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New Wheel: Bailey or Skutt?

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I am trying to decide which new wheel to  buy. I am looking at the Bailey PRO-50R, the Bailey PRO X, the Skutt  Steven Hill Signature, and the Skutt Elite. 

I definitely want the leg extensions, regardless (the Skutt Steven Hill comes with them). I like the built-in one-piece splash pan. 

The Bailey splash pan has a drain hole and an opening to sweep out trimmings. The Skutt has an easily removable wheel head. 

I'm not sure how to decide, so I'm looking for input. Anyone have experience with any or all of these? 

Thanks!

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No need for a drain hole. I've got 11 Skutt wheels and have never needed a drain hole. The Skutt Elite has more than enough power, and is very smooth. As long as you've got the money, go ahead and get the Steven Hill since you want the leg and shaft extensions anyway. But if you want to save some money, put the wheel up on cinder blocks or build your own stand for it rather than investing in the leg extensions. Also, the SSX drive is nice, but not really necessary. I've heard several people say there's not much difference between it and the standard drive. Do get the shaft extension if you plan on making large platters. You can fit a 15" bat without it, though.

 

Wheel-Stand.jpg

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33 minutes ago, Mark C. said:

See this post on that question-do not buy a  wheel that uses flakeboard.

http://community.ceramicartsdaily.org/topic/4494-between-two-wheels/?page=2&tab=comments#comment-150130

I already read through that post, but I'm not seeing where it explains any real problem with flakeboard. The Baileys get such good reviews, and they're definitely cheaper... I do like the removable wheel head on the Skutt, though.

 

2 hours ago, neilestrick said:

No need for a drain hole. I've got 11 Skutt wheels and have never needed a drain hole. The Skutt Elite has more than enough power, and is very smooth. As long as you've got the money, go ahead and get the Steven Hill since you want the leg and shaft extensions anyway. But if you want to save some money, put the wheel up on cinder blocks or build your own stand for it rather than investing in the leg extensions. Also, the SSX drive is nice, but not really necessary. I've heard several people say there's not much difference between it and the standard drive. Do get the shaft extension if you plan on making large platters. You can fit a 15" bat without it, though.

 

Wheel-Stand.jpg

So, Neil, you seem to prefer the Skutt, too.  Any thoughts about the Baileys?

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I have used most of the Bailey's, and found the pro line and higher hp removable splash pans fine. There is significant torque, and they throw decently. I have also used a few Skutts at workshops years ago and found them to be sufficient also. The Baileys I had a school had the flakeboard shelf, but that was the only part flakeboard. Easy to replace whenever it wears, but the Bailey's we had are still using the same shelf! 

In the long run, try to test these out in a showroom, or at a conference to help with your decision.  Price for me was a determining factor years ago, so I can understand. When I bought my own wheel though, I bought what I had used in college, and liked the foot print and the torque for larger pieces. . . a Brent CXC.

 

 

best,

Pres

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3 hours ago, Pres said:

I have used most of the Bailey's, and found the pro line and higher hp removable splash pans fine. There is significant torque, and they throw decently. I have also used a few Skutts at workshops years ago and found them to be sufficient also. The Baileys I had a school had the flakeboard shelf, but that was the only part flakeboard. Easy to replace whenever it wears, but the Bailey's we had are still using the same shelf! 

In the long run, try to test these out in a showroom, or at a conference to help with your decision.  Price for me was a determining factor years ago, so I can understand. When I bought my own wheel though, I bought what I had used in college, and liked the foot print and the torque for larger pieces. . . a Brent CXC.

 

 

best,

Pres

I learned on a Brent, initially, and then bought my first wheel at NCECA: a Shimp VL-lite. I've loved it, overall, but I'm tired of the leaking splash pan.  I don't have the option to try things out in advance--not and get something soon, and I've been given the gift of the money now. 

I can't figure out what the references to flakeboard can be. The shelf--obviously, but no surprise there. But in the wheel itself? That makes no sense.

At the moment, I'm leaning toward Bailey, because of the general good reviews and the price. I will call them and discuss it.

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I have both a Bailey and an old Thomas Stuart, which are now made by Skutt.

I don’t need the drain hole in the Bailey either, but I know plenty of my former pottery students would need it, because they throw with a lot more water and the splashpan can’t be removed to empty it. 

I do like the gate that allows you to push trimmings out, The TS doesn’t have that and it is much more work to get trimmings out.

The splashpan on the Bailey is more comfortable to lean my forearms on for bracing. On the TS, I need to add foam cushions to the splashpan rim or else it is way too uncomfortable to lean on it.

The Bailey is quieter.

The TS is overall heavier and sturdier. It’s an old second hand wheel and it has never needed repairs. The Bailey sometimes flexes and feels less sturdy. Though I wouldn’t call it “flimsy.” (Unlike a Pacifica which definitely has some flimsy parts.) Once it developed a wobble, but the repair was very simple. Once I had to tighten the bolts on the pedal, or else the wheel would turn on by itself. Again, the repair was very simple. 

Edited by GEP

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The wheel pictured is does not have the removable splash pan, but the ST-XL has a removable splash pan. We had the Pro 50R, and in the end it became mostly a trimming wheel. Nice to clean up with trimming scraps, but even with the gate on the side just was not easily cleaned. In a classroom situation, I expected clean wheels for the next person.

 

 

best,

Pres

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I prefer the non-removable splash pan. The wheel is heavier and the edge of the pan can't flex or move. It is not a comfortable edge, though, but I never rest my arms on it so it's not an issue for me. Many of my students prefer the built in pan, too. Cleaning it out with a big sponge is easy.

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Thanks, everyone.  It occurs to me that I have been so uncertain because it's such a high-ticket item, and yet I don't worry nearly so much when I have to choose appliances like a new refrigerator or dryer (both happened in the past two years). I guess I assume that those appliances are necessary, while a new wheel is not, since my old one works fine.  Seems like I should maybe adjust my priorities. :-)

I know I want the new wheel to have adjustable leg extensions. Since I don't know yet if I'm going to want to throw standing up, sitting, or somewhere in between, I want to be able to experiment a little more easily than by having to deal with things like cinder blocks or solid, single-height stands. I know that the leg extensions aren't a 1-2-3, adjust on the fly solution, but they still seem to make more sense to me--especially as I suspect that I am going to want to switch things around every few months or so (that's my back speaking).

I think I am going to go for the Bailey. It's more in my price range, and I like what I've heard about it. I love the idea of the removable wheel head on the Skutts, but I don't think I love it enough to pay more. I don't care about the flakeboard counter--it comes "free" with the wheel, so that's just a bonus, considering that I've been working for years with only a small side table on either side of my wheel. If I don't like the Bailey counter, I can always replace it or get rid of it altogether. 

So I guess I've made my decision, or most of it. I'll give Bailey a call to help me figure out which model to order. Thanks again for all the advice!

 

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6 hours ago, Rex Johnson said:

Skutt gets my vote, Legend with the removable splash pan. So much easier to clean than other splash pan designs and plenty o' room even for a water bucket.

Superb wheel.

Too late--I went with Bailey. But thanks for your input. New wheel was delivered today; I can't wait to get home and open the box! 

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