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Shimpo VL Whisper vs. Soldner


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#1 Estelle.the.potter

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Posted 17 June 2012 - 08:12 PM

hello everyone!

i am very excited as my husband and i finally decided to build a little pottery studio in our basement.

i have been looking at lots of wheels and i'm hesitating between a Shimpo VL Whisper, a S-100 Soldner and a P-100 Soldner.
i throw small pieces mostly under 5lbs, and i like to make dainty little pieces so good pedal control for precision is key.

that being said, i am also a pretty messy potter because i use quiet a bit of water so the splash pan is important to me.

i also like to have enough space on the wheel to display my water bucket and all my tools... and it looks like the S-100 Soldner doesn't have as much space as the Shimpo and of course not nearly as much space as the P-100.


i have been looking all over the internet and still haven't found a picture of the P-100 (or P-200) Soldner with a splash pan (NOT with a splash pan and trim pan together).
i would LOVE to see a picture of it... if anyone would like to email me a picture, my email is estellehberrebi@yahoo.com
i would be so grateful!!

i read that if you use the S-100 you can use a Brent splash pan and these are pretty big... but some people say that it doesn't fit perfect and makes some noise??

i am driving myself crazy looking at all the different websites and am hoping you guys can help me clarify the situation and finally pick a wheel :D

thank you so much in adance!!

estelle
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#2 Lucille Oka

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 03:57 AM

See if this helps. Check out the specs and see if this is the wheel you want. By the look of the wheel it doesn't appear to be sold without the trim table but you can always ask the supplier.

http://www.sheffield...Wheels-s/53.htm

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#3 Estelle.the.potter

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 07:56 AM

thank you for your help!

yes this is the picture that i saw but it isn't clear to me whether:

1- you have to always use both the splash pan and the trim tray together

2- the splash pan is only the front piece at the front? or is there another piece that goes in the back once you remove that trim tray?

3- what happens if you only use the front piece splash pan alone (without the trim tray)? do water and mud come flying all over the place??

4- is there a trim tray for the front as well?


5- what do potters who use the P-series Soldner do???

Attached File  P-100 Soldner with splash pan and trim tray.jpg   56.95KB   19 downloads
estelle

#4 Mark C.

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 10:07 AM

These two choices are very different-The soldner wheels are built like tanks and the splash pans are very small and are only about 2/3 around head-the foot pedals are very smooth. This is a wide body wheel-USA made
The VL is more like your legs wrap around the base (like a Brent)-I have no info on the splash pan-The pedals are smooth-the us models are made in china

I like the soldners but they are a bear to move and take a large footprint
Mark
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#5 Estelle.the.potter

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 10:57 AM

thanks Mark!!


i guess people using the Soldner wheels are just very clean potters :)

maybe i could work at becoming one...

estelle
estelle

#6 Mark C.

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 11:09 AM

If splash pan is key get a Thomas Stuart wheel the splash pan is huge and they are well built wheels-Skutt bought them out some time back but still good I hear.
Mark
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#7 Estelle.the.potter

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 12:30 PM

thanks Mark!

not sure i like my tools to be floating in the slury... but that was a great suggestion given my requests



i just heard from Ceramic Supply in NJ that Soldner is out of business?
estelle

#8 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 02:39 PM

I am a fan of Stuart wheels but I also love my Bailey. if you say you want to make small five pound pieces that are delicate, then You don't really need a tank in the Soldner.
I know the Bailey is a slow wheel...advantageous for delicacy.
I think you should test drive some various models to see what you really want in a wheel.
my Bailey has a splash pan and trimming well combined and has a drain for cleaning.
test drive is a good idea for you to make a decision.
Marcia

#9 Mark C.

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 02:51 PM

How about a smaller wheel for small stuff
Brent makes a small one as do others>>
Mark
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#10 Nelly

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 03:24 PM

Dear All,

I love my Soldner wheel. I had mostly worked on Brent wheels but when I sat down to my first Soldner I was in heaven. I knew this was for me, the Rolls Royce of wheels.

I can tell you it did take a little getting used to at first.

I remember sitting down at Anderson Ranch and thinking "where in gawd's name is the splash pan." I was totally bewildered but then looked around the room to realize no-one had one. No one used one. I then felt the freedom.

Today, I do not use a splash pan of any sort (i.e., whether I was on a Brent in the community studio where I worked or here at home). I find them cumbersome. I don't like leaning over the end. The Soldner keeps me the closest I can get to the clay.

I also like the wood front where I can put my tools.

The one downside of this wheel is that you must clean the wood on the wheel to prevent delamination of the finish.

But, it is up to the individual. Most throw with the tray. I didn't even buy the tray with my Soldner. Extra stuff I don't need.

I have also heard the Shimpo are great wheels.

Nelly

#11 Nelly

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 03:28 PM

Dear All,

I love my Soldner wheel. I had mostly worked on Brent wheels but when I sat down to my first Soldner I was in heaven. I knew this was for me, the Rolls Royce of wheels.

I can tell you it did take a little getting used to at first.

I remember sitting down at Anderson Ranch and thinking "where in gawd's name is the splash pan." I was totally bewildered but then looked around the room to realize no-one had one. No one used one. I then felt the freedom.

Today, I do not use a splash pan of any sort (i.e., whether I was on a Brent in the community studio where I worked or here at home). I find them cumbersome. I don't like leaning over the end. The Soldner keeps me the closest I can get to the clay.

I also like the wood front where I can put my tools.

The one downside of this wheel is that you must clean the wood on the wheel to prevent delamination of the finish.

But, it is up to the individual. Most throw with the tray. I didn't even buy the tray with my Soldner. Extra stuff I don't need.

I have also heard the Shimpo are great wheels.

Nelly


Just one more thing, I have also heard the Thomas Stuart wheels are excellent. Tony Clennel swears by these. He says they are the work horse of wheels. I think I read on his blog that he compares they to a Ford Truck. So I do agree, check-um all out.

Nelly

#12 neilestrick

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 09:11 AM

Thomas-Stuart/Skutt are wonderful wheels. I have 11 of them in my studio. We just set a bat on the corner of the splash pan to hold tools. That large splash pan will keep your studio cleaner than any other wheel, and they have plenty of power.

That said, Soldner wheel are the smoothest available. Amazing pedal! But they are messy.....
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#13 justanassembler

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 01:10 AM

The soldner wheels accommodate a brent splash pan perfectly, I think the flange below the wheelhead is identical, so if thats the only hangup, get the soldner--shimpo wheels are great (I have an RK whisper and have thrown a lot on a VL) but their splash pans seal badly and tend to leak.

#14 Estelle.the.potter

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 09:01 AM

thank you so so much for all these wonderful insights. they really helped.

it was tricky but i finally decided to purchase the shimpo whisper...

time will tell if this was a smart move :P


i'll stay in touch and send some comments about my new wheel

estelle
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#15 yedrow

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 11:41 PM

The trick with the Soldner splash pan is the space it gives you to "get around the wheel". I like to get up almost against the wheel so I don't get fatigued and can get more precision out of my pieces. I'm a short, stocky guy and big splash pans push me away from the work. I like to get real clean lines and I like my work to have terminal points that fit the bases and walls that stretch up enough to join them properly. The 'college look' is cool from some people and I like to venture there from time to time that I not become too locked into a perfectionist mindset. But, when working seriously I am trying to examine the relationship of dimensions and curves that make the aesthetic of a piece of pottery. Laying back around a big splash pan makes it more difficult for me to do that. A tall person of course wouldn't have that problem.

There is always a reason why one person prefers to throw one way, and another a different way. Very often it is a lack of real-time intensive experience. But, it is often also a matter of body type and mental type. What works for me will pretty much only work for people like me. What works for you, works for you. And, it is important to note that experienced potters too often offer suggestions that skip necessary experiences in the growth of newer potters. Always take suggestions at face value.

I would strongly suggest trying to find someone in your area that has an iteration of the wheel(s) you are considering. Ask them if they would mind if you tried their wheel out. The only way to get to know a wheel is to work on it. That is the bummer of such an important investment. A wheel is an intiment extension of the potter's will. Throwing on a poorly designed wheel is a real hinderance.

As far as the Soldner splash pan goes, I stack bricks up around the deck side. I think I can get something like 1 revolution per 30 seconds (fluting pie plates), I'll take that over a little extra cleanup any day.

#16 Walt

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 02:13 PM

I think thomas stuart and baily have the right idea imho with the ginormous pan. It keeps the floor alot clearner.
Also, you can put your water and tool caddy inside the pan. The baily pedals though seem to go flaky alot
though. It seems like after a year or so, the pedal will drift and go faster or slower by itself. The bailys are
very convenient with both the bung hole and the side door for emptying out the tray. Thomas stuarts are
strong. The motors are bigger, and deliver more power. The fine control when it's really slow though sometimes
is not as articulate as some of the others, but you do not lose power going slower like some of the others.

The shimpo whispers are not bad. They don't have as much power, but if you're not throwing big, it's not really
a problem. They are very very quiet, which might be important where you live. Also, the head free spins when
the power isn't on, so you can use it as a banding wheel, or for anything where you want to hand turn it. I don't
really like the splash pans on them though. They feel kinda like they're cheap. They do come in a table top model
and they are lightish, so if you want to throw stand up, or need to move it around, they could be a good choice.

Brents.. are brents. The bigger ones last a long time. The smaller ones... I don't think are so good. The one
with the wooden top, feels weak, and the electronics dont seem as smooth, but the bigger ones are pretty nice
and have excellent slow rpm control. The splash pans are kinda.. I don't like them. Their awkward to clean, and
tabs that hold them together break alot.

They all have pro's and con's, most of which are not deal breakers, and really most will do anything you need them
to.

#17 Walt

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 02:27 PM

Also.. the detachable wheel head on the thomas stuart is awesome.
A half twist in the opposite direction it spins releases the head. It makes
cleaning very easy. Also the cup head is pretty slick. You get a mold for
plaster wheel heads that sit in the cup. Makes for a very inexpensive way
to make alot of bats, and if you like throwing on plaster bats, its pretty
awesome. There's also an extension to the wheel head, that raises it
above the pan so you can use really big bats for like... really big platters.

I suppose you could just not use a splash pan for that, but on the TS's
the pan is not removeable, so I guess it's a solution to a semi unique
problem.

#18 yedrow

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 11:10 PM

I really like the idea of being able to easily set a wheel up for plaster bats. I occasionally use a nylon ring that fits on the bat pins. We have plaster bats that mount up to it and they throw pretty well. As much as I like the way plaster dries the bottom, I don't have my work on the bat long enough to worry about though.

As odd as it may be, Clay Boss has a very nice splash pan. It may feel flimsy but it works good and is ergonomic enough.

I'm looking out for someone who has a Stuart wheel. The way folks rave about them they must be nice.

#19 Red Rocks

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 06:26 PM

Lots of good advice and opinions on wheels on this thread. Can anyone point us to a recent analysis of all the top, professional level wheels?

I was completely sold on a Brent CXC until I started researching other wheels and found alot of positve comments about the Skutt and the Bailey comparable models - plus with both of them you have lower cost, lower cost leg extensions, more table/counter options and better splash pans. The Brent pans are horrible.

At some point, some group must have done a comprehensive review - any ideas where I might find one?

Thanks

#20 neilestrick

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 07:02 PM

Lots of good advice and opinions on wheels on this thread. Can anyone point us to a recent analysis of all the top, professional level wheels?

I was completely sold on a Brent CXC until I started researching other wheels and found alot of positve comments about the Skutt and the Bailey comparable models - plus with both of them you have lower cost, lower cost leg extensions, more table/counter options and better splash pans. The Brent pans are horrible.

At some point, some group must have done a comprehensive review - any ideas where I might find one?

Thanks


Tom Forte of Thomas Stuart had this test done a few years ago to compare motor torque amongst the major brands: http://www.skuttwhee...otors.html#test. As far as other features, CM put out an article a few years back with an overview of wheels, but it was all very nice and didn't really give any down and dirty info. It basically read like a promo spot. I think they were trying their best not to piss off any of their advertisers.
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