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Does anyone here use a Bailey electric slab roller? I just bought an old one and was so excited to use it, but apparently it needs a new drive board. It will not pull the current drive board through so it's completely nonfunctional. Shipping a new drive board from Bailey in NY  to Oregon is crazy expensive and not in my budget.

So, to make a drive board, I need to know what kind of rubber is on the bottom side and how thick it is.  A big sheet of rubber is too pricey for trial and error, can anyone help me out with a description? 

Also, if you have experience with one of these, I'd appreciate anything additional you can share about using it- like it, hate it- too much maintenance (or hopefully "runs forever"), advice about making consistent slabs??  This model does not have a push bar and Bailey says it can't be converted.  

Thanks in advance!

slabroller.JPG

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I have an 30 inch electric Bailey and I never have used any type of drive board-I use slab mats only with the clay in-between  them.

You can also use canvas. Call Bailey on the drive board as its not something that I have seen. I bought my slab roller about 15 or so years ago -maybe longer?

Its a lot newer looking than yours but it was not made to use a drive board . If I needed that I would make it from a two sided piece of hardwood plywood-you could glue a rubber Matt to backside but how about using it without a drive board.

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Hi Mark, thanks for your reply! Bailey said this will only work with a new drive board. It did come with one but it no longer has the rubber on it and it will not pull through. I thought the third piece was an alternate counter top for the short side of the table, so I didn't anticipate this problem. 

I did make one really thin slab trying to use it with just canvas but basically it just won't pull at all through the rollers because the motor only turns the bottom roller, not the top one. The bottom roller has something like really coarse sand paper around it. In theory, it grips the rubber on the drive board and pulls it through with the clay on top of the board (in between canvas sheets). 

A rubber matt is a good idea, probably a lot cheaper than the industrial rubber sheeting I was looking at.

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i have a 24 inch bailey with a drive board.  i believe you can do something similar by getting a piece of waterproof MDF and covering the bottom side with silicone rubber caulk.  someone who knows what i am talking about can give better instructions.  i have no experience with MDF.  the canvas piece attached to the drive board is very important.  bailey has instructions for replacing the canvas and it will show you exactly what to do with it.  MAKE SURE you do the very hot water stretch first!  if you do not, you will get wrinkles in the canvas that will not come out.

  the caulk in long lines lengthwise close together will probably work just fine.  if you can arrange a visit to ellen curran in dundee, you might learn a lot.  she has one.

ClaraLanyiCeramics likes this

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Thanks for the answers! I don't know what rubberized paint is but I think what ever goes on the bottom needs to provide some cushioning as well as traction. The caulk is a good idea, I think if it doesn't work, I could probably scrape or peel it off without wrecking the MDF board and then try actual rubber. 

The manual that Bailey sent me was for a much newer model, but it did note how the canvas on the drive board needs to be positioned as it goes through the rollers. Bailey didn't send me the page you refer to, but I did buy new sheets of canvas and hope it's not difficult to attach. 

I really appreciate the input and will post a pic when the first real slabs come through :-)

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If you need grip on the bottom board you can buy a few tubes of silicone caulk that fit a caulking gun-you could use a tile trowel which come in different teeth Heights . 3/16 or 1/4 inch

apply the silicone ant trowel it with gives it a groved  appearance .

Make your drive board out of whatever daily uses for their drive boards.They do use mdf for the table tops on there slab rollers so that may use it as drive boards-I'm sure that will tell you.

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7 hours ago, ClaraLanyiCeramics said:

I don't know what rubberized paint is

Here in the Northeast some people paint it on steps so they are not slippery when they are wet. FlexSeal is a common brand by me.

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clara, it scares me that you say "sheets of canvas".  i want to be clear about this.  the drive board has a piece of canvas attached in a very particular way.  it is ALWAYS used to cover the things you are sending through the rollers.  it needs to be perfectly aligned and perfectly flat.

it is too hard to type all this out, see the photos.

1.  shows how canvas is nailed to end of drive board.  this is the cover cloth.  it is never to touch clay. BEFORE NAILING IT,  this is what needs to be put into extremely hot water and rolled up tightly to dry so it does not wrinkle.  you might be able to see wrinkles on mine in pic 2.  i did not do that step, BIG mistake.

2. shows cover cloth folded back and kept out of the way to keep it flat, clean and ready.  this is the normal place when not actually making a slab.

3. shows storage of drive board at all times when not rolling a slab.

4.  the layers of stuff to be sent through the rollers.  the greenish printers blankets are what i use instead of the 8 foot long folded canvas which came with the slab roller.  the fold goes into the roller first and is what touches the clay.  if you use more than one color clay you would want more than one long piece.  my table was 8 feet long so the drive board was 4 feet.  your table looks short, maybe you want to add a bit on that side.  i put my whole slab roller table on top of a wide heavy table so i have extra space around it since i use it as a work surface.

slab roller 004.JPG

slab roller 002.JPG

slab roller 001.JPG

slab roller 003.JPG

Edited by oldlady

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question, clara, is the drive board you have in good shape?  if you silicone the bottom of it you might find it works fine.  it looks like you have the long folded canvas so you might want to use that.  i prefer my printers blankets because of the very fine texture that wipes away with a  metal wallpaper smoother.  

when using this roller, i would prefer it going the other way but, maybe you are left-handed and want to piece to come out on the right of the roller.  the two metal stretchers down on the legs will make a great support for heavy shelves.  you will be amazed at how much stuff accumulates near a slab roller.  handy place for forms, foam rubber, etc.

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On 11/16/2017 at 11:18 AM, oldlady said:

clara, it scares me that you say "sheets of canvas".  i want to be clear about this.  the drive board has a piece of canvas attached in a very particular way.  it is ALWAYS used to cover the things you are sending through the rollers.  it needs to be perfectly aligned and perfectly flat.

it is too hard to type all this out, see the photos.

1.  shows how canvas is nailed to end of drive board.  this is the cover cloth.  it is never to touch clay. BEFORE NAILING IT,  this is what needs to be put into extremely hot water and rolled up tightly to dry so it does not wrinkle.  you might be able to see wrinkles on mine in pic 2.  i did not do that step, BIG mistake.

2. shows cover cloth folded back and kept out of the way to keep it flat, clean and ready.  this is the normal place when not actually making a slab.

3. shows storage of drive board at all times when not rolling a slab.

4.  the layers of stuff to be sent through the rollers.  the greenish printers blankets are what i use instead of the 8 foot long folded canvas which came with the slab roller.  the fold goes into the roller first and is what touches the clay.  if you use more than one color clay you would want more than one long piece.  my table was 8 feet long so the drive board was 4 feet.  your table looks short, maybe you want to add a bit on that side.  i put my whole slab roller table on top of a wide heavy table so i have extra space around it since i use it as a work surface.

slab roller 004.JPG

slab roller 002.JPG

slab roller 001.JPG

slab roller 003.JPG

wow, this is incredibly helpful- thanks so much for taking the time to reply with these photos! I said "sheets" because before I realized the problem was the drive board, I bought some canvas pieces from an online ceramics supplier- they are extra heavy duty (specifically for slab rollers) and come in a set of 2. I need to call to find out if they have been preshrunk. I would not have thought to attach the canvas in the way I see here, so thanks so much for the picture. I'm hoping I can use one sheet for the drive board and the other folded in half (the one that comes in contact with the clay), or else I will need to buy some heavy canvas from a fabric store for the meanwhile. I do have other canvas but  it was not treated properly (put through the washing machine) and is all wrinkly! You are right, my table is 7 ft long, but when I replace the old table top, I can extend it a bit beyond the frame.  But first, I'd just like to get it working!

 

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