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GreyBird

Looking For Wheel Suggestions...

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Hi,

I have this very old Amaco wheel (See image attached) that I have been using and works pretty well except for the slightly loose wheel head and some strange sounds it's starting to make. I am beginning to think about treating myself to a new wheel but I've become accustomed to plaster bats and the only wheels I see for sale do not use plaster bats. I'm not even sure how that works. I was always taught the plaster helped to dry the piece evenly as the top tends to dry first and the plaster draws water from the bottom. Does anyone still use plaster bats? What can you all tell me about wheels and how you work.

 

P.S. I'll be purchasing from Bailey's Pottery Supply in Kingston, NY if that helps.

 

Thank you so much  :)

best,

-Mary

post-84947-0-43259800-1494183971_thumb.jpg

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98% of my production is thrown on plaster bats(all porcelain clay).

I make my own bats. I use two sizes and you can see them in my gallery photos of the shop if I recall?

I attach them with a clay wad thrown on the wheel head-not with any pins.

This clay works for about a week if kept wet with plastic over it when not ion use .

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The think is for me have a small size (7 inch ) in unlimited quantities as well as the (9 inch) makes it possible to leave  pots on them until they want to pop off. Making your own bats is like making pancakes its easy and a skill set every potter should acquire.Finding the right tins for the molds is the hardest part. Use 1# pottery plaster and scrape the tops with a flat metal edge when plaster is soft going off. Learning to throw on a thin slab of clay with a plaster bat stuck down frees you up from pins and spending lots of money on a expensive bat system made for the casual user.

I use plastic bats from Northstar as well as my own formica bats for larger forms. I use about 85% of my own homemade bats in the course of a year.This system is also faster to use than any pin system.

I have used these for the plaster small bats.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001ET5ZDI/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

The key is the bottoms are smooth and they are sturdy built. fill with plaster vibrate table and scrap off tops with metal edge when soft. Smooth edge off as soon as you pop them out of form and sponge that edge off.

Find a normal 9 inch for the larger size.

I use the larger diameter facing up to throw off after they dry well.

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Do you check to make sure the pie plate is perfectly level before you pour the plaster? I made a bunch a while back but a few were not level and are tricky to throw on.

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There are two ways to do this level the table you pour on or the way I use is fill the tins so they are a tad to full and scrape the top with a metal straight edge . That way you get a perfectly level and flat bat. Just lube the steel tins first Sio they res;ease with mold soap. Have a metal edge nearby and pour as many as you feel comfortable doing at once. Scrape the tops as the plaster is still soft holding the edge at a angle down to top. wet sponge the surface as needed. The bats will be level top to bottom every time.

Hopefully this is clear enough?

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Thanks Mark, It is very clear. The only difference is that I have a bat mold which is open top and bottom. It makes plaster bats that fit perfectly on my recessed wheel head. Since it is open top and bottom I have to be sure to pour on a level surface... I learned this the hard way. I have decided to hold off on a new wheel for now since I just ordered a 50lb bag of Hydrocal to make more bats for my wheel. It's still working so I guess I'll keep it until it craps out completely. I reserve the right to change my mind again tomorrow :)

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Thanks Mark, It is very clear. The only difference is that I have a bat mold which is open top and bottom. It makes plaster bats that fit perfectly on my recessed wheel head. Since it is open top and bottom I have to be sure to pour on a level surface... I learned this the hard way. I have decided to hold off on a new wheel for now since I just ordered a 50lb bag of Hydrocal to make more bats for my wheel. It's still working so I guess I'll keep it until it craps out completely. I reserve the right to change my mind again tomorrow :)

Once the top is level (check 1st) you can still slightly overfill your bat form and scrape the top with a straight edge.

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Your wheel could probably be repaired. You could take it apart and order new bearings form a bearing shop or possibly from a good automotive parts store. If you take in the old bearings they can usually order in a set that will fit.

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