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#21 Natania

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 06:36 PM

I bought one for where I teach, since it is on the third floor and a small studio, so spent clay would take up valuable space. I could barely keep up with recycling and wedging by hand before the school bought it. Wth the Peter pugger I can recylce clay in minutes (I sound like an advert) and then have more time to teach. I don't have the room (or $) for one at home though, and I find that clay does build up in buckets, etc. causing clutter, which I hate. I think if you get a taste of how easy and convenient the pug mill is, you miss it. Perhaps it is better not to know the good life...what do people do with old clay if not recylce? Isn't it expensive to send it to the landfill? Or just chuck it in the woods?

#22 Brian Reed

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 06:45 PM

I live 10 minutes drive from a production pottery and I bring all my scraps there. I struggled with the idea of reclaiming by hand, buying a pugger/mixer and in the long run neither of those ideas worked for me. After taking my slop buckets, adding some dry clay and grog, mixing in a bucket, then letting sit for a few hours on my plaster wedging table I then get the joyous task of kneading, and wedging that into usable clay for throwing. After two long sessions and getting about 100lbs of clay I decided it was not worth it and bring it to a local pottery. They are happy to reclaim it as they have huge volume and they just put it in their mixer. No waste, it is all used.

I like that you did the math on what it costs per pound to buy clay and compared the cost of a pugger. Nice work and all the more reason not to go that route for me either, I too would rather be making pots.
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#23 Claypple

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 07:25 PM

It depends on your needs. ... 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.

Jim


BINGO!

#24 Nelly

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 10:59 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!


Dear All,

Like many of you, I too recycle or reclaim my clay. I live about 50 miles from the closest supplier. I am a very small volume potter so my needs are not big. I use the big kitty litter containers to collect my scraps. It is a weekly chore. For the most part, trimming pieces go right into the slop bucket but older and harder pieces I allow to dry and then slake. I then take this mixture and pour it into a big linen t towel I have placed over a big board that is covered with canvas with newspapers on top. In a few days, I have clay that is ready to go. Sometimes I mix some new stuff from a fresh box to make it stronger if it is a little wet. Eventually, it comes around and is workable for my throwing needs.

But, if I ever get to the point where my hands cannot wedge the clay or I cannot recycle for some reason, then I may consider a pugger. I am fine right now though.

Nelly

#25 clay lover

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 06:27 AM

The thing I did not expect from it is the improvement in my throwing due to the great, even consistency of the clay that I could not get with any amount of hand wedging. I spend much less time actually pulling a pot to get the same results, so for me, it has increased my efficiency, not used up throwing time.

I bought it reluctantly,$$$$$, from a need to deal with the hand-shoulder problems I was having. The rest has been a bonus.
Oh, another pluss, there are no more buckets and tubs of assorted scrap sitting around.

#26 Min

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 11:49 AM

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

#27 Biglou13

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 02:24 PM

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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#28 bciskepottery

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 04:30 PM

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.

#29 Rebekah Krieger

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 10:07 AM

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! Posted Image
Learning On my Kick wheel with my vintage Paragon (from the late 1960's)

#30 Stephen

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 11:04 AM

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

#31 clay lover

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 06:56 AM

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 !

#32 Artificial Gravity

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 02:24 PM

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.

#33 Biglou13

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 03:40 PM

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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#34 OffCenter

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 05:26 PM

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
E pur si muove.

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

#35 OffCenter

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 05:37 PM

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
E pur si muove.

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

#36 OffCenter

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 08:53 AM

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
E pur si muove.

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

#37 clay lover

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 11:27 AM

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://ceramicartsda...ult/smile.gif">

#38 Artificial Gravity

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 11:46 AM

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


idem.

#39 High Bridge Pottery

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 11:47 AM

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

#40 OffCenter

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 02:31 PM


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
E pur si muove.

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




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