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Home made slab roller?

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sawing    1

Has anyone here ever made their own slab roller? Or seen plans for one? My husband is super-handy, and we have every tool imaginable, so he insists he can make one if I find a plan for it.

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Mark C.    1,798

I have a friend who made an electric with cables and its always needed adjustment when the cables stretch. It a bit unsafe as well.

I would suggest a gear or chain drive.

Mark

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Marcia Selsor    1,301

I had one 30" wide made about 20 years ago by a retired German mechanic. It had one roller powered by bicycle chains and a crank. I prefer double rollers for guaranteed even thickness. I have a 30" Bailey that I got in 2002.

 

Marcia

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neilestrick    1,381

Minde is made of a rolling pin and two strips of wood.biggrin.gif

 

 

Freak out!!! I have one just like that!

 

 

 

It's a very popular model. I see them everywhere. I got the upgrade with several sticks of different thickness. Well worth it!

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TJR    359

Minde is made of a rolling pin and two strips of wood.biggrin.gif

 

 

Freak out!!! I have one just like that!

 

 

 

It's a very popular model. I see them everywhere. I got the upgrade with several sticks of different thickness. Well worth it!

 

 

Hey;

I've got a couple of different sizes of rolling pins, but the lath stays the same. Works great. No chains, sprockets, or cables. Can't tell you how much it cost. Maybe $10.00?

TJR

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Bruzbt    0

I built a slab roller several years ago and it is still at work. I was lucky enough to have a friend who gave me 2 steel rollers from a printing process at his job. They become unusable to them when they develope micro grooves where the material passes over them. They are 20" long and 6 and 5 inches in diameter. I don't know the make of the roller I used as a guide in the design but it basically a top roller (larger)riding on the outside edges of the table frame. The actual table top is recessed with removable sheets of masonite to vary slab thickness. The smaller roller is under the table with 2 cables running from one end, around the smaller roller and then to the other end with turnbuckles to maintain tension. The bearings of both rollers mount to a common bracket. The lower roller has a 5 spoke device that is used to turn the roller. There are 4 skate board wheels that hold the top roller tight to the table. When the operator spins the spoked wheel the whole mechanism moves over the table and rolls out the slab between layers of light canvas. I can provide pictures and/or sketches if anyone has interest.

 

Bruzbt

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Wind n Wing    1

The first slab roller I ever had was homemade. I found a portable dishwasher butcherblock top and screwed two strips of lathing to either side of it. I knew a countertop fabricator and he cut me a number of scrap formica pieces that I could layer or not to get the right thickness. Used a wooden rolling pin to roll out the clay. You find muscles you didnt know existed.sad.gif Took to much effort to be enjoyable. Bright idea came along and went to my local machine shop and said I was looking for something with a little more weight.

Dave (my machinest) suggested a piece of stainless steel drive line from a Semi truck with a little milling at the ends for the handles. Fabrication cost was about $80, so had less that a sawbuck invested. Not to bad.rolleyes.gif Installed a stop to the back of the butcherblock top. Thats a lot of weight to be pushing so needed to be careful, it worked like a dream ------ until it came off the front of the top (where I didnt consider putting a stop) torpedoed down on the top of my foot. Didnt break anything, but did manage to crush and compress my foot just below the toes. A trip to the ER was $500. So now the cost is up to $580 not counting the down time and loss of sales.

 

As soon as I was able went to Archie Bray and bought a Northstar slab roller.

I have more than gotten my money from its use. Saved my back and probably my feet. Dont get to see the ER Doc much if at all. Moral to my story: Homemade can be good if you plan for all possible situations. But if you can afford it skip the hassel and buy what you need.

 

Hope you find the right answer for your situation.

 

RJ

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Marcia Selsor    1,301

We used a North Star and a Brent in my classroom at the Montana State University-Billings. The Northstar can change the thickness by adjusting the one roller's height. The Brent adjusts the thickness b changing the number and combinations of the masonite boards. It also has one roller.

Like I previously said, I prefer the dual rollers because the slabs are consistant. The slabs are 24" or more. I use them in ram and I use them in architectural pieces.

I am taking an old favorite 14" rolling pin to my residency in Vallauris, France beginning next week.

RJ sorry to hear about your mishap.

 

 

 

Marcia

 

 

 

 

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neilestrick    1,381

Personally, I think the Brent slab roller is the most poorly designed piece of studio equipment ever. Adjusting the thickness by removing shims is ridiculous, and the cable system is a pain to replace. If you want to go cheap, buy the North Star roller system without a table, and build your own table for $40.

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sawing    1

Personally, I think the Brent slab roller is the most poorly designed piece of studio equipment ever. Adjusting the thickness by removing shims is ridiculous, and the cable system is a pain to replace. If you want to go cheap, buy the North Star roller system without a table, and build your own table for $40.

 

Good idea!

 

Thanks for all the advice, everyone. I love reading about all the different ideas and experiences!

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ayjay    119

Has anyone here ever made their own slab roller? Or seen plans for one? My husband is super-handy, and we have every tool imaginable, so he insists he can make one if I find a plan for it.

 

 

 

http://ceramicartsda...wn-slab-roller/

 

Plans were available for this at the time, they may still be.

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Marcia Selsor    1,301

Personally, I think the Brent slab roller is the most poorly designed piece of studio equipment ever. Adjusting the thickness by removing shims is ridiculous, and the cable system is a pain to replace. If you want to go cheap, buy the North Star roller system without a table, and build your own table for $40.

 

I agree with you. The cables fray and puncture your fingers when you work on them. They are suppose to be grease regularly and that's when the fraying gets your fingers.

The North Star that I used in the studio had hard plastic gears that did break when abused and the two sided gear adjustment could get uneven if one didn't pay attention. They have greatly improved since that time...about 25 years ago.

I like my Bailey.

 

 

Marcia

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Denice    243

I have a Bailey that I bought 20 years that we built the table to go with it, that saved us some money you can always get your money back on a Bailey if you decide to sell it. I started using the slamming method then rolling it when I need a quick slab but for larger projects my Bailey is the only way to go. Denice

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I didn't think about greasing the cables on my Brent until reading this-- thanks, Marcia. I built a Minde several years ago for when I wasn't at the large studio I taught at. It served me well. Last year I came across a Brent at a neighborhood garage sale and bought it for $100!! It has its annoyances but I really got lucky. The guy who sold it to me just wanted to make his wife happy and get it out of the basement, and have someone else make use of it. He supplied several boards and plenty of canvass with it. If I didn't have it, I would be tempted to make the one shown in the aforementioned video.

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Mark C.    1,798

I used the 18 inch rolling pin for years before getting a Bailey electric 30 inch model with long table-never looked back. We make lots of slab stuff and this is the cats meow.

The brent cable and shim system is a very poor design. If you replace the cables with stainless ones they stretch less and require less fine tuning. I leaned this long ago.

Mark

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Pres    896

Personally, I think the Brent slab roller is the most poorly designed piece of studio equipment ever. Adjusting the thickness by removing shims is ridiculous, and the cable system is a pain to replace. If you want to go cheap, buy the North Star roller system without a table, and build your own table for $40.

 

 

I agree with you. The cables fray and puncture your fingers when you work on them. They are suppose to be grease regularly and that's when the fraying gets your fingers.

The North Star that I used in the studio had hard plastic gears that did break when abused and the two sided gear adjustment could get uneven if one didn't pay attention. They have greatly improved since that time...about 25 years ago.

I like my Bailey.

 

 

Marcia

 

 

Used the Brent for 30 years in the HS classes. Pain as all say here to grease the cables, to keep the shim boards in good condition, and use. All of that said, when we bought it, it was one of the early ones at a price we could afford. I used rolling pins and slab sticks from the local lumber yard for years, teaching the basics first, then moving the students to the slab roller. They never complained, because it was so much easier than rolling out that 12"X25" slab by hand. Suddenly slab construction was not such a chore, and they could concentrate on other things in the process instead of making the slabs. So in the end, I guess you work with what you've got. If someone gave me a cableless, shimless old Brent SC 14 I would take it in a heartbeat. Spend a few bucks and hang the rolling pin on the wall!

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Claypoet    0

Personally, I think the Brent slab roller is the most poorly designed piece of studio equipment ever. Adjusting the thickness by removing shims is ridiculous, and the cable system is a pain to replace. If you want to go cheap, buy the North Star roller system without a table, and build your own table for $40.

 

 

 

 

 

I concer. I loved my North Star, tho the Bailey is also great. There was a Bailey in the studio where I first learned. in my own studio I had the Northstar and yes, the plastic gears (which don't really make sense but whatever) broke once or twice in 20 years. But they were very simple to replace and Northstar sent them quickly and at their cost. But what I really wanted to suggest is to make a sturdy table which is essential, I used half of a pingpong table that was already in the basement of my house when I bought it. 2x4s shurred it up nice, 45 degree angle pieces in the corners and metal legs I think i got at Graingers or Home Dept. Has lasted 20 years, with heavy student use, no problems no repairs.

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Mark C.    1,798

Jim Bailey made a long time ago one heck of a slab roller-I have not seen a better one come along yet.If you plan on being in clay for a long time its a tool well worth it and will have high resale if you give it up.This is not true with many slab rollers but is true with a Bailey.

Mark

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Cass    5

no joke...i took a 3 foot piece of pvc pipe, 4" diameter..plugged the end...filled with fast-setting concrete....now there's a Rolling Pin!...(you get stronger too with each use lol)

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sawing    1

no joke...i took a 3 foot piece of pvc pipe, 4" diameter..plugged the end...filled with fast-setting concrete....now there's a Rolling Pin!...(you get stronger too with each use lol)

 

 

OR... I could just make my husband roll out my slabs with that! :)

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