The Country Pottery- Build a Extruder Gun




About: 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 my friends have built a nascar simulator, and lot of other stuff, and I h...

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:

 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

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

Step 3: 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

  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!

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


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    13 Discussions


    3 years ago

    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

    8 years ago on Step 4

    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.


    8 years ago on Introduction

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


    9 years ago on Introduction

    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. :)


    9 years ago on Introduction

    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...

    2 replies

    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.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    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

    1 reply

    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....


    9 years ago on Introduction

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


    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


    9 years ago on Step 4

    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!