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Teala62

HOW OLD IS TOO OLD FOR A WHEEL?

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Hello everyone,

I have been looking for a used wheel for at least 2 years now. I recently came close to finding a used Skutt that was only 5 years old, but the person decided to keep it rather than sell it. Nothing used seems to be available in North Eastern Ohio, or Western PA too often. I am finding mostly Brent wheels and sometimes a Clay boss.

Every wheel I have been finding lately is at least 20 years old, hasn't been used in years; in addition, people want $700-$800 for them.  I guess I was very lucky when the five year old skutt was only $700.  To add to the confusion a Brent C in 2006 only had a 1/2 hp motor while the new C's have 3/4.  I do not even know wht hp motor the older B's have compared to the newer ones. 

I do not know how old is too old to buy a used wheel or what problems develop at 20+ years. I do not know what types of expenses would be incurred on a repair for an older wheel, but I read in the forum that Brent charges a lot of money for the parts for old wheels.  I do know that there were a number of years when the Brents had a problem with the control panel--but do not remember what years it was or how to identify them.  I think it has to have physical switches to turn on and buttons.

My thoughts are that a wheel that has been stored and not used for 5 or more years could have some issues--especially depending on where and how it was stored.  One person video taped the sound of her Brent so I could hear what it sounded like and even corrected the foot pedal when she made the video because it did not stop completely when it was supposed to be stopped.

I would be appreciative of any comments or opinions anyone is willing to share.  I am thinking I will give up and just buy a new wheel. 

 

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I'm a hobby potter, not a professional.  I've had my Brent C since 1976 and have never had a problem with it (knock wood).  My Brent A, which I bought in the mid-80s,  needed some pedal adjustment which I was able to do with online instructions.  I've never regretted spending the $$ for a Brent.  I bought the Brent A so that I could take it to shows for demonstrations.   D

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If it looks as if it has been treated well, I would go for it.  Perhaps you can negotiate with the seller for a lower price?  What's the price of a new one these days?   I love my Brent C.   D 

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I have bought many used Bents over the years and have never paid over $500 for them -thats model A's and B's and C's.

My model C is 45 years old and is working great .Although most of the parts have been replaced-but keep in mind I have been a full time potter since 1976 and this wheel has taken the brunt of all those pots

My model CXC is from 1982.Its my main wheel now and is flawless.

As to repairs the controller can be a few hundred dollars and the foot petal guts are about 100$

Motors are best repaired in your local motor electrical repair shop

I own 6 of them currently .

You can call Amaco/Brent and ask about the bad control years -they can speak best about that.

If you find a model CXC or even a C I think if its in good shape and shows little wear offer them 650$

Model Cs used to have 1/2 hp motors then fairly recently they went to 3/4 hp-this is also a Brent question when you call them about controller's

If you call them please post the answers here for others to learn from.

The older Bents are built like tanks with thick metal decks. I'm sure you will be happy with one.

 

 

Edited by Mark C.

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I recently bought a new wheel for between $800 and $900 after looking at both used and new ones. What I found where I live was that used wheels with a one-year or no warranty were over-priced relative to new wheels with a ten year warranty.

The warranty is valuable to me, because I am not the handy sort who can trouble shoot and fix mechanical objects myself.

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1 hour ago, neilestrick said:

I would never pay $700 for an old wheel. Just save up for a couple months and get a new one for $1000.

+1 for what Neil said.....  it amazes me what people want for used wheels, especially ones that are no longer supported by the manufacturer.  Someone recently wanted $400 for a 30 year old Creative Industries MP that wouldn't come to a complete stop  (even after the owner had adjusted the foot pedal and replaced the potentiometer).   This line of wheels became unsupported when Speedball purchased CI and the seller was all to well aware of this.   A new Shimpo VL Whisper or a Skutt Classic/Legend can be had for less than $1,150 delivered to your house, a Bailey for closer to $1,000, others even less.  Plus, you get a full warranty and no more wasted time chasing elusive leads.  This isn't to say good deals on used wheels can't be found, you just have to be in a position to be able to wait/jump on them when you see 'em. 

-SD   

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The most I have paid for a used Brent is 350$ myself-that was for a model A and a B. Most wheels come to me buy folks getting in touch with me.

If you are in the clay business for over 40 years folks know you are and they come to you with lots of stuff-much of it you do not want.

I cannot tell; you how many folks have called me since the 70s with molds and slip stuff for sale.

Edited by Mark C.

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Like you Mark, I love my Brent CXC. It has taken a beating, not near yours, but over the years it has had its days. If I could scarf up one anywhere near $800, would. Learned to use direct drive at Penn State, and those were C back in the . . . mid to late 70's. Good wheels, but then I could crank them down when pushing. CXC I have never been able to crank down.

 

best,

Pres

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I have an old brent...it does not have any letters to tell me which it is. I bought it for $200 after taking it for a spin to see if it worked. Now where i teach has a cxc Brent that when donated had a flat place in the belt where it had sat unused for 5 years. It has now started grinding and running rough so it now sits waiting for someone to decide it is important enough to fix as i do not have the knowledge to fix it.

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Seeking an affordable wheel I found a Brent C on Craigslist for $75.  It ran fine when I checked it out and has worked without flaws for the last year or so.  It was made in the very early days (made around 1971 according to Brent) and was lacking the bracket to hold a splash pan on later wheels.  I am completely happy with the wheel using it for hours a week.  

I found my Skutt 1027 kiln on a government surplus auction website and purchased it for $125 but had to transport it from Michigan to Oregon myself.  I had it checked out by the Skutt factory and they replaced a couple of wires in the computer control box for only a few bucks.  After installing a new electrical circuit (and upgrading the electrical breaker box just because I wanted to) I might have around $500 total invested.   

If you are willing to cast a wide net bargains are out there.  Government surplus is a great way to find items for your studio.  I have seen wheels sell one at a time and in multiples as well.  The auction for four Brent model C wheels selling as a single unit that closed for $300 was enough to make me weep.  Pug mills for $250, slab rollers for $100,  gas kilns for $5, you name it-it will show up somewhere.  Sometimes they require a little repair but mostly things work fine having been surplused after a change in programs at schools.  I am willing to invest a little time, travel, and repair for a good deal.

Kim

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I just bought a Brent C wheel off of E-Bay last week,  Marc noticed it and let me know about it.  It was local pick up only,  the seller said he wanted $350 for it.  Marc suggested I get in touch with the seller and make a offer.  I knew the $350 was a bargain,  he agreed so we took a hand full of cash and picked it up the next day.  The seller was new to E-bay and didn't end the auction until the last minute,  I think the bidding went up to $480.  This is a older wheel that has a new half horse motor in it from Brent,  that is plenty of power for me.  I am not a production potter.   I have showed my new wheel to two people,   both of them immediately asked me what I was going to do with my kick wheel.  They had a relative or friend looking for a potters wheel.  I hate to get rid of a old friend but I have MS and just can't kick it up fast enough anymore.    Denice

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On 4/14/2018 at 1:12 PM, neilestrick said:

I would never pay $700 for an old wheel. Just save up for a couple months and get a new one for $1000.

On 4/14/2018 at 3:11 PM, S. Dean said:

+1 for what Neil said.....  it amazes me what people want for used wheels, especially ones that are no longer supported by the manufacturer.  Someone recently wanted $400 for a 30 year old Creative Industries MP that wouldn't come to a complete stop  (even after the owner had adjusted the foot pedal and replaced the potentiometer).   This line of wheels became unsupported when Speedball purchased CI and the seller was all to well aware of this.   A new Shimpo VL Whisper or a Skutt Classic/Legend can be had for less than $1,150 delivered to your house, a Bailey for closer to $1,000, others even less.  Plus, you get a full warranty and no more wasted time chasing elusive leads.  This isn't to say good deals on used wheels can't be found, you just have to be in a position to be able to wait/jump on them when you see 'em. 

-SD   

+2 for what Neil said and +1 for SD. I don't think I've ever seen Bailey not offering free freight on wheels when shipped within the lower 48. For an extra few hundred just buy a new wheel. There are plenty of options in the $900-$1100 range. Or if you're willing to forego some of the bells and whistles, the Pacifica GT400s are a solid middle of the road wheel for $800. I run a community studio with 12 of these and they see constant abuse... I mean abuse... not the heavy workload of a production potter with understanding of/respect for the equipment... abuse like kids kicking the pedals off as if they were trying to break the floor beneath, people powering off the wheels while the pedals are still engaged, switching from FWD to REV without allowing them to come to a full stop, water everywhere, the list goes on. Occasional repairs (aside from the controller) are pretty inexpensive. The bearings/motors last 10-12 years in this type of environment. With basic care I'm sure this wheel would last many years beyond that.

 

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On 4/14/2018 at 9:12 AM, Mark C. said:

I have bought many used Bents over the years and have never paid over $500 for them -thats model A's and B's and C's.

My model C is 45 years old and is working great .Although most of the parts have been replaced-but keep in mind I have been a full time potter since 1976 and this wheel has taken the brunt of all those pots

My model CXC is from 1982.Its my main wheel now and is flawless.

As to repairs the controller can be a few hundred dollars and the foot petal guts are about 100$

Motors are best repaired in your local motor electrical repair shop

I own 6 of them currently .

You can call Amaco/Brent and ask about the bad control years -they can speak best about that.

If you find a model CXC or even a C I think if its in good shape and shows little wear offer them 650$

Model Cs used to have 1/2 hp motors then fairly recently they went to 3/4 hp-this is also a Brent question when you call them about controller's

If you call them please post the answers here for others to learn from.

The older Bents are built like tanks with thick metal decks. I'm sure you will be happy with one.

 

 

Or you could take the cash for a new controller and pedal and buy a soldner pedal and controller and bypass the brent controller altogether. . 

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