Tinapple's extrusion setup

Look to the right. In preparation for next week’s conference, I dusted off my video camera and shot a bit of footage just to get in practice. Pardon my deer-in-headlights look and messy hair. Filming was a spur-of-the-moment decision.

After years of searching for a way to extrude polymer clay I devised a system that works for me. (Here’s my old way.) Small batches, no clean up, easy on the joints – those were my criteria. Watch the video to learn my tricks.

The vise is my new favorite tool. It’s useful even when cranking by hand. Here’s the vise link. Here’s how to contact the Bullens Wullens (adapter) folks.

  • reply Enkhe ,

    That is really fantastic! “No need to clean” sounds good! Thank you very much for sharing!

    • reply Melanie ,

      The video is great Cynthia…and it will definitely save many a hand!…thanks so much for sharing your tips…your canes are beautiful… 🙂

      • reply Susannah ,

        Wow! Thank you very much! I wondered how people were managing to use those extruders.

        • reply Nathalie ,

          Great tool I got trouble with my wrist at the moment and that looks easier …great colours ,great canes .

          • reply Pippa Chandler ,

            That is fantastic! I have a very old extruder that I used to use when I did Sugarcraft and made Wedding Cakes. It has a squeeze lever action and nearly kills my hands!! I have to wrap a tea towel around the handles just to stop my hands from getting sore!

            • reply Cindy Matthews ,

              I’ve always loved this blog, Cynthia but I am utterly enamored of this moment! I have already emailed Bullens Woolens. 🙂 I have a vise very much like yours that my husband got me for Christmas (along with a mini-anvil, and a set of jeweler’s hammers – had something else in mind, obviously!) so I’m ready to reclaim my drill from the tool shed and have at it!

              Thank you, thank you for sharing this wonderful technique!


              • reply claire maunsell ,

                Thank you so much – excellent presentation of parts and where to get them….

                • reply Sherry Bailey ,

                  Nifty — but I am at work and I cannot hear sound on my computer, so could you be so kind as to post the adaptor info as text?? (I have a vise, older and clunkier, but I’m interested in the adaptor.) Thank you!

                  • reply LaLa ,

                    This is really a great idea Cynthia. I think it will get me to pull out that extruder more often.

                    • reply Pascale -Tana'Calou - ,

                      THANK YOU ! THANK YOU Cynthia !
                      it’s very helpful, when you have problems with your hands !!
                      Your canes are fantastic too !
                      Merci again.
                      Amitiés from Provence !

                      • reply Cara ,

                        hmm I have been having trouble with sore hands but hand thought about the impact on them. Will try and look after them a better now thanks!

                        • reply Marlene Brady ,

                          I’m doing the happy dance of joy! WOW! Thanks for sharing, thanks for taking the time to film it and thanks for the links (and my hands thank you too). Your canes, as always, are classics. – Marlene Brady

                          • reply Els van Haasen ,

                            Thanks for these tips Cynthia, it really looks like “a piece of cake”.
                            By the way you look great in this video no worries.
                            warm regards Els van Haasen

                            • reply Chris ,

                              What a fabulous idea! Thank you for sharing. You look great in the video….love your shirt (it would make a great cane design).

                              • reply Laurel Steven ,

                                That’s too cool, Cynthia! Thank you for sharing it with us!

                                And may I also add a sincere thank you for saying “voila” instead of “wallah”??? Personal pet peeve, don’tcha know.

                                • reply Judith Dimitrov ,

                                  Wonderful! Thank you!

                                  • reply Seth L Savarick ,

                                    Love your shirt!!!! Thanks Cynthia!!!!

                                    • reply Trina Williams ,

                                      And I just got directions for teaching a class at the Joann store using the old Kemper style extruder. There is even a similar tute up on the Polyform site.
                                      What is wrong with these people!!

                                      • reply Meisha Barbee ,

                                        Thank you Cynthia for this informative video. I really appreciate how you provided all of the sources for tools and accessories. Nicely done!

                                        • reply Susan O'Neill ,

                                          Wow! Thanks, Cynthia! I have the really cheapie silver metal extruder. I put it plunger-down on the carpet, balance my feet on either side of the tube against the stops and try not to fall out of my chair while I press down…this looks a bit easier… 🙂

                                          • reply Mechelle J. Fox ,

                                            This is such a fantastic idea. I had seen a crank adapter for the Makins extruder to help in using it to make continual extrusions without the little stop and go flaws that can appear, but this tops that by a mile! Continually pressed extrusions _plus_ no strain on the wrists. Beautiful.

                                            • reply Marcia Morton ,

                                              Thanks for all the links! I immediately ordered the vise and sent off for info on the adapter. Never realized I’d become an expert at tool use just from being interested in polymer clay! Your emails are always fun and informative.

                                              • reply Who else is shouting “TADA”? ,

                                                […] happy to show you the results of my first efforts, a heart bangle covered with extruded triangle slices. It’s a design that’s been rolling around in my head ever since I saw Melanie West […]

                                                • reply Sandra ,

                                                  Thanks Cynthia, Today I learned how to use the extruder in easy way. You always is thinking how you can help your people who work with clay.

                                                  • reply Trudy Schwartz-Burrill ,

                                                    Thanks so much. I researched this all day. Wanted to find a way to get smaller and less expensive but durable clay extruder (better than what my poor hands can take!) Plus the big kicker for me was not to pay $145.00.
                                                    Thanks your website is really informative helpful and inspirational.

                                                    • reply Pat Baker ,

                                                      Thanks for the great video and tool links!!! BTW, when I use my drill to wind jumprings, I put the drill in a vise. I plug it in to the cord on my foredom footpedal, with the button switched to automatic. That way I can control the speed with the footpedal. I’m assuming you have the vise on the extruder part to support it as you do the extrusion. I am going to try this with TWO vises, the drill in one and the extruder in the other and use the footpedal to control the speed. Then I have both hands free to manipulate/support the extruded clay. What do you think? I love the preciseness of the extruded clay, and the resulting beautiful designs of the canes.

                                                      • reply Holly visits Maine and we extrude some polymer | Barbara S Fernald Jewelry ,

                                                        […] thin extrusions.) All I know was that we wanted to extrude clay using the technique described by Cynthia Tinnapple in her Polymer Clay Daily blog. We wanted to see for ourselves how the stacks of color keep […]

                                                        • reply Terry ,

                                                          Try an E-Z-Truder. Works with one finger and extrudes the whole tube full in one easy push. They show up on Pinterest.

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