Polymer Clay Tutorial | Makins Professional Ultimate Clay Extruder

Makins Clay Extruder

Vid #90: Don’t Buy A Cheap Clay Extruder. You’ll Be Sorry If You Do:

There are so many things you can do with a clay extruder. I use mine almost every day for making polymer canes. But you must be sure to buy a good one. The wrong polymer clay gun will leave you frustrated and physically exhausted!

There are three basic types of polymer clay extruders available:

1) Squeeze trigger… much like a caulking gun you would use to seal around a tub.
2) End Plunger style that requires thumb pressure to push the clay through the barrel of the extruder.
3) End Plunger that works with a screw mechanism. This third style is how the Makins Professional Ultimate Clay Extruder works.

Some squeeze trigger and thumb pressure extruders are so difficult to use that many crafters give up on them very quickly…

I will have to try the Makins extruder. I got the cheaper brand, tried it once, and decided that was enough of that! I would have to be a body builder to get the clay to come out with it, but it looks like the Makins brand probably gives a lot more leverage. I actually saw a woman on a craft show using her feet to get the cheaper brand extruder to work! I don’t know if I am athletic enough for that! ~CindyE

See Full Story Here: Making Polymer Clay Canes

In addition to the 3 types of extruders described above, you must also choose between plastic or metal construction. As I’m sure you can imagine with all of the variations available, there is a wide range of prices to have to deal with as well.

Makins sells a low end clay extruder with a plastic thumb plunger for around $5. I don’t recommend it. They also make a metal screw plunger unit called the Makins Professional Ultimate Clay Extruder for around $25. This is the one I use and recommend. From here, you can find higher volume clay guns in the $60-$95 range. And there’s even a $375 power extruder if you want to let a motor do all the hard work for you.

I get so many emails from polymer clay newbies and beginners about which extruder to buy. As already mentioned above, my advice is to start with the Makins Professional Ultimate Clay Extruder. It is made of aluminum so it is way stronger than the plastic ones. And it uses a screw in plunger which is fairly easy on your wrists and hands.

This Makins Ultimate Extruder is reasonably priced at $25 and comes with lots of extruder disks. You can also purchase additional disks if you ever need them. And there is a “clay-core-adapter” available for purchase as an add on. This adapter allows you to put holes through tube beads extruded from the gun.

Plus, the Makins Ultimate Clay Extruder is easy to find! You can get it at Amazon or at most craft stores including Michaels. You’ll probably find it with the Makins Air Dry Clay, instead of with the regular polymer clays, but it is usually there. Just make sure to get the one I pictured above and not the cheap plastic one by Makins.

I have created a video tutorial about how to use and care for a Makins Ultimate Clay Extruder, which I know you will find helpful. The full video is available for library members, but you can watch a preview clip below.

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor





Click Video Play Button

Here’s That “Link Below” Referred To at End of the Video
>> Polymer Clay Tutorials <<

The full version of the Clay Extruder preview video shown above, is available for purchase at my Polymer Clay Bead Making Videos Library in the Volume-007 Back Issue Package.

In this Makins Clay Extrudervideo I show how to properly use the Makins Professional Ultimate Clay Extruder and all of it’s pieces. I also demonstrate how to take it apart for proper cleaning. Other topics covered in the video include:

  • Using the right consistency of clay.
  • Mixing in dry clay to achieve a cool crackly effect.
  • Types of beads and canes you can make with the extruder.
  • Replacement O-Rings.
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  1. Cindy Lietz@Jewish Polymer Clay Artists, 24 December, 2008

    There are many uses for the clay extruder such as making polymer canes, ropes, bezels, mosaics, doll hair, tube beads, etc. Very fun and useful tool… worth every penny!

  2. Cindy Erickson, 27 December, 2008

    Thanks so much for this video tutorial, Cindy! It really helps to see how this extruder works. As you already know, I bought the cheaper push type a few months ago…tried it once, and never again!!! It was soooooooo hard to get the clay to come out! I would have to be an Olympic athlete to be able to use it!!! This looks so much more simple, and I am excited to buy it when I get a little shopping money together. I also look forward to seeing you make canes using the different shapes that this gadget makes! Good video!!! Encore!!!

    Hugs to you,

    Cindy E.

  3. corinne, 28 December, 2008

    Hi Cindy!

    It’s me again and it seems that I have a problem seeing this last video. After pushing Play, it’s written “buffering video” for a few seconds and after the play sign appears again. I tried starting it again, but it doesn’t work.
    The preview clip is the same too, it’s starts for “In this…” and restarts. It cann’t be stopped either :-(

    I’ve tried to watch the last week’s video and it works ok.

    Thank you

    Corinne

  4. Cindy Lietz@Rainbow Quilt Polymer Clay Canes, 28 December, 2008

    @CindyE: Thanks for adding your comments. Your participation in the community is very much appreciated.

    @Corinne: I reviewed the “trouble shooting” emails that you and I have exchanged in the past. What you are experiencing is common with the Internet Explorer (IE) browser. IE is notorious for getting the “hiccups” when it comes to streaming internet video. The Firefox is an alternative choice that you may want to use instead of, or in addition to your IE browser.

    Anyways, here is a few things for you to consider:
    1) Make sure your IE browser is upgraded to the latest version.
    2) Upgrade to the latest Flash version (this is what cured your last issue).
    3) Clear your browser cache and cookies. See instructions here:
    http://www.beadsandbeading.com/video-problems.html

    Hope this helps you Corrine. BTW: Does the video work on your work computer? Last time we talked, I remember you saying that machine was kept more up to date than your computer at home.

  5. Mary Ellen S, 28 December, 2008

    Cindy thanks for your instructions. They were easier to understand than the instructions on the back. Also I just purchased this extruder and it is easier than the push type. I didn’t get the case to hold the discs and extruder so your a lucky gal! This is something I thought about,If you use the alcohol to clean the end maybe it would make the 0 ring last longer if I put a little Armor All on the ring periodically Would that help keeping it from drying out? Working with cars we do that to all rubber 0 rings.

  6. Cindy Lietz@Basic Polymer Clay Tools, 28 December, 2008

    That is an interesting point Mary Ellen! If you know Armor All to be good for O rings, then it would be a very good idea to lubricate it after cleaning with rubbing alcohol. Vaseline might be good as well.

  7. corinne, 28 December, 2008

    This my work computer where I’ve always seen all the videos without any problems ever. This is the first time I encounter any. I don’t have problems seeing all the other previous videos.

  8. corinne, 28 December, 2008

    Cindy hi,

    I stand corrected – I’ve deleted my temporary files and cookies from my work computer and the video works! :)

    Thank you for your advise.

    A Happy New Year and all you wish for!!!

  9. Cindy Lietz@Polymer Clay Faux Wood, 28 December, 2008

    Good to hear Corinne. Thanks for letting me know.

  10. Maria, 29 December, 2008

    Happy New Year, Cindy! Looking into the extruders, I noticed there is a stainless steel version, that’s about $20 more in price. Any opinion whether this is worth getting? (It also has only 10 vs. the 20 discs available in the aluminum version)

  11. Cindy Lietz@Cool Substitute Tool for Making Lentil Beads, 30 December, 2008

    Happy New Year to you too Maria! I guess it depends on how much you are going to use it and whether or not you want to use it for PMC (Precious Metal Clay).

    Stainless steel is stronger than aluminum and will likely never break due to hard clay like the aluminum could if you were hard on it. The stainless doesn’t react with the PMC like aluminum does and that’s what it was designed for in the first place.

    I am happy with my aluminum one and since I treat it properly and am not working with PMC it is perfect for me! Like having the extra disks as well!

  12. Adrienne lindsey, 11 January, 2009

    I am so glad I watched the video about the makin’s extruder. It had not crossed my mind about the vacumn that could build up if you pulled the clay out of the chamber instead of pushing it out with the plunger. Thanks for the tip Cindy.

  13. Cindy Lietz@Polymer Clay Alphadisc Lettering Tool, 13 January, 2009

    You’re welcome Adrienne! Yeah the suction can be pretty strong in there. You wouldn’t want to break the gasket or anything else. It is way too cool a tool!

  14. Maria, 22 January, 2009

    Just got one of these lovely green machines. Looking forward to your tutorials on using it!

  15. Cindy Lietz@Polymer Clay Tutor Video Library, 23 January, 2009

    That’s really great Maria! I see you are a member of the polymer clay tutor video library. There is a video on how to use your Makins Extruder if you haven’t seen it yet. It is Video 007-4. In the future there will be some videos on canes you can make with it, so stay tuned!

  16. Millefiori, 24 February, 2009

    Hi Cindy

    I bought the Makins Ultimate Clay Extruder and I seem to get air bubbles trapped in the extruded snake. How do I avoid this?

    Also, how hard should the clay be? You seem to be working the tool without too much effort. I have to work quite hard at it and the clay comes out of the extruder with a wave. Should I work with softer clay? But if the clay is too soft, won’t I have problem when I assemble the final cane? I want to work with fairly large canes made up of 6X6 extruded square rods.

    Any insight would be very helpful.

    Thanks

  17. Cindy Lietz@Conditioning Polymer Clay Properly, 24 February, 2009

    Hello Millefiori! (Pretty name btw. Perfect for a clayer!)

    If you are trapping air in your clay while extruding you either have big air pockets in the barrel of the extruder, or you’ve trapped air in the clay while conditioning.

    You can fix that by making a tighter log of clay and conditioning properly, which you can learn how to do by clicking the link by my name.

    If you have to work too hard to get your clay out of the extruder, the clay is probably too hard. You will need to soften it by either adding a few drops of baby oil or using Fimo MixQuick.

    If you try to force clay that is too hard out of your extruder, you risk stripping the threads on the turn screw and breaking your wonderful machine. So make sure it is soft enough to squeeze out fairly easily.

    If your whole cane is made with the same consistency of clay you won’t have a problem with distortion. So keep that in mind when mixing your clays.

    Hope that helps.

  18. Millefiori, 26 February, 2009

    Hi Cindy
    Thanks for your reply. Your comments were very helpful. I tend to work with hard clay normally, and of course that’s what went into the extruder. I shall treat the green machine more gently from now on and hopefully live up to my username!

  19. Cindy Lietz@How To Condition Polymer Clay, 28 February, 2009

    That is excellent news Millefiori! Let me know if you have any further questions.

  20. Elizabeth Kerr, 25 April, 2009

    Extruder Cane Pillow Beads - Elizabeth Kerr

    Thank you Cindy for being so prompt back to me.

    These are the ear rings I made using my Makins Extruder after viewing your Video. I had never used it for much before. I love the way this pattern happens.

    I have done pillow beads before but your latest video had some helpful hints for me. Thank you so much.

    ~Elizabeth

  21. Cindy Lietz@ Pillow Bead Making Tutorial, 26 April, 2009

    Hi Elizabeth – thanks so much for sending the photo. I LOVE it that you are applying the techniques you are learning from the videos. Your “extruder pillow bead earrings” look great! Cindy

  22. Elizabeth Kerr, 27 April, 2009

    Hi Cindy
    What a surprise I got to see the photo of my ear rings posted here at your blog. Learning the techniques and applying them like with these ear rings is what I recently joined for and have appreciated the videos, thank you. I think there is no other extruder to use , I have tried those other’s and of course never had this result. I hope it enthuses your other members to put their work in too. thanks for the comments and thanks for thinking enough of my little effort to put in here.

    E.

  23. Cindy Lietz@Polymer Clay Color Recipes – Cactus, 27 April, 2009

    You are very welcome Elizabeth! It is my pleasure!

    I agree about the extruder. So far I haven’t found one that is better than the Makin’s Professional Ultimate Clay Extruder! (Man I wish they had a shorter name though… it’s quite the mouthful!) :-)

  24. Claycass, 24 August, 2009

    If you have a traditional clay gun, have no fear. A trip to Home Depot can ease your job. Purchase two simple items. One a caulking gun and a small pvc pipe fitting. The fitting should provide a collar fot the clay gun. Place the clay gun and pvc collar in the caulking gun. Use the caulking gun trigger to push the clay gun plunger down. I really like this solution.

    I had a making clay exturder, but some how I lost it. And my neighborhood Michael’s no longer carries the makin clay extruder. So I had to make due with what I had. Three to four traditional clay guns are always around my place. Good Luck

  25. Cindy Lietz@Hammered Copper Findings, 01 September, 2009

    Great tip Claycass! That will be very helpful for everyone who already has a clay gun and doesn’t want to purchase a new one. Especially if they already have a caulking gun in their garage!

  26. Ty, 26 September, 2009

    I got makin’s air dry clay because our oven is broke and I haven’t got a hold of a toaster oven yet. The thing is is that the clay is very hard. Even to knead right out the package. I used the same technique on clay we had in class; add some water and keep kneading. Is there an easier way or should I just buy the crayola air dry clay next time?

  27. Cindy Lietz@Polymer Clay Tools, 29 September, 2009

    Hi Ty! I have never worked with Makins clay, but I would imagine you could use a food processor to mix the water into the air dry clay, just like we mix baby oil with regular polymer clay. (Don’t mix water into regular polymer clay or you’ll run into problems.)

    Click the ‘Polymer Clay Tools’ link by my name for info on how to use the food processor for mixing clay.

  28. Linda K., 19 April, 2010

    My Michaels has had a pathetic section of clay supplies since I started working with polymer clay last fall. The only extruder they had was the one that is almost impossible to use. I know because I bought one.

    Last week, they added a whole bunch of new tools and supplies. One of the new items is a Walnut Hollow Extruder. It looks a lot like the Makins Extruder with the addition of a handle that works like the handle on a pasta machine. Has anyone tried the Walnut Hollow Extruder? I’m thinking of buying one, but I’d love to know if the quality is there.

  29. Phaedrakat, 20 April, 2010

    @Linda K.: Interesting! I was wondering if they were going to add new products at Michaels. I kept seeing products disappear, but no new stuff coming in. I’ll be on the lookout for info about the Walnut Hollow Extruder. (It took a long time, but I finally have the Makin’s brand, so I’m not in the market for myself…) What other new stuff, if any, did they have? :D

  30. Linda K., 20 April, 2010

    Kat, I live in VT, which is a very rural state. To the best of my knowledge, we only have 3 real craft stores in the entire state! The Michaels store near me is rather small, so I was thrilled to see all these new clay items. I’ll try to remember what they had. There were a bunch of new clay brands, but I think they were all modeling clay.

    What caught my attention was that there are quite a few Lisa Pavelka products, including a DVD called “Claying Around with Lisa Pavelka,” two series of Mylar-backed Foils (I bought one), Poly Bonder, two series of Waterslide Transfers (I think I’ll get these soon), one Border Mold, a package of leaf molds, and a couple of large, metal, jewelry bezels.

    There were also a bunch of tools and supplies from Premo and Sculpey. It looked like they had all of the tools that were originally labeled as “Studio by Sculpey” with Donna Dewberry’s photo on them, but they are now in new packaging and no longer reference Studio Clay or DD. There were a few small texture sheets, Bake & Bond, TLS, Etch ‘n Pearl (I bought one of these), mini metal cutters (I bought these), and a texture wheel.

    Walnut Hollow had two products. One is the extruder that has a crank handle on it and comes with a storage box. I had a 40% off coupon, so I bought one. I’ll let you know what I think of it later. The other Walnut Hollow product was some kind of Etching Kit. It was up high and I didn’t take it down, but it looked to have some cookie-cutter shapes and a bunch of other stuff.

    There was more, but I can’t remember it all.

  31. Phaedrakat, 20 April, 2010

    @Linda K.: Wow, sounds exciting! Lots of new products. I guess the Studio by Sculpey name didn’t work out so well. I’m so glad Michaels is beefing up their clay section. And Lisa P. stuff, too! The transfers & foils sound especially cool. I hope we’ll get the same stuff out here, at least it seems like we all get the same products (even those CANADIANS do… hehehe. Just kidding, beloved northern neighbors!)

    Thank you for letting me know about the new items in your store. I wondered what was going on, which is horrible when you’re cooped up in the house for so long. Talk about stir-crazy! But today, as it so happens, I was able to hitch a ride to JoAnn’s. (And I got to spend 20 whole minutes in the store! Yippee! Yeah. I know, I know…)

    They had Studio by Sculpey clay on clearance (97 cents.) Also, their S by S Shape Cutters ($1.97.) I’m guessing they are getting rid of these so they can add the “new label” stuff. Not sure why they’re getting rid of the clay — maybe it’s not selling well? Forget the reason though, I ended up buying some — even though I don’t need it! I also bought a set of shape cutters, which I also don’t need. I used my coupon to buy…Etch & Pearl, yep, the same set you bought! How weird is that? I’m hoping to be able to use this stuff by Sunday. That would be so awesome! I’m so far behind though; I don’t even know where I’ll start! Thanks again, Linda! Have fun with your new extruder, tool set, and other fun stuff!

  32. Linda K., 21 April, 2010

    THE SAGA OF THE NEW EXTRUDER. I re-watched the “Extruder Flower Cane” video (volume 19) and went to my studio to try out my new Walnut Hollow extruder. Most everything about it is good–the hand crank makes it really easy to use, it comes apart easily for cleaning, and it even has extra rubber rings.

    Problem #1: The rubber ring is considerably smaller than the disks. Since I had no idea if that mattered I went ahead and followed the directions from the video. Yup, the rubber ring was too small and caused the outer layer of colors to shred as they came out.

    Problem #2: The handle fell apart while I was cranking because the nut that was holding it together came off. After I spent 10 minutes searching my studio floor for the nut, I found it, and tried to put it back together. The nut has to sit in a tight spot, so you can’t turn it or use a wrench on it. You need to use a hex wrench on the other end of the handle to tighten it. I went through my husband’s entire toolbox and he didn’t have any hex wrenches, but I have a feeling that I couldn’t have fixed it simply by tightening it anyway. I’m thinking that there’s probably a missing piece that should have covered the end where the hex opening was.

    So now I have to go back to Michaels and exchange the extruder. I guess I’ll go to the hardware store to see if I can get some rubber rings that are closer in size to the disks while I’m there.

    It wasn’t all bad, though. I took the shredded clay and removed it from the very thin snake that was inside of it. I laid the shredded pieces out in rows, snugged the rows together, and then wound the center snake around the outside. I stuck some of the lumpy pieces on top of it and ended up with a very interesting piece that I’m going to make into a pin.

  33. Phaedrakat, 22 April, 2010

    @Linda K.: Oh, I’m sooo sorry about your extruder. That’s no fun — No fair! It doesn’t make their other products look very promising, either. But I’m hoping that your “bad one” was a fluke, and that this is actually a good product (except too bad about the O-rings!) We need some good-quality alternative products out there! Good luck with the exchange — I hope it goes very smoothly. I’m also hoping the new one works great, and that your search for o-rings is super simple. Good luck!

  34. Linda K., 22 April, 2010

    Thanks for the good wishes, Kat. I loved that extruder–enough to exchange it for another one. That crank handle is the best. I’m going to make sure that the nut on the new one is tight enough before I use it. I’m hoping that it was a fluke. I’ve bought other Walnut Hollow products in the past and they’ve been good quality.

    I’m pretty sure I can get O-rings in the right size in the hardware store. I was too tired to look when I shopped last night. It’s beautiful where I live, but the closest shopping is 30 minutes away. So when I go to town, I try to do all my shopping at the same time. Sometimes I just run out of energy before I finish.

  35. Linda K., 24 April, 2010

    CONTINUING SAGA OF THE EXTRUDER…Well, I returned the broken Walnut Hollow extruder and got a new one. Then I got 2 O-rings, one was thicker than the other. I tried both of them…and the outer layer of the clay still shreds into ruffled ribbons, while the center is a perfect tiny ombre snake. I’ve made 3 free-form broaches out of the shreds and snakes that I’m quite proud of. I’ll send photos as soon as I’ve baked them.

    AND THE NEW SAGA OF THE OVEN…In the meantime, I took the leftover snakes, cut them into short pieces, and put them together to make a cane. With that cane I made a pendant and earrings, which I embellished with my Etch n Pearl, and tiny clay balls in the centers. The colors reminded me of a peacock so I put a little gold on them. I was really excited about the results until I took them out of the oven. They were burned. I’ve come to the conclusion that my toaster oven is just too small, and the elements come too close to the clay if it’s not buried in cornstarch. I put these pieces on a ceramic tile and put a bunch of index cards between the clay and the tile and a bunch of index cards on top. I didn’t put a tile on the top because it would have squashed the dimension of the beads. Anyway, I’ve decided to sacrifice my table-top convection oven to my clay. Good-bye nasty toaster oven.

  36. Phaedrakat, 24 April, 2010

    @Linda K.: Hi Linda, I’m sorry! Are you holding your finger over the end so the clay has a chance to build-up properly in the end, keeping the extruder pointed down, and making sure the extrusion keeps moving “continuously” throughout (all the things I’ve noticed people have had problems with?) I still haven’t made one, actually, so I’m the last who should be giving advice. ;D I just feel bad that it hasn’t been working for you! I think Cara had the same problem as you, but she also loved the effect she got from the outer “ruffles”.

    I’m sorry about your oven, too. It does sound like it’s just too small. The size, along with the extreme temp. ranges of toaster ovens, makes it near to impossible to cure without babying your piece throughout. No wonder you sacrificed your convection oven! May you have “nice & easy” baking from here on out!

  37. Linda K., 24 April, 2010

    @Phaedrakat: Yes, I held my finger over the end, held the extruder pointed down, and kept cranking without a pause. I did manage to get about 2 inches of an almost successful flower in between the ruffles…although there was empty space between the outer layer and the inner snake. I was able to roll it and snug it up. I think that the Walnut Hollow disks might be a little different from the Makins disks in the size or spacing of the openings. I am so happy with the stuff I made from the ruffles and the skinny snake inside of them, that I’ll continue to use this extruder. I’ll order a Makins extruder someday so that I can do the flower technique.

    The funny thing with my toaster oven is that I sat there and watched it for the entire hour. The thermometer stayed at a hair under 275 degrees the entire time, without spiking. I think there are just too many hot spots in that oven. Tomorrow I’ll christen the convection oven.

  38. Linda K., 04 May, 2010

    The convection oven is WONDERFUL!!! I’m sorry I didn’t move it to my studio sooner, but I always loved cooking food in it and hated to give it up.

    I tested the convection oven with my bead baking rack. When I used it in the toaster oven, the beads fried. In the convection oven, they baked perfectly. Then I baked several clay items that I’m planning to make into pins. Again they baked perfectly! The colors of the clay coming out of the convection oven was exactly the same as the colors when the items went into the oven.

    You know, Kat, I’m thinking about that extruder…maybe I didn’t hold it straight up and down so that the clay came out of the bottom. I’m going to have to give it another try. I do love the extruder, though, so even if it can’t do this technique, I’m happy with it. That crank handle is the best.

  39. Sue F, 04 May, 2010

    @Linda K.: Hi Linda, To satisfy my curiosity about another terminology difference between countries, can you tell me what you mean when you use the term “convection oven”? There are three totally different appliances that I’ve encountered with that name, and I’d be interested to know which one you’re using.

    (Not that I’m looking for an alternative or an improvement, since my current ovens are perfect for my polymer clay needs. I’m basically just being nosey. ;D)

  40. Linda K., 04 May, 2010

    @Sue F: Hi Sue, here in the U.S. a convection oven has no heating elements inside the cavity. The elements are in a separate section where they heat up the air, which is then circulated through the cavity. I understand that they were originally created for pastry chefs. There are countertop versions, but you can also buy a kitchen oven that can be used both the conventional way or as a convection oven. They also make combination microwave/convection ovens.

  41. Sue F, 04 May, 2010

    @Linda K.: Thanks for that! That’s what I normally call a convection oven too when referring to a portable/benchtop appliance. (I haven’t actually seen a large “main kitchen oven” type oven with heating elements in the cavity for at least 10 years, so the kitchen version of a US convection oven is just an ordinary oven in my parlance.)

    One of my polymer clay ovens is a combination microwave/convection oven like you also mentioned, and it works brilliantly for polymer clay in pure convection mode so I can imagine how pleased you’d be with a dedicated convection oven.

    The only time I’ve actually SEEN something being called a convection oven and being used for polymer clay, however, it was a totally different appliance. That was on Donna Kato’s Tips, Tricks & Techniques for Polymer Clay DVDs, i.e. also US, so I’d wondered if that was what you meant. The device Donna used in those DVDs is what we call a turbo oven here (or a turbo broiler when I’ve seen it in Asia). It has a base like a large pot — usually pyrex or similar heat-safe glass, although you can also get a version that handles variable-sized bases so you can use it on your own pots — with a lid that contains the heating element, a fan for circulating the heated air it generates, the thermostat, a timer, and so on. Sometimes the lid is completely removeable, sometimes it just hinges up from the base.

  42. Phaedrakat, 05 May, 2010

    @Sue F: How interesting! There’s an oven like that I’ve seen on infomercials in the wee hours of the morning; I can see it would be perfect for clay. They’re expensive though. I could get a regular convection oven for about $50 at Costco, a warehouse store here in the US. When my toaster oven dies (not “if”, it’s just a matter of time,) I’ll be getting a convection. I know it’ll do a much better job. Linda’s experience has helped me make my decision. When the time comes, perhaps the oven like Donna described will be in a better price range. I look forward to having these trouble-free baking experiences like you both are having!

  43. Linda K., 05 May, 2010

    @Sue F: You’re so lucky to have a convection oven as your regular kitchen oven. I’m green with envy!! I just loved my countertop model–it cooked food faster and more evenly–I used my regular oven to store my pots and pans, LOL.

    I’ve never seen the pot-style one that Donna Kato used, but I do remember that when my mother got her first convection oven back in the 1970’s they were called Turbo Ovens.

  44. Linda K., 05 May, 2010

    @Phaedrakat: Gee, Kat, I’m surprised I’ve missed that infomercial. It’s amazing that a countertop convection oven can be bought now for $50. Mine is probably 20 years old and I think it cost around $300 at the time.

    I know you’ll love using a convection oven for clay, especially if you’ve had to try to outwit a nasty toaster oven like mine, LOL.

  45. Sue F, 05 May, 2010

    @Linda K.: The pot-style “convection oven” Donna used in her DVDs was very similar to this:

    harveynorman.com.au/product/1255509386041/easy-cook-l-turbo-oven-and-toaster

    I didn’t know that ordinary convection ovens had also been called turbo ovens… Rather educational, this place. ;)

  46. Phaedrakat, 05 May, 2010

    @Linda K. & Sue F.: I stay up late most nights, with the TV on in the background. That’s why I’m familiar with the Nu-Wave Oven. ( nu-wave-oven.com/ ) I haven’t seen it lately, but that’s what I imagined when Sue described what Donna used. It’s kinda similar to a “Turbo Oven.” It’s a good thing I don’t have lots of spare cash — that infomercial-stuff looks frickin’ handy at 2:00 in the morning!

    @Linda: I remember in the 70’s they used to call everything ‘turbo’-this and ‘turbo’-that. No wonder your mom’s 1st convection was called a Turbo Oven! Thank goodness prices have come down. Still, I was surprised to find one for $50 at Costco, too!

    My current toaster oven isn’t “nasty”, at least it’s not too bad. It’s roomy, w/2 shelves, and elements that stay out of the way. The temp stays steady, too. But, it got dirty while it was stored (during my surgeries.) I cleaned it as well as I could, but I couldn’t get to the electronics inside. So what I have to outwit now, is clay discoloration — white, trans, etc. — if I don’t protect them properly.

    I’m gonna be so happy when my oven “passes on” — I’ll have an excuse to get a convection. I just can’t justify the purchase while the one I have still works. So, I pray for its demise… Muuhhhahaha *evil laugh* — JK, that’s awful! (Did you see Disney’s Brave Little Toaster? LOL)

    You mentioned how your oven price went down; it’s funny how that happens after a product’s been out for a while. Like how VCR & DVD players went from $300/400 min. when they came out to about $20. It would be nice if that happened with clay tools. $5 pasta machines & $10 Lortone’s would be nice. Or how about having the price of one of those Dream Machines, like Polymer Clay Express sells, go down to about $15 (with motor included, of course.) Now THAT would be cool! Have fun baking in your “new” oven, Linda! ~Kat

  47. Jocelyn, 11 July, 2010

    I bought it. Use it as only oven. LOVE it! So easy to run, and clean. Now finally things brown and caramalize quickly. NuWave.

  48. Ken H, 13 July, 2010

    Ok, I tried the Walnut hollow extruder on the extruder flower cane and got the same results (the very definition of stupidity, doing the same thing someone else did, doing it the same way and expecting a different outcome), but I have a question (or favor) would someone who owns the Makins, measure the size of the opening in the hex die and the spacing between the holes in the seven hole string die, the hex opening in one with the WHE looks far bigger than the Makins in the video, that too may be a problem since Linda K. tried a new O ring of the size that comes with the Makins and still had trouble. Are the Makins dies interchangable with the WHE.

    Thanks

  49. Sue F, 13 July, 2010

    @Ken H: My Makin’s extruder came with two hexagonal dies. I haven’t checked which die this technique uses, so:
    – The smaller hexagonal die is 5.2mm across, or 6.3mm point-to-point.
    – The larger hexagonal die is 7.8mm, or 9.2mm point-to-point.

    The seven-hole disc has holes approximately 2.9mm in diameter. The largest spacing measure (outside edge of one hole, across the centre hole, to the outside edge of the opposite hole) is 12.9mm. Inside edge to opposite inside edge is 7.1mm.

  50. Ken H, 13 July, 2010

    Thanks, I’ll be checking this when I get home from work tonight. With all the folk here plus Cindy we’re going to crack this problem eventually

  51. Phaedrakat, 16 July, 2010

    @Ken H: Bonnie K. has both types of extruders. I asked her to check for differences, but I think she misunderstood me and thought I wanted her to test the extruded flower cane with ’em. She said something about “when she gets back in August,” so maybe she’s going somewhere? I don’t have time to check right now, but you could check her blog if you wanted to get a quick check done… Good luck, Ken, I hope you get this thing working for you! If not, do you still have your receipt? Michael’s has a 45 or 60-day return policy, so you might still have a chance to take it back and order a Makin’s…

  52. Ken H., 17 July, 2010

    @Phaedrakat: Well I ordered a Makins from amazon, I’ll be able to do a comparison soon and will let everyone know the results as soon as I’m done. I’ll keep the WHE, I like the handle and if I can figure out the differences between the Makins and WHE then I might just be able to make the WHE work for the extruder flowers.

  53. Claycass, 18 July, 2010

    I bet you will find out that the Makin and the Walnut extruders are the same except for the tiny differences. I use my Makin disk in my Walnut extruder.

  54. Ken H, 19 July, 2010

    My gut feeling is that the difference that is causing the exturder flower cane not to work with the WHE is in either the hex die or the seven strand spaghetti die. The Makins should arrive today and barring any unforseen problems, I’ll study the two of them tonight.

  55. Linda K., 19 July, 2010

    @Ken H: Ken, you could very well be right about this. Before I bought my Walnut Hollow Extruder I bought one of the cheap plunger-style extruders. I’m thinking of trying the die from the cheap extruder in my WHE to see if that will work for the extruder flowers.

    I really do like the WHE because it’s so easy to crank.

  56. Ken H., 19 July, 2010

    @Ken H: Well Ladies and Gentlemen, the only difference I could find between the WHE and the Makins was…. Drum Roll…… The O Ring,so I took the spare O ring out of the Makins and put it in between both the small and the large hex die and the seven strand spaghetti die and guess what, I got extruder flower cane in both hex sizes. I have three beads waiting to bake tomorrow. For those of us who have the WHE all we need to do is get the “exact” same O-ring that comes with the Makins. I couldn’t believe my eyes after the failure the other night as it came out in one strand, not the ruffles and ropes.

  57. Jocelyn, 20 July, 2010

    Thank you Ken!!! So nice of you to take the time to experiment and find the answer to solve the dilemma with the WHE. For those who wish to purchase the O ring, there is a discussion in another thread where Cindy measures the specifics for the Makin Extruder [See: Makins O-Ring Measurements]. These measurements should allow you to go to the O-Ring box at the nearest hardware store and find the exact match without having to purchase the Makin for it’s ring alone.

  58. Ken H, 20 July, 2010

    @Jocelyn: I’m so glad that I could help and that the test worked last night. I’m going to do like others keep one extruder for “lights’ and one for everything else. Apparently the size of the hex in the die doesn’t matter either, with the small hex I got a little flower cane, it was amazing, so small but the image was perfect inside the cane.

  59. Linda K., 20 July, 2010

    Ken, thank you so much for doing this test. I’m looking forward to making flower canes with my WHE.

    I looked up the reference that Jocelyn posted and it says that the O-ring Cindy measured was 18 mm (outside diameter) and 13 mm (inside diameter).

    OK, so here we go again…off to Home Depot, etc. to purchase O-rings. I suspect that the O-rings they have for sale will not have the inside and outside diameters written anywhere. So we might have to measure them ourselves…or ask someone to measure them for us. Of course, they’ll ask what we need them for. Why, for making jewelry, of course. LOL.

  60. Ken H., 20 July, 2010

    @Linda K.: and it’s 2mm thick in the measurement that in wire is gauge. That could make a difference too if it’s not correct.

  61. Ken H., 20 July, 2010

    I don’t care about the “looks” from the employees anymore, I look them right in the eye and say it’s for jewelry making.

  62. Linda K., 21 July, 2010

    @Ken H.: Thanks for that thickness measurement. This morning when I was walking the dog, I was struck with the thought that the thickness might be the key for me. I plan to bring my calipers to Home Depot with me. :)

  63. Soraya B, 16 May, 2011

    Dear Cindy, please let me know how to order the bullen’s wullen extruder adapter for the drill. If anyone could please let me know.

  64. Cindy Lietz@Snail Polymer Clay Color Palette, 16 May, 2011

    @Soraya B: I am sorry Soraya but I don’t know if it is available anymore. The only website I have for them is bullenswullens.com and it appears to be under construction.

    If anyone else knows where Soraya can find the Bullens Wullens extruder adapter, that would be very helpful.

  65. Phaedrakat, 17 May, 2011

    @Soraya B: Hi Soraya, I found a comment from last year where someone left contact info for Bullen’s Wullens (BW).

    I don’t know if they’re still making the adapters…but the 800 number she listed still appears correct. I called & it went to BW’s voicemail. Give ’em a call — hopefully, they’re still making the tools. I don’t remember why, but I think they’ve been selling them by phone (vs. the web) for quite some time…

    On a different note: one of the earliest members, Ritzs, left a comment with instructions & photos showing a gadget she invented to help her extrude. It might help you, or inspire you to make something similar…at least while you’re waiting for your BW tool! Ritzs’ extruder tool is shown further up the page from the BW contact info comment.

    Good luck, and have fun! ~Kat

  66. Marion, 21 May, 2011

    I absolutely love Makins Extruder! Thank you Cindy! I’d like a couple more discs though, a smaller square as I’d like to make Cindy’s gorgeous gingham pattern but much smaller, and a molding disc which I’ve seen in Katherine Duncan Aimone’s book, ‘The Art of Jewelry Polymer Clay’. Does anyone know where I can get these extra discs? Thanks, and thank you Cindy! – Marion

  67. Cindy Lietz@Gingham Cane Tutorial, 22 May, 2011

    @Marion: I love the Makin’s Extruder too! Sometimes you can find the extra disks at Michaels. If not they have them at polymerclayexpress.com and other online resources. You don’t need a smaller one for the Gingham Cane though. Just use the larger one and reduce the cane down to a smaller size, if you want a smaller pattern.

  68. Marion, 23 May, 2011

    @Cindy Lietz from Gingham Cane Tutorial:
    Thanks Cindy. I tried reducing the gingham cane but I’m obviously not very good at this as it distorted quite a bit and I wanted to maintain the sharp gingham pattern you showed us but much smaller. Sadly for me Michael’s don’t sell on-line (I live in the UK) and when I tried polymerclayexpress.com they didn’t have a smaller square or the molding disc (used to create a picture frame around any shape, e.g. square shapes or cabachons) only regular packs which don’t include either of those shapes. They do sell some blank discs, and I’m wondering if it’s possible to make a small square, but how would this be done? And as for the molding disc, it seems to be a mystery. I’ve written to the website showing Mari O’Dell’s work, hoping to get a reply. I’ll let you know! Thanks for replying Cindy. Marion

  69. Marion, 23 May, 2011

    Hi Cindy, me again.
    Just had a reply from Cynthia who runs the website where I saw Mari O’Dell’s work (polymerclaydaily.com) about the molding disc:-

    Marie O’Dell designs disks for the ACE extruder from
    PolymerClayExpress.com. Unfortunately the disks are larger than the
    Makins….but you might write and ask them about it.
    Cynthia

    I’m going to write and will keep you posted.
    Marion

  70. Phaedrakat, 09 December, 2011

    Update: I called Bullens Wullens today, since I had “extruder” on the brain. They still don’t have a website, but Larry said they still make the adapters. Here’s how to get them…

    Bullens Wullens adapter:
    Cost: $25.– (includes postage/handling in the US)

    Call: 800-565-7290

    They accept Visa, Mastercard, Paypal, or personal check.

    Hope that helps!

  71. Maria, 25 November, 2012

    OK folks – my Makins extruder just died (little screw came off the plunger even though I always tried to use conditioned soft clay).
    Now the big decision is: Do I buy another Makins or the Walnut Hollow brand?
    I’d love everyone’s input. Thanks.

  72. Natalie Herbin, 16 December, 2012

    I have the Wallnut Hallow Extruder and love it .i bought the package of additions discs that are larger and I just purchased the Wallnut Hollow table clamp for holding the extruder and making it even easier to use … It has a 2 inch opening so it’s wide enough to hold a dremel … Which I find is great …I forgot to mention that I used. 50 percent off coupon for the clamp and sa Ed myself $16 ..regular price at Micheals is $29.99 … Now that’s what I call a great. Deal…. Now here’s a big question for those using the Wallnut Hallow Extruder ( Espi ally Ken … Does the Mankin Core adapters fix on the Wallnut Hallow Extruder … They give you holes in extruder vs so that they are fsle wry as beads when sliced?
    That is the next bingo was to invest in if it would work .let me know so we can apostle advantage of this great. Tool
    Natalie H

  73. Ken Hamilton, 17 December, 2012

    Sorry I can’t help you there, I don’t own the core adapters. I only have disks.

  74. Sharon R, 05 December, 2013

    How do I get dried air dry clay out of my extruder? HELP!
    Thanks, Sharon

  75. Polymer Clay Tutor Cindy Lietz, 09 December, 2013

    Hi Sharon, I don’t have a lot of experience with air-dry clays, but if your clay is a water based type, you may be able to soak the extruder in warm water to get the clay out. If that doesn’t work, why not try soaking in rubbing alcohol? That may do it.

  76. Doreen Neilley, 06 June, 2015

    G’Day, clayers!

    Can anyone tell me what the ClayCore adapters are for, that came with my Makins Professional Ultimate Clay Extruder (the green guy)? There are 3 of them in the set, but they all look the same to me. They are discs with 4 holes in them, and a “pin” that sticks out of the center. The pin is supposed to face out of the barrel of the extruder, through the die that you choose. The instructions give no explanation of what they are supposed to be used for!

    Also, I can’t remember if I mentioned this to the Cindy Groupies, but I watched a YouTube by Cynthia Tinapple where she shows ways to make it easier to use an extruder to make lots of pieces for canes. Apparently the extruder she used for the video is by Makins but it is made for extruding *metal clay*, and it is the one that is made from stainless steel. She also had a Bullens Wullens adapter for the Makins extruders, which allowed her to attach it to a variable speed drill rather than pushing or turning by hand! Cindy, you might like to have a look at this gizmo and the metal clay extruder.

    I have tried Googling “Makins metal clay extruder.” If you go to to this page at the Makins-USA website, right at the bottom of the products, on the right corner, is the stainless steel extruder, SKU 35182. I couldn’t find a price for it, but I didn’t try using the “Purchase” tab.

  77. Chrissie F, 07 June, 2015

    Hi Doreen,

    The core adapters are used to create extrusions with a hollow core. For example, if you use a round shaped disc and a 1 mm adapter it will extrude a round piece with a 1 mm hole in the middle.

    The adapters do look the same but they are different sizes. The size is written on the packet and I put mine back in the same spot after using them so I don’t get mixed up :-)

    Makin’s have a brief video that shows how the adapters are used. Here’s a link to it.

    Cheers,
    Chrissie

  78. Doreen Neilley, 08 June, 2015

    Thank you, Chrissie, that is *exactly* the information that I was looking for. Of course, I wasn’t smart enough to look for sizes on the package, and mine are loose in the green box. But I will go down to the workshop and find the micrometer, then mark the discs somehow. And I am going to watch the youtube later tonight after I get my town run done so that my payroll and doctor’s appointment are out of the way.

    I LOVE these kinds of forums where users of a product (hey, Cindy and Doug, you are a *product*! :-) ) help each other with advise and encouragement. They are SO much more valuable than a straight “here’s what I am presenting and I don’t need any feedback on it, thank you very much” site.

  79. Doreen Neilley, 08 June, 2015

    Chrissie,
    I couldn’t wait and the video is only 36 seconds. That is SOOOO cool! Tube beads with big holes! I can see where it would be useful to extrude these onto the correct size knitting needles, slicked with cornstarch, for baking. Oooooh, another thing to try!

  80. Doug Lietz, 08 June, 2015

    Perfect! This is exactly why we put so much effort into maintaining this site. The more you participate, the more value you receive :-)

  81. Chrissie F, 08 June, 2015

    You are more than welcome, Doreen :-) Cindy and Doug have the BEST place, don’t they? It’s good when we can help out one another for sure.

    These adapters come in two sizes, by the way. A smaller sized bunch of three and a bit larger set. If you don’t have the larger ones I suspect you’ll soon be buying them in knitting needle sizes LOL. Go for it, girl ?

    I am still smiling after reading your second comment – your enthusiasm is infectious!

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