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  1. I've had an RK3E for a couple of months now. The two-piece splash pan is serviceable, but it fills up quickly and it's a bit of a bore to have to empty it with a sponge or separate it regularly to clean it out. Shimpo are now selling one piece, larger, round splash pan. It has drain holes in it. Unlike the two piece, it looks like you have to remove the wheelhead to fit this model. I wondered if anyone here has one and what they think of it; I'm wondering if it perhaps pushes the potter a too far from the wheelhead to be comfortable. It's also very expensive for a round piece of plastic - it's almost £80 here in the UK. https://www.sheffield-pottery.com/Shimpo-Pottery-Wheel-Splash-Pans-s/366.htm
  2. As I've said elsewhere, I've just bought a new Shimpo VL Whisper RK3E. CLeaning up after throwing, my sponge ended up with black sooty particles all over it. Large black patches of the stuff. The shop said it was oxide from the aluminium alloy wheelhead. It's supposedly to help minimise corrosion and shouldn't affect fired ware. (I was told that the oxide is normally white or grey, but small particles appear black.) The thing is, I've never seen this stuff before, so don't know how how to deal with it. Is there some kind of clean up regime I should use, or precautions I should take before / after throwing? I normally clean my wheels with the sponge I throw with, but now I don't know if I should do that or not. Any tips?

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