Repairing the Pug Mill

Posted by on Feb 25, 2015 in workshop | 3 Comments
Repairing the Pug Mill

I recently inherited an old pug mill from a studio clearance in St Ives. It hadn’t been used for a few years and the barrel was ceased with clay. As I dismantled the pug to move it, I noted some play in the auger which suggested there might be a problem with the bearings. I started dismantling the pug between other jobs, giving time for the WD40 to penetrate the rusty and tight threads. Although the auger blades show corrosion, they’re intact – which is great. I then removed the taper lock and auger shaft collar using a blow torch to get some expansion in the collar.

After removing the auger from the housing, I was really surprised by the lack of any bearings or their remnants – so I assume this pug mill’s auger is bearing-free. Is anyone able to confirm that this is the case for the Wenger 2852WA?

I’ve now pressure-washed the loose corrosion from the auger and will soon give it a more thorough de-rust/de-grease.

  • Rusty Pug Mill Auger
  • Taper Lock After Removal
  • The Auger Shaft
  • Casing with Auger Removed


  1. Matthew Tyas: Making Pug Mill Repaired - Matthew Tyas: Making

    […] mill fixed and put back together this week – better late than never! It was in a bit of state before and although it certainly isn’t in pristine mechanical condition, it will do a good job of […]

  2. Roger Purser

    Hello Matthew,

    my wife, Maureen is a potter and inherited a Wenger Pug Mill 23(8??)52WA, which I assume is the same as yours. The serial Number is 113, and it was made in Stoke on Trent. I have pulled it apart to the point where the auger can be pulled out of the bearing housing. But no amount of force moves it more than about 5mm. I am concerned that more force may break the Aluminium housing. From your remarks it seems that it should just pull out of the housing, and after a soaking in WD 40 I’ll try again.
    Can you tell me just what the bearing in the housing is? How is the reaction force from the auger controlled?
    Hope you can help,
    Roger Purser, Healesville, Victoria, Australia

    • Matt

      Hello Roger,
      Nice to hear from you. The auger should remove quite readily – have you removed the taper lock and the metal collar with the set/grub screw? I ask about the metal collar because there is a similar amount of play (5mm) in the way that it is set up. There is no bearing in it (which surprised me), just a machined collar and a sleeve inserted into the housing.
      Let me know how you get on,
      Kind regards, Matt.


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