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demmert

Building A Hydraulic Extruder

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Hello,

  I was thinking about building an extruder as it should be fairly simple.

 

I was thinking of starting with an electric log splitter. Like this one http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200631753_200631753

 

I would cut off the log cardle and splitter bolt or clamp on a metal box with a die at the end and presto.

I know it will be a bit more complicated, but any thoughts?

Hydraulic extruders cost a lot and even a nice rack and pinion extruder are $800.

I was thinking I could get away with under $500 and have a nice operation.

Mostly for making tiles.

 

Concerns are the ram speed and this being to powerful.

 

Thanks!

43502_700x700.jpg

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I'm thinking there is going to be way too much force applied way too quickly to extrude clay. Whatever die you are going to be using is going to have a problem taking that much force that quickly. 

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Guest JBaymore

Another starting point option...... http://www.harborfreight.com/5-ton-log-splitter-61373.html

 

They are on sale at the moment for $219, I think.

 

I have one for splitting wood for the noborigama.... it is great.  We bought one for students to use at the anagama at the college also..... love it.

 

Only down side is the "whine" of the motor.  But still is quieter than a gas powered one.

 

With this kin d of pressure... you should be able to build a large diameter barrel for the extruder.  Likely with an expansion box.

 

best,

 

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

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In addition to managing the ram speed, you would need to rig up some means of controlling the start / stop / restart of the plunger in mid plunge so you can control the output of the extrusion. The Bailey hydraulic extruder has a foot pedal for this so you can use both hands to manage the extrusion as it comes out.

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Guest JBaymore

I can imagine that if you do not slow it down it will squirt clay so fast you will have no control.

 

With the Harbor Freight one you can control the speed of the RAM with the valve .  BUT... it is either closing or opening.  Doesn't stop mid stroke

 

best,

 

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

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Thanks for the replies.

I have used these as well for my wood stove and kiln.

 

I think that my concern with it being too fast and too powerful is confirmed.

Any ideas on alternatives that could be augmented to create the same ram with power but slower?

 

Thanks

 

dave

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So pairing something like these two up may work better.

and they are only $70 and $23 a piece.  Only 6 inch stroke, though double that would be nice.

If you all think of any other pairings that would work that would be awesome

 

46278_400x400.jpg46276_400x400.jpg

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So pairing something like these two up may work better.

and they are only $70 and $23 a piece.  Only 6 inch stroke, though double that would be nice.

If you all think of any other pairings that would work that would be awesome

 

46278_400x400.jpg46276_400x400.jpg

I own this unit and use it in underwater salvage . Its very controllable and slow.

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Since you seem to mechanically inclined, have you considered the electric drive mechanism from a simple trash compactor? They usually have a drive range of about 12"; the drive motion is relatively slow; it is reversible; it should handle pushing the clay through the die without too much of a problem; you may be able to get a used unit from an appliance repair shop for a price that makes experimenting worthwhile.

 

I built my own manual extruder last summer from materials that I've salvaged over the years of my remodeling business. My greatest individual expense, in this case, was the paint.

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The larger the diameter of the clay box the more you will slow it down. I'm not so sure about the compact log splitter but on a regular splitter with a normal valve (not the auto return valve) you can control the speed a little and stop in mid stroke. You can also get an adjustable flow control valve that will control the speed.  You can probably modify the electric log splitter without too much trouble, but you'll probably blow your budget. I bought three American made replacement hydraulic hoses last year with fittings for my splitter and it was around $175.00. If you shop around online you will find better prices. Modifying the electric splitter would be more cost effective than starting from scratch. Starting from scratch would be the best idea and the most expensive unless you had parts on your shelf or purchase used parts locally.

 

I would say Go for it and go there with some knowledge. Research it a bit and you will find the answers.

 

You might double the value and modify this to press tiles in a air release tile mold.

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all you mechanical types probably know the answer to this already.  why not use one of the harbor freight hydraulic presses.  cannot remember the name but it squeezes down vertically.  maybe it only needs a simple modification to put in a tube and plunger. 

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It would probably make a nice clay press for tiles. The hydraulic press frame for extrusion would be ideal with a longer ram. They make a long air powered ram for an engine hoist and it's probably pretty noisy.

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I have a gasoline 26-ton splitter and have been thinking along the same lines. These things aren't known for their lightning speed, and their power is amazing.  Holy cow !   The extrusions should be amazing.  Dual-purposing my log splitter is a definite maybe and New Years resolution for 2017, preceded only by the intention of eliminating procrastination. Vibration might be an issue, but might create some interesting effects, too. Ear plugs. Huh? EAR PLUGS.   Yep.     

                               

                                                                                                                     ja

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I wanted to post my results.

After some thought about this all I decided to go low tech and wire slabs from a block of clay using to guide sticks to give a uniform 3/8".

 

Here is the video that pushed me to pic this method.

 

 

If I need more speed  in the future I think I will look at an automated press or extruder.

 

Thanks for the insight,

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I agree to buy individual parts and custom fabricate the unit.  We have a large 14" hydraulic extruder in our studio that is a one-off piece of equipment.  If I recall correct, it was built by someone at Univ. of Minnesota.

 

Ours accepts a 16" square die plate, with an approx 14" extrusion limit.  It has a hydraulic cylinder for the main ram, which as control valves for the hydraulic pressure and up/down stroke.  I can stop it during mid-stroke, I can also change the speed during mid-stroke...it also tilts into horizontal position AND has a 2nd ram hidden inside the base to make it taller for extruding longer forms in vertical orientation.  I can try to take some pics, but in my honest opinion this thing has some major design flaws that I would definitely change if I were to build one myself (the issues mainly are due to the capability of going into horizontal position and being able to change vertical height - it just needs some major improvements for safety).  We have the Bailey pneumatic as well, I would likely share some of those design concepts if/when I finally decide to chop into this thing.

 

The original dies we got with our extruder were mainly for extruding slabs/tiles, but we've since made many of our own.  The problem with this is that when you have a LOT of hydraulic pressure + a large diameter die plate, you can very easily snap dies in half (depending on the shape, since certain shapes restrict too much clay and create too much pressure behind it).  Many of the dies with smaller apertures have to be double thick matieral (3/4" plywood) or made of something else, like steel.

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In that case, look up Allessio Tasco , an Italian artist, He has a 24" or more extruder. Not Hydraulic but an old vertical type of pug mill.

http://www.lameridiana.fi.it/ceramics_alessio_tasca.htm

https://www.artnet.com/auctions/artists/alessio-tasca/sculpture

http://www.thatsarte.com/blog/highlights/caltagirone-lee-babel-and-alessio-tasca/#more-2371

 

I wrote an article about him in Studio Potter Newsletter in about 2001

His panel in one of the photos is carved layers of extruded bricks.

he does amazing things. He has an old factory for a studio. His partner Lee Babel makes heating/over constructions. She was also in my article.

 

Marcia

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