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Disciple5

Pugmill question

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I took pottery in college as a hobby while completing my degree.  I loved it so much that I have slowly been trying to put together a home studio.  I would like to get a pug mill/mixer so that I can mix my clay from scratch (dry components), reclaim used clay, and use the de-airing features to save time and work.  I am looking into the Peter Puggers, specifically the VPM-9SS and the VPM-20.  Is the stainless steal worth the extra money (in the case of these two it would be $100 extra) and a smaller hopper?  Or should I go for the bigger hopper and $100 cheaper with the VPM-20.  

Though I have thrown on a wheel and sculpted for years I am somewhat new to this piece of equipment and any information would be appreciated!! 

Edited by Disciple5

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welcome to the forum!   you will find all kinds of good info on this site.   the question is not about the money, though it is a consideration, it is about the kind of clay you use.   if you want to use totally absolutely white clay, go for the stainless.   if you never intend to use anything but dark clay, you do not need it.   if you think that maybe, someday you would like to use white porcelain or stoneware or earthenware, go for the stainless.    you do not want rust in your claybody.

btw,  could you please edit your question to be something like "pug mill question" so it can be found later by someone looking for an answer to a question about pugmills?   mentioning the specific pugmill is good, too.    

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I love my VPM 30 pug mill.  Because I trim a lot.  (20% on the last session)  I can't bear to throw it away, so I saved it for years until I found a used pug mill.  The previous owner wanted a stainless steel unit.  I'm almost caught up to my back log 5 years latter.  I can't easily center 15 lbs of commercial clay.  It's easier to finesse soft clay than center firm clay.  I haven't tried mixing from scratch.  I don't think that would be any more fun by hand than wedging recycle was.  It can't justify itself financially.  It does make me a true recycler though.

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As a owner/user of a Petter Pugger VPM 30 aluminum model I van say a few things

1st is that small unit 9ss holds pugs very little clay _Its made for the hobby market as the output is so small-If you are looking to make clay geta bigger unit.

I would get a bigger unit-I'm saying this twice  for a reason

If you give up on clay say in 5 years the lager models are easier to sell I feel.

The 20 is a really nice size.I know of many in use of these units.

I'm a professional potter and the 30 is more my size 

Now as to is stainless worth it -well that depends on weather you are going to use any porcealain or talc clay bodies which attack the aluminum barrel (all Petter Puggers have stainless augars )These clay bodies pit the barrel and will wear thru over time (long time). The  ss 20 is the largest they offer in stainless size 

If you plan on using stoneware clay only in your whole life of pugger use no need to get stainless but if tou plan on white clays and Porcealin or low fire talc bodies get the stainless models which will be easier to resel down the road as more buyer/users are out there.

I recommend the stainless and the larger model both-hopper size for making clay is a key point. 

I know of a potter whoi bought the small one and regreted it wishing he. had thoiught more about the amout of clay that outputs(If it holds 25# of clay ) you get far less out of it. My unit holds 85# and outputs about 55#-60#sKeep thgis in mind.

Hope this helps-I know of no one that thinks they bought one to large only to small.

Edited by Mark C.

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