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Patrick

Help Please. Grab A Tape Measure...

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Hi all.  Thanks for the great info.  New here and still digging through the archives.  Searched for this and didn't find specifics, so I'm throwing this one out here to y'all.  Designing and building an electric wheel and need some measurements.  I know these will be different based on what wheel you have, but your info would be greatly appreciated - and standard or metric will both be fine.

 

1: What is the distance from the bottom of your wheel head to the top of the table with the splash pan removed?  If you could change it, would you prefer more or less room?  About how much?

 

2: What is the shortest distance from the edge of your wheel head to the edge of the table top with the splash pan removed? (Does your wheel head hang over the edge of the table top?  How far back from the edge of the table is the edge of the wheel head?)

 

3: About how much room for extra stuff do you have in front of (or on the opposite side of) the wheel head?  Would you prefer more?  If so, about how much?  Would you prefer less?  If so, how much?

 

I may have a few more questions later, but I think that should do it.  Got the guts designed, and I'm making a cut list.  I have yet to determine where exactly I want my wheel head in relation to the table top.  Thinking about purchasing a splash pan, but not sure yet.  May build one.

 

Overall dimensions (about the smallest I can make it using what I am) are 14" wide x 20" deep x 18" tall (floor to table top - NOT to wheel head).  This is leaving the 12" wheel head recessed horizontally 1" from the frame edge (not table top edge, which is undesigned as of right now).

 

If anyone is curious about other specifics, I would be happy to share.

 

Thanks guys and gals.

Patrick

 

 

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is this helpful?  the "measurements" were done by comfort or reach. yes, there is a mirror and yes, tools hang from nails on the right.

 

no, mark, that is not the cat who types.  this is the one who sits on my lap even if there is no lap.

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I built my own wheel and it runs great, but it took a long time to get it all working well. If I had to do it again, I would have bought a good used wheel or a new one. If you are just starting out it will save you tons of aggravation.

 

Reverse engineer something that you would like from an existing product. The dimensions that are used for the various brands of pottery wheels are A typical. You can make a pretty good dimensional guess with a scaled photo.

 

Are you building with wood or steel? DC motor? Direct drive or pulley?

 

Answer:

1) About 3 1/2" The distance is fine. 

2) My wheel head is 2" from the splash pan 1" above the wheel head. The splash pan is at the outer most edge.

3) I keep enough room for a water pail and have a raised shelf for tools. I limit my tools to the three that I will be using, any extra for Me is inefficient.

 

 

Homade splash pan http://ceramicartsdaily.org/ceramic-studio-equipment/clay-extruders/diy-clay-tools-video-contest-finalist-3/

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is this helpful?  the "measurements" were done by comfort or reach. yes, there is a mirror and yes, tools hang from nails on the right.

 

no, mark, that is not the cat who types.  this is the one who sits on my lap even if there is no lap.

Wow.  That is quite the set up you have there.  Can you still get a splash pan under that wheel, or do you mainly do trimming and what-not there?  I like the mirror.

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I built my own wheel and it runs great, but it took a long time to get it all working well. If I had to do it again, I would have bought a good used wheel or a new one. If you are just starting out it will save you tons of aggravation.

 

Reverse engineer something that you would like from an existing product. The dimensions that are used for the various brands of pottery wheels are A typical. You can make a pretty good dimensional guess with a scaled photo.

 

Are you building with wood or steel? DC motor? Direct drive or pulley?

 

Answer:

1) About 3 1/2" The distance is fine. 

2) My wheel head is 2" from the splash pan 1" above the wheel head. The splash pan is at the outer most edge.

3) I keep enough room for a water pail and have a raised shelf for tools. I limit my tools to the three that I will be using, any extra for Me is inefficient.

 

 

Homade splash pan http://ceramicartsdaily.org/ceramic-studio-equipment/clay-extruders/diy-clay-tools-video-contest-finalist-3/

Thanks for the dimensions Mug.  Dude, that splash pan is a monster!  Not sure if I'll need something that serious, but good to have seen and to keep in mind.

 

Was chewing on this today at work and I came up with the following: (1) leave the shaft a little long (it's 36" long now) and set it down into the table as far as I can, so if I want it higher, just loosen the 2 bearings and pulley, raise it up, re-align pulley and re-tighten all. If it is too tall, I'll cut it back a little and try again.(2) Go with a heavily polyurethaned plywood table with strips for a lip (about 1/2" wide and proud) along table edge and around shaft whole to keep what's on the table from making a get-away. (3)  Build splash pan out of a thinner ply, also heavily poly'd, with a 1/2"x1/2" foot that will butt up against table edge lip and shaft hole lip.  Put a similar lip on front edge of rear splash pan to catch the foot of the front half splash pan - kinda like a commercial one, I guess.  I have the materials just sitting around, and I am time-rich and money-poor.

 

Table is a box framed with 3/4" square tube steel.  I've got 4 pieces total of 2" angle (overkill, but I had it already).  2 for upper bearing and 2 for lower with the shaft running between the pieces of angle. If I ever have to replace a belt, just loosen lower bearing, unbolt from angle iron, slide it up and feed belt over shaft and in between pieces of angle.  2 1/2 hp 120V dc treadmill motor with variable speed controller.  Belt/pulley driven - welded a 1" shaft collar onto 1/4" plate with a hole for shaft to pass thru, welded the treadmill roller (2" of it anyway) to 1/4" plate and pressed treadmill pulley back onto treadmill roller piece.  The treadmill motor mount was welded to a 1" square tube, so I'll just weld that to the table's side braces.  Since rectangles wobble more than triangles, I figure I'd weld a cap on the end of the legs and tap them for leveling bolts/feet.  Will probably put a few gussets around the frame in case I get crazy and want to go for a ride on the wheel!

 

Here.  I snapped a couple of pics the general plans.  Got motor working and the drive train all ready.  Gonna start cutting tubing as soon as I'm done banging on this keyboard.

 

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Thanks for reply.  I'll definately keep those dimensions in mind.

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i throw with very little water so i do not use a splash pan. with a splash pan, you just have to clean up something else if you are messy. when i throw, the water can be caught in a towel tossed around the wheelhead and one on my lap.  just a different way of working.  why make everything hard if it is not necessary?

 

i have watched people who throw with a bucket of water per piece and cannot understand why they do that.  have seen splash pans so full of c$#p that water could not splash into it if it tried.  seems dumb. 

 

trimmings are caught by a 6 inch wide strip of aluminum usually used for homebuilding.  it stands in a circle about a foot out from the edge of the wheelhead and catches everything except what hits the towel in my lap.  fold up the towel, scoop out the trimmings inside the circle and i am done.  studio stays clean and inviting instead of covered with clay.

 

(the arrow on the foam pad points to the bat pin location.)

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I love that splash pan Idea, but I have yet to get a smaller trash can and try it.

 

What's the diameter of your wheel head shaft? Is it solid steel? You'll need at least an inch. You would be supprised at how much steel will flex.

 

At 14" you should be able to wrap your legs around it comfortably.

If thats a true 2 1/2 HP you should have lots of power. You might need a larger driven pulley to maximize the torque curve on the motor. I would optimize the pulley set up to say 0-300 rpm, but with the HP you will probably be ok.

 

I used cheap 1 1/4" black pipe for the legs because 1" black pipe telescopes into the 1 1/4"... this allows me from the top, to add or remove a shelf and adjust it to height. From the bottom I can add adjustable leg extensions to stand up and throw. I drilled a 5/8" hole in the 1 1/4" welded a half inch nut over the hole and use a half inch bolt with a 4" long piece of 3/8" black pipe welded to it for the adjustment handle.

 

If your welding, add some nuts to the bottom of the tubes then you can adjust the height with bolts. Use the largest bolts that will fit in the tubing. Double nut your bolts to keep the adjustment. You can make wider foot pads by welding larger washers to the bolt heads then add some sticky cork of felt to the washers for foot pads.

 

Over all It looks good, you have a good  start to a wheel.

 

Oldlady love your set up it is unique office pottery work station

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Do everything to protect the bearings from clay.

 

I will also recommend a 1" steel shaft off the top of my head. I made a shaft size calculator for a homework problem once; I'll see if I can change the parameters for a pottery wheel.

 

A longer belt and having the motor farther away might be easier to build. It will also allow for a larger drive pulley if necessary.

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What's the diameter of your wheel head shaft? Is it solid steel? You'll need at least an inch. You would be supprised at how much steel will flex.

 

If your welding, add some nuts to the bottom of the tubes then you can adjust the height with bolts. Use the largest bolts that will fit in the tubing. Double nut your bolts to keep the adjustment. You can make wider foot pads by welding larger washers to the bolt heads then add some sticky cork of felt to the washers for foot pads.

 

Shaft is solid steel, 1" diamater.   And I COMPLETELY stole your idea for the feet.  Much appreciated,

 

Do everything to protect the bearings from clay.

 

I will also recommend a 1" steel shaft off the top of my head. I made a shaft size calculator for a homework problem once; I'll see if I can change the parameters for a pottery wheel.

 

A longer belt and having the motor farther away might be easier to build. It will also allow for a larger drive pulley if necessary.

Yep. 1" shaft.  Kinda doing this on the cheap - really cheap, so I took the belt and pulley off of the treadmill.  If it ends up not working out, I can always modify it.  In the drawing, that is with the motor mount loosened and the motor as close to the shaft as it will go.  To tighten the belt it will go back about 2 inches.

 

Got the bones built today.  (Check out them feet!)  I'm off tomorrow, so I'll tackle the bearing supports then.  I think I'm gonna cut my bearing brackets and mount the bearings on them, go ahead and put the shaft thru the bearings and set the brackets on the table frame, level the table, level the shaft, and then weld them.  At least that's the best I can come up with.  Any ideas are welcome.  (This has gone from a "Hey, help me out" post to a "Hey watch me build this" post.)

 

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ideas freely given cannot be stolen, only appreciated by the recipient.  

 

patrick, why are you not building a triangular frame so your knees fit somewhere close?  or did i miss the fact that you want to throw standing up.

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ideas freely given cannot be stolen, only appreciated by the recipient.  

 

patrick, why are you not building a triangular frame so your knees fit somewhere close?  or did i miss the fact that you want to throw standing up.

A triangle frame would not allow enough room for the guts of it - well ok, it might have, but there would be less room for error or modification- and I'm all about having room for error when I can.  And I have a hard enough time welding things at a 90 degree angle on 2 axes - don't even wanna have to dig up geometry from far too long ago to figure out a triangle!

 

Don't let the pic fool you.  The front is only 14" wide (my inner thigh is about 13" long) and only 20" high (the top of my knee when sitting is 23" high), so I think I should be able to hunker up to it pretty close.  If I really need to get close, I could sit at 45 degrees offset to the front, with one leg going down the side and one across the front.  This thing should be pretty small for what it is made of.  In future pics I will try to incorporate an object for size reference.  I guess if I wanted to throw standing up I could put it on a table of some sort.  ...  Hmmm.  New idea.

 

And I guess me "stealing" Mug's idea would be more likened to the non-academic version of a work cited.  Just giving credit where it is due - with a little humor for good measure. ;)

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I built the three leged version and it was harder to build because the front is curved and the leg sets under the driven pulley.

With the 12" head and a 14" width It should fit well.

I was just throwing out a few ideas that might help with the build. I'm all for saving some trouble shooting time.

 

Those feet look sweet!

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I just found a simple three post design...This one is better design than the one I built, but I didn't have much to go from when I built the wheel. In this design the wood top would offer most of the structural support

 

114473d1407862810-pulley-sheave-potters-

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Yea.  The legs are, well, legs.  Whereas my legs are frame.  Got the brackets, bearings, pulley, and shaft in - along with my dirty garage chair (for size reference).  The level the table then level the shaft then weld it idea worked out really well.  Moved the brackets closer to the front so the wheel will actually overhang the frame, but I'll make the table top come out under it.  May even put a curve in the table top like those real pottery wheel have. ;)

 

Alright.  I'm gonna go see if I can get this motor on it.  Shoooot, we may be slinging mud by the weekend. :D

 

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One more cool thing about the 120V DC motor - you can run it off a car battery!  Granted, it's top speed won't be anything to write home about, but if I ever needed/wanted to take it somewhere, a set of jumper cables to the car and I'm in business!

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Thanks. Gonna be out of town for a couple of days, but should have it finished next week. Got motor mounted, table top on, but still lack finishing lip on table edge and mounting motor controller. Need a pedal of some kind to throw a potentiometer in to control motor speed. Thinking about a guitar volume control pedal. We'll see what comes up.  you all have a good weekend.

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OK.  Final entry from me on this one guys.  Got my wheel done enough to start using - or start troubleshooting at least.  Still a couple of non-urgent things to do. 1: Make a better splash pan.  I made this one out of 2 old oil drain pans I had from my Peterbilt days.  A lot of heat gun and thick glove action to get it workable, but I think it will suffice for now.  2: Find a pedal of some kind and throw a potentiometer in it.  Right now I have the speed control as a knob underneath the front edge of the table.  Again, it will suffice for now.  3: Replace the belt and pulleys.  As I am not a welder or machinist, my shaft pulley isn't on as straight as I had hoped.  I think this will eventually (a couple of years maybe) wear out the belt and shaft pulley.  So I'll be replacing those at some point in the probably-distant future.

 

Here's the three final pics for your perusal.  Thanks for your attention and info and encouragements.  We'll be talking to ya.  I'm off now to put a bigger breaker in the garage electrical panel and mount a 50 amp plug on the wall so I can make sure a used kiln I bought is working.  Had to get a new kiln sitter trigger bar tube thingy, and have to put it in too.

 

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A few suggestions-

Having a foot pedal will make throwing so much easier than a knob

A commercial splash pan with No sharp edges makes working much better 

Having the belts line up with pulleys is something you want to do before you use the wheel -its just a matter of set screws and getting it right on the shaft.

I'm not sure where your location is but a used wheel is pretty cheap if nothing else you could take some parts from one.

Mark

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