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Motorless pugmill


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Hi there,

I would like to know if anyone has ever heard of a pugmill that would operate manually, without a motor. I figured it would be a cheaper machine to buy, and probably easier to make. My idea is to have the simplest pugmill possible and in a smaller size because I don't need something big.

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You should see an actual motorized pugmill in operation to get an idea what kind of work is really being accomplished.  Without looking, I'd guess a moderate pugmill has a 3 HP motor with a substantial gear reduction.  Arnold in his prime couldn't crank that by hand.

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1 hour ago, nomis said:

There are several reasons why one might want a hand-cranked pugmill; and any help from anyone will be most welcome


Vince Pitelka wrote about his homebuilt pugmill:
https://vincepitelka.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Building-the-Harry-Davis-Pugmill.pdf 

The "motor" can be any device, hand cranked, water fall, windmill, etc.  I recall reading years ago about using a hand driven sausage grinder for small amounts of clay.  

a pugmill is just a tough version of a bread/cake mixer.    clay mixing has been around a lot longer  pugmills. 

think outside of the standard box and

improvise!  

LT
 

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25 minutes ago, CactusPots said:

...
Without looking, I'd guess a moderate pugmill has a 3 HP motor with a substantial gear reduction.
...

One horsepower is ~746watts.  A Tour de France rider will average 220 to 320 watts for a four-hour stage; that's an intensity most recreational riders can sustain for only an hour or so.

So a hand-cranked pugmill is going to be pretty low powered for the task, and hard work.

Not arguing that's it's not worth a try, but with limited ambitions.

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Is this an extruder? It seems to me that it doesn't have enough power to mix the clay at all? So no I don't think so!

I'm not sure if my idea is the right one. I couldn't spare the wedging without de-airing pugmill, and there are other methods to recycle clay. I'm going to rethink this for now!

Thank you for your answers! It helped me to see more clearly.

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Water fall waterwheel would do the trick very well-as you need some power.

Lets see huge construction project taking long time vs a used commercial machine? cost benefit may be a concern here?

Of couse solar power could power that motor as well.

The deairing is a nice feature on most machines

Edited by Mark C.
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It's all about scale, isn't it? 

I would question whether a more efficient use of human power could be had than basic wedging.  If you scale it down to 10lbs +\- , ok.  If you scale it up to my PP30 with 40lb output, good luck.  Various oriental potters use foot wedging.  I know they have water driven machines etc for grinding, but I think not wedging.  Always look to history.

 

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18 hours ago, Babs said:

Research Barry Brickell New Zealand.

If he hasn't done it, don't waste your time :-))

 

Berry passed some years ago-he was quite the powerhouse in ceramics-I visted his place with the train and all back in the 90s. Small factiod- He had the toughest feet of any human I have ever known

Edited by Mark C.
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I use the slam method to wedge up my clay if needed,  what cone of clay are you working with.   I work with C5/6 and find that the blocks of clay are real stiff,   slamming them will soften it up.   I discovered that when you put the block of clay in a 5 gal bucket of water over night it will be the perfect consistency for throwing in the morning.   No slamming needed,   the open plastic end on the clay  should stay above the water level.   Denice

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I tried the sausage mixer. Nice idea, but didn't work very well. The clay sticks to the blades and the whole thing turns as one, no mixing occurs until you wet it down to slip slop consistency. And then, once mixed, you have to dig it out with a spoon. If you lived near me (or I had enough money for a vacation in France) I would give it to you.

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I've been trying slam wedging for a few days now and it works well for me. it really does save the wrists indeed. Very handy for recycling / mixing clays of different consistency.

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Another plus about slam wedging is that you wedge up 25lbs of clay at one slamming session.   I wished I had known about it earlier in my career,  my hand doctor wants to operate on my right wrist again.    I left wrist just finished healing from my surgery last November.     Denice

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I can get a homogenized clay from pieces too dry to wedge any other way by beating on them with a rolling pin.  Sort of like slam wedging.  I call it forge wedging.   Kind of like forging steel.   Dryer clay like that will give up some interesting textures naturally when run through the slab roller, especially on the edges.

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