my current classroom, I'd love to have an old Walker like that. As it is, I don't have the space, and instead use a couple dozen, manual style pug mills. I replace them fairly often, so they never break down, and they are extremely green, when it comes to energy use. They require zero electricity, as they run on the alternative fuel of Mountain Dew and Doritos. The downside is that they do tend to whine, when pugging, but I find, that if I apply a little sarcastic mocking, that usually goes away. Safety is generally not a concern either, as the manual pugger tends to be fairly harmless, though that can vary from model to model.

 

 

Just what I need! Can you ship me one or two? I'm good at sarcastic mocking and can get Mountain Dew and Doritos wholesale.

 

I'd gladly trade my de-airing Peter Pugger for and old beat-up Walker that still works.

 

Jim

 

 

 

Jim, I noticed there is a Walker on Public Surplus, that is listed somewhere in Florida. It was around one hundred bucks, last I looked.

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Biglou13    202

I loved that Walker. That thing held, at least, fifty pounds of clay at a time, so I'd only turn it on, every few days. The knee bar/ About to be a Seriously Maimed Man's Switch, was functional, but I may have, continued the practice of my predecessor, and used a wood wedge, to bypass the lid close, safety feature. I was the only person, who ran the mill, so I didn't worry about student safety, and I'm fairly cautious about my own.

 

If I could find one, and had the space in my current classroom, I'd love to have an old Walker like that. As it is, I don't have the space, and instead use a couple dozen, manual style pug mills. I replace them fairly often, so they never break down, and they are extremely green, when it comes to energy use. They require zero electricity, as they run on the alternative fuel of Mountain Dew and Doritos. The downside is that they do tend to whine, when pugging, but I find, that if I apply a little sarcastic mocking, that usually goes away. Safety is generally not a concern either, as the manual pugger tends to be fairly harmless, though that can vary from model to model.

 

 

Just what I need! Can you ship me one or two? I'm good at sarcastic mocking and can get Mountain Dew and Doritos wholesale.

 

I'd gladly trade my de-airing Peter Pugger for and old beat-up Walker that still works.

 

Jim

 

 

 

Jim, I noticed there is a Walker on Public Surplus, that is listed somewhere in Florida. It was around one hundred bucks, last I looked.

 

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OffCenter    82

I loved that Walker. That thing held, at least, fifty pounds of clay at a time, so I'd only turn it on, every few days. The knee bar/ About to be a Seriously Maimed Man's Switch, was functional, but I may have, continued the practice of my predecessor, and used a wood wedge, to bypass the lid close, safety feature. I was the only person, who ran the mill, so I didn't worry about student safety, and I'm fairly cautious about my own.

 

If I could find one, and had the space in my current classroom, I'd love to have an old Walker like that. As it is, I don't have the space, and instead use a couple dozen, manual style pug mills. I replace them fairly often, so they never break down, and they are extremely green, when it comes to energy use. They require zero electricity, as they run on the alternative fuel of Mountain Dew and Doritos. The downside is that they do tend to whine, when pugging, but I find, that if I apply a little sarcastic mocking, that usually goes away. Safety is generally not a concern either, as the manual pugger tends to be fairly harmless, though that can vary from model to model.

 

 

Just what I need! Can you ship me one or two? I'm good at sarcastic mocking and can get Mountain Dew and Doritos wholesale.

 

I'd gladly trade my de-airing Peter Pugger for and old beat-up Walker that still works.

 

Jim

 

 

 

Jim, I noticed there is a Walker on Public Surplus, that is listed somewhere in Florida. It was around one hundred bucks, last I looked.

 

 

 

No longer on the list but there is a nice bluebird pugmill at a little over $100 in Nevada. It looks like it is in very good condition but even if it isn't it is a great deal for 1 or 2 hundred. All yours, Biglou.

 

Jim

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potter232    1

All of the above makes perfectly good sense.

 

I LOVE MY PETER PUGGER!

 

 

I do a lot of hand building, and the scraps go straight back into the pugger,it is sealed and they don't dry out in there, When the hopper is full, push mix, wait a moment, push de air, wait 30 sec. push pug, out comes PERFECT clay, exactly the consistency I want for the job I'm doing.

For throwing, often the bagged clay is too stiff for me, I buy in quanity and some of it has been around a while. I cut it into 6 pieces, throw it in, add water and in 5 minutes have perfect clay for throwing. It has saved me MUCH muscle work just that way.

 

For using the large 5" wall extruder, I can do the same and struggle less to push stiff clay through that.

 

It also acts as a motorized horizontal extruder, super thing when I'm weaving baskets and need lots of strips. I also run test tiles out that way.

 

Very little of what I use it for is actual reclaim, the clay never dries out, it goes right back through the pugger and then is wraped in plastic and store in a plastic tote on the floor to be used.

 

Other thing, I am much more likely to scrap a not so great pot now, it's no work to recycle. I need to use all my clay, my brain is not happy with 'throw it away'.

 

Also,. I never realized how much better to throw the pugged clay is, no matter how much I wedge, the clay was never as nice as it is out of the pugger. t has really improved my throwing.

 

Nuff said, love the thing. I have MUCH less muscle trouble, no more carple tunnel issues, and make many more pots that I did before I got it.

 

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potter232    1

Hi Clay lover! I agree with you! I bought a cheap second-hand pug mill because I find pugged clay much easier to throw, and honestly can't deal with kneading by hand. I do find the pugging hard work at times, but not as hard or time consuming as reclaiming by hand. As I don't drive it costs me as much in delivery costs as to buy clay, so reclaiming is a necessity. In the UK clay is expensive and carriage costs horrendous! I am not a professional potter - just someone who loves clay and potting. As I don't sell my pots for profit, but for church funds, I need to keep my costs down. Also I am a bit ancient with all the usual aches and pains and at times don't deal with scraps when I should so they can be at various stages of dryness. I try to guess how much water (or slip) to add to the clay as I put it into the hopper and usually it comes out alright. If it is not quite right I put it through the mill again, adjusting the water content. I am aware this is a bit haphazard, but if it gives me a few more years' potting I am happy to do it. This method wouldn't be for people making a living from their pottery, but there are many amateur potters who shouldn't be afraid of making life a bit easier for themselves, especially the older ones of us, who keep thinking they will have to give up the pottery "soon" - but can't bear the thought of actually doing it. I didn't start potting until I was 60 years old, and smashed my shoulder shortly after that, but 12 years later (after two ops on the shoulder) still manage to enjoy making pots - so find a way, whether it means buying a pug mill or whatever else is needed.

 

You young ones enjoy your workouts kneading your clay and do your best to keep fit - long may you continue without needing a pug mill!

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