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hantremmer

I Need A New Wheel. Has To Be Slow, Precise, Good Torque. Thinking Of Brent B.

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hantremmer    1

I need to buy a new wheel.  I’ve been throwing for about a year and a half. I’m also in the UK, which limits my options and jacks prices up. 

 

I need a wheel that: 

 

Has excellent control, so speed changes are precise and subtle.

 

Can go very slowly. 

 

Will not speed up when I release my hands

 

Has a pedal that stays in a fixed position (so I can step off it while the wheel runs)

 

Right now I’m using a Shimpo Aspire.  My wheel has speed and control problems.  It judders or stops at very slow speeds.   

 

I’m throwing about 2kg/5lb of clay at a time.  When centering or even pulling, the wheel can slow down.  It then speeds up when I release my hands or ease up on pressure.

 

This feels like a loss of control.  I also tend to throw thin walls, so this herky-jerky isn’t a good combination.    I’ll want to throw larger pieces in the future with more clay.  I don’t want to have to speed up the wheel to counter its weakness.

 

My tutor uses a Wenger Super 70 which I think is a .5 horsepower wheel.  I like its power.

 

Right now I’m looking at a Brent B.  I think Hsienchuen Lin uses a Brent.  Shame it’s noisy.

 

I like the idea of a Whisper because it’s quiet and I've seen videos where it's turning *very* slowly, but I have questions about the build quality and power.  It’s also 30% more than the Brent.  I think Matt Horne uses a Shimpo.

 

There some shops here selling Rodervelds and Skutt Prodigies, but I don’t know about the shops or the wheels.

 

 

Any recommendations?

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Sputty    73

Roderveld, without question. Virtually silent, superb control, solidly built. If my current wheel ever dies, then it'll be a Roderveld next (probably the Max 60).

If you are anywhere near a shop that sells them, arrange to try one out.

Just my 2 euro-cents worth.

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Marcia Selsor    1,301

I have an early Bailey wheel. it is more like the Bailey Pro now. Got it about 1998. It is slow and has good torque.

 It is quiet. Just a purring hum.I have replaced the potentiometer once about 2 years ago, and the belts once. I think that was more because of where I lived and the effect of air pollution from the Matamoros dump a few miles away. Very corrosive air for nylons. The casters on my pug mill corroded as well as shopping bags left in the open garage. If you are in the US, that's what I recommend.

 

Marcia

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hantremmer    1

MArcia,

 

Thanks for the recommendation but I'm in the UK.  I'll see if I find a stockist to check it out.

 

Sputty,

 

There's no easy way for me to try any of these wheels. I'll be buying blind, somewhat.   It's good to know more about Roderveld, but I can only see the Max 30s.  What's more the wheelhead looks a lot lower than the side of the splashpan.  How do you handle making plates and things?

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Mark C.    1,807

That aspire is a hobby wheel and you now know why the price was low.I am not familiar with UK wheels but you need to spend more to get more.

Maybe they called it aspire because you need to aspire to a better wheel after buying one?

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hantremmer    1

That aspire is a hobby wheel and you now know why the price was low.I am not familiar with UK wheels but you need to spend more to get more.

Maybe they called it aspire because you need to aspire to a better wheel after buying one?

 

It's not priced like a hobbyist's wheel.  The pedal version, which is what I have, is about $950 over here, according to the latest exchange rate.  England is expensive.

 

I found one video with a Rodeveld wheel and another with a Bailey.  The Bailey seems louder.    Does anyone know if the torque on the Rodeveld is as good as a Brent B?

 

Here's the video I'm using to judge speed on the Roderveld.  That kind of speed, as he's trying to smack the clay into the centre is ideal - but I'd want it to maintain with much more clay on it.

 

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Mark C.    1,807

I have two model Bs (Brent )and they will fit your bill fine.Not sure what other brands you may have.I am surprised they sell Brents in UK

I also throw on a CXC and trim on a Brent A and throw on a model C.Any of these should work better than what you have now.

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Pres    896

Have thrown on several of the Brents, A, B, CX, C, and own a CXC. Great wheels, and will do the job if you can get them across the pond.

 

best,

Pres

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Sputty    73

If you look at Hesketh's site, you can see the different Roderveld models:

 

Hesketh - Roderveld

 

There are PDF's which give technical details.

 

The splash-guard of the 'red' models is removable, if you are worried about its height. Not so the 'white' models.

 

Yes, the prices in the UK make you gulp, but come to France, and you'll double-gulp.

 

Actually, I imagine the Max 30 would be more than sufficient for most of us. If you're not habitually using more than 15 or 20 kilos of clay, it'll handle anything you throw (ha ha ha) at it.

But I'd still go for the Max 60 should my trusty old friend ever die beyond repair, simply because I like things to be way over-engineered for my needs. (I believe there is also a Max 100, but no-one seems to stock it!)

 

Potterycrafts and Bath Potters both list the Max 60, and the Clay Cellar would certainly get one in for you. They all do the Max 30.

If you can get to the Clay Cellar (in Kent), they will definitely let you try a Max 30 out (contact them first).

 

Scarva stock the Brent range, which model for model seem a little cheaper than Roderveld.

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hantremmer    1

Thanks for all the replies.

 

SOmething I'm a bit confused about is the  capability of the Brent. It mentions continuous X amount of clay, but it's hard to find information on centering.  I think I've read it will centre up to 22kg.    Assuming they overstate that, what's it going to be really comfortable centering?  

 

Sputty,

 

Thanks for that extra information.   How do you feel about the torque of your Max 30 at slow speeds?   The other day I tried throwing... I think 6 or 7kg.  The Aspire did not like it at all, but I can see myself trying to work in that range.   

 

EDIT - Sorry, I forgot to ask but can you raise the wheel to the splash pan?  The wheel my teacher has, has a fixed splash pan so that's the style I like.

 

I'm stuck in London, so no visits are possible.

 

Thanks again all.  I want to try to make a decision this week.

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Sputty    73

Hi again - I've confused you - my current wheel is not a Max 30, it's an over-engineered hand-made wheel put together by a guy who (I think) doesn't make them any more. But I have used a Max 30 a few years ago for a spell of a week or so, which is why I'm happy to recommend Roderveld, and why I would certainly buy one (a 60, probably) should my current wheel die a death.

The torque at low speeds was absolutely fine, although I was throwing only 4, 5, 6 kilos on it (all day, mind you). The speed control at low speeds was impressive. I didn't really get the impression that the thing lacked power for anything I was ever likely to do. I have no doubt at all that it would have handled twice what I was doing without blinking, and probably much more besides. I couldn't noticeably affect the speed of the wheel at low speeds, how ever hard I tried (and I did try!).

As you say, the manufacturer's claims for being able to centre this or that quantity of clay are guidelines at best, which is why getting to use one before buying is a good idea if at all possible! (Clay Cellar is only down the road - Tonbridge.)

In terms of splash-pans  - the Max 30 I used was of the fixed pan type, and as far as I know nothing adjusted with respect to anything else. But it wasn't my wheel, so I can't be sure. Obviously if you buy the 'red' model, you can remove it altogether if necessary. You can always 'phone a supplier and ask if there is any adjustment on the other models.

Lots of people on this forum will recommend Brent (being American), and I've only ever heard good things about them as well.

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hantremmer    1

Thanks for all that info, Sputty.

 

I better clarify something in case I've accidentally mislead anyone.   When I'm asking about centering capacity, I suppose I'm actually asking 'If I put this amount of clay on the wheel, will I be able to pull without the wheel slowing down and then speeding up?'

 

Sorry if I've used the term wrongly.  It's not so much whether the wheel will still turn with X lbs of clay on it.   It's if the wheel can handle the clay being manipulated and keep a consistent, slow, speed even if I remove my hands.

 

I can speed up on the Aspire to cope with more clay, but as soon as I take my fingers off it's running like it just robbed a bank.   This also makes my thin walls warp (and brown eyes, blue).

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Mark C.    1,807

Unless you plan on throwing huge pots there Brent model will handle 25#s (you can convert to Kgs) the model c has a larger motor and will handle 50#s

The cxc will handle 100#s

The B will work for most very well-I started out with a model C in 1970 and it will all depend what you do with clay later on in your life which may work best in the long run.

I think AMACO web site should spell out the capacities of all the Brent wheels.

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Mark C.    1,807

Sputty-maybe wheels cost a lot because the croissants are so cheap?

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Sputty    73

Sputty-maybe wheels cost a lot because the croissants are so cheap?

 

Sadly, even that is no longer true. The price of butter has virtually doubled (it's a long story...), and butter is about 25% of a croissant, so up goes the price of all the viennoiseries...

Still, the fresh air is still free, and the so is the sunshine!

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Sputty    73

The Brent model C claims to handle 225 lbs. That's 100 kilos. Even if you halve that to allow for over-statement, that's still 50 kilos. And given that it has a 3/4 HP motor, I wouldn't doubt its ability for a second. (Disclaimer: I've never actually used a Brent, but the people on these forums rate them highly.)

Likewise the Roderveld (especially the Max 60) - 3/4 HP motor, and a modern control for that motor. You're not going to beat it into submission, however hard you try, short of balancing the family car on top of it.

Neither will speed up or down significantly, whatever pressure you apply - even the Roderveld Max 30 I used for a week couldn't be slowed with any amount of pressure I applied. It was also wonderfully quiet.

If I were on a tight budget, I would feel perfectly confident in either the Roderveld Max 30 or the Brent B. They'll both do what you want them to. If my budget were extended (* hollow laugh *), I would allow myself the luxury of Roderveld Max 60 or Brent C.

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GEP    863

I suppose I'm actually asking 'If I put this amount of clay on the wheel, will I be able to pull without the wheel slowing down and then speeding up?'

 

 

I have never seen any full size wheel have this problem. I think this is only a problem with the small Aspire. I don't think you need to worry about this when shopping for a full-size wheel. 

 

I wouldn't prioritize noise level either. Whatever wheel you end up with, you will get used to it. 

 

If I were you, I would make a choice based on which wheel can maintain that slow speed that you want, and which splashpan design you like the best. 

 

Can you get Thomas Stuart wheels? Mine is a older model (bought second hand) and it can do a very slow crawl. Can't vouch for a newer model, they are now made by Skutt. 

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Pres    896

I used an MP by Creative Industries when teaching at the HS. I could literally slow the wheel to a near stop when centering. I learned when using it to use more water, less grunt, and basically adopt my technique to the wheel. We also had an CI HP, that I could throw on without any changes in technique from what I do at home on my CXC from Brent. I usually don't throw much more than #25 but have on occasion done #50 bowls and jars. The MP did not like anything over #15 aggressively, and nothing near #20.

 

 

best,

Pres

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hantremmer    1

Thanks for all the further comments.   

 

Skutt wheels aren't an option, since there's only one shop I can find and the cheapest one is 1/3hp.  I'm trying to balance a realistic budget with a wheel that will give me enough grunt to experiment.  I'm now throwing big flower pots or vases now, but I might want to in the future.

 

It feels like pottery wheel prices go up in big steps, rather than small inclines.  The leap between Roderveld Max 30 and 60 is something like £400. That's a lot of glaze.  

 

I spoke to a person who sells Brents and Rodervelds today.   He said they are about the same in noise - though on here people say Brents can become noisy.  I understand one gets used to noise, but I like to listen to music when I throw, so I have to consider that.

 

He uses a Roderveld 60, with the big pan. If he wants to throw wider than the pan allows, he stacks bats on the wheelhead, I think.  

 

He felt the Brent might have a slight edge in throwing really big pieces.  He mentioned Svend Bayer uses a Brent.

 

However, the Roderveld has a large splashpan which is something I like.  My teacher has a wheel like that and I think it makes clean up and positioning mirrors and tools easier.  The chap I spoke to also said this was a consideration.

 

It's so tricky.  I realise you're all saying it's not as big an issue as I think, but you're also more experienced, so that brings its own wisdom.

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Sputty    73

I spoke to a person who sells Brents and Rodervelds today.   He said they are about the same in noise - though on here people say Brents can become noisy.  I understand one gets used to noise, but I like to listen to music when I throw, so I have to consider that.

 

The 'noise' thing is interesting. My wheel (the hand-made, over-engineered one) is not the quietest in the world, far from it. But I find myself throwing according to the noise it makes. It's actually quite disturbing to use a silent wheel after using one where the speed can be judged by the noise it makes. There's obviously some subtle feedback mechanism going on, which when absent throws me off the scent completely for a while.

But, that said, the Rodervelds really are very quiet, and I certainly got used to that after a few hours/days of use when presented with the use of one for a week. I imagine with the appropriate (minimal) maintenance, they stay pretty quiet for their working lives. And if you listen to Rammstein, then even the noise my wheel makes won't drown it out. A string quartet might suffer, though.

As an aside, if you get to the point of making Svend Bayer type pots, you won't be worrying about the cost of the wheel you need to make them!

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hantremmer    1

I'm not synaesthetic (at least no more than anyone else), but when I'm throwing music gives me ideas for patterns or shapes for decorating, or even ideas for pots.  I'll put on Spotify and ones of its auto-generated stations and see what happens.

 

Occasionally when I'm throwing I'll also close my eyes, to try to better understand what the clay feels like.  I think that might be because I'm still new to this, so I'm trying to understand my understanding.  

 

I have wondered whether, for someone with my experience, using the noise as a guide is a bit like cheating.  Or maybe it's helping to compensate for a lack of visual information.  Perhaps the more symmetrical the pot (and the cleaner the outside is), it might be a little harder it may be to perceive rotation, unless we're getting information from the batt. (Bat?)  

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Sputty    73

I suppose one of the attractions of pottery as a creative process is its multi-sensory nature - the coalescence of a set of inputs into one process. That's why you can have blind potters, or of course deaf potters, or potters with one arm, or none.

I don't think using any input is cheating, if you're sensitive to the process. I make better pots if the sun is shining, and if the birds are singing and the lizards are scampering around.

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hantremmer    1

There's been an interesting development.

 

I was all set to order a Roderveld, when I had chat with a man who's familiar with them.   He felt that, since manufacturing came to the UK, there are more technical issues. He wondered if this might be because of differences in components.  

 

He seemed quite disappointed at what he felt was a decline in quality, especially since he said the Dutch models would run and run.  He said If I could find a used Dutch Roderveld I should go for it, but couldn't recommend the UK ones.

 

Of course he'd have his own biases and experiences, so we have to take everything with a pinch of salt.  But the impression I got online and from videos were all from older wheels, so maybe he's on to something.

 

EDIT

 

It turns out this chap isn't alone in his concern.  I've spoken to someone else who says recent pedals on the Roderveld may be an issue and the manufacturer says they've been looking into what's going on.

 

PS.

 

Great videos Sputty.  Inspiring without being mawkish.

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hantremmer    1

I've ordered a Brent C.  After looking at prices and delivery charges, the difference between the B and the C was not as great as I expected.    

 

I would have liked to go for the Roderveld - and it would have been cheaper - but after two separate people voiced their concerns, I didn't want to risk it.   I'd like to throw  on one, one day, but I'll let other people test them first.

 

Thank you for all the help and advice.

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Sputty    73

How very interesting - I hadn't heard about that at all. I'm rather glad that you found out in time, though.

Good that you've scraped the wallet lining clean for the Brent C. You will undoubtedly be very happy together!

Do post a 'first drive' report when it arrives.

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