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Homemade Extruder

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I've wanted to get an extruder for my classroom, for quite a while.  Unfortunately, I can never really fit it in the budget, especially as my district is really focusing on cutting back.  So even though, I may be able to put in the purchase order, and even have it approved, I really don't want to draw attention to myself, as a department that spends money on "Big" purchases.  

I have two hand extruders, but they work OK at best.  


A while back, Pres linked me to this video:




I think it's an absolute great idea, and am seriously considering building one.  The issue I will have, is mounting.  Obviously, I can't dig a hole in my classroom, to place a wooden post.  Wall mounting is essentially out of the question as I don't much wall space, and that I have, would not be preferable.  

I'm either thinking table mount, or to anchor a post in a bucket of concrete, then attach it to the post, like he did in the video.  If I go for the table mount option, what would be a good bracket set up?



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You are going to need a really strong support for the extruder. I have mine mounted on a 2x8 bolted with lag bolts to a beam in my studio. Sometimes when I start out I am practically hanging on the handle to get enough oomph to start the pressing. Once it gets started it's not too bad after that. I tried softer clay but had issues with the forms holding their shape long enough to cut off.



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You might be able to make a tripod base with some 4x4 post and cement in the base.

The shop class should be able to cut and weld either round 3-4 in pipe. Go to a scrap yard that buys steel and beg some sq 4ii stock about 24 in long or round stock that size. If they won't donate they sell it by the pound. You'll also need some flat stock about 2 in wide and 1/2 in thick, 2 pieces about 4 ft long, this is the handle and the ram parts.

The base is the most expensive but maybe the shop teacher can help

This should be no more than $20 for the steel.

I can make up some plans but you may already have that.


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I made an extruder using 4" black PVC. It required a huge amount of force to pull the handle. I made dies from lexan plastic. They broke under pressure. I had to use 1/8" aluminum plate. If I made a new one, I would build it from 3" black PVC pipe...less pressure. Mounting was horrible.


Good luck



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I made my extruder from plans in a CM magazine about 20 years ago, I thought it was only temporary to see if I would really use one.  I have made so many dies for it I can't seem to give it up for a new one. Mine is the bumper jack type and I build it from 3" pvc pipe, the one thing I did different was to have a machine shop make me a aluminum piston that needs to be at least 2 inches tall and thirty seconds of an inch clearance on the inside of the pipe so it won't get jamed.  They also drilled an three quarter inch hole deep in the center so the bumper jack would stay centered.  I have found the plastic that cutting boards are made of are perfect to make dies out of easy to cut and drill, haven't had one break yet.  I doesn't take up much wall space, but I did put wood on the backside of that wall to strength the wall. Denice

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I made and still use the same extruder that Denice did.  The more time you spend making it will pay off in ease of use!  Better fit of parts equals better product.   Mine is ugly as heck but works.

Mine is mounted to a 2x4 shelving unit that holds 50 pound bags of supplies.

I think you will need top and bottom vertical and horizontal support.

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I have also upgraded material over the years and have totally change the die system, if you need the info maybe I can write something up for you.  It sounds like you have a lot of good help,  I built this on my own but have gotten help from my husband on the upgrades, he's the inventor, engineer, mechanic and builder for our family.     Denice

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  • 5 years later...

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