Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Care and Feeding of an Extruder

I have recently been called on to organize a class which I have decided to base around the little extruder marketed be Sculpey. It is an inexpensive and fun way to introduce adults and children to polymer clay.  I seldom use an extruder in my work I thought that it was time review it's uses.

Here is a hint that I had almost forgotten until spent more then ten minutes cleaning the brand new extruder after only one use. This is not a cost effective use of time.

Here is a way to make your extruder virtually cleaning free. 

Someone gave me the plastic wrap tip but I am not remember who, but thank you.

1.A  Here is what you will need: an extruder, a bit of clay ( I have used white and green.) and the magic ingredient, a piece in thin plastic wrap cut large enough to wrap around the clay with slight over lap and to cover one end of the clay.

1.B This clay is wrapped and ready to be inserted into the extruder tube. Be careful that there are no bits of plastic covering the open end of the clay.

2. Here the wrapped clay is inserted into the tube. Screw on the extruder plate of your choice with the extruder ring and insert the plunger into the tube. (Sorry I didn't get a picture of this last part.)

3. Well this looks a little mysterious. Those are my feet pushing down the extruder which I have placed on the floor. This is the easiest and quickest way to get this little extruder to work. It is much easier on the hands too.

Does anyone else do this?  I am sure someone else must have had sore hands and decided to take it to the floor and use their feet. I think I learn this approach from my cat.

4. When you have finished extruding, take the plunger out of the extruder tube. There is only a trace of clay left clinging to the plastic wrap.

5. Remove the plastic wrap from the plunger.

6. An almost perfectly clean extruder tube and the bit of plastic wrap having done it's job well.


Vanessa said...

Hey Joan! I put my green makins extruder in a vice that I put on my desk when I am using the extruder.

joan tayler said...

I also have Green Makins Exruder and the system you suggest sounds good. I went with the Sculpey extruder because it is less expensive for undecided clayers and multiples purchases for groups of kids.

2 Good Claymates said...

Hi Joan, I use to use the plastic wrap years ago with my Makins extruder when I used Premo clay as the clay would make a horrible mess and was hard to clean out. Now with using Kato clay, each runs comes out clean as a whistle without needing the plastic wrap or even cleaning between clay colors.

Carrie said...

Wish l'd thought of the foot trick before l bent my original, simple extruder hopelessly out of shape by using a home-made wooden lever affair!
I like the plastic trick :-)