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I am new on here and I am struggling with throwing pots. I know that centring is important, but I am wondering if an uneven bat on my wheel might be a reason why I constantly end up with one side of my pot being higher than the other. I bought me wheel on eBay and it has a wooden bat which I cannot get to sit neatly in the wheel. Can anyone advise me please?

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welcome,   this is a simple fix but might be hard to think about.   just take it off and get a new one from a dealer.  no use fighting with something that basic.  working with clay is hard enough without having to fight with your equipment too.

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kathie, there are other possibilities for the higher on one side pot.  perhaps you are not opening in the center and one side has more clay in it than the other.   this is a common thing.  do many novice potters use a needle to cut the high part off but never realize the possible cause.   as you gain skill, it will become easier to control the clay movement as you throw.   sometimes it is hard to say "do what I want "!

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Thank you for your response. I am hoping it is my equipment and not me doing it wrong. I have ordered a couple of bats for my wheel, but they have to be handmade so I may just have to be patient. I will try to throw on someone else's wheel to see if I have more success. If I do, I will know that it is the equipment. If I continue to have the same problem then I will know that it is me doing it wrong!

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Hi Johnny. I think the wheel is a Wenger. It has a bat with a small wedge cut out of one side rather than holes where you put pins. I have never seen them advertised and I think it is quite an old system. I can't remember what the style of bats is called.

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Pictures of the wheel and bat would help others give more specific feedback.

 

Like @oldlady said, an uneven side, is a common problem, and many times caused by having clay pulled more to one side, than another.  This is generally caused, while opening the clay mound, after centering. 

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If warped bats caused pots to wobble I don't know what I'd do.  Half of my bats are warped pretty good, it's annoying because you can feel it for a few minutes but I find that once I have everything centered and I'm working on the clay itself that it goes away.  One thing that can cause a nasty problem is if the wheel head is loose or if the bearings are shot, then the wheel head itself wobbles and knocks around.  Try throwing without any bats and see if it's fine

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Agreed, some of my bats are uneven, it's annoying but not a real hindrance.  I'm sure it doesn't help a beginner but the main issue is controlling  the rim as you go up.

If there is any uneveness in the top after you have centered, this can remain and get worse as you pull up, same with opening. When opening, you have to let the clay move around a full rotation as you go down, same with pulling up, if you are opening or pulling up faster than the speed of the wheel, it will get uneven and you will push more out to one side or pull up more clay on one side, that will cause a wonky rim every time. You can control this a bit even after opening and a pull, if there is some unevenness by squeezing the rim back down and centering, then continue to pull up, repeat as needed.

 You should be able to throw on a bat that is half an inch higher one one side and still have a straight rim, the bottom would be jacked and super pain to trim though, lol.

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@Kathie, to rule out the bearings being the problem grab hold of the wheelhead on both sides and try to wiggle it up and down / side to side. There shouldn't be any play in it. If the bearings are fine you could try cutting a piece of the foamy type shelf liner (like in the link below) the same size as your batt and putting it between the wheelhead and your batt. Should help with the batt wobble.

http://www.tablecloths.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Shelf-Liner-Direct-Linen.jpg 

Also, don't forget to compress the rim after each pull.

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Unevenness can come from poor centering technique or poor pulling technique. If everything stays centered as you open, then it's probably a pulling issue. Make sure that when you pull, make your pinch and hold for a couple of rotations so that the pinch is established around the entire piece before beginning to move upward with your pull.

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About that little wedge thing on your wheel. If that will come off, it would be quite easy to convert it to the more common two  allen bolt system. All you have to do is bore two holes in the wheel ahead and buy a couple of allen bolts from your local hardware store for a couple of bucks. It might be a lot easier and cheaper than having custom bats made.

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I watched the Clay Olympics at the Western North Carolina Pottery Festival this past Friday.  The competed in groups of 4.  I noticed one of the wheels they had put out in the gravel parking lot was rockin and rollin while the potter worked..  However,  in the final group the largest tallest pot was thrown on that wobbly wheel.  17" ,4" wide at base and top, from 8 lbs of clay.   I also got to meet Neil!!!!

Edited by clay lover

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