Monday, June 6, 2011

Cleaning Out Peter Pugger VPM-9 SS ~ Changing Clay

Since I like to change clay types from time to time, I was hoping it wouldn't be a huge ordeal to disassemble and clean out my  Peter Pugger VPM-9SS.  Actually it wasn't too bad.  It took about an hour.  The instructions in the Peter Pugger manual are simple and tell you all you need to know.   Here are a few photos and tips that might help other PP owners see what's up with a clean out.
First I reversed pugged to pull the nozzle clay back into the mixing chamber (Remove nozzle cap, turn on mix and the air pump until the the clay clump is sucked into the mixing chamber and the air pressure is lost).  Unplug the pugger from the electrical outlet, detach the lid auto shutoff cord and remove the bolts that attach the mixing chamber and the airbox sections.
 Before pulling apart the sections, I put  a couple shims under the mixing chamber to help stabilize the section..  The sections are heavy, so I had John pull the mixing chamber out to clear the auger. 
The walls of the mixing chamber will have about a half inch layer of clay to be removed.  I used a plastic scraper
The auger has a lot of hard to reach areas.  The section where the auger goes into the airbox is was pretty much impossible to get all the clay out.  I used a thin sponge and did the best I could.  I wouldn't be surprised if I ended up with some clay contamination from that area.   
I ended up with over 9 lbs of clay from the clean out.  A bit more than I expected.
After I was done with the cleaning, I went over everything one last time with a clean sponge.  I found a couple areas on the auger that had a little hidden clay.  So double check.
Sparkling clean!
Before putting the sections back together, I cleaned and put a little silcon grease on the rubber seal.  John put the heavy sections back together.  The bolts were put back in place and tightened evenly so not to tweak the seal.  We reconnected the lid auto shutoff cord and ran a pressure check.  It passed :)  
First hand wedging I've done in weeks :)  Here is the results of the clean out clay.   Next is porcelain and I'm so ready.
Please don't use this blog as instructions for cleaning out your pugmill.  You should read and use the instructions provided by the manufacturer.  This blog post is only to give additional reference and tips.

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