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KristaPiper

Vibrating Brent Wheel

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Hello!

 

I am very new to the forum - excited to be here!

 

I have had a Brent No2 wheel for about 5 years now and done pottery on and off. I am now really trying to get into pottery. The first wheel I had was replaced after about 1 month of having it since I could not center on it for the life of me and it was the wheel and not me since I was taking a class and could center on their wheels no problem. Sent it back to Amaco, they said no one could center on it and sent out a new one. It has been through a couple moves around the house and then one big move when I changed houses.

 

As I am now getting back into pottery every day it just keeps vibrating. If I put tools on the head to just rest and turn the wheel on low the tools will literally vibrate off the wheel. The metal catch bin that sits in the holder will vibrate off the holder if I do not place a couple rocks in it to weigh it down. It seems like it is just getting worse. I was trying to foot a pot tonight and I couldn't get it tapped center for the life of me. I finally got it on center, put clay around it so that sucker wasn't going anywhere and within 2 spins it has vibrated itself out of the clay around the base.

 

I have never tried to fix a wheel or know much about how to fix one. It is on concrete and on level ground. Anyone have any ideas what could be wrong with it? I have never worked on a wheel that vibrated this much and it is really making the whole process of making a pot rather difficult since I believe the vibrations are making the pot go off center at every chance.

 

Any help on this would be amazing!

 

Thanks!

Krista

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Welcome to the forums.

 

That sounds like something is rubbing badly under the wheel deck between the belts and the pulley or something... or the bearings (more likely) are going. Can you shoot video and post it?

 

best,

 

 

..............john

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Yes- I can try to shoot a video and post it by this evening.

 

Cstovin - I read your post as well! The kind of sounds like what mine is doing. I have thrown on several brent wheels, shimpo and other brands and never had this vibration happen like it does to mine. I know when a bat is on the head then it hits my fingers at different times if I run it along the edge. I don't know if this is what you are calling the shimmy. I am by no means an expert at pottery. I have been able to center on my wheel and make pots, but it is difficult and I can't do repeat throwing to save my life where at a local studio I can easily make repeat pots. I have felt my pots center and then if I let the wheel run a couple spins without touching the clay then it gets off centered. I do not turn it up to full speed - when I do that it really starts to vibrate and wobble a bit.

 

I think I have a local potter in the area coming out to check the wheel out this week to see if there is truly something wrong or if it is just in my head. The fact that is is the loudest wheel I have ever experienced and I have used these wheels before makes me believe that there is something wrong. I know nothing about how to take one apart and troubleshoot. I would probably mess the wheel up more which would be not good!

 

The wheel isn't belt driven - here is the exact wheel I have http://www.amaco.com/shop/product-170-amaco-no-2c-potter-39-s-wheel.html

I almost laugh because it says it has the rubber feet to help stop the vibration.

 

I will work on that video and figure out how to post it!

 

Thank you!

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Either something is loose, like a bearing or linkage, or the gears are grinding. Direct drive wheels are fairly uncommon, so we're all probably just guessing here. When bearings go out on belt drive wheels, they usually just get loud, but don't necessarily vibrate unless they're totally shot.

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There is a difference between the wheel head being out of true (creating a "wobble") and a malfunction that creates a "vibration". That's why I suggested a video. Also to hear the sounds that the wheel is making..... which could help with remote diagnosis.

 

 

 

Direct drive and serious vibration..... I'm with Neil..... likely gears.

 

best,

 

.....................john

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Wow....VERY interesting; your problem sounds VERY much like mine. I also broke down and called our local gallery where there are two people there that also work at the art center where I take classes, and one of them is stopping by next week to see if there is really a problem, or if this is all in my head. We did get out a measuring device of some sort, and aligned it with the wheel, and there is a SLIGHT difference in the left/right sides - but only like the width of a piece of paper to fit under, maybe slightly more.....but the thickness of a piece of paper isn't much.....so it is hard to believe it could cause that much difference in my centering.

My wheel also sat in these people's garage for about 4 years; and we did plug it in to see if it worked, but I would have never noticed this until I put clay on it....

 

Too weird. I did try again to get a video of mine - working on it -

 

Charlene

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Well my friend came over to check it out. He believes the wheel shaft is bent. We ran our fingers on it and our fingers would bounce off of it. The needle tool also bounced. He picked a spot on the wall and the shaft would sometimes cover it and sometimes not when it was spinning around. I looked online and you can't even buy a wheel shaft for it from what I can find. He said i could try a new wheel head on it to make sure the wheel head was fine. He thinks it is manufacturer problem, but the warranty on it was only for 2 years which is well past. Amaco ( who I bought it from ) is only about 3 hours away from me so I am going to try and call them tomorrow and explain the issue and see if they can repair it. I know for a fact that it was never dropped, kicked, anything hit it or even resting on it. When it was moved it was always in the backseat of someone's car and not in a moving truck. I just don't see how it could have gotten bent by me or an object.

 

I did post a video to youtube if anyone wants to check it out -

 

I am slightly discouraged. I have had this wheel for several years and threw on and off while taking classes since I never had a kiln. Now I finally get a kiln last month and have been throwing every day only to find that the reason why I can't throw anything big or keep things on center is due to a problem that I should have found the first year of having it. sad.gif

Edited by KristaPiper

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That is a pretty large level of relatively high frequency vibration getting ttransmitted into the wheel deck fo that tool to jump around like that when it is in the splash pan. And the sound confirms that it does not sound "normal" to me.

 

From the high frequency of the vibration I am guessing the issue is not on the slow speed side of the gearbox or from the main wheelhead shaft bearings (unless they are TOTALLY shot).....but from the high speed side.... the motor side.

 

Has it ALWAYS had that level of vibration?

 

best,

 

 

......................john

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The bearings might be shot since I have been using it with the bent shaft ( wheelhead shaft maybe? ) - I would imagine that it rubs the bearings the wrong way. The speed I had it on was medium/high. When it is as fast as it can go it just goes crazy vibrating.

 

It has always had some sort of vibration to it. This is the first time that I have really noticed it being a problem.

 

I took another video of it on full speed first and then I slow it down to low. I was focusing in on the shaft that my friend said was bent.

 

 

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Krista,

Have you checked the set screws that lock down the wheelhead to the gearbox shaft? Looking a the video from underneath the splashpan, I could see the set screw sticking quite a ways out from the coupler. Normally set screws don't stick out very far if at all. Also, check if the wheelhead is loose on the shaft by grabbing it and see if it can be rocked at all or twisted (spun) on the shaft.

Dan

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Daniel,

 

hmm no I have not checked the set screws that lock it down to the wheelhead - where are those exactly? I don't have an owners manuel for the wheel and all the ones I can find online are for other wheels so I am still trying to figure out the names of everything.

 

The wheelhead can be spun all the way around on the shaft when it is turned off

 

It doen't rock up and down

 

 

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Nevermind - After further review the wheelehead and the coupler and shaft all go up and down a little bit from the motor when pulled on. It took two people to figure that out - I wasn't seeing it when I was pulling on it.

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a gear-driven/direct drive wheel shouldn't really have any vibrations like this since there really isn't any parts to do so. i'm not really familiar with the AMACO wheel, but looking at some pics it seems like the motor/gearbox/wheelhead are all connected as one assembly, and that the top can be removed from the base for portability. looks like the motor assembly only connects to the "subframe" via 4 bolts on the motor plate - i cannot see how the gearbox is mounted to that dome-shaped piece underneath, or if it's just resting on top of it. with this said, i would first check to make sure the motor is well secured to the subframe, and that the subframe is well secured to the base - it could be possible that some loose connection will allow the vibration to happen.

 

as for the set screw for the wheel head - in the video it looks backed out a bit, but if you look closer the set screw lines up perfect with the flat spot on the shaft right below -- so it should be in place and not misaligned. a little bit of vertical motion from the drive shaft (when pulling on wheel head) should be normal up to a certain distance (maybe up to 1/8"???)

 

since it's a gear-driven wheel, when is the last time the oil level was inspected? i could imagine that low oil might cause vibrations.

 

lastly, have you called AMACO and asked to speak to one of the techs regarding these issues?

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a gear-driven/direct drive wheel shouldn't really have any vibrations like this since there really isn't any parts to do so. i'm not really familiar with the AMACO wheel, but looking at some pics it seems like the motor/gearbox/wheelhead are all connected as one assembly, and that the top can be removed from the base for portability. looks like the motor assembly only connects to the "subframe" via 4 bolts on the motor plate - i cannot see how the gearbox is mounted to that dome-shaped piece underneath, or if it's just resting on top of it. with this said, i would first check to make sure the motor is well secured to the subframe, and that the subframe is well secured to the base - it could be possible that some loose connection will allow the vibration to happen.

 

as for the set screw for the wheel head - in the video it looks backed out a bit, but if you look closer the set screw lines up perfect with the flat spot on the shaft right below -- so it should be in place and not misaligned. a little bit of vertical motion from the drive shaft (when pulling on wheel head) should be normal up to a certain distance (maybe up to 1/8"???)

 

since it's a gear-driven wheel, when is the last time the oil level was inspected? i could imagine that low oil might cause vibrations.

 

lastly, have you called AMACO and asked to speak to one of the techs regarding these issues?

 

 

I used to have this type of wheel in the school studio. Ours was pretty smooth, but much slower. I believe your problem is in the coupling and differential set up. However, just for certainty you might make certain all of the motor mounting bolts are tightened. We had some problems with this wheel when some clay got into the coupling as it is open. It caused it to be out of balance and did vibrate, but cleaning cleared that up. Ours was a two speed, and mostly got used as a power banding wheel and then I sent it down to JRHS when we replaced it. Good luck, a decent mechanic could probably figure it out.

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 I cannot center on a brent wheel i have, I think it is the wheel and not me since I am taking a class and can center on their wheels with no issue whatsoever, 

 

I have two brent wheels that I am having this issue with. 

One is  brent ie which I bought brand new.. the whole thing shakes the legs rattle. 

the other wheel is a brent b i bought used and the wheel is spinning off, 

 

i do not know what to do to fix this

 

any help is appreciated

 

thank you !! 

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 However, just for certainty you might make certain all of the motor mounting bolts are tightened. We had some problems with this wheel when some clay got into the coupling as it is open. It caused it to be out of balance and did vibrate, but cleaning cleared that up. Ours was a two speed, and mostly got used as a power banding wheel and then I sent it down to JRHS when we replaced it. Good luck, a decent mechanic could probably figure it out.

 

 

Agreed, as a former ASE Master Tech that's a motor speed vibration so you need to be looking on that end. The wheel head or shaft may have gotten bent by someone lifting the wheel from it but that's not causing the problem. Something is loose, worn or jammed in the motor drive end side or gearbox. Try tightening the motor and gear box mounting bolts first but don't over do it.

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Make sure there isn't a lump of clay underneath the wheel head. Taking off the wheel head and cleaning the underside is a very good starting place for problems with vibrations. If that doesn't work, dig deeper and take take other things apart, clean them, and put it back together. Congratulations, you are now an engineer :-)

 

Just to check: the wheel is on a firm and level surface. The wheel surface is also level. There is a level on phones (on an iPhone it is part of the compass app). Check all the bolts and screws to make sure they are firm. Use blue Locktight on any that rattle out with time.

 

If those two parts haven't solved the problem something has gotten worn or damaged and needs replacing.

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This is weird. The only reason one wouldn't be able to actually center a piece is because the wheel head was spinning in an ellipse instead of a in a perfect circle, or the wheel head was bent and doesn't spin flat.

The video doesn't suggest either and it doesn't sound bad, but my guess as was said before, the wheel head/shaft is bent from it either being dropped or someone torqueing on the wheel head when lifting/moving.

It's got to be that or the shaft bearings in the motor.

Try having someone hold the wheel steady and then pull the wheel head sie to side and see if there's play, rocking of the shaft .

To check the rotation (roundness) turn the wheel on and put a pencil  at the edge to check run-out.

There will be some slight run-out but very little.

 

If it where me and the thing isn't working for you Krista, toss it or sell it and find a new/used wheel that suits you better.

No use in trying to deal with repairing it if it needs major work.

Life is too short.

BTW, I use a beater Brent model C that creaks and groans and it still works fine (for now)...

 

Anyhow, hope that helps.

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Nevermind - After further review the wheelehead and the coupler and shaft all go up and down a little bit from the motor when pulled on. It took two people to figure that out - I wasn't seeing it when I was pulling on it.

 

....so....the wheel head was loose, that right.

That would explain alot. ;)

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