Saturday, September 14, 2013

POLYMER CLAY EXTRUDERS

How many extruders do you have?  If you do a lot of polymer like I do, I love doing things with an extruder.  I originally bought that little silver thing that almost broke my fingers trying to push clay through it.

I was so excited when Makins came out with the great green extruder.  (Blog doesn't like the word extruder).  So, then Walnut Hollow came out with an extruder so I bought one of those.  Two friends quit claying and gave me their Makins extruder, now another friend quit and gave me her Walnut Hollow extruder.  So, I have 2 Walnut Hollows, 3 green Makins and wouldn't you know this website jumped up at me saying a new company from Czechoslovakia called Lucy Clay is making extruders.  They have one representative here in the U.S. that sells them and all the information sounded wonderful.

I love my green Makins extruder except that it hurts my hand when I'm holding it and trying to extrude clay.  It does make that funny noise and every time I use it and my husband asks what the noise is??????????????  He knows, he just likes to irritate me.  LOL

Well, I ordered the CZextruder.  The discs are separate but I think what drew me to the extruder is that the discs are colored, the extruder is colored and the handle comes off.  It works like a ratchet.
These are the parts.  The tube comes in 3 different colors.  There is a small white plastic piece that comes out and has to be cleaned with a baby wipe.  That is the clay pusher.  On the left is the inside part of the extruder and as you can see, there is a large bolt on the bottom that pushes the clay pusher.  The handle has a ratchet on it that fits on top.  The discs come in different colors and they are sold separately from the extruder.  You twist them out of the round place in order to get them loose and then you can file or use a cutter to take the two little tabs off.  It comes with 2 o-rings.  I have never used an o-ring while extruding.  The thing I like about this extruder is the tube.  It is very comfortable to handle.
Here is a youtube by Yonat Dascalu using the extruder with an electric hand drill.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Ns8W16u9P8&feature=youtu.be

  The green Makins extruder has that hashed metal on it and sometimes it starts bothering my hand.  This extruder works really well but you have to remember "anytime you use an extruder, your clay has to be soft if you don't want cracks on the edges".  Here is a link to Kim's blog about the extruder.  http://kimisjewelryandgifts.blogspot.com/2013/09/czextruder-xxl-demo-review-and-free.html

Both extruders work hard if your clay is hard.  I use to wear an oven mitt to hold my Makins, then I bought one of those table vises for the extruders but they tend to get in the way.  The discs from both extruders fit into the cap of each other so they are interchangeable.  There is another set of discs that I didn't get.

This is my Makins extruder.  I took a piece of that rubbery stuff you use in boats and RV's to keep things from sliding.  I put a double wrap around it and put rubber bands on it.  It's very comfortable to hold now.  However, if you are looking for the best extruder in the world, I don't know if it's been made yet.  If you are using hard clay, it's still hard to twist the handle on any extruder you have.  The Makins extruder is self-cleaning the other is not.  You can buy a brush to clean the barrel.

This is the Walnut Hollow Extruder that a friend just gave me.  She has very arthritic fingers and had to give up doing clay.  I don't know how long she's had this but it turns rather hard.  I have one and don't remember it turning that hard.  I like the folding handle on the this one and I love the packaging but it is not self cleaning either, that is not a big deal but could be.

I'm going to clay camp for 4 days on the 26th and I'm going to take all these with me and let all the clayers try the new one and see what they think.

Would love to hear from the rest you about your preferences or if you have suggestions on how to make these better.

5 comments:

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liz said...

Hello,

Do you know if Lucy clay colored discs can be used on the green extruder makin?
thank you;)
Liz

Bonnie Kreger at B-LEE KREATIONS said...

Liz, they do fit in the Makin's extruder.

Jessie Miller said...

Bonnie - If your Makins extruder is squealing it needs lubrication! Running clay through at a squeal will drastically reduce the life of your green machine. Take all pieces apart and grease with petroleum jelly or oil. This will soften your clay on the first run, so put scrap through the first time.

Always run and extruder with an o ring. #10 for the makins if you need to purchase more. Available at a hardware store pretty cheap. Your barrel may get gouges on the inside and clay will end up behind the plunger without the o ring.

Now lets talk about the new and improved makins green extruder..... The barrel is thicker, so the threads would hold over time, but the thickness was added on the INSIDE. So those of us who use the core adapters need to be aware the adapters do not fit inside the barrel. Some of the new barrels were not threaded to the end of the barrel, so the cap comes off when you use the core adapter. You can have someone grind down the barrel or email makins and they will send you a barrel. You will need the number off the handle. However this is not the best solution. The threads still have issues holding the cap on. Makins recommends purchasing the "professional" stainless unit as the core adapters still fit inside that barrel. Another issue with the new extruder - since the barrel is narrower on the inside, the brass plunger is smaller in diameter, making it difficult to keep the o ring in place. I have not tried a smaller o ring since I have a lifetime supply of the #10s. So I cut about a mm out of the #10 and it fits fine. If you are having clay build up on the wrong side of the plunger try making the o ring smaller. If you need more info on the stainless unit or have other questions you can email me directly. sales@fauxgotten.com
Jessie

Jennifer Wittick said...

Great info on the extruder. I'm on the lookout for a new one. I didn't get to try yours at camp :( . Dara said she would ask you to bring it to November meeting. I'm thinking of getting the Makins Ultimate Stainless Steel. Have you heard anything about it?

Jennifer W.