search  current discussion  categories  tools & equipment - bats 

giffin grip/soldner mixer

updated wed 31 jul 96


Jonathan Kaplan on tue 30 jul 96

>----------------------------Original message----------------------------
>Thanks to Jonathan for his convincing testimonial to the Giffin Grip. I
>agree, and I have had mine for thirteen years. I had to replace the O-ring
>last year, and someone lost one of the jaws so I ordered another set, but it
>later turned up in the recycle, fortunately before it went into the pugmill.
>And Jonathan, when you mentioned your favorite potters invention since the
>wheel, why didn't you just go ahead and specify "the Soldner mixer" rather
>than just "motorized mixer?" I say that because there are other motorized
>mixers on the market which are nothing to celebrate, and the Soldner mixer
>is certainly something to celebrate. I wish we had one. Whoever originally
>ordered the equipment for our facility really blew it on the claymixers.
>They are ultra heavy-duty hopper-type mixers, so they will never break, but
>there are slow and dangerous and a far cry from a Soldner.
> - Vince
>Vince Pitelka -
>Phone - home 615/597-5376, work 615/597-6801
>Appalachian Center for Crafts, Smithville TN 37166

You are right on the cash ola Vince. Here's some ceramic history from my
archives...appologies to those on the list who have heard this before.

My Soldner mixer was purchased in 1975. Thats right folks, 21 years ago. It
has probably mixed well over 400 tons of materials in its life from
porcelain to stoneware to currently, terra cotta. I have replaced the jack
shaft and its bearings a few times, the chain three times. I needed to
replace the blade a few years ago but after removing it, was able to
reposition it lower and welded it back in place. Still mixing after all
these years. I did replace both motor capacitors 7 years ago. Spifed it up
with a new paint job some time back. Its clean, its sharp, and it is indeed

My original Brent CX, the gear driven one, purchased in 1973 in grad
school. thats 23 years old. Of course it has had its share of new
electronics, foot pedals, and last year, a new motor. Still true, still on
center, still a heavy duty production tool.

The Bluebird stainless steel and vacuum pug mill (something 240SV model,
I'm at home and its too early to remember stuff). This one has been through
numerous rebuilds, adaptations, permutations, and is still pugging after
all these years.

So whats it all about? Even with all this equipment, and its not alot, if
you do your research well and take care of your stuff, it keeps working for
you. That old seven up motto from a while back, ..."you like likes
you." It is indeed very true. There is also alot of Firesign Theater stuff
that would also be applicable to my endorsement of this stuff, but I'll
wait on that.

For new stuff, I'd give a big round of applause to Chuck Lehman and Lehman
Mfg for the best and most durable, well built casting equipment. This stuff
will far out live me. Sweco gets my vote for the best vibratory sifter,
albeit very expensive even used, and for any one having to move quantities
of viscuous material, the Wilden M1 diaphragm pump. And sure, most
Dayton/Graingers equipment gets my vote.

So this is a bit off the subject anyways, but I thought some one might find
it interesting. BTW, I have no financial interest in any of the above
mentioned stuff other then being a proud owner!!


Jonathan Kaplan

(aka "Scooter)
Ceramic Design Group Ltd./Production Services Voice:
970-879-9139 POB 775112
FAXmodem: same
Steamboat Springs, Colorado 80477, USA CALL before faxing

"Arrive on time, tell the truth, be a good listener, and don't
be too attatched to the results. Above all, maintain a sense of

Marcia Selsor on wed 31 jul 96

I inherited a Walker pugmill which must be 35 years old. We use a Soldner
mixer for the majority of clay (20 tons/year) and save the stainless
pugmill for porcelain. Our griffin grip is fine except for parts getting
lost by students. Must say, once the students get throwing sets, they
love trimming with it.
Marcia in Montana