Welcome to our B.O.C. blog. Learn about the world of handcrafted ceramic beads, buttons, pendants & components from our talented and knowledgeable Artisans.

Tool Talk Thursday Clay Extruder Bead Size Part I

This week I am focusing on a tool that we all know in some shape or form.  Remember playing with the Playdoh Fun Factory as a child? 
Or calking your windows with silicon and a calking gun? 
Or using the Kemper clay gun to make funny strings of clay for hair or nests?

Extruders have been an important tool in big ceramic studios as well.  But those extruders are mounted on the wall and are used for extruding coils for hand building and many other tasks.

For the beader, this style extruder in the picture, can be very useful for just simply making beads.   It comes with a few disks or dies that you attach to the barrel with the lug bolt.

close up of the plunger and trigger handle mechanism that moves the clay through the die

some dies that come with the extruder--some are extra

lug bolt that holds the die in place

Once you have picked out a circle die you can extrude long logs of clay that will give you a very consistent bead size   this is the larger size circle

This is the smaller size circle

If you place a ruler under your clay log and mark it off in a consistent size ( here I have used 1/4 inch as the increment) you will be able to make same size beads

I use this clay tool to cut the clay on the marks or at the measure

this is a picture of the beads I rolled out ( top row)  pretty similar in size

the second row is of beads that I sliced directly from the clay log and then put a hole in with an orange juice straw

Next week I will show you how you can make your own dies for the bead size you want and some other shaped beads you can make with this extruder.  I will also give you some tips on how to keep your extruder running smoothly.

You can purchase an extruder at

 prices range from $40.00-$50.00

If you use an extruder please share what you like about it in the comments section.  It will help everyone get to know more about this tool.  Thank you so much.


  1. I have one of those clay extruders and still have to use it to make same size beads. Soon I hope. love the pic of the little play doh set. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Thanks Mary - Hey, I think I've used that play doh one before! I've been wanting to purchase an extruder at some point. I don't need a fancy one - glad to know some are reasonably priced.

  3. Thanks for writing in Yoli and Lisa. It is good to hear from you. I like to store the logs I make with the extruded in plastic bags since cleaning the extruder is a bit of a mess. That way I have them ready whenever I want to make some beads. They will stay moist for a very long time in a freezer bag.

  4. Excellent post...thanks for sharing.

  5. I am so pleased that you have found this posting useful and interesting. Great to hear from you.

  6. The Play Doh one works too...when I first started making beads, I used it. One of the dies makes an interesting star shaped bead. It's not the best or the strongest piece of equipment, but it does work.

  7. I have this extruder and use it alot. I got mine from Standard Ceramic Supply in pittsburgh. I only have the dies that came with it but I intend to go back soon for the other set.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.