My first Slab roller
Posted 05 May 2012 - 03:40 PM
1) He writes that on the North Star "the height of the top roll is adjusted with a knob on each end of the roller assembly" and on the Bailey,"the gap between the rolls is adjusted on one side of the machine and an inch scale is provided for measurement". So I'm undersanding that it takes one adjustment to set the Baily and two adjustments to set the Northstar. Correct? He writes about the Brent: "The Brent SR-20 is a mid-sized floor model that can produce up to 20x52-inch slabs. They include one 1/4" canvas covered shim and one 1/8" plain shim, and can produce a slab up to 1 1/2 inches thick." What is he saying here??? It makes no sense to me. Is he saying that there is no adjustment, just shims???
2) I'm thinking of mounting a 30"x72" slab roller atop a pair of heavy side-by-side free-standing 36" cabinets. I haven't seen it done, so I'm wondering if there is a reason it won't work? I know that I would probably have to add a 4-6" top rail to the cabinets to accomodate the depth of the bottom roller, and I'd have to put the slabroller handle or wheel at the backside of the cabinets so as not to interfere with the drawer operation at the front of the cabinets...
3) He writes that there is virtually no maintenance on the North Star because of the simplicity of the design. I'm all for no maintenance, since I am utterly without mechanical repair abilities. Does this mean that the other two have more maintenance issues?
One more questions (at the moment): I have a limited output, but I do want to have the potential to make large slabs. Am I shooting for too large a slab roller?? Any suggestions? Any favorites?
Posted 05 May 2012 - 04:22 PM
The bailey has one lever/knob for height adjustments and the twin texture rollers grip great-it just works well and long without any maintenance. I ordered the long table with my roller and its offset a bit lower on the outfeed-super strong and its a keeper as well.You can build one if like -Baileys has a plastic smooth easy to clean surface and we use it heavily on glaze day and it sponges clean .
The north stars are on the low end for me. Bailey made his name with slab rollers long ago and after many hard use years with his its never needed a thing. I cannot tell you how many times I worked on Brents. I love brent wheels and other Brent products-I just have some issues with shim boards and cables.My 2 cents
Posted 05 May 2012 - 11:13 PM
Posted 05 May 2012 - 11:15 PM
Posted 06 May 2012 - 07:36 AM
I personally have a Bailey. My first 20 inch Bailey was good for about 15 years. Then I wanted a bigger one. I had one made by a retired mechanic. Very cool but very heavy to move. I picked up a Bailey at Bailey's while in the East. It is a 30" wide model. I love it. I have had it for 10 years. The single knob to adjust the thickness is the ideal situation for me.
I'd recommend getting the stand for it rather than putting a slab roller on two cabinets unless you have a perfect fit. as to the size for you, that is your decision. Get one that fits your needs and production. If you don't plan to be making huge pieces, then you don't need one that big. Is your kiln big enough for huge pieces?
Things you need to think about.
The Brent shims are the method of adjusting the thickness of the slab. It is a lot of lifting.
Professor Emerita Montana State University-Billings
Posted 06 May 2012 - 07:51 AM
I saw a used Northstar but didn't like the double height adjustment feature and the chances of uneven slabs.....so I went with a Bailey DRD/II...24" wide model w/a 6 ft table
so far....so good.
Posted 06 May 2012 - 08:54 AM
Posted 06 May 2012 - 10:45 AM
Price was also better although I'm not sure what they are today.
Our guild uses the 24" North Star which is situated lengthwise against a wall. Adjustments have to be made in steps and are often not parallel because of the awkward positions of both the adjustment knobs and the scales.
Keep in mind that the Bailey can only roll the slab in one direction where the North Star can roll in both...
My 2 cents...
Posted 06 May 2012 - 06:10 PM
Posted 06 May 2012 - 08:56 PM
Posted 06 May 2012 - 10:56 PM
Posted 06 May 2012 - 11:50 PM
That said the DRD11 is a professional machine which works great-If your going for one of those I would spend the extra on a round wheel handle.As the 4 blade handle will poke you sooner or later.
These DRD have been around long enough to earn high marks in the clay world.
I have no info on the basic.
I do have the electric DRD 30 inch with a long table and I can say I have never had a bad day with it-it just works.
Maybe you can PM TRJ as to a brand name clone? on the Baileys
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