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docweathers

How Much Difference Does A De-Airing Pug Mill Make?

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Wyndham    98

Keep an eye out on the yahoo group" potter barter" good site for used equipment. The BB has only a shaft,2 berings, a coupler and motor. Even a very used one can be rebuilt in a day if needed but will last .

It's like asking it I wanted to go back to a kick wheel after making a living with an electric.

Wyndham

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Babs    386

Any good hints on sealing them? I store my scraps and slops and have a few days dealing with scrap and clay so I do not use it daily or weekly even. I have been put off using it at all as its a job to clean out the dried clay, hot climate here.. Did use it more frequently when I had a health issue so this wasn't a prob.

Do you guys pug clay straight from the bag as a matter of process?

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Pres    896

Never pugged wet clay from the bag, as it was pretty decent shape. I usually did wedge all of it, but not really needed.

 

As for sealing the pug mill up, we had a Walker that has a large hopper. We would put a soaked rag at the exit nozzle, a plastic bag over that and then the end cap on over top. For the hopper itself, I would put a heavy towel soaked and wrung out in the hopper, put a bag over top, and cover with the lid.  Always removed the key when storing this way as I did not want anyone to run it without looking inside.

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Benzine    609

Pres, one of my classrooms also had a big Walker, but all I did was close the lid on the hopper, and put the cap on the extruding end.  Never had an issue with the clay drying. 

 

This was with frequent use though.  Once the clay semester was over, it got cleaned out from top to bottom.....I had it so clean, you could have ground beef in that thing!

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Pres    896

This was the way I would store the pug mill for Christmas, Easter or Thanksgiving break. Sometimes they would run two weeks at a time. I had my mill running at least 3 days of the week, many weeks all five days.

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Benzine    609

Yeah, by the time we hit the really long breaks, we were done with the mill.  Thanksgiving was probably my cut off date for wet clay.

 

Man o' man those Walkers.  Here's a good idea for a business.  Make more of those exact type of Walkers, no changes!

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The new Shimpo all in one pugmill has a lid with a seal and the clay stays moist for quite a long time if you close and seal the lid  and put on the end cap.

 

For the old Peter Pugger I used to have a thick piece of upholstery foam that I soaked in water and tucked around any clay in the machine then put a couple of plastic garbage bags on top.

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RuthB    14

Does anyone have the Shimpo NRA-04 or any double auger machine? The Blurb says that this double auger blender/pugger produces "practically" air free clay without a vacuum. Thoughts?

 

Thanks, 

Ruth

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Karen B    26

Does anyone have the Shimpo NRA-04 or any double auger machine? The Blurb says that this double auger blender/pugger produces "practically" air free clay without a vacuum. Thoughts?

 

Thanks, 

Ruth

 

Hi Ruth,

I have this pugmill. I bought it about 3 yrs ago. I use it to put scraps from handbuilding, trimming and throwing scraps plus reconstituted clay. If I have clay that is too stiff, I add very soft clay and run it through a couple of times.  I cut a long log from it to put directly across my slab roller to make a big wide slab (so easy). Sometimes there are bubbles and I pole a hole in them to de-air them.  I make the clay nice and soft to wedge for throwing, for the big slabs I don't wedge.

 

If you look at the picture of this pug mill, you'll see the handle is directly over the mill. I put mine together easily with the handle facing out of the side for better leverage. This does disable the auto shut off mechanism so the pug mill doesn't turn off when the hopper is open, but I work alone so it is not a worry for me. I may at some future date add the de-airer to it, but for now it serves my needs.

Karen

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RuthB    14

 

Does anyone have the Shimpo NRA-04 or any double auger machine? The Blurb says that this double auger blender/pugger produces "practically" air free clay without a vacuum. Thoughts?

 

Thanks, 

Ruth

 

Hi Ruth,

I have this pugmill. I bought it about 3 yrs ago. I use it to put scraps from handbuilding, trimming and throwing scraps plus reconstituted clay. If I have clay that is too stiff, I add very soft clay and run it through a couple of times.  I cut a long log from it to put directly across my slab roller to make a big wide slab (so easy). Sometimes there are bubbles and I pole a hole in them to de-air them.  I make the clay nice and soft to wedge for throwing, for the big slabs I don't wedge.

 

If you look at the picture of this pug mill, you'll see the handle is directly over the mill. I put mine together easily with the handle facing out of the side for better leverage. This does disable the auto shut off mechanism so the pug mill doesn't turn off when the hopper is open, but I work alone so it is not a worry for me. I may at some future date add the de-airer to it, but for now it serves my needs.

Karen

 

Thanks! Exactly the info I was looking for. And good to know that I can add the vacuum later. 

 

Ruth

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alabama    144

Hey,

 

     I used a Blue Bird with a vaccuum pump in college... I wasn't impressed.  It was located in one corner of the room

and was so LOUD anyone else in the room couldn't think to throw.  Very annoying!!  I bought a used Blue Bird several

years ago that came with a vaccuum and never have turned the vaccuum on and don't intend to.  I know people

who refuse to wedge vaccuumed clay and don't understand why the bottoms of their bowls have a distinct

3 - part crack.

 

     Oh, I did find out one thing about the rubber gasket that connects the motor shaft to the Blue Bird pug mill... You can buy them for about $3.75 at a welding supply company.  I buy mine down the street from my house.

 

good Luck,

Alabama

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Mark C.    1,798

Well my new to me used Peter Pugger came today via truck from the midwest. I with the aid of a friend unloaded it in the rain (YAY it really is Raining again  -6 inches this past week)

This puppy is 395#s so no lifting it right. I spent the afternoon taking it apart (the barrel is off in these wet photos) and started to clean off what looks like low fire smooth clay out of it.I cannot wait to try this beast after it gets it's teeth brushed.I'll need to take the blades off and grease it in AM then reassemble with some silicone grease on seals.

We shall see how the vacuum part works its a model VPM-30 power wedger holds 50-85#s of clay. Came from  shut school program. Sad but it will hopefully help my compromised wrist do less wedging especially with slab roller scraps.

I really splurged on this . I got a very fair price but trucking was not cheap across country. The funny part is this manufacture is 3.5 hours away one way.

Mark

post-8914-0-64202600-1392435864_thumb.jpg

post-8914-0-64202600-1392435864_thumb.jpg

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Min    778

Looks good, your wrist (and shoulders and back) will thank you. I didn't realize how great puggers are until I got mine.

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Mark C.    1,798

That looks great Mark. What state did it come from?

Iowa

It was a bit more pricey than Doc's bluebird

I have yet to plug it in but really want to but I need to get it cleaned up and lubed then the manual says its good for 50 tons or 1 year whichever comes 1st-for me that will be 1 year.

Mark

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Benzine    609

 

That looks great Mark. What state did it come from?

 

Iowa

It was a bit more pricey than Doc's bluebird

I have yet to plug it in but really want to but I need to get it cleaned up and lubed then the manual says its good for 50 tons or 1 year whichever comes 1st-for me that will be 1 year.

Mark

Doh! You pilfered that from my back yard!!! How did you come across it?

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Mark C.    1,798

Today I took it all apart cleaned and greased and lubed it and reassembled now all I have to do is wire an 20 amp special T-20 outlet outside (under cover) where this will live. This is a special prong 110 outlet as they beast Draws 16 AMPS  and is a different configuration than your normal 110 outlet .The vacuum pump draws more on a separate cord and is the regular standard outlet config.

No extension cords will do with this baby.

I'm going to tackle this part after tax day after glaze day after the rain stops (ya its still raining finally)

Heres what the working guts look like on my slab roller table all cleaned up-that low fire clay was a real bear getting off-grey and slime doggy.

Mark

post-8914-0-86222400-1392513940_thumb.jpg

post-8914-0-86222400-1392513940_thumb.jpg

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hershey8    13

I recently purchased an old (30 yrs) blue bird for $150. It is a 6" aluminum pipe which is reduced to 4". It is a simple machine without de-airing capability. The pipe is not in sections, so cleaning it out will be a challenge. I may have it cut and flanged into two sections. Any thoughts on retrofitting this hoss with a de-airing chamber? Doc, if you get your old bird to de-air, I would love to know how you do it.

                                            thanks,  john autry

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docweathers    79

I haven't got around to adding vacuum to my antique bluebird. I picked up a new vacuum pump on craigslist for $40. Though I understand the rationale for shoving clay through the screen, I'm not convinced that it cannot induce as many air bubbles as it allows the vacuum pump to suck out. it seems is to me as if the blades do a pretty good job of slicing up the clay. I would think that would give the vacuum pretty good access to air bubbles.However, I've never seen a De-airing pugmill that does not have one of the screens. .... I would like other people's thoughts on this theory. 

 

At this point, I think I'm just going to build a small clay trap with some pipe fittings and screw that into a threaded whole  in the auger tube.,

 

Your thought please.

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TJR    359

If you are getting airbubbles in the clay......... more arm (as in wedging more).  ;)   (.....more cowbell!.......)

 

Air bubbles in clay are not the explosion generators... but they are REALLY annoying when you are throwing on the wheel.  Also in a highly pyroplastic clay, a small airpocket in the body wall CAN tend to expand a tiny bit making a small "blister" on the surface.

 

best,

 

.......................john

That makes so much more sense now that I know that you were a former professional drummer.[cowbell]

T.

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schmism    21

Can you describe how your newish Peter Peter applies the vacuum, or maybe show a picture of how that part works?

peter puggers have a chamber behind the "end wall" of the pugger.  This has a non-airtight seal around the shaft.   you pull vacuum on that chamber then turn on the pugger.  if there is air in the clay the vacuum will drop and you can tell if your actually de-airing clay.   If the vac drops to low you need to stop pugging and let the pump catch up.   rinse and repete.

 

you should note that the peter pugger is a mixing pugger and has an airtight lid you shut prior to mixing and de-airing while pugging.   If your bluebird is like the shimpos were there is just an open box for you to drop slugs of clay in or force slugs of clay in,  your going to need to locate the vacuum port on the barrel of the pugger.

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