Pug Mill

Special Features

Although light in weight, this pugmill is certainly no toy. It will save any potter many hours of hard work in preparing clay. It is designed to minimise the pressure needed on the feed-lever.

The blade shaft is designed to combine the functions of bending and pugging clays. Either of these functions can be emphasised simply by increasing or decreasing pressure on the feed lever.

Horizontal or Vertical

The pressure pad on the feed-lever is hinged at the back to that it moves in an arc down the hopper which is shaped to suit this action. This has two advantages: less effort is needed to press the clay down in the hopper, and the hopper can be fed with the machine either horizontally (pic 1) or vertically (pic 2).

With vertical mounting, bench space usage is minimalised, pressure is more easily applied on the lever and the extruded clay can be let to fall into a container directly below, or it can be fed into plastic bags to be sealed for later use (pic 2).

Easy Cleaning

The Talisman pugmill is easily cleaned. You just unscrew two nuts, support the barrel on one hand, and switch on the motor. The whole barrel, complete with hopper, will then be slowly ejected clear of the machine. The blade shaft stands clear for cleaning. The tapered nozzle can be removed for cleaning, leaving the straight part of the barrel to be cleaned separately.

Light on Power

The Talisman pugmill gets all the power it needs from its 1/2 h.p. single phase, capacitor-start motor fitted with thermal overload and switch. Main speed reduction is through a direct-mounted reduction gearbox. No belts to adjust.


Except for the drive mechanism and blade-shaft, the Talisman pugmill is made mainly of aluminium. This is a similar material to that used for many years on the Talisman potters wheel which has never been troubled with corrosion from any of the clays in general use. Weight, complete with motor, is only 18.5kg.

The barrel has a bore of 93mm, the nozzle 63mm. The rate of output will vary greatly with the kind of work. When blending clays, with light pressure on the lever and a slower rate of extrusion, output may be around 100kg/hour. With more pressure on the lever and less mixing, it could be double that.

Extruder Attachment

An extruder attachment (pic 3) is available, allowing clay to be pugged and extruded on one operation. The door of the attachment can be easily pulled aside for straight pugging. The attachment comes with one die blank.

Using and Caring for your Talisman Pugmill

The pugmill may be bolted down on a bench, or vertically on a wall. Bolt down to an even surface and keep nuts tight.

Before starting on a batch of clay, have a good supply of clay cut up into chunks that can be pushed into the hopper. The aim should be to keep the hopper filled as near continuously as possible so that a minimum of air will be drawn into the barrel. If a long period without refilling the hopper is necessary, stop the motor and leave the pressure pad down.

The pugmill will not start extruding smoothly until a layer of clay has built up in the walls of the barrel. Therefore the first length of clay extruded (approximately 100cm) should be cut off and re-pugged. The machine is working smoothly when the clay comes out in a perfectly smooth column. If this smooth-surfaced column doesn't eventuate, the most likely reason is that the clay is too wet for pugging.

It is not necessary to have the clay cut up into precise pieces. If a lump is too large for the hopper, push it in and lower the level immediately. The surplus will be sheared off around the edge of the hopper and can be caught and returned to the hopper when the lever is lifted again (pic 4).

If the mill is mounted vertically, a good system is to let the clay descend into narrow plastic bags for airtight sealing. As, with vertical mounting it is easier to apply pressure to the lever because the weight of the body can be pressed against it. The extension to the handle will generally not be needed with vertical mounting.

After use, the pugmill can be left full of clay for quite long periods if a cork bung is pushed into the nozzle and the pressure pad pressed well down on a small damp cloth. If this is not done it will be best to clean out the barrel after use.

To clean the pugmill, undo the two nuts securing the barrel in place, support the end of the barrel in one hand and start the motor. The barrel, complete with hopper, will be fed off the blade shaft, leaving the blades fully exposed for cleaning. Make sure that the motor is switched off as soon as the barrel is clear of the mounting. The nozzle can be separated from the barrel also for cleaning (pic 5).



Stainless steel auger, aluminium barrel and nozzle, zinced steel handle.
Extruder attachment - aluminium with solid extrusion dies made from acrylic and hollow extrusion dies made from zinced mild steel.


Overall length - 680mm
Barrel length including nozzle - 390mm
Barrel bore - 93mm
Nozzle diameter - 63mm


1/2 hp, 230 v. single phase, capacitor start


100 - 200kg per hour