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Pug Mill Recommendations.


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#1 Jawpot

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 03:39 AM

I let the magic smoke out of my pug mill yesterday morning and searching for a new one.

 

I'm a production potter and use between 1,000 and 3,000 pounds of clay a week depending on what I'm throwing. I do all my mixing in a Bluebird 24S. I'm looking at the NVS-07 Pugmill that I can get on Monday if I order in the next few days.

 

No matter what I get I will need the new pugmill by 4-7.

 

Anyone have any sugestions?



#2 Mark369

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 09:30 AM

Peter Pugger has some reconditioned ones on their site.


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#3 Mark C.

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 10:36 AM

Thats a fine machine-(NVS-07) what about parts and service?I think parts will be important later one-so make sure you can get them.

The peter pugger that is close to it is the VMP20SS for a bit more money ($4,600)

If you can get parts go with the shimpo-but at least a set of extra o-rings

Not sure where you live but if its in the west go with the Peter pugger as they are closer

I would definitely get a all Stainless machine if I went with a new one.

I am using a Peter Pugger VMP 30 ( I got it used) but only for past month-Its been super so far.

Mark


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#4 Colby Charpentier

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 10:37 AM

I suggest looking at the Peter Pugger VPM-30, for the 85 lb batch size. The NVS-07 has a 55 lb batch size at the same price point. Your mixer has ~150 lb batch size, so ~2 pugger loads would get you through a batch of clay on the VPM-30, whereas you'd need ~3 on the NVS-07.

 

I am strongly biased as far as buying a larger pugger than you need, as our studio community pugger sees little use due to inadequate size...

 

edit: errr, look at Mark's post^



#5 Mark C.

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 11:23 AM

The largest all stainless peter puget is the VPM 20SS.

All the larger sizes are cast aluminum . If you use a porcelain body over time it will pit the cast body if you leave clay in unit. Not a huge deal as you can have it sandblasted out to smooth it a few times for long life . But stainless will not pit.

The mixer shaft and blades are all stainless on all models

I use porcelain and will suffer some pitting but my price was worth it.

The VPM20 I think has a 45# holding capacity -you should call Peter Pugger and see if they are making any larger stainless units in the future.

I think they carve them from a solid block on a C&C machine-They are easy to talk to and have parts for all units.

Mark


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#6 Jawpot

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 11:25 AM

I saw the VPM – 60, but don't know if the $1,500 discount is worth it for a 3 year old reconditioned unit. The freight shipping from NC to VA would not be to bad.

 

Peter Pugger's are made in NC and I'm in VA. I know a 2 people that have not had issues getting new parts made for there pugmill.

 

Thanks for the arm twisting...

I found out I could get a VPM-30 shipped to me in my time frame and ordered it. It's the size I need and should cut my pugging time in half from what my last pug mill took.



#7 schmism

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 11:27 AM

You interested in selling your old one?

 

As a mechanical engineer just about anything can be rebuilt in my world.  ;)



#8 Jawpot

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 11:42 AM

I dropped my old one off this morning at a shop to see about rebuilding it. I was told it would need a new motor, VDF, and all new wiring. I should be getting a quote in the next few days. I might get it fixed and keep it, but I’m not sure yet.    



#9 schmism

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 11:50 AM

VDF?    you mean VFD?  varable frequency drive?    Was it variable speed before?   If you toasted the VFD the motor should be fine.  If you toasted the motor the controls on the machine should be fine.

 

The only way you could need ALL that is if it was hit by lighting or something.



#10 Jawpot

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 12:23 PM

Sorry VFD.

 

It started out as a VFD fire and I was in the bathroom. Took 2 fire extinguishers to put it out and the outside of the motor was charred. They said there was a short in the motor and not worth rebuilding it, but would pull it apart to see if it was fixable.



#11 Mark C.

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 01:05 PM

What brand of pug mill caught fire? The  Bluebird 24S is a mixer only right?

Mark


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#12 schmism

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 05:00 PM

That would explain the required repairs.  I would replace the motor.  There is a coating on the wire of the windings that if it gets hot will melt off and cause a short.   Bearings dont like being overhead (such as a fire).

 

the "or something" in my above statement was going to be "fire" but that was about as remote as lighting so ....  Glad you were able to get it contained quickly. 



#13 Biglou13

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 08:23 PM


 
"I'm a production potter and use between 1,000 and 3,000 pounds of clay a week.........."

For the layman or not so large a producer..... That's 20 to 60, 50# boxes of clay a week. I love me some throwing pottery but my hands would have fallen off by day 2 ......


All I have to say is wow. I'm impressed. I'd love too see what your doing. If you want to keep it private please pm

Hell I wanna work for you for a day. Just for the experience.
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#14 Jawpot

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 11:33 PM

Yes the Bluebird 24S is just a 150 pound batch mixer.
 
I have no idea what brand pug mill it started out as.  I got it at a school auction.  They used it hard, welded it back together, and put it up wet.  It lasted 2 years before it caught fire the first time and cost me $1,800 to get it rebuilt.  It's been 3 years from the last fire and it only pugs about 35 pounds at a time.  With it not having a vacuum pump I have to run all the clay through the mill twice.
 
I have no idea what other production potters throw in a week and there are a lot of variables in there answer.  I have 1 full time assistant that feeds me clay and moves my wareboards and racks around.  I do all the mixing, throwing, glazing, loading, firing, and unloading my self.
 
I'm sorry to say this but “That's 20 to 60, 50# boxes of clay a week”, I would stop throwing if I used boxed clay.
 
I'm mostly doing terracotta pots right now.  The pots are 25, 17, 8, and 3 pound pots stacked in side each other with one of 3 glaze patterns in 10,000 pound batches.  Currently I’m firing there third order, I started throwing there forth order, and mixed there fifth order.
 
I do pots and vases up to 5' high and 3' wide when ordered or when I need a great show stopper at a sale.
I also do a lot of stoneware cook ware, mugs, soup bowls and stuff.

Edited by Jawpot, 25 March 2014 - 11:35 PM.


#15 schmism

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Posted 26 March 2014 - 12:49 PM

I love watching guy wolff throw his flower pots.



#16 Jawpot

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Posted 26 March 2014 - 10:51 PM

Yes guy wolff dose some great work and I have watched a couple of his videos.

To me it looks like he mostly uses Stoneware. I don't think he has ever talked abut his kilns, but someone else has shown that he has 2 electric. I wounder how much large work he dose and if he just uses his electric kilns.     






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