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oldlady

Custom Made Extruder Dies

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oldlady    1,323

has anyone had these things made in a machine shop?

 

my first attempts in plastic work but i want perfect ones.

 

my daughter found a site online which produces dies from cad software.  the price is by a quantity of 12.  is anyone interested in exploring the possibilities?

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bciskepottery    925

Northstar will cut custom dies -- in quantities of one. 

 

There might be a mill or fabricating shop around your area where they do metal work . . . either the shop of one of the workers may be willing to cut them for you. 

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jrgpots    231

I had a local machinist make tow dies for extruding tubes.  The larger tube extrudes an inner diameter of 1.13 in with a wall thickness of 3/16 in.  The smaller dies extrudes a tube  of 0.825 in with a wall dia. of 3/16 in.  When the clay tubes are dried and fired, the resulting inner diameters are 1 in and 3/4 in respectively.  I use a  4 inch round scott extruder. 1/8 in aluminum was used in making the dies.  They cost me $65.00 to have them made.  But I make a lot of 1 in and 3/4 in flutes that need to be as close to these diameters as possible.  I considered it an investment. 

 

I made two dies from Lexan plastic that worked "OK" prior to having these dies made....  It is probably overkill.

 

Bottom line...expect to pay $30 - 40 a die from a machinist.

 

Jed

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Mark C.    1,806

I only use custom made dies-I make mine out of aluminum blanks from brent.You draw it on the metal then drill a hole into the cut out in a vise then use a jewlers saw (art degree is handy here) and saw the thing out then use jewlers files to smooth up and then you have a lifetime die. All my handle dies are made this  way as well as my soap dish-I also have mad some large diameter tubes.

As another person noted Northstar has advertised making one off dies in plastic for you-I would go with them if making them yourself is to much.The ad is in most clay magazines. CM for sure.

Mark

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Denice    243

I have made dies from several mediums but found the plastic cutting board I used the best.  I needed a complicated molding die, I spray glued the pattern to the die and cut out most of the pattern with a drill press, located and drilled small holes for the u-bolts. Then I used small files to square corners and then used a fine sand paper to finish.  I still haven't replaced that cutting board from my kitchen but I have a lot of blanks for future projects.   Denice 

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Ive been cutting custom dies for myself using a jewelers saw as mark offered above, recently I have had access to a laser cutter and I've been cutting sheets of 1/4" acryllic and laminating them together--that seems to work really well.  I have access to a milling machine and have been working on some designs to cut on that thing too.  What are you looking for, old lady?

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oldlady    1,323

wow!  what i am looking for is similar to a design shown on page 92 in the Lark book Extruded Ceramics by Diana Pancioli. it is a curve with feet and a rim that would be used for making long bread trays for french bread.  i cut one out of plastic but i missed one of the feet and have only a slight curve for that foot.  it is also a little thicker than i wanted because the plastic melted and had to be recut several times.  i am going to take a photo of the one i made and the bread tray and post it as soon as i can get it into the computer.  please advise what i should do next.  thank you.

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oldlady    1,323

 thank you pazu.  i will contact tametal works but my extruder is a round one.  started trying to post picture at 3:29.  got it up at 4:51.  do not know if i could do it again.

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Mark C.    1,806

North star will make whatever shape and die you ask for. Its a cad- program-send them the shape and diameter for die they will make it.

Mark

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Pres    896

I sued to cut plastic or metal dies using a drill press to start. I would use a series of holes drilled where the end  points and other points were, then use a scroll saw with a regular blade or a jewelers blade. finished these with a set of jewelery files. Later I used a dremel sanding drum on a slow speed. Too fast and the plastic melts.

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oldlady    1,323

thanks, that is what i did.  but i don't have a jewelers blade or jewelry files. does it matter that much?

 

has anyone tried a Rotozip blade in the drill press?  i want to try it and see if it will allow me the freedom of a router while allowing better visibility.  or i have to dig out the router itself.

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Pres    896

Those blades are made for high speed cutting. However, it may be worth trying. I don't have access to a drill press anymore or an extruder. :unsure:

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Old lady,
I would not use a rotozip or similar bit in your drill press.  Reason being (aside from lack of safety) is that the quill on your drill press is not meant to be stressed laterally, and you risk damaging it and knocking it out of true, rendering your drill press fairly useless.

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Denice    243

I think using the files to clean up the dies make a big difference in how the clay extrudes through them, I used regular files and jewelers files.  My plastic cutting board material was three eights of an inch thick so it was important to keep the cut out area square and straight.  The idea of the scroll saw is good, I have one just didn't think of using it.  Denice

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If you already have the router, you might try a router table. You can find them at most places that sell tools. You can see where you are going a lot better than using the router the conventional way.

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oldlady    1,323

thanks, all.  will investigate all alternatives.  now that i am home i can call northstar.

 

edit...............called them, tim can do it for about $45;  i will try again first.

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oldlady    1,323

SORRY, Been out of action due to a dental problem and will not be able to do much for the next two weeks,  big show deadline coming up.

 

i did correct the die that i made.  used the big clamp and set the drill press to add just enough of a cut to make the foot right.  found that the cutting board plastic from Dollar Tree cuts straight, doesn't melt and is thin enough for my holder.  the bottom of the extruder i have cannot take 1/2 inch thick dies so i am working on other stuff right now.

 

i did not realize how easily the square hollow extrusions twist.  how does anyone make straight things????

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Pugaboo    438

Old lady do you mean curling or curving up or do you mean twisting from left to right? If its curving or curling up you might try spraying the tube with Pam because it could be catching more on one side than the other. It could also be that the center die is slightly offset enough to make it feed just a fraction crooked but after an inch or two it becomes quite apparent in it curving. If its twisting from left to right you might try guiding it carefully onto a plastic covered piece of board. You can continue to feed the hollow extrusion just carefully get it to lay down on the wood as you pull. Doing this seems to keep the left to right twisting from happening.

 

That's all I have learned so far. The problem I had last time was the resealing seemed to not be too perfect on the tube. I am thinking maybe I need to rotate where the bracket sits so it is not near a corner. That's all I can think of that might cause it to be rough around this area. I am a bit concerned with the last batch I pulled that I might have air bubbles where the clay was supposed to reseal. I tried to check and smooth the area out but am second guessing myself now that maybe I should just throw the whole batch into reclaim and do another batch up rather than risking them in the kiln.

 

Also be careful pulling a really long hollow square tube. Be sure to support it or it might tear off something I found out the hard way when the whole 3 foot thing tore loose and went kerplop on the floor. The hollow shapes, square more than round, seem to be a bit more delicate as they come out of the extruder. OH you might also want to have some scraps of wood ready to slip inside the square tubes to keep them from sagging until they firm up a bit.

 

As always you can call me if needed and we can compare notes since we have the same machine.

 

Terry

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oldlady    1,323

thanks, terry  the twists are a problem i will call you about some day next week. the two square vase shapes are sort of leaning drunkenly against each other in an out of the way corner where i cannot see them all the time and feel bad.

 

been glazing and firing for this weekend.  one more load to fire tomorrow and it will be over for a few days.  have had little time to do anything much with  the extruder but i did get some of the cutting boards from Dollar General.  they cost only $2 and i can cut two dies from each one.  the plastic is much easier to cut than the stuff i started with.  it is also thinner and fits inside the band using bolts instead of the pegs provided by scott creek.  thanks, Denice, for the idea.  i bought enough to make 8 dies.  now to think up some good shapes to cut.

 

i made a bread tray using the first shape corrected to have the right size drilled hole and it looks good.  made two more and hope to sell them all this weekend. ( there is pie in the sky, isn't there?)  (well, as long as i am dreaming, could someone who LIKES glazing want to share a studio?)

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Mark C.    1,806

I like glazing but am old enough to not want to share a studio.Good luck with the show.

Mark

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oldlady    1,323

thanks, mark, you are right, sharing a studio      IS    the hardest part of sharing a studio.  it was only a dream, sigh..................

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