Wendt Pottery New Generation Pugmill
look below for more information!
Now in operation and for hire mixing!
Every time we begin mixing, the mixer starts clean, is kept sealed until the session is complete and then left to dry completely before the next mixing session. This eliminates hard spots and lumps in the clay. In addition, The ingredients are precision weighed on an Ohaus trade legal scale accurate to 0.1 LB. It is also equipped with a tare function that subtracts the weight of the bag automatically.
Mixing starts with 28 LBS of Helmer Kaolin added to the mixer while it is running in mix mode. Next, the 7 LBS of Ball clay are added by sprinkling it across the machine side to side. Then the Feldspar, Nepheline Syenite and Silica are added in the same manner between bags of Helmer Kaolin to assure thorough uniformity before the V-Gum T/water mixture is added. Last, the DRA 10/water mixture is added a little at a time until the correct degree of stiffness is reached.
This is the original clay mixer I built in 1976 out of mild steel. When I started making the clean white clay using the Alfred porcelain recipe modified to use Helmer kaolin for the main clay portion, I wanted no iron staining so I clad the inside of the mixer with stainless steel.
From here, the clay goes into our deairing pugmill.
All parts that contact the clay are stainless steel. Each section is on its own castered cart so that
it can be rolled apart for easy cleaning. The red handles are Destaco toggle clamps which
allow the machine to be opened for cleaning in seconds.
Deairing occurs thanks to two Gast rotary vane vacuum pumps in series which lower the pressure
inside the chamber by 28 inches of Mercury. For reference, atmospheric pressure in this area
runs under 30 inches of Mercury.
Above you can see better how the clamps hold the unit together. The deairing "T" feeds into the second auger which pugs the
clay under a high vacuum before extruding it into the desired shape. The drives are all 7.5 HP three phase driven through Linkbelt
worm drive speed reducers and the final drive is 60 series chain running in oil.
Our plan is to offer custom clay mixing for people in the area with the guarantee that the entire mixing train has been cleaned
prior to mixing and contains only the exact formulation the customer has ordered.
Above is the conveyor and cutter assembly I built along with the square nozzle to replace the round nozzle we had been using in studio. At 5.5" x 5.5" square with the cutter wires set at 8.5", each pug weighs 19 pounds and two fit perfectly in the postal services medium sized flat rate box. As a result, we are now ready to begin shipping the clay people order and can do so on short notice. This service is ideal for people who only use small amounts of clay and don't have much storage space since it can reach them in just a few days.
To assist this process, we are also adding batch weighing equipment to our main clay mixer. I estimate the capacity of the machine to be 2200 lbs per hour so if you have a body you want made just for you, please give me a call at 1-208-746-3724.