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What's the best potters wheel on a budget?


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#1 Nightshade

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 05:30 PM

What is the best type of potters wheel to get on a budget? I need to get a motorized one, but I don't know much about them. I'll be doing about 50lb projects or so. Also, when getting a used one, what are things to look for as far as being wrong with it? I just want to make sure I'm not missing something if I can get a used one. Any input is appreciated. Thank you.

#2 perkolator

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 07:16 PM

Used one. Almost all wheels these days will easily handle 50lbs. Besides the pedal/speed controller assembly there isn't really much to a wheel and not much to break on them. Parts can usually be found if something breaks, and are easy to repair -- check the fuse first! Things to look for: obvious visual signs of wear, does it work, etc. ? ask approximately how much use it's had. you'll pretty much just know once you see it and plug it in.

usually, a person who actually USES their wheel won't be selling it - so usually the ones being sold are hardly used at all or have been abused/broken, or just something that the seller has no idea about since it may have been left by a passed away family member.

personally, i'm a fan of Brent wheels (older CXC is what we have at school - proven undergrad-proof) and the higher-end brands since they're usually very high quality, but price reflects this. i am NOT a fan of the wheels that have the recessed wheel head in the permanent splash-pan (like a thomas stewart classic). at home, I use an old gear-driven Alpine wheel that was gifted to me and just needed a fuse - that thing is a torque monster!

#3 neilestrick

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 09:19 PM

I LOVE the built in splash pan of the Thomas-Stuart wheels. Super steady and heavy and easy to clean. Plus TS wheels have more torque than most. The 1/3hp models can handle over 75 pounds. I've got 11 of them, and they work great. But there are lots of good wheels out there. Find a used one, try it out and if it feels good get it.
Neil Estrick
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#4 yedrow

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 10:11 PM

I think Bailey is having a sale at the moment. Personally, and I know I've said this a lot, I think the pedal is the most important part. After all, who really throws over 20# of clay? I know there are people who do, but why?

Joel.

#5 SmartsyArtsy

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 01:51 AM

If you are thinking about buying a used one, I just came across this guide to checking out used wheels
http://www.georgies....ips.shtml#strap
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#6 starsmile67

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 11:00 AM

If you were in CA, I could sell you a wonderful used Shimpo VL Whisper (mine) that would handle the load you are looking for.

#7 JBaymore

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 11:28 AM

I'll be doing about 50lb projects or so.


If you are centering 50 pounds at a pop by the more traditional western method, you'll likely want to stay away from the cheaper priced (at retail) wheels. They likely will not have the torque you'll want without winding them up to high RPM speeds, which then will be counter productive to centering larger amounts of clay.

I agree that Brent wheels tend to be "workhorses". My own Brent CXC is ancient... and still going strong in professional use after decades.

I LOVE the Shimpo Whispers for their quietness.... wonderrful general classroom wheel for smaller amounts of clay...... but I find that they are a bit lacking in torque at slower speeds. We have a bunch of them at the college where I teach, and when I am demoing throwing 25 - 50 pounds, I find they tend to bog right down. I usually head right for our Brent CXCs when I need to demo this kind of thing (we have a bunch of them along with model Cs too).

best,

......................john
John Baymore
Immediate Past President; Potters Council
Professor of Ceramics; New Hampshire Insitute of Art

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#8 Kimmer2277

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 02:25 PM

What is the best type of potters wheel to get on a budget? I need to get a motorized one, but I don't know much about them. I'll be doing about 50lb projects or so. Also, when getting a used one, what are things to look for as far as being wrong with it? I just want to make sure I'm not missing something if I can get a used one. Any input is appreciated. Thank you.



#9 Kimmer2277

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 02:32 PM

Brent wheels are great but pricey for new and used. That beind said, and not being sure of what your budget is, I'd recommend a Shimpo Clay Boss or Big Boss - between $300-$700. I have both (Big Boss I got frmo an art center that was going out of business for $200, my Clay Boss (Elite) was a b-day gift from hubby) and both can center 25 lbs with no problem - I've never done 50 but the torque on the wheel would suggest it could. The wheel is very quiet, and has a removable pan. If you can, spend the extra to get the optinoal shelf that is attached. It feels awkward at first, but when I'm at my wheel that doesn't have it, I'm at a loss for space. Good luck!

#10 justanassembler

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 04:15 PM

Brent wheels are great but pricey for new and used. That beind said, and not being sure of what your budget is, I'd recommend a Shimpo Clay Boss or Big Boss - between $300-$700. I have both (Big Boss I got frmo an art center that was going out of business for $200, my Clay Boss (Elite) was a b-day gift from hubby) and both can center 25 lbs with no problem - I've never done 50 but the torque on the wheel would suggest it could. The wheel is very quiet, and has a removable pan. If you can, spend the extra to get the optinoal shelf that is attached. It feels awkward at first, but when I'm at my wheel that doesn't have it, I'm at a loss for space. Good luck!


shimpo does not manufacture the clayboss wheels, speedball does... word to the wise, if you need technical support for a clayboss wheel, good luck--I did repair work on one for a customer whose control box needed re-wiring and the diagram they faxed to me (they couldnt/wouldnt email it...) looked like it was drawn on a napkin... they are cheap, but theyre cheap.

#11 kelleyisfj

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 07:16 PM

What is the best type of potters wheel to get on a budget? I need to get a motorized one, but I don't know much about them. I'll be doing about 50lb projects or so. Also, when getting a used one, what are things to look for as far as being wrong with it? I just want to make sure I'm not missing something if I can get a used one. Any input is appreciated. Thank you.



#12 kelleyisfj

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 07:21 PM

I love my little Artista wheel. It's less than $400, portable and works like a dream. In parrticular, I'm very pleased that instead of having a pedal, there is a dial for controlling speed. Using the pedal while throwing puts your body off center, is hard to control a steady speed, and can ruin your work by those accidental mishaps with pedals. Send an email if you want to hear more. kelleysart@yahoo.com.

#13 PotsbyChar

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Posted 13 October 2012 - 09:36 AM

I bought my Clay Boss 2 years ago and it has been in daily use ever since. It has never given me a moment of trouble. Runs quiet, handles 100 lbs of clay...providing I could lift that much lol. I bought mine because it was low priced, but now that I have owned one for 2 years...even when I can afford the more expensive wheels I would still buy the Clay Boss. The control is so much better on it than on the Brents we have at the University. I honestly can't say enough good things about my wheel...
Pots by Char

#14 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 13 October 2012 - 02:29 PM

I like my Bailey. BUT the best choice of wheel is the one that fits you and your needs. Price can vary depending on new, used or the distributor.
Marcia

#15 Brian Reed

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 12:33 AM

Since everyone is weighing in I will let you know. I had been using a Brent C for years and when in school we used Brents and I love them. When it came time for a wheel for my personal studio I of course went to find a Brent wheel. After looking on the used market for several weeks I gave up hope and went down to the local Pottery supply to get a new Brent. When I was looking through their used wheels they had the Shimo M750 which on paper was better than any Brent wheel they had and it was used and for a good price. It has a remote speed pedal rather than the attached one with the handle. It is super quiet and tons or torque even at slow speeds. I do not think Shimpo made this weehl very long.



At any rate I never thought I would have bought a Shimpo, but this thing is great. Love it.
Brian Reed

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#16 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 01:08 AM

It is important to fit your body to whatever wheel you select. TEST DRIVE. Go to a dealership or go to NCECA but not until April. Sit at a wheel and see if it fits you. Then start looking for pricing. It is worth it to your back, legs, etc. to feel comfortable when throwing. One size does not fit all. I can not stress this enough. You can make adjustments like raising the whole thing, or putting the peddle on a brick, but save your back. Give it the number one consideration.
Marcia

#17 Dinah

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 04:25 PM

John Baymore included a telling caveat in his posting regarding "western style lifting". If you want to pull up 45# in one go, throw and center in 3/4 segments take a hint from the East. Work it out. Buy a wheel which will do the job. Don't skimp. I have leg extensions for new Shimpo and older TS Legend. When enduring a phase of sciatic discomfort I elevate and stand. But, and I've posted on this before, I take a morning swig of Aloe Vera Juice concentrate which has turned this stuff around the past couple of years. I'm 70 with lots of long distance walking in my history (Cotswold Way, West Highland Way, Coast to Coast, etc., and I was a Ramblers walk leader in UK for many years). Live in the NW now where now it's going to be damp for several months. Don't buy a wheel which will not meet your needs for the next dozen years.
Dinah
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#18 Chantay

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 12:59 AM

I just bought my first wheel. I bought a Clay Boss. Reason being it was the best deal I found on craigs list. As someone already stated, the person who bought it new hardly used it. It looks brand new and was sooo clean.

-Chantay
- chantay

#19 Nightshade

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 08:53 AM

Thank you everyone for your input. This gives me a lot to think about. I really appreciate all of the advice.

#20 bigern8

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 11:43 PM

If you were in CA, I could sell you a wonderful used Shimpo VL Whisper (mine) that would handle the load you are looking for.

Im interested in your wheel and I live in CA




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