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#1 Artificial Gravity

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 02:56 PM

I was having an argument with a friend. They think I should buy a pugmill for recycling clay.
A little research revealed that, with my needs, and the space available, I could get one of those little Peter Pugger mills, for, let's say, $3,500.
Now with clay cost at around $0.35/lb. I could buy 10,000 lbs. of clay. I live eight miles from my supplier, so I don't pay for shipping.
That five tons of clay would last me at least ten years.
If I buy a mill, I will have to :
1. find a place for it.
2. Pay for the electricity it uses.
3. Maintain it
Or, I can use that money to buy clay and make pots instead of reclaiming clay.
Why do I ( or any small volume potter ) "need a pugmill"?

#2 trina

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 03:11 PM

I think you just answered the question for yourself. T

#3 neilestrick

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 03:23 PM

You don't need one. Spend your time making pots instead of pugging clay.
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#4 Diane Puckett

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 03:43 PM

Thanks. I needed that. Now I can stop wishing I had a pugmill and get rid of all that clay that needs recycling.
Diane Puckett
Dry Ridge Pottery

#5 neilestrick

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 04:05 PM

Large volume potters don't need them either. It's way more profitable to spend time making pots than making clay. Clay is cheap, time is not.
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#6 OffCenter

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 09:32 PM

I have a Peter Pugger but still reprocess clay by hand.

Jim
E pur si muove.

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#7 Pres

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 10:17 PM

I was having an argument with a friend. They think I should buy a pugmill for recycling clay.
A little research revealed that, with my needs, and the space available, I could get one of those little Peter Pugger mills, for, let's say, $3,500.
Now with clay cost at around $0.35/lb. I could buy 10,000 lbs. of clay. I live eight miles from my supplier, so I don't pay for shipping.
That five tons of clay would last me at least ten years.
If I buy a mill, I will have to :
1. find a place for it.
2. Pay for the electricity it uses.
3. Maintain it
Or, I can use that money to buy clay and make pots instead of reclaiming clay.
Why do I ( or any small volume potter ) "need a pugmill"?


You know I tried to talk myself into this same thing a few years ago. Concluded in the long run that I could get rid of the clay by donating to the local HS as it has a pug mill-used to be my classroom. You may find a school nearby that would love to some of your unclaimed clay.

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


#8 Claypple

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 10:56 PM

Besides, you can still reclaim the clay even without the pugmill if you decide to do so.
Especially since you said you are a small volume potter.
It is not too much time consuming either. I do it almost automatically.

#9 Mark C.

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 11:22 PM

(Large volume potters don't need them either. It's way more profitable to spend time making pots than making clay. Clay is cheap, time is not. )


This is the truth above- if you have special needs like mixing body's together its a maybe but clay is cheap and time is not as said above.
Mark
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#10 Biglou13

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 11:29 PM

I recover my clay daily (ish).
15 gallon bucket out always for any clay.
Trimmings go into another bucket with cover, spray or splash with water cover with wet towel seal lid.
Dryer clay to bone dry start in different bucket... Soak a few minutes until it gets soft pour off water add to bucket above.
If its too wet leave it out a few days. (Or plaster drying bat). To dry add some water, wet the towel.close lid.
I'll do a preliminary wedge when I get about 10# to make sure it homogenized and its not to wet or to dry or combo.

I really like the clay body when it's from mixed clays. But you could keep a bucket for your different bodies.

I'm with claypple and offf center. I recover every time i play, and by hand. I don't see need for pug mill unless your mixing own clay bodies, or recovering large amounts clay. It's not a big chore only adds a few minutes of labor. ( noted I'm strictly a hobbyist)

5 gal buckets a free. See local sandwich shop for pickle buckets, lids from hardware store. (Reduce ,reuse,recycle)

If your in north Florida I'll gladly pick up your scraps....and I'll reduce reuse and recycle for you. ( no charge)
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#11 Artificial Gravity

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 01:28 AM

Thanks Biglou, but i don't recycle clay, I agree with Jeff Zamek when he says "It's the most expensive clay you can buy." Meaning clay is cheap, your time is not, and the physical effort adds to wear and tear in an already demanding craft. He thinks it better to use time making.
So who buys all these pugmills? Obviously, clay makers need the giant models to make clay, but who uses the Peter Puggers and such?

#12 OffCenter

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 08:26 AM

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
E pur si muove.

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

#13 Chris Campbell

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 08:46 AM

This is another one of those subjects that never get settled ...
Recycle your clay if you like to or for some reason need to but don't live under the impression that it is any kind of cost savings. It is a time gobbler ... It is a space gobbler .... It is a smelly mess if for some reason it gets set aside for another day ... And c'mon, be honest ... It often gets set aside for some other time because it is not fun. We took the clay from the earth, so don't be afraid to give some back!

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#14 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 09:36 AM

My closest supplier is San Antonio, 280 miles away. I prefer Austin or Houston or even more, Baton Rouge (12 hour drive one way or shipping by the pallet). I recycle as much as I can but that is usually just trimmings. I use the trimmings for making sculptural clay.
I throw by my wedging table an put all the gooey clay on plaster and re-wedge it. Not much work there.
trimmings are kept dry ( not smelly) until I need to mix. Sometimes I mix a small batch and sometimes I mix a big batch.
Recycling is worth it to me.

Marcia

#15 High Bridge Pottery

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 11:37 AM

I have seen many a pug mill left to rush in corners of studios, but the decision is up to you. Recycling clay is hard but I enjoy putting that effort into making the clay. It makes the clay worth more to me.

Also I get my old college tutors wastage from his studio for free, otherwise he just takes it to the tip as he says it is cheaper to buy in new clay. I have no choice but to recycle and have more time than money at the minute.

                                                                                                                 1384226_215924051918490_1181728069_n.jpg


#16 Diane Puckett

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 01:47 PM


I was having an argument with a friend. They think I should buy a pugmill for recycling clay.
A little research revealed that, with my needs, and the space available, I could get one of those little Peter Pugger mills, for, let's say, $3,500.
Now with clay cost at around $0.35/lb. I could buy 10,000 lbs. of clay. I live eight miles from my supplier, so I don't pay for shipping.
That five tons of clay would last me at least ten years.
If I buy a mill, I will have to :
1. find a place for it.
2. Pay for the electricity it uses.
3. Maintain it
Or, I can use that money to buy clay and make pots instead of reclaiming clay.
Why do I ( or any small volume potter ) "need a pugmill"?


You know I tried to talk myself into this same thing a few years ago. Concluded in the long run that I could get rid of the clay by donating to the local HS as it has a pug mill-used to be my classroom. You may find a school nearby that would love to some of your unclaimed clay.

Great idea!
Diane Puckett
Dry Ridge Pottery

#17 clay lover

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 04:33 PM

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.


#18 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 05:02 PM

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.


I have to support your statement about the carpal tunnel and using de-airing pug mills. I had surgery on both hands 30 years ago and do not want to repeat it.
and de-airing is a big plus for me.

Marcia

#19 neilestrick

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 05:29 PM

A Peter Pugger is the only way I would reclaim clay. They work great.
Neil Estrick
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#20 clay lover

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 06:31 PM

I don't regret 1 dime of the considerable cost ( I went for the stainless, since I use porcelain, and keep clay in it at all times)

It is better made than my car!




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