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ThisIsMelissa

Wheel Recommendations

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Ok, I think I'm ready to take the plunge into having a wheel here at home.

 

I've been putting feelers out for used wheels. No luck. Craigslist, no luck. Bulletin boards, no luck.

So, now I'm thinking about a new wheel. The cost is the holdback.

 

I was at a local supplier, yesterday, and asked their opinion of what to look at without spending an arm and a leg.

I've been using the Creative Industries Clay Boss at the studio, so I asked about that. A little under $600.

Their recommendation was the Shimpo VL Lite. It's a hair less in price.

 

Here's what I know so far.

The Shimpo is reportedly easier to service, if needed. But the 2 Shimpo's we have at the studio are kinda loud and a bit of a rough ride, but they're different models and different housings.

The Clay Boss's at the studio have been modified to have metal wheel heads and I like those. But the one I'd be looking at is a polypropolene wheelhead. I've not used it before, so I don't have any reference for what that might feel like. I suppose it doesn't matter if I can get used to using bats.

With the Clay Boss at the studio, I feel like it's kinda hard to get a slow speed going. The transition out of stop to a slow speed kinda doesn't exist. I do not know if that would be the case with the Shimpo Lite.

The Clay boss bullet-shaped splash pan is also a bit uncomfortable for my short arms. Makes it hard to reach the bucket.

So, can anyone comment?

And if there's another option you can recommend that's under $600, I'd love to hear it.

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Everyone will have their own take on wheels

My suggestion is a used Brent any model-

check other areas in craiglist that are drivable for you.

 

 

Shimpo VL over clay boss as I feel the quality is better

 

I have bought 3 wheels used over the years all brents-as well as 2 new ones

My original brent I bought in 1971 is still working fine-just replaced a few items like motor -wheel head-foot pedal (they no longer had parts since the new design in 75)

all pulleys along with new drive belt (had to go to new system) and all new electronics when I switched out motor(old system was a metal electrical box)

Robert Brent was GREAT GUY-I always had good dealings with him-used his clay when they moved north to Healdsburg Ca.

Now it all Amaco but stil a solid quality product with super resale value

The other 4 brent's have had zero issues

Shimpos have also been bullet proof but that was the old ones.

Mark

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Ok, I think I'm ready to take the plunge into having a wheel here at home.

 

I've been putting feelers out for used wheels. No luck. Craigslist, no luck. Bulletin boards, no luck.

So, now I'm thinking about a new wheel. The cost is the holdback.

 

I was at a local supplier, yesterday, and asked their opinion of what to look at without spending an arm and a leg.

I've been using the Creative Industries Clay Boss at the studio, so I asked about that. A little under $600.

Their recommendation was the Shimpo VL Lite. It's a hair less in price.

 

Here's what I know so far.

The Shimpo is reportedly easier to service, if needed. But the 2 Shimpo's we have at the studio are kinda loud and a bit of a rough ride, but they're different models and different housings.

The Clay Boss's at the studio have been modified to have metal wheel heads and I like those. But the one I'd be looking at is a polypropolene wheelhead. I've not used it before, so I don't have any reference for what that might feel like. I suppose it doesn't matter if I can get used to using bats.

With the Clay Boss at the studio, I feel like it's kinda hard to get a slow speed going. The transition out of stop to a slow speed kinda doesn't exist. I do not know if that would be the case with the Shimpo Lite.

The Clay boss bullet-shaped splash pan is also a bit uncomfortable for my short arms. Makes it hard to reach the bucket.

 

So, can anyone comment?

And if there's another option you can recommend that's under $600, I'd love to hear it.

 

 

When teaching HS I purchased several Baileys in the upper model, at the time they were around 700. However they were built well, and I think the smaller motor ones would be good also. I liked their large slash pans. At home I have brent CXC, it handles 25# easily-I crank hard when centering. I have also used Creative Industries HP wheels, and like their power. If you can do it, get a little bigger motor than you think you need, as you'll probably grow into it.

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I have a Brent CXC, like Mark and Pres. I bought it used in 1975 on the west coast. It has been a great wheel.I have not even replaced a belt.

I also like the look and sound of the Whisper by Creative industries. Very quiet. I have not used it though.

TJR.

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I have had a Bailey now for just over a year and so far it has worked flawlessly and I couldnt be more impressed at how sturdy it is and I absolutely love the big splash pan. I bought the shelf for the back and I keep my bucket of water and all my tools on it.. little bit of a stretch to the bucket but I am glad I got the shelf.

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I think you should test drive several wheels. The Brents are fast...too fast for me. I have a Bailey. I have had it for about 14 years..I think. I use to prefer wheels with a motorized fly wheel which made kicking an option. I had a Stewart and that is a good wheel. But then, moving the wheel and size became a requirement and I changed to my Bailey. I have a tabletop Arista which is handy for taking to workshops for demos. I also use it for trmming if I am going back and forth in tasks or changing from one clay body to another.

I think you need to consider :

speed : do you throw fast or slow?

your needs as far as size (is your space limited)

will you need to move it..then weight is an issue (motorized Lockerbies are really smooth but a bear to move especially up and down stairs)

torque...do you throw over 25 pound pieces?

noise ... my Bailey has a soft hum ..not annoying pitch like some others

position flexibility...can the height be changed to accommodate your aching back.

 

Places where I have taught have had Shimpos, Brents, Lockerbies, homemade. As a teacher, I find the fast wheels are difficult for students. They go too fast and lose control.

 

Just some thoughts I would consider.

Marcia

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Can't really speak to the cheaper end of the spectrum much. But I can say (like others) that my Brent CXC.... which is about 40 years old,....... is still going strong under professional studio usage. The only repair has been a single rectifier diode that I soldered in myself maybe 25 years ago. Not other issues / parts replaced at all.

 

But that wheel was manufactured under the watchful eye of Robert Brent... and now Brent is an Amaco product. So likely things are not exactly the same manufacturing-wise. The newer wheels are certainly quieter.

 

For lighter duty use I'd consider maybe looking at the Brent B? YOu can't go wrong with a Brent C.....but that is more $$$.

 

At the college I teach at we are using all Brents from the C to the CXC and also Shimpo Whispers. All stand up well.

 

I'd not give up yet on the used wheel search. I think if you are persistent, you'll find one.

 

best,

 

................john

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It took me about 3 months of watching Craig's list, but I finally picked up a used Axner pottery wheel for $350 which included the stool, 10 plastic bats, a trimming bat and a sanding bat. Overall I think I got a really good deal. It was worth the wait, especially since I hadn't saved the $1000 for the new wheel I want. I still want a new Skutt wheel, but this one is doing perfectly great, until I can save the bucks up. The wheel is not as quiet as I thought I would have liked, but to my surprise, I never even notice it when I start throwing. I concentrate so hard and get engrossed, I'm like "what wheel noise?", lol. Anyway, with patience, a wheel will become available eventually on Craig's list. If you can't wait, and can't afford a lot, a cheaper wheel to start with is okay and you'll be able to recoup some of the money later if you decide to upgrade, because someone else is probably sitting out there waiting for a used wheel on Craig's list when you decide to upgrade and sell. Just my 2 cents worth, since I just went through the same thing. Best of luck!

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Ok, I think I'm ready to take the plunge into having a wheel here at home.

 

I've been putting feelers out for used wheels. No luck. Craigslist, no luck. Bulletin boards, no luck.

So, now I'm thinking about a new wheel. The cost is the holdback.

 

I was at a local supplier, yesterday, and asked their opinion of what to look at without spending an arm and a leg.

I've been using the Creative Industries Clay Boss at the studio, so I asked about that. A little under $600.

Their recommendation was the Shimpo VL Lite. It's a hair less in price.

 

Here's what I know so far.

The Shimpo is reportedly easier to service, if needed. But the 2 Shimpo's we have at the studio are kinda loud and a bit of a rough ride, but they're different models and different housings.

The Clay Boss's at the studio have been modified to have metal wheel heads and I like those. But the one I'd be looking at is a polypropolene wheelhead. I've not used it before, so I don't have any reference for what that might feel like. I suppose it doesn't matter if I can get used to using bats.

With the Clay Boss at the studio, I feel like it's kinda hard to get a slow speed going. The transition out of stop to a slow speed kinda doesn't exist. I do not know if that would be the case with the Shimpo Lite.

The Clay boss bullet-shaped splash pan is also a bit uncomfortable for my short arms. Makes it hard to reach the bucket.

 

So, can anyone comment?

And if there's another option you can recommend that's under $600, I'd love to hear it.

 

 

 

I have a Shimpo in my itty bitty home studio, and love it; it's quite, and light enough for me to move around if needed. At the studio where I rent space, I have use of the Pacifica (I don't like it at all) and Brent. Out of the three I love my Shimpo, Brent is my second choice. It also is a good wheel.

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I have, and love, a 1/2 horsepower Thomas Stuart, but I chose for the future and put some money into it. I have used Brent C and CXC, and Shimpo Whisper. I can recommend all of these, in addition to the TS, now Skutt. I have a friend that has a CI Clay Boss and she has the slow speed issue as well, but has learned to adapt. She did have her wheel in the spare bath shower, so if you can adapt to that, a little speed control isn't much...lol. At the studio where I take a class there is a Pacifica GT-800. It seems to work fine, but has a squeaking issue I read is common to that brand.

 

If you use www.craigfind.com you can check out potter's wheels over a large area, the USA, to increase your chances of finding a wheel. Test drive as many as you can while looking so you will be familiar when an interesting opportunity arises. You have to be fast with wheels. Good luck with your search.

 

John

 

http:\\wynhillpottery.weebly.com

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This time frame may not work for you, but new wheels seem to go on sale before the next new models are released. I bought 2 Shimpos like that 10 years ago. They are quiet and work great. Also don't forget ebay. I got a 1 yr old kiln on ebay for half price! Was a steal. Wheels go quick so have to be dedicated to get one.

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Thomas Stuart/Skutt hands down. I have 11 of them, and they are perfect. They have the most torque available- the 1/3hp model centers 75+ pounds. And the huge splash pan will keep your studio much cleaner. I only have to mop every week or so, with 30 students using my wheels. You can't get them for $600, more like $1000, but it will be worth saving up fro one.

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