Wendt Pottery Equipment Page 2013

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Above is the Bobcat loader we use to begin the processing of the Helmer Kaolin. Behind it is the dry storage area with over 250 tons of dry clay ore in stock  The clay is loaded into the feed hopper above to meter it at a uniform rate into the hammer mill (right photo). Hopper capacity is 3000 lbs. I built this machine in 1991 and it has since processed over 7,000,000 lbs of Helmer Kaolin. The 9"  hammer mill blades slam into the clay at over 100 miles per hour to quickly reduce the ore to a fine powder. Built in 1978 to mill the clay, it too has processed over 7,000,000 lbs of clay. It has a continuous capacity of 1000 lbs per hour. 

  

Click here to see more hammermill views.   Click here to see how to make hammers.

In February of 2003, we added the huge 10 ton per hour roll mill which has increased our capacity dramatically. Notice that each machine has a directly coupled dust collector because the dust is the source material for the wheel throwing clay body. Now, with the new down line screening system we can eliminate the coarse tramp people have encountered in the Helmer clay from time to time. The old hammer mill (right photo) will be replaced with a super high speed classifying mill capable of creating airfloat clay exclusively. It will employ a tip speed at the hammers of 250 miles per hour and will use a high speed spinning squirrel cage to reject clay particles which are too large, returning them to the grind chamber until they meet size specifications. Coarser mill grades will still be available at lower cost upon request.

   

Above is the ribbon style mixer I built in 1976 to mix my clay. It is the first big machine I built and has had numerous improvements and modifications over the years to make it even more reliable. The enclosed final drive is 1 1/4 inch chain running in oil. I built the pug mill in 1977 to take the output of the clay mixer and convert it to pugs which are easy to place into plastic bags. While it is not a deairing unit, it does make the pugs very uniform in composition and moisture content.  It is the first machine I built that employs the "walk out" cleaning system that allows rapid mix changes by making disassembly easier. The new hammermill and many other pieces of equipment all employ this same easy clean concept. Contact me to learn more details. After aging, the mixer at the right is employed to mix the clay for an extended time in a high vacuum to remove all the air possible before use.

        

I have built almost all the equipment in my studio. The compact wheel above is small and light weight for easy portability yet is is very powerful with a 12.5:1 worm drive speed reducer driven by a half horsepower permanent magnet DC motor allowing smooth speed control throughout its operational range. The pipe legs can be adjusted to make the wheel just the right height for potters of different statures. Output from the wheels goes into the rolling damp boxes which can store damp pots long enough to permit the convenient timing of operations that are sensitive to body moisture content. The boxes are sized 24" deep X 36" wide X 76" high to permit passage through all standard height doorways. The easy to load kiln pictured at the right is 10 cubic feet and fires from 1500 degrees F. to cone 10 in 5 hours. Its most useful feature is the midline split feature which gives both adequate reference for easy posting and 360 degree loading access allowing more than one person to load the shelves at a time. This kiln incorporates our new "C"  form insulating brick product which has a thin rigid inner hot face backed by 3" of  Kaowool fiber refractory. As a result, there is no exposed fiber anywhere inside the hot face of the kiln to become entrained in the hot fast moving gases.

 

If you want to see more, email me at wendtpot@lewiston.com

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