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What Is A Good Way To Make Bats For Brent Wheel?

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I have an odler Brent potters wheel. Currently I am using plaster bats that I cast myself. I see that there are some fancy bats on the market, but I need to stick to a budget. Has anyone had success in making their own bats that mount to the factory holes on the wheel?

 

Thanks,

 

TK

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I have an odler Brent potters wheel. Currently I am using plaster bats that I cast myself. I see that there are some fancy bats on the market, but I need to stick to a budget. Has anyone had success in making their own bats that mount to the factory holes on the wheel?

 

Thanks,

 

TK

 

 

Hello TK,

AMACO offers some really nice Plasti-bats that are extremely durable and great for studio use. They last forever and i have never heard of one warping in a studio setting.

 

If you are set on making your own bats i would steer you towards cutting some out of 1/4" masonite board but that does tend to break down over time and you will see some warpage.

 

Thanks

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I have an odler Brent potters wheel. Currently I am using plaster bats that I cast myself. I see that there are some fancy bats on the market, but I need to stick to a budget. Has anyone had success in making their own bats that mount to the factory holes on the wheel?

 

Thanks,

 

TK

 

 

I had my husband, a woodworker, make me bats from high density particle board. He drilled holes to fit my screws, and they work great!

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I like to use an MDF product. MDF usually is not waqterproof but there is a version I get at my local lumberyard that IS waterproof. I like it because it is light, very stable (doesn't warp) and is easy to work with. I made a jig for my bandsaw to cut circles and cut the bats with that, I also made a jig to cut the holes for the bat pins and I can make a bunch of bats from one sheet of MDF (some call it Green MDF and some call it Pearl).

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Vince Pitelka has a great description on how to make bats on a band saw in his "Clay: A Studio Handbook". It's apparently out of print, but Amazon has several copied advertised. Every potter should have a copy. I made a bunch of 5/8" masonite bats long ago and still have them. They warp a little, but I ignore the warp and use them anyhow. I didn't varnish them and wouldn't do it if I were to make them again. The warp isn't that bad, and varnishing would be a lot of trouble and would mess up the diameter of the bat pin holes.

 

Figure the size you need, and figure the size square that will contain the circle. Cut as many squares as you want. I made mine a little smaller than the wheel head because of the size of the sheet goods. I drew an X from corner to corner of each bat and drilled a small hole where the lines crossed in the center. I drilled a small hole in the deck of the band saw. This hole must be placed exactly horizontal to the blade, separated from it by the distance of the radius of the circle. I placed a bat square (or two, or three) so that the hole lined up with the hole on the band saw deck, and slipped a nail down through both, to tie them together. Pivoting on the nail, I cut the circle, making the bat(s). You could also do this with a jig saw, but it's difficult to get a nice circle, and takes a long time. The guide hole in the center of each bat will fill up with clay and soon you won't remember it's there.

 

Placing the holes for the bat pins can get tricky. It would probably be best to figure this out before you drill the center holes--I waited until after, and this threw me off. Measure from the inside edge of one pin to the outside edge of the other one. Divide it in half, and measure from the center of your bat square out toward the edges and mark the spots along the crossing lines you've already drawn. You might want to drill one even before you start cutting them into circles, just to make sure you've got it right. Be very careful about having your drill bit centered perfectly. I ended up using a file on all of mine to fix the placement. It was a pain. It helps to use a drill press if you've got one. Once you've got one bat drilled so it fits properly, just use that as a template for the others. Be careful, though, not to ream out the sides of the hole. This is the only really precise measurement, and it does have to be precise.

 

Hope this helps. :)

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I have a Brent CXC, which has the original pin holes, as well as another set I drilled in, too. I made a bunch of bats from 1/4" double tempered masonite. (Double tempered is slick and hard on both sides. It is getting harder to find this stuff.) I bought full sheets and drew circles of varying sizes on it, then cut it apart into squares. I cut the circles out on a band saw, and found following the line got easier the more I cut them. After cutting, I used a belt sander to roughly round off the edges, then used an electric hand sander to smooth the edges to a nice round. To drill holes, I made a template of the wheel head out of light shirt type cardboard. Prior to drilling the holes, I used a tap tool (like you use for knocking nails in a bit for finish work) to form a pivot point in the center of each hole. I used a drill press with a Forstner bit to do the holes, and drilled only halfway down on each side. The first pass on the first side will leave a central mark you can use for centering when you flip to do the other side. (I found doing the holes this way greatly reduced the "furring" the masonite does, giving a nice clean hole.) Then I put the bats in a tub of Thompson's Water Seal to soak overnight. After drying, they are ready to go. I resoak them in Thompson's periodically when they start looking dry. (You may find they seem slick when first using them, this passes as they get used.) While some of my bats are far from perfect circles, most are really nice, and the rounded edges make getting them on and off the wheel head easy, and eliminates the chance of finger cuts when spinning. I also reduce the damage to the bats' holes by using nylon bat pins instead of metal ones. SparfishStudio

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wheelhead mod..docwheelhead mod..doc

I have an odler Brent potters wheel. Currently I am using plaster bats that I cast myself. I see that there are some fancy bats on the market, but I need to stick to a budget. Has anyone had success in making their own bats that mount to the factory holes on the wheel?

 

Thanks,

 

TK

 

wheelhead mod..doc

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