Introduction: The Country Pottery- Build a Extruder Gun

Picture of The Country Pottery- Build a Extruder Gun

A extruder is useful for making fast coils of clay, handles, and decorative parts.  most extruders come in two types, a wall mount (instructable in progress) and todays project, a easy and simple Clay Gun.

insers the prepared tube, fill with soft clay, and crank the handle....  just like a plydough machine....  on;ly more useful.....

this clay gun cost under 10$ and makes enough tubes for 3 diffrent die heads, though the parts are cheap enohugh to make a bunch.

Step 1:

Picture of

 the parts:

you will need:

a caulk gun frame- I picked up this one for 4.95 at the local hardware store-  this is a 13 inch gun, designed to use the "regular" sized tubes of glue and caulk

a length of 1 1/2 inch schedule 40 PVC Pipe, this peice is 5 foot long and cost $2.30

1 1/2 inch caps to use as die heads i bout 4 at 70 cents a peice

1 1/2 inch test cap  this was 35 cents for 2.

you will also need a marker, a hacksaw with a sharp blade and a mesuring device.

Step 2: Measuring the Tube

Picture of Measuring the Tube

measure the pipe from one end and cut off a 8 inch peice

Step 3: Fit the Die Cap

Picture of Fit the Die Cap

drive one of the caps onto the pipe.  this one ive cut 3 holes in the cap with a knife. I could have gotten cleaner results with a drill bit.

keep the holes smaller than about 1 inch in diameter, (YMMV).  this pattern makes a rope if you twist the clay as it extrudes...

Step 4: Test Cap Plunger Seal

Picture of Test Cap Plunger Seal

  the test cap will be the back seal for the gun piston. trim off the outer flange so you only have a cup shaped peice.

add a glob of glue (liquid nails) and glue to the piston head of the caulk frame.

let dry for a hour or so.

Step 5: Finished!

Picture of Finished!

you make have to trim the caps or pipe to make fit..  a sanding block or a rasp works well for this.

Finished- to load the gun, roll a ball of clay between your hand to make a 1 inch rope. insert the rope into the sylinder, and load 'er up!

start sqeezin!

this gun is also useful if you want to extrude materials you cant get in tubes- like stucco or plaster of paris..  the gun tubes are cheap enough to be disposable....

to clean, just pop off the caps and wash out, or just chuck it into a bucket of water until its ready to be used again...

See my other Instrucatables,
Build a country Kickwheel,
Build a country Wedging table



vienna01 (author)2016-01-17

Anybody figured out how to modify the caulk gun DIY clay extruder to create HOLLOW extrusions?

I made the extruder of this instructable with small changes. I created a pusher from a piece of rubber[looked into hardware store until I found right thickness & trimmed it -backed by metal disk[washers]. I used pipe end caps for the die ends. This is a bit more robust extruder to be used by a group of students. Creating the dies does require use of drill and dremel type tool to carve the thicker pipe caps. Note I also sanded the pipe barrel end on which the pipe caps are placed to prevent difficulty in removing the pipe caps. I use the same pipe barrel with multiple pipe cap dies. Also multiple pipe barrels for different COLORED clays.[Don't trust the cleaning habits of multiple users].

Potter John (author)2011-08-11

Well, silly me. I didn't make a seal like you show; just the regular "pusher" from the caulking gun worked fine for me. I get very little blow by clay in use. But, clay probably works differently than some of the other things mentioned by others.

thepelton (author)2011-01-14

Neat! I may just build one to demonstrate my roller seals.

Olivia (author)2010-12-09

I love the idea of the interchangeable dies. This is so cheap too; I could never bring myself to drop the scratch for a "professional" one. Now I can make one with all kinds of crazy shapes. :)

BigCountry (author)2010-02-21

Hey moose, How about something like a can crusher for a wall mounted unit? You could cut you pattern holes in the side of the tube. Just a quick notion...

Moose Gueydan (author)BigCountry2010-02-21

Im working on modifiying this Extruder by North Main Pottery,
Ive been working on a few diffrent projects, not to mention trying to get enough finished work done for the spring sale.

heres a "Can Crusher"  extruder, built by North Main Pottery:

my Biggest change is going to be converting the pipe from 2 inch pvc, to 4 inch ABS. I discovered that a end cap for a 3 1/2 abs pipe fits tightly inside a 4 inch ABS pipe to make a plunger head...  Tests are underway.  the head caps will be a screw in clean out plug.   I dont know if that will hadle the pressure though, as I said, Tests are underway.

stephenniall (author)2010-01-13

anyone thinking of play doh right now !

Im going to use this with a small nozzle (made out of bic pen) for other things such as grease etc

for a tube with a nozzle, jobar sent me this link,

but far be it for me tto tell you you cant make one..

Im already experimenting with this. on how to make a decorating nozzle with a cake tube....

191 uses, even stuffing sausage casings it seems....

Jobar007 (author)2010-01-13

They do make empty tubes. They are for epoxy work on boats. See here:

Moose Gueydan (author)2010-01-12

this device has less back pressure than the commercial unit that I paind 70$ for from bailey's.. the idea was for my Ladies to have a smaller, less arm twisting device they could use during my pottery group meetings.

becasue the cap I found fit so tiughtly, i havent had any probloems with leaks, and the nose/die cap is being pressed on..  its all a tight fit..  the only thing I glued was the test cap to the gun frame..

you may have to sand the sides of the cap to make it fit, and this may not work in a circular frame calk gun..   (you know I looked and nobody makes empty calk tubes, odd)

if you want to use this for eadibles, you will have to use a food grade adhesive for the end cap, be casue Liquid nailes has formelaldayde in it.

its a cheap trick..  the table top version is comming, im working out some bugs, ill post it when I get done

lemonie (author)2010-01-12

This will have plenty of uses, good stuff.


Elmundo (author)2010-01-12

Nice Job!  I can see a couple of dozen uses for this thing, from grout to jerky stick mix....

Did you have any issues with getting a good seal on the plunger?  Some stuff out there really will try to get around a bad seal...especially if the desired outflow is small and creates backpressure...

I can see my forearm aching already from a day of squeezing out clay.  We'll have to figure out a way to make the plunger seal removable and adapt this for one of those battery/rechargable guns!

About This Instructable




Bio: I am currently single, and have been a maker all my life. I currently work as a technician for a comercial Laundromat company. I and ... More »
More by Moose Gueydan:Country Potter Rocks out   DIY Juke Box (and possible future Instructable)Country Potter - Quick Bottle ShelfThe Country Potter  -  Casting tub with drain
Add instructable to: