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Author Topic: Makins Extruder  (Read 15828 times)

JennyM

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Makins Extruder
« on: November 30, 2013, 04:14:43 AM »
I am just wondering if anyone else has had their Makins extruder destroy itself. I have no idea how it happened but the screw came out. Hard clay, too much force, not sure. Anyway to cut a long story short, clever husband reworked the screw back into the screw thread of the plunger and I doubt that it will come loose again. The middle of the flat brass piece on the bottom of the plunger dislodged itself so I was left with the screw exposed. After some careful thinking I got hubby to make me a metal disk to cover the base plate. I put it in first before I add the clay and then put in the disc I want to use and the end cap. I did this so that the clay wouldn't push against the screw.
I wrote to Makins and they were most intrigued by my story. I wanted to know if a replacement plunger was available and of course it isn't. They said they would look into the design of it and see if they could improve it.
Anyway, it's working like a charm again. I am so pleased as I love using it.
Also, I'm a bit curious about the Czextruder has anyone bought one and is it much better than the Makins extruder.
Opinions, please.
Jenny

jembox

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Re: Makins Extruder
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2013, 05:25:49 AM »
First off, never crank any brand extruder all the way to the end. Stop short . That is what dislodges the bolt from the inside if the back cap..usually when this happens the handle just spins around but the plunger doesent move forward.

Makins and walnut hollow both have this type of brass nut in the back cap. you can screw it back in but it is hard to get good and tight .
the only thing to help you tighten are two little slots in the brass nut that hopefully you can get some long thin needle nose pliers into.
I'm lucky enough to have 2 long really thin screw drivers that are for calibrating oven knob settings that I fit into each slot and turn both as one tool to tighten the brass nut back in place.  Makins said I could put LOCTITE in there but I did it with out and it seems to hold until I over crank it to the end.

I also think it is better to not fill your extruder all the way.

Makins did send me replacement plunger for mine - but I stayed on them. they also fixed and returned a new pasta machine that broke after I made only 9 skinner blends with pre conditioned clay.

Walnut hollow extruders seem a little sturdier that Makins but I really don't like their hinged handle set up. it is hard to keep the handle extended out while extruding unless you have it in a vice.


Czextruder  doesn't have  the nut set up of the other 2.  it is a solid threaded barrel that the rod screws through , so the nut problem is not an issue. It seem like a good sturdy tool and will last.  The Czextruder has a double "O" plastic plunger that pushes the clay out and the extra "O" ring seems to help make it easier to extrude.

I have the Long Version of the CZextruder and if I fill it the whole length It is hard to get going but about halfway it gets easy. My next one will be the shorter one.

Czextuder also sells a handle conversion kit that make the handle a Z shape like a Jack in the Box handle BUT  you have to do some deconstruction of you original handle to use it. You need the back cap off the original. ????? I wouldn't get it until they figure out an Out of the box ready to go Z handle.

The Czextruder also has a hex head that will fit into a standard VARIBLE Speed drill. so you can use the drill instead of hand cranking - BUT KEEP IT ON A LOW SPEED AND HAVE IT IN THIER TABLE MOUNTED VICE PLATE OR IN A REGULAR VICE.  = Walnut Hollow sells a table top 3 way positional vice for about 29 bucks US  but I think you can get the same type from a regular hardware site or store.
This makes me very wary and I have only done it at a Demo and not with my own extruder - if you are careful and slow it is probably ok but I don't want to break my tools or hands.

everyones discs fit all the brands so you can inter change disc's.  Czextuder discs have new and different shapes than the others but not many standard shapes.

In any extruder it is my finding that the longer you fill it with "Retro" log of clay stacked circles the colors at the end get more blended and muddier so I normally only make 4 inch logs to extruded unless it is a solid color that I need a lot of or if I am using a disc with a hole larger than a pencil thick.

My best tips for extruding are

Use fresh and freshly conditioned clay.

don't fill your extruder and let it sit . Do it will the clay is still warm from making your log.

I make all my logs to be extruded and then set them on top of  the lid of a plastic food container filled with hot tap water  the I cover them up with a a folded thick towel for insulation to keep them warm. till im ready. Or I set my filled extruder on top for 5 to 10 minutes to warm up.   -  This step makes it much easier on your hands and tool.


Im sure ill think of more later

Or Any Questions any one ??????

JAN

« Last Edit: December 02, 2013, 06:21:22 AM by jembox »

JennyM

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Re: Makins Extruder
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2013, 05:44:53 AM »
Thanks Jan. I now know for future reference. I really must have given it a hard time.

ejralph

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Re: Makins Extruder
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2013, 01:28:42 PM »
Jan gave you some excellent tips there, so I won't really add to that.

I've had a little look at the Czech extruder and its a really nice product. The only reason we cannot stock at at EJR Beads is they just won't give us the price breaks we need to sell it at an affordable price to you. Otherwise I'd be carrying it myself.

If you're doing heavy duty extruding a lot, production work or want to hook your extruder up to a power drill - then yes, its probably worth looking at the czech extruder. Its a bit "industrial" in its construction, but it is quite solid. I've not tried extruding much with it yet, but it seems a nice bit of kit.

If you are doing more general extruding or its not a major focus of your work, then the makins one is still a fine tool. I've sold literally hundreds of these little blighters over the years and whilst they were generally designed for a much softer clay, they've been giving very good service to polymer clayers. I usually find if people have problems, it is because they've either tried to extrude to much clay, or it hasn't been soft enough. Or the rubber gasket on the plunger has swollen  / degraded and not been replaced (I actually remove my rubber gasket totally so the brass plunger head has an easier time travelling the length of the barrel. I also never fill more than 1/3 full)

Emma
Emma from Sunny Sussex, UK
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Peter

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Re: Makins Extruder
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2013, 02:15:40 PM »
I've broken a few Makins and it has generally been my fault for overloading it!!!   :) :) :) :)

Two things I do to make sure that it is in tip top condition.

Clean the rubber gasket every time with a baby wipe (and get all the gunk out of the groove that it fits in).
Warm the clay on top of my oven for a few minutes before extruding.

 :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)

jembox

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Re: Makins Extruder
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2013, 03:48:37 PM »
I was Given my Czextruder for free as a demo artist . but I agree with Emma. if it is your first one Get the makins and take care of it. and it should last. I still have 2 that I have been using for years. If you follow my tips above about fresh and warm clay the makins should be easy as the czextruder to use.

jembox

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Re: Makins Extruder
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2013, 03:53:10 PM »
. Or the rubber gasket on the plunger has swollen  / degraded and not been replaced (I actually remove my rubber gasket totally so the brass plunger head has an easier time travelling the length of the barrel. I also never fill more than 1/3 full)

Emma

Emma does clay squish behind the brass plunger when you take of the O ring ???
jan

ejralph

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Re: Makins Extruder
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2013, 05:54:59 PM »
. Or the rubber gasket on the plunger has swollen  / degraded and not been replaced (I actually remove my rubber gasket totally so the brass plunger head has an easier time travelling the length of the barrel. I also never fill more than 1/3 full)

Emma

Emma does clay squish behind the brass plunger when you take of the O ring ???
jan

A tiny bit - not much that I've noticed though to be honest. Also, the barrel might need more cleaning than it would with the gasket in place. On the whole though, I've hardly noticed the difference.

Try it - you can always put the gasket back if you don't like it.

Emma
Emma from Sunny Sussex, UK
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monkey ann

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Re: Makins Extruder
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2013, 07:44:56 PM »
I was given a tip for keeping the extruder clean.  Scrunch up a bit of clay friendly plastic bag, or plastic wrap, put in the barrel behind the clay log.  As you get to the end of the extruding open up and pull the plastic out with the last of the clay, barrel is now relatively clean and I guess no need for the gasket.

I am getting a Czextruder, for Christmas, it is hidden away somewhere, if Santa thinks I have been good that is.  Being able to attach a drill is the appeal for me, hands not as strong as they used to be.

Ann from Croydon, Surrey

ejralph

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Re: Makins Extruder
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2013, 09:08:22 PM »
Great tip!

I usually push a scrunched up Jay cloth with a squirt of meths through the barrel after extruding. Next time I am going to try your idea and just put a piece of scrunched up jay cloth up the barrel first.

Emma
Emma from Sunny Sussex, UK
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JennyM

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Re: Makins Extruder
« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2013, 09:54:01 PM »
Thanks so much for your responses. I had one of those hideous little Sculpey extruders as my first one.
The Makins has been so much better. Since it's rebuild there have been no issues. I am being more careful with it and cleaning it after each use.

jembox

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Re: Makins Extruder
« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2013, 05:42:28 AM »
Monkey Ann that's a good one !!!!!!!!! ;D

Klynn

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Re: Makins Extruder
« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2013, 05:06:40 PM »
Believe it or not people that is the one thing i have not boughten yet. I guess I jjust don't know what to do with them.

Kari
Kari in Colorful Colorado, US

Bonipie

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Re: Makins Extruder
« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2013, 03:33:33 AM »
Kari,
This is a must.  I love my Makins Stainless Steel extruder.  You don't use it everyday, but when you need it, you need it.  I bought mine on Ebay for $17 with extra dies-I didn't even know what an extruder was, but thought I would want one, being a tool person.  I have my clay play day tomorrow with 'The Yuma Triangle' (our group of 3 clayers here in Yuma) and all I'm taking is clay, my extruder, and some 'ball' tools.  I'm going to make inchies.  I'll post photos.

Hugs, Boni  8) in Wonderful Yuma, Arizona where I'm going to be extruding all afternoon tomorrow.

jembox

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Re: Makins Extruder
« Reply #14 on: December 04, 2013, 08:20:31 AM »
YUMA TRIANGLE !!!!!!!   :o


Don't disappear in there .