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Stools for the wheels AND using wheels in a stand up position


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#1 MichaelP

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 12:53 PM

What are your preferences for stools for working on the wheels? Any particular design, brand and model you like? What height of the wheel and the stool surfaces do you find more comfortable (I'll need to know how tall you're too, of course)?

For those who prefer working in a standing position. Do you do it only to protect your back? Is it because you tried many stools and couldn't find any that were safe for your back? How high the surface of your wheel is (relative to the floor and your body parts)?

Thank you.

Mike

#2 Wyndham

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 01:32 PM

I have been a potter for over 25 years most of which I turn standing at the wheel. My height is not as important as the relationship of wheel head to my hands.
Smaller vessels like coffee mugs and a bit taller, my hands are resting on the wheel head at right angles or a bit lower and the wheel head is just below belt buckle level.
Taller vases need more leverage so I lower the wheel(Brent c) several inches or more.
Larger pieces I may make in several sections so each is easy to work with.
I use 3 cement blocks on their side to elevate the wheel and add wooden blocks cut from 2x4's or 1x4's to add additional height as needed.

I never could find a comfortable stool or chair to sit & turn with, Once I started standing to turn, I never tried to sit and turn again.

I started pottery in my 40's so I never became a true production potter, 50 lb in a day is a good days production for me.

I think standing has eased back issues as well.
hope this helps
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#3 Nancy S.

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 02:01 PM

I'm kind of tall - 5'10" - and I have the first one on this page: http://www.bigcerami...airs/stools.htm --I highly recommend it!

I'm just a hobby potter, but I sprung the extra cash for this stool - and I'm really glad I did. It's surprisingly comfortable - not too firm, not too soft - and I also have issues with my lower back but this little chair doesn't aggravate it like a plain stool would. It's adjustable height, and has no casters, so it doesn't move around while I'm centering.

#4 Natania Hume

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 06:47 PM

I stand up at my wheel. I tried it after taking a workshop with someone who did, and just found it much more comfortable. My back was never an issue, but after a few hours sitting down throwing, my hips joints were sore and I felt like one could practically hear the creaking as I unbent myself getting up! I find it is very handy also to be able to move around the studio without getting up and down constantly, and much better for demonstrating to students. The wheel head is just above hip level I'd say.

#5 Diane Puckett

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 06:53 PM

I am 5'7". My wheel has two bricks under each leg. My stool has a thick pad on the seat. More important, it has a lever-controlled hydraulic seat which allows me to easily change the height. For tall pots I just raise the seat height as the pot gets taller. I cannot find one like it online, so I wonder if they are still available. There are plenty with wheels, but I don't think that would work for me.
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Dry Ridge Pottery

#6 Gabe73

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 10:41 PM

Hi. I bought a Speedbal ST5 stool. It is comfortable, stable and i can raise it or lower it with one hand hille sitting on it so that i can change my position while working. This is a big plus for me. Worth the money!

#7 eoteceramics

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 04:33 AM

Hi, speaking of stand up wheels, one has recently come up for sale near me and I don't know weather to go for it since I've only ever used a electric sit down one. This one is a kick wheel. Any advice welcome , I've been looking for a wheel for ages and would prefer an electric sit down but might be waiting a long time.

#8 Stephen

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 09:46 AM

Hi, speaking of stand up wheels, one has recently come up for sale near me and I don't know weather to go for it since I've only ever used a electric sit down one. This one is a kick wheel. Any advice welcome , I've been looking for a wheel for ages and would prefer an electric sit down but might be waiting a long time.



Have you taken a look at the clay boss, it sells around the net new, delivered, for $550ish and works pretty well.

#9 Biglou13

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 10:40 AM

I sit on an apple box. (Goggle/wik for pics). Bot basically its a a 20 x 12x8 inch wooden box, It allows me to lean it like chair on 2 legs if I need some leverage. I have a but pad for it, which I sometimes use that puts me a few inches higher.

I m 6 foot tall wheel head is well belowwaist line.

The issue with protecting back is more of an ergonomic question. A quick rule is is your back in neutral position while at wheel. ( id you motivated add "active mid line") I'd say over 95% of people have bad posture while sitting at wheel. Even though wheel posture dictates you lean forward its important to maintain proper spinal alignment. Whithout getting technical .... Basically lower back curved in, mid out, neck in,
Here is one frequently missed cue.... shoulders back. It's much more complicated than that but hope you get the idea. At least it's not pottery specific problem I'd say 95% of people that sit for any period of time don't have proper posture, also. I could go on for days but do a posture check while your sitting every 15 minutes or so , correct and continue to work. Also look on line and or learn what good posture is. ( most don't ) if you want more active intervention let me know.

Another part of the issue is repetitive stree/motion. Again simplified version..... Break up your tasks. Instead of throwing 50 cups. Throw 10 glaze for 15 minutes, wedge, slab, clean..... Then throw 10 more....... Walk the dog then repeat.
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#10 MichaelP

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 11:28 AM

Very good info, everyone! Please keep it coming.

#11 neilestrick

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 11:31 AM

I use a standard wooden kitchen chair from target, with the back legs slightly raised to level out the seat. I like having a chair back to rest on when needed.
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#12 eoteceramics

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 04:32 AM


Hi, speaking of stand up wheels, one has recently come up for sale near me and I don't know weather to go for it since I've only ever used a electric sit down one. This one is a kick wheel. Any advice welcome , I've been looking for a wheel for ages and would prefer an electric sit down but might be waiting a long time.



Have you taken a look at the clay boss, it sells around the net new, delivered, for $550ish and works pretty well.



#13 eoteceramics

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 04:33 AM

Hi thanks no haven't heard of clay boss, I presume that in the U.S, not sure if they would deliver to Ireland.

btw, sorry to butt in on your thread, MichaelP !

#14 JBaymore

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 10:35 AM

I'd say over 95% of people have bad posture while sitting at wheel. Even though wheel posture dictates you lean forward its important to maintain proper spinal alignment. Whithout getting technical .... Basically lower back curved in, mid out, neck in,
Here is one frequently missed cue.... shoulders back. It's much more complicated than that but hope you get the idea. At least it's not pottery specific problem I'd say 95% of people that sit for any period of time don't have proper posture, also. I could go on for days but do a posture check while your sitting every 15 minutes or so , correct and continue to work. Also look on line and or learn what good posture is. ( most don't ) if you want more active intervention let me know.

Another part of the issue is repetitive stree/motion. Again simplified version..... Break up your tasks. Instead of throwing 50 cups. Throw 10 glaze for 15 minutes, wedge, slab, clean..... Then throw 10 more....... Walk the dog then repeat.


Good "dead-on" stuff there, Biglou... I've said the same myself here in many threads discussing this subject. I see people doing so many things that wioll tend to lead toward back, wrist, finger, knee, foot and other repetitive stress injuries it is amazing. (I have some formal background in sports education.)

I spend a lot of time in my classes teaching ergonomics as an integral part of throwing. It allows you to actually get the most out of your body without causing harm. People usually gfind when they use their bodies efficiently,.... it suddenly gets easier Posted Image .

Sometimes throwing standing up just shifte the eventual injury zone to the knees and feet and sometime to the wrists due to the changed angle of the hands relative to the forms on the wheel. If you are going to throw standing up... see John Glick's great information on HOW to do that correctly to perevent injuries.

And one key to good posture on the wheel is geting a seat that has a pelvic tilt built into it. By tilting the pelvis forward and ALSO breaking at the HIP not hte lower back, you can keep a much better level of curce in the spine..... and not load up the disks so much.

I use the Creative Industries saddle type stool. Modified the back brace a tad (changed the bend) for my own body to provide a bit more support. Works great. Worth every penny.

best,

......................john
John Baymore
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Professor of Ceramics; New Hampshire Insitute of Art

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#15 Pres

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 10:23 PM

I'd say over 95% of people have bad posture while sitting at wheel. Even though wheel posture dictates you lean forward its important to maintain proper spinal alignment. Whithout getting technical .... Basically lower back curved in, mid out, neck in,
Here is one frequently missed cue.... shoulders back. It's much more complicated than that but hope you get the idea. At least it's not pottery specific problem I'd say 95% of people that sit for any period of time don't have proper posture, also. I could go on for days but do a posture check while your sitting every 15 minutes or so , correct and continue to work. Also look on line and or learn what good posture is. ( most don't ) if you want more active intervention let me know.

Another part of the issue is repetitive stree/motion. Again simplified version..... Break up your tasks. Instead of throwing 50 cups. Throw 10 glaze for 15 minutes, wedge, slab, clean..... Then throw 10 more....... Walk the dog then repeat.


Good "dead-on" stuff there, Biglou... I've said the same myself here in many threads discussing this subject. I see people doing so many things that wioll tend to lead toward back, wrist, finger, knee, foot and other repetitive stress injuries it is amazing. (I have some formal background in sports education.)

I spend a lot of time in my classes teaching ergonomics as an integral part of throwing. It allows you to actually get the most out of your body without causing harm. People usually gfind when they use their bodies efficiently,.... it suddenly gets easier Posted Image .

Sometimes throwing standing up just shifte the eventual injury zone to the knees and feet and sometime to the wrists due to the changed angle of the hands relative to the forms on the wheel. If you are going to throw standing up... see John Glick's great information on HOW to do that correctly to perevent injuries.

And one key to good posture on the wheel is geting a seat that has a pelvic tilt built into it. By tilting the pelvis forward and ALSO breaking at the HIP not hte lower back, you can keep a much better level of curce in the spine..... and not load up the disks so much.

I use the Creative Industries saddle type stool. Modified the back brace a tad (changed the bend) for my own body to provide a bit more support. Works great. Worth every penny.

best,

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


I purchased a few of the CI stools way back, and they became an instant favorite with the throwers. I also purchase the flat round ones for other use. When we had to replace all of our stools in the room the two mentioned were purchased for the Ceramics studio. They have lasted many years. The ST 4 actually pushes you forward, and gives a slight amount of arch to the back that allows greater ergonomic pressure when centering. I really like working on it.

Simply retired teacher, not dead, living the dream. on and on and. . . . on. . . .                                                                                 http://picworkspottery.blogspot.com/


#16 MichaelP

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 11:39 PM

John, are you talking about ST-1 stool: http://www.bigcerami...irs/PSCIST1.gif ?

Pres, do you mean that ST-4 became an instant favorite? Like this one: http://www.bigcerami...irs/PSCISPS.jpg ? It doesn't have any tilt adjustment. Is it still OK or something like S-2 works better: http://www.clay-king.com/stools.htm?

#17 Mark C.

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 01:32 AM

I'm a production potter
I use a
Potter's Stool ST1

I've used this about 10 of my almost 40 years at the wheel for throwing only.
It has a slant feature and back support. Its not for everyone as you straddle it.
I get up every 10 minutes or so no matter what-usually more often to remove ware boards of thrown ware. This stool is easy to mount and dismount.
I trim on another wheel that has a modified office chair with back support on rolling wheels so I can move around a bit.
Mark
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#18 Pres

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 06:29 AM

John, are you talking about ST-1 stool: http://www.bigcerami...irs/PSCIST1.gif ?

Pres, do you mean that ST-4 became an instant favorite? Like this one: http://www.bigcerami...irs/PSCISPS.jpg ? It doesn't have any tilt adjustment. Is it still OK or something like S-2 works better: http://www.clay-king.com/stools.htm?


We used the ST-4. The seat slopes forward slightly and there is not tilt adjustment. It worked great for us. I have never seen the S-2 but that looks like it would work well also.

Simply retired teacher, not dead, living the dream. on and on and. . . . on. . . .                                                                                 http://picworkspottery.blogspot.com/


#19 JBaymore

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 07:49 AM

Yes the ST-1 is the one I use.... but an older model... blue and white. Apparently they have changed the design a bit from looking at the picture of that one. So I'd have to try it to say if it is as good as the old one is. But the CONCEPT is the same....... tilt the pelvis forward to maintain the curve in the lower spine. And rebalance the potter off the rear bony points of the posterior pelvic girdle and more onto a broader base of support.

Some old wooden frame kickwheels had this core concept built into them ages ago. The flat slat board that formed the seat was tilted forward.

best,

................john
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Professor of Ceramics; New Hampshire Insitute of Art

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#20 TJR

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 08:23 AM

I used a hardwood dining room chair for 26 years. It had a back and I put a piece of foam on the seat. I liked it because it was light enough to move back and forth. When I moved out of that studio, Harriet said; "Can I have my chair back?"
So now I sit at a low wooden chair[with a back] and I have placed several wooden bats on the seat to raise it up. Also a piece of foam rubber. I raised my Brent up by one brick on each leg. Works better. The seat is level with the wheel head. I get up for each ball of clay to stretch my back, also to carry ware boards.
I tried standing up, didn't like it.
TJR.




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