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.
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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.
Potter John3 years ago
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.
thepelton4 years ago
Neat! I may just build one to demonstrate my roller seals.
Olivia4 years ago
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. :)
BigCountry5 years ago
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)  BigCountry5 years ago
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:


Moose Gueydan (author)  Moose Gueydan5 years ago
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.
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
Moose Gueydan (author)  stephenniall5 years ago
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....
Jobar0075 years ago
They do make empty tubes. They are for epoxy work on boats. See here:
Moose Gueydan (author) 5 years ago
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
lemonie5 years ago
This will have plenty of uses, good stuff.

Elmundo5 years ago
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!