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I got a new Skutt Elite wheel with the SSX drive about a month ago. I love the design of the wheel and how sturdy it is, but I can’t stand the motor noise and there seems to be something wrong with the pedal control.

The noise is at one (sometimes two) speeds, the wheel starts this chirping/buzzing noise. It is definitely the motor, I have walked the belt off and it makes the same noise. The pedal issue seems to be that at the top end of the pedal range, the wheel actually slows down instead of continuing to speed up. 

I have been talking to Daniel at Skutt, sending him videos of the wheel, and he says it sounds totally normal and hasn’t really responded to my complaints about the pedal. Continental Clay replaced the potentiometer in the pedal, which did not change or fix anything, contrary to their assurances that it did.

So I uploaded the video I sent Skutt  to YouTube for you folks to listen to (File size limits are pretty small on this forum). I will copy the link below. At the end of the video I try to show the motor slowing down as I reach the top end.

 I have seen a lot of positive reviews on this site for these wheels, most of them match Skutt’s advertising of a “quiet” wheel. I also went to Minnesota Clay yesterday and they happen to have a floor model Elite without the ssx controller. Unsurprisingly to me, it is much quieter than my wheel and the pedal works properly. I took a similar video of that wheel I can upload to show that. I plan on taking the wheel into Minnesota Clay to have them look at it (their wheel guy wasn’t in yesterday) but I wanted to get the opinions of some people on this forum who have these wheels.

So thanks for reading this and for any opinions you can offer me on this wheel! 

 

Edited by Brettmonahan

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5 year parts and labor. Not sure if the warranty counts for things they claim to be “normal” though. 

A while before I got the wheel, I bought  a pair of over-ear Bluetooth headphones for working in the studio. It makes the wheel tolerable to use, although the pedal is still not right.

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I have never sat at a SKutt wheel before and after watching you video I cannot tell a thing about the foot pedal(seems smooth) but the motor or belt is making bad noise for sure.

Skutt should be able to straighten this out-Is SSX drive something special ? You're seems to be extra noisy.

Call them until they have to deal with it. E-mails are not the way to get results.

 

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Those wheels use large industrial, continuous duty rated motors, and it can take a while for the brushes to get seated well. You can try letting it run overnight, or use a commutator stone, which will usually get rid of the noise right away. I'll post some photos later on how to use it.

As for the pedal, it sounds like the controller is set way too fast. None of my wheels are set to get that fast. Open the controller box, and inside there are sever little dials that can be adjusted, including top speed and bottom speed. I would set the top speed to the highest you would ever need it to be, which isn't usually very fast. That will give you more control in the pedal. Set the bottom speed so the wheel just stops turning with the pedal off.

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Thanks for the input guys. I have tried running it overnight multiple times since having the wheel,  counter clockwise and clockwise. It has not quieted the noise, although lately it does seem like it generally takes a couple minutes of running before it starts making the noise. This has never seemed like a direct result of running it overnight though. I have probably 20-30 hours of working in the wheel in addition to running it overnight 3-4 times. There has been no noticeable change in the noise except the few minutes of relative quiet after the wheel has been shut off for a while. 

The pedal does the same thing no matter what the settings are on the controller. I have tried adjusting them multiple times.  It seems to be an issue with the potentiometer (which has been replaced) or possibly how the controller is receiving  the signal from the potentiometer. Last week I was able to use a zip tie around the potentiometer to stop it from ever reaching the point where it slows down. Seems to be working fine with that but I don’t really want this as a permanent solution. 

I’d be interested in trying the commutator stone. I don’t want to void the warranty so maybe I should ask Skutt whether it would or not. 

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On 3/19/2018 at 9:24 AM, neilestrick said:

Those wheels use large industrial, continuous duty rated motors, and it can take a while for the brushes to get seated well. You can try letting it run overnight, or use a commutator stone, which will usually get rid of the noise right away. I'll post some photos later on how to use it.

As for the pedal, it sounds like the controller is set way too fast. None of my wheels are set to get that fast. Open the controller box, and inside there are sever little dials that can be adjusted, including top speed and bottom speed. I would set the top speed to the highest you would ever need it to be, which isn't usually very fast. That will give you more control in the pedal. Set the bottom speed so the wheel just stops turning with the pedal off.

Hey Neil,

Do you think it still just needs time to seat the brushes after using it this much use (what I described in my earlier post)? Skutt hasn’t said anything about it getting quieter, so that’s what’s got me worried I’m going to sound like this forever. Also, did you get a chance to get those photos of using the commutator stone? Thanks

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@Brettmonahan I haven't had a chance to get those pics. I've been slammed at work and getting ready to go on vacation tomorrow. I'll try to get them tonight, but no promises. Basically you just open up one of the little access panels on the side of the motor and slip the stone in next to where the brushes mount, and let it run just briefly against the spinning part of the wheel. If that's the problem, you'll hear a difference almost immediately.

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Last time I heard a noise like that the armature of the motor was rubbing on the coils inside the motor housing.  It was on a winch motor and the screws holding the coil to the outside housing had loosened and allowed the coil to be pulled into contact with the armature.  That was a new motor with only about 5 uses.   since it seems to get worse with speed I have to assume it is contact with the only moving part of your motor.  

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Hmmm...you're giving me worries...I just ordered one yesterday sans the SSX.

From what I hear from your vid  seems like the sound of an electric potters wheel. In the past 5 years I've had a Brent, a Pacifica, and a Shimp, all used but all sound about the same.

Not saying you're not right aout the sound, but as a motorcycle BMW mechanic told me one time, "There are moving parts"...

 

Edited by Rex Johnson

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nobody should have to put up with that noise.  go to the head of the company with a complaint.  you have a lemon.  do not waste time trying to fix something that you paid a great deal of money to own for a lifetime.  you will only waste time NOT going to the top.

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Call Skutt and talk to Perry.  I was asking him about loud noises and told him that someone had been told it was normal.  I just sent him this link because I was thinking of buying a new Skutt wheel. He has not yet called me, but he has been very helpful in answering all types of questions I had about a new wheel.

 

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It took a year to get them to admit that I needed a replacement new mother board on my new Skutt kiln, they kept telling me it was pilot error.  After the replacement was installed, no more "pilot error" !

Edited by clay lover

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Problem with this is, O.K., so you have a 5 year warranty. But who'd going to ship the dang wheel back for warranty work?

Unless you live within driving distance of the factory, you're pretty much FUBAR.

I ordered mine (non SSX) April 2nd and still waiting for delivery. PRAYING it has no issues...

Edited by Rex Johnson

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On 3/22/2018 at 2:23 PM, Brettmonahan said:

@neilestrick 

Thanks for the info. It is running counter clockwise in the video, you don’t even want to know what it sounds like in reverse. 

Every Skutt wheel I have purchased (11 of them) have needed a touchup with a motor commutator stick. I have one like THIS, but you can find cheaper versions of them all over the web. Mine was given to me by Tom Forte, the original owner of Thomas-Start wheels. To use, open the little access panel on the side of the motor, and with the motor turning, gently rub the stick up and down along the commutator (turning part of the motor). It only takes a second or two.

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21 hours ago, neilestrick said:

Every Skutt wheel I have purchased (11 of them) have needed a touchup with a motor commutator stick. I have one like THIS, but you can find cheaper versions of them all over the web. Mine was given to me by Tom Forte, the original owner of Thomas-Start wheels. To use, open the little access panel on the side of the motor, and with the motor turning, gently rub the stick up and down along the commutator (turning part of the motor). It only takes a second or two.

Thanks Neil. I’ve been too busy to take it into MN clay to have them check it out, but got a call from Perry a few weeks ago. He said he thinks it’s in the bearings and they are sending a new motor to MN Clay. In light of what you’ve just said (that all of your Skutt wheels have required the use of the commutator stick) I hope you can tell me specifically whether the noise my wheel is making is the type of noise your wheels have made, or whether you think it’s something else (like a bearing). I would rather not take my wheel out to MN Clay AND still have to buy a commutator stick for the new motor they put in. If you can’t really tell without hearing it in person, I would understand.  I’m just trying to maybe avoid more time and money spent, if I can. 

Also, to those in this thread I have not responded to: my original post was intended to get opinions of people who own or use these wheels and find out what a “normal” noise is for them. I should have been clearer about what I was asking. Thank you for your thoughts and opinions though! 

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@Brettmonahan That noise doesn't sound at all like bearings to me. I've had to replace the bearings on 3 wheels, and they all get to making a rumbly sound, not a high pitched sound. If you get down low you should be able to identify if the sound is coming from the bearing (right below the wheel head) or the motor. To me, that sounds exactly like it sounds when the commutator stick is being used, a light high pitched grinding on the rotating motor. It would be a cheap fix to try out the stick first before anything else.

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I think Perry meant a bearing in the motor, not under the wheel head. I’m fairly certain he asked me whether I’ve walked the belt off and ran the motor, which I have and it still makes the noise. 

 

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A motor bearing....that is really discouraging. How can the motor pass Q.A. like that? Are they sourcing the motors from China?

For a wheel you have to order and wait for it seems like they must be hand made like a Rolls Royce.

I don't get it.

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So, does your new skutt make noise like the one Brettmonahan has does?  I called a local ceramic supply store and they told me they thought Skutt wheels were louder than most. The person said the ones with the ssx foot pedal were not as loud as the ones without it, but they too were still on the loud side.  I was all ready to just buy one until the person at the store told me that.  What do you think ?  Do you find it loud?  No one has ever mentioned the noise until Brettmonahan mentioned the noise problem with the new one. 

 

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I don't find it any louder than my Pacifica or Brent. I mean, as mentioned, there are moving parts. It's just the sound of a nice heavy duty electric motor at work (this one 1/3rd HP).

Actually since the body is cast aluminum (heavy!) it probably quells noise fairly well. No complaints so far. Again, waited nearly 2 months from order to delivery.

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