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North Star Portable 18 inch Portaroller Slabroller


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#21 Pugaboo

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Posted 18 May 2013 - 05:17 PM

come a long way from your original question haven't you? that i why the forums are so good. other people have ideas you can consider before making a decision. but 30 inch??? overkill, maybe.


if this is what you really, really want, please ask your handy husband to make the table bigger than what is shown on the clay king website. at least at one end so you will have working room after the slab is produced. find out how to remove the huge wheel handle so you can get at the slab to work without hitting your elbows. it is very handy to have flat work space right there so you don't have to lift the slab to another working surface. my northstar is fitted with a set screw and i just slide the wheel onto the shaft without tightening the screw when i want to roll a slab. (my Bailey is the same.) otherwise the wheel is stored standing on the floor at the end of the table since the tabletop is in almost constant use.

don't bother with a box to cover the working part, a clean heavy cloth will save your lifting muscles and the working parts.

the picture shows the smallest table i have ever seen and the most industrial looking heavy duty rolling gizmo. who makes it? why haven't i heard of it????

it is easy to drill the metal legs to support shelves. i put one about 15 inches from the floor. to hold plaster forms. then i put a smaller piece of plywood with wheels and a rope handle on the floor to hold boxes of clay. it rolls out when needed but is out of the way. every inch counts in a small studio.

the manufacturer's name is not shown. who is it?

good luck and make lots of things.


The Clay King Slabmaster is made by Friendly Corporation, same as Shimpo rollers and Axners rolling Thunder. The studio I belong to has the Shimpo version which looks a lot like the Slabmaster and I have used it and like it. I'll take into consideration a longer working surface. He suggested the cover so I wouldn't have to worry about hitting the rollers and maybe that I could use the cover as a shelf to hold whatever tools I needed while using the table. The shelves are a must and kind of planned to measure whatever space I had on the table Slabroller I get and install what ever configuration would work. I LIKE your idea of clay on a rolling platform makes much more sense than hefty those blocks around.

My main work surface is a worktable I got a SAMs it's tall enough I can stand to work or use the tall rolling stool I have. I think its 5 feet long and super heavy duty with steel legs and a butcher block top and can take a beating so seems to be working out. Unfortunately the top is sealed under varnish so clay seems to like to stick to it and I have thought about getting out the sander and attacking it but for now a piece of canvas seems to be working. I want to get a piece of that board from a Home Depot next time I head that way but haven't made the hour plus trip out that way recently. I even added a shelf under it, with the bonus of its at a good height for me to put a foot if I want. I keep all my plywood and drywall ware boards standing on the shelf and for now clay, my rolling pin and slats on the other side. If I make the rolling platform like you have for my clay I might add a couple more shelves on one side and keep additional supplies there. I even made a small shelf for the end out of 1x4s with each shelf being tall enough to hold pints of underglaze and glaze it ain't pretty but the shelves are level and I used zip ties to attach it to the table legs so it doesn't fall over. Kind of maximizing my one work surface. I would REALLY like to find another table to have dedicated for glazing but not sure where I would put it, might have to get rid of my easel lol. You have no idea how shocking that idea is to me as a painter; my friends would be convinced i was an alien if they even heard that I would consider sticking my easel in the closet.

I also need to figure out someplace to put some shelves to dry ware on, currently I am using a repurposed drying cabinet from my darkroom days to store pieces under construction as well as slowly dry finished pieces. I bought some of that plastic grid made for light covers and use that as the shelf so the pieces don't fall through the widely spaced wire shelves that came with the cabinet. But I can see quickly outgrowing the cabinet as I get stuff made. Just have to decide if I should get one of those rolling wire shelf units from SAMs so I could move it around as needed or just cut up some of the scrap plywood in the garage and screw them to the walls. Will have to think that through some more.

So yes I know and understand multi purpose work spaces and the suggestions you made will be remembered and taken into account as I try and get set up so I can work without moving stuff around every time I want to work on a different piece.
The world is but a canvas to the imagination - Henry David Thoreau

#22 oldlady

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 10:12 AM

thank you for understanding that while i may seem like an interfering female animal i am just trying to help. it has taken 3 years of 4 months at a time visits to get my 10x16 studio in florida the way i want it. well,.............the way i want it now, who knows what i might think up next season.

i also live miles from anything but i enjoy driving and never thought about the fact that other folks might not share that thought. again thanks for understanding and answering the way you have. i love the pictures you have posted. envy you that painting skill.
"putting you down does not raise me up."

#23 Pugaboo

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 05:25 PM

Oldlady- I don't think you are interfering at all I did ask for advice after all so I appreciate it. I used to live in Florida, and don't get me wrong it's a nice place but I am very glad to be in the mountains! I don't do beaches I get burned just thinking about sandy sunny locales. I've only been here in Georgia a little over a year now so am still trying to get the studio the way I want it, not even counting the fact that I've added a new art form to the mix. I was in the same location for 23 years before moving and had everything just perfect in my studio so it's kind of overwhelming and I keep thinking I need such and such and head off in the wrong direction only to realize the shelf I was heading for is now on the opposite wall. On a good note I think I have found all my art supplies! On a bad note I still have 50 boxes of books to go through.

The furthest I have been from home since we moved here is 2 hours one way and that was to visit the Olympic Kilns factory. Really enjoyed trying out each of the kilns to see which would work for me and getting to see them made and all was cool as well. My husband is not well and needs constant care so I also have to plan any outings to coincide with good days for him. Hence my rather long and constantly evolving Home Depot list lol. I live in a small mountain town on a one lane gravel road and its the best place in the world to live. I feel like I am living in paradise and have deer, bear, ground hogs, coyotes, rabbits, fish and more birds than I can name all visiting me on a regular basis. I want to start some small sculptures of animals shortly to see if I can capture the joy I feel when I see them strolling or in the fishes case swimming past my house.

I appreciate your in put it makes me look and consider stuff I might not have done otherwise so keep up the good work!

Terry
The world is but a canvas to the imagination - Henry David Thoreau

#24 justanassembler

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 05:32 PM


come a long way from your original question haven't you? that i why the forums are so good. other people have ideas you can consider before making a decision. but 30 inch??? overkill, maybe.


if this is what you really, really want, please ask your handy husband to make the table bigger than what is shown on the clay king website. at least at one end so you will have working room after the slab is produced. find out how to remove the huge wheel handle so you can get at the slab to work without hitting your elbows. it is very handy to have flat work space right there so you don't have to lift the slab to another working surface. my northstar is fitted with a set screw and i just slide the wheel onto the shaft without tightening the screw when i want to roll a slab. (my Bailey is the same.) otherwise the wheel is stored standing on the floor at the end of the table since the tabletop is in almost constant use.

don't bother with a box to cover the working part, a clean heavy cloth will save your lifting muscles and the working parts.

the picture shows the smallest table i have ever seen and the most industrial looking heavy duty rolling gizmo. who makes it? why haven't i heard of it????

it is easy to drill the metal legs to support shelves. i put one about 15 inches from the floor. to hold plaster forms. then i put a smaller piece of plywood with wheels and a rope handle on the floor to hold boxes of clay. it rolls out when needed but is out of the way. every inch counts in a small studio.

the manufacturer's name is not shown. who is it?

good luck and make lots of things.


The Clay King Slabmaster is made by Friendly Corporation, same as Shimpo rollers and Axners rolling Thunder. The studio I belong to has the Shimpo version which looks a lot like the Slabmaster and I have used it and like it. I'll take into consideration a longer working surface. He suggested the cover so I wouldn't have to worry about hitting the rollers and maybe that I could use the cover as a shelf to hold whatever tools I needed while using the table. The shelves are a must and kind of planned to measure whatever space I had on the table Slabroller I get and install what ever configuration would work. I LIKE your idea of clay on a rolling platform makes much more sense than hefty those blocks around.

My main work surface is a worktable I got a SAMs it's tall enough I can stand to work or use the tall rolling stool I have. I think its 5 feet long and super heavy duty with steel legs and a butcher block top and can take a beating so seems to be working out. Unfortunately the top is sealed under varnish so clay seems to like to stick to it and I have thought about getting out the sander and attacking it but for now a piece of canvas seems to be working. I want to get a piece of that board from a Home Depot next time I head that way but haven't made the hour plus trip out that way recently. I even added a shelf under it, with the bonus of its at a good height for me to put a foot if I want. I keep all my plywood and drywall ware boards standing on the shelf and for now clay, my rolling pin and slats on the other side. If I make the rolling platform like you have for my clay I might add a couple more shelves on one side and keep additional supplies there. I even made a small shelf for the end out of 1x4s with each shelf being tall enough to hold pints of underglaze and glaze it ain't pretty but the shelves are level and I used zip ties to attach it to the table legs so it doesn't fall over. Kind of maximizing my one work surface. I would REALLY like to find another table to have dedicated for glazing but not sure where I would put it, might have to get rid of my easel lol. You have no idea how shocking that idea is to me as a painter; my friends would be convinced i was an alien if they even heard that I would consider sticking my easel in the closet.

I also need to figure out someplace to put some shelves to dry ware on, currently I am using a repurposed drying cabinet from my darkroom days to store pieces under construction as well as slowly dry finished pieces. I bought some of that plastic grid made for light covers and use that as the shelf so the pieces don't fall through the widely spaced wire shelves that came with the cabinet. But I can see quickly outgrowing the cabinet as I get stuff made. Just have to decide if I should get one of those rolling wire shelf units from SAMs so I could move it around as needed or just cut up some of the scrap plywood in the garage and screw them to the walls. Will have to think that through some more.

So yes I know and understand multi purpose work spaces and the suggestions you made will be remembered and taken into account as I try and get set up so I can work without moving stuff around every time I want to work on a different piece.


The exterior castings are all manufactured by friendly, however the gearing, lead screws, and other mechanical components in the clay king, northstar, and shimpo are all different. The northstars and clay king's I have seen all use all thread for their lead screws while the shimpo uses a proper acme threaded rod, and also the castings of the gears seemed to be of better quality--but its been a while since I've looked at them, so this may have changed.

#25 Jo-Ann

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 05:54 PM

I have a bailey table top slab roller, it came with everything (the canvas and cardboard folders to roll the clay in and some wood planks to adjust thickness ) I don't use it as often as I do my wheel but am grateful for it when the mood hits and I want a slab quick. The only issue I had was it moved around on the table while I tried to roll which made it difficult so I ended up clamping it down, I'm sure if I asked someone who is handier than me they could figure out a way to screw it to the table which I think would be the best solution but for my needs its fine. If you have some money and do slab work I don't think you'd regret getting it.

#26 Pres

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 07:12 PM


come a long way from your original question haven't you? that i why the forums are so good. other people have ideas you can consider before making a decision. but 30 inch??? overkill, maybe.


if this is what you really, really want, please ask your handy husband to make the table bigger than what is shown on the clay king website. at least at one end so you will have working room after the slab is produced. find out how to remove the huge wheel handle so you can get at the slab to work without hitting your elbows. it is very handy to have flat work space right there so you don't have to lift the slab to another working surface. my northstar is fitted with a set screw and i just slide the wheel onto the shaft without tightening the screw when i want to roll a slab. (my Bailey is the same.) otherwise the wheel is stored standing on the floor at the end of the table since the tabletop is in almost constant use.

don't bother with a box to cover the working part, a clean heavy cloth will save your lifting muscles and the working parts.

the picture shows the smallest table i have ever seen and the most industrial looking heavy duty rolling gizmo. who makes it? why haven't i heard of it????

it is easy to drill the metal legs to support shelves. i put one about 15 inches from the floor. to hold plaster forms. then i put a smaller piece of plywood with wheels and a rope handle on the floor to hold boxes of clay. it rolls out when needed but is out of the way. every inch counts in a small studio.

the manufacturer's name is not shown. who is it?

good luck and make lots of things.


The Clay King Slabmaster is made by Friendly Corporation, same as Shimpo rollers and Axners rolling Thunder. The studio I belong to has the Shimpo version which looks a lot like the Slabmaster and I have used it and like it. I'll take into consideration a longer working surface. He suggested the cover so I wouldn't have to worry about hitting the rollers and maybe that I could use the cover as a shelf to hold whatever tools I needed while using the table. The shelves are a must and kind of planned to measure whatever space I had on the table Slabroller I get and install what ever configuration would work. I LIKE your idea of clay on a rolling platform makes much more sense than hefty those blocks around.

My main work surface is a worktable I got a SAMs it's tall enough I can stand to work or use the tall rolling stool I have. I think its 5 feet long and super heavy duty with steel legs and a butcher block top and can take a beating so seems to be working out. Unfortunately the top is sealed under varnish so clay seems to like to stick to it and I have thought about getting out the sander and attacking it but for now a piece of canvas seems to be working. I want to get a piece of that board from a Home Depot next time I head that way but haven't made the hour plus trip out that way recently. I even added a shelf under it, with the bonus of its at a good height for me to put a foot if I want. I keep all my plywood and drywall ware boards standing on the shelf and for now clay, my rolling pin and slats on the other side. If I make the rolling platform like you have for my clay I might add a couple more shelves on one side and keep additional supplies there. I even made a small shelf for the end out of 1x4s with each shelf being tall enough to hold pints of underglaze and glaze it ain't pretty but the shelves are level and I used zip ties to attach it to the table legs so it doesn't fall over. Kind of maximizing my one work surface. I would REALLY like to find another table to have dedicated for glazing but not sure where I would put it, might have to get rid of my easel lol. You have no idea how shocking that idea is to me as a painter; my friends would be convinced i was an alien if they even heard that I would consider sticking my easel in the closet.

I also need to figure out someplace to put some shelves to dry ware on, currently I am using a repurposed drying cabinet from my darkroom days to store pieces under construction as well as slowly dry finished pieces. I bought some of that plastic grid made for light covers and use that as the shelf so the pieces don't fall through the widely spaced wire shelves that came with the cabinet. But I can see quickly outgrowing the cabinet as I get stuff made. Just have to decide if I should get one of those rolling wire shelf units from SAMs so I could move it around as needed or just cut up some of the scrap plywood in the garage and screw them to the walls. Will have to think that through some more.

So yes I know and understand multi purpose work spaces and the suggestions you made will be remembered and taken into account as I try and get set up so I can work without moving stuff around every time I want to work on a different piece.


My main work surface is a worktable I got a SAMs it's tall enough I can stand to work or use the tall rolling stool I have. I think its 5 feet long and super heavy duty with steel legs and a butcher block top and can take a beating so seems to be working out.
Several years ago when I was adding furniture to the HS glazing room I purchased a couple of these tables. They worked really well for the glaze room as they were narrow, and had a durable/cleanable surface. I purchased the rolling cabinet with top for my home studio which even though large has great storage. Gotta love some of the stuff at SAMs at their prices.

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


#27 Nelly

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 08:09 PM



come a long way from your original question haven't you? that i why the forums are so good. other people have ideas you can consider before making a decision. but 30 inch??? overkill, maybe.


if this is what you really, really want, please ask your handy husband to make the table bigger than what is shown on the clay king website. at least at one end so you will have working room after the slab is produced. find out how to remove the huge wheel handle so you can get at the slab to work without hitting your elbows. it is very handy to have flat work space right there so you don't have to lift the slab to another working surface. my northstar is fitted with a set screw and i just slide the wheel onto the shaft without tightening the screw when i want to roll a slab. (my Bailey is the same.) otherwise the wheel is stored standing on the floor at the end of the table since the tabletop is in almost constant use.

don't bother with a box to cover the working part, a clean heavy cloth will save your lifting muscles and the working parts.

the picture shows the smallest table i have ever seen and the most industrial looking heavy duty rolling gizmo. who makes it? why haven't i heard of it????

it is easy to drill the metal legs to support shelves. i put one about 15 inches from the floor. to hold plaster forms. then i put a smaller piece of plywood with wheels and a rope handle on the floor to hold boxes of clay. it rolls out when needed but is out of the way. every inch counts in a small studio.

the manufacturer's name is not shown. who is it?

good luck and make lots of things.


The Clay King Slabmaster is made by Friendly Corporation, same as Shimpo rollers and Axners rolling Thunder. The studio I belong to has the Shimpo version which looks a lot like the Slabmaster and I have used it and like it. I'll take into consideration a longer working surface. He suggested the cover so I wouldn't have to worry about hitting the rollers and maybe that I could use the cover as a shelf to hold whatever tools I needed while using the table. The shelves are a must and kind of planned to measure whatever space I had on the table Slabroller I get and install what ever configuration would work. I LIKE your idea of clay on a rolling platform makes much more sense than hefty those blocks around.

My main work surface is a worktable I got a SAMs it's tall enough I can stand to work or use the tall rolling stool I have. I think its 5 feet long and super heavy duty with steel legs and a butcher block top and can take a beating so seems to be working out. Unfortunately the top is sealed under varnish so clay seems to like to stick to it and I have thought about getting out the sander and attacking it but for now a piece of canvas seems to be working. I want to get a piece of that board from a Home Depot next time I head that way but haven't made the hour plus trip out that way recently. I even added a shelf under it, with the bonus of its at a good height for me to put a foot if I want. I keep all my plywood and drywall ware boards standing on the shelf and for now clay, my rolling pin and slats on the other side. If I make the rolling platform like you have for my clay I might add a couple more shelves on one side and keep additional supplies there. I even made a small shelf for the end out of 1x4s with each shelf being tall enough to hold pints of underglaze and glaze it ain't pretty but the shelves are level and I used zip ties to attach it to the table legs so it doesn't fall over. Kind of maximizing my one work surface. I would REALLY like to find another table to have dedicated for glazing but not sure where I would put it, might have to get rid of my easel lol. You have no idea how shocking that idea is to me as a painter; my friends would be convinced i was an alien if they even heard that I would consider sticking my easel in the closet.

I also need to figure out someplace to put some shelves to dry ware on, currently I am using a repurposed drying cabinet from my darkroom days to store pieces under construction as well as slowly dry finished pieces. I bought some of that plastic grid made for light covers and use that as the shelf so the pieces don't fall through the widely spaced wire shelves that came with the cabinet. But I can see quickly outgrowing the cabinet as I get stuff made. Just have to decide if I should get one of those rolling wire shelf units from SAMs so I could move it around as needed or just cut up some of the scrap plywood in the garage and screw them to the walls. Will have to think that through some more.

So yes I know and understand multi purpose work spaces and the suggestions you made will be remembered and taken into account as I try and get set up so I can work without moving stuff around every time I want to work on a different piece.


My main work surface is a worktable I got a SAMs it's tall enough I can stand to work or use the tall rolling stool I have. I think its 5 feet long and super heavy duty with steel legs and a butcher block top and can take a beating so seems to be working out.
Several years ago when I was adding furniture to the HS glazing room I purchased a couple of these tables. They worked really well for the glaze room as they were narrow, and had a durable/cleanable surface. I purchased the rolling cabinet with top for my home studio which even though large has great storage. Gotta love some of the stuff at SAMs at their prices.


Dear All,

I have a slab roller. I think mine is the 18 inch one with legs. It uses shims to guage the thickness of the clay. If, IF I had to do it again, I would wait and buy the Bailey. It is cumbersome to use the shims and you only really get 4 or 5 choices for thickness. I have a friend who comes over who looks at it and all he can think about is making perogies with my slab roller.

Please know this is just my opinion. I know many potters who use the small one and get along just fine. I think for me, the sturdiness of a bigger model is what I am after. This one I have does have some limitations. But alas, I do have one and that is what counts for me.

Nelly

#28 Mark C.

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 08:34 PM

Nelly said (I would wait and buy the Bailey)
I could not agree more
I know of no opne who has regtreted a baily-resale value is always good as well.
Northstars used to have plastic gears in the cheaper ones-I think they corrected that but they lost me as a believer .
I waited and also got a Bailey. Sometimes you get what you pay for. Never looked back.
Mark
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#29 Denice

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 08:42 PM

Have you looked at potterbarter, people sell or trade used equipment, sometimes they have inherited it and others have just quit working in clay. I think you can get to it http://groups.yahoo.com/potterbarter/ you have to sign up and they send you e-mails when something comes up for sale. I almost bought a extruder but someone came in and bought the whole studio. Denice

#30 Pugaboo

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 05:35 PM

My SlabMaster solar roller arrived today. Super fast I only ordered it 2 days ago! Sigh alas it must wait until the morning since it arrived in FIVE boxes. I need to read the instructions and start on assembling it when I am fresh. I can hardly wait it kinda feels like Christmas!

Wish me luck and I'll post pics when I get it up and working.

Terry
The world is but a canvas to the imagination - Henry David Thoreau

#31 annekat

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 07:32 PM

My SlabMaster solar roller arrived today. Super fast I only ordered it 2 days ago! Sigh alas it must wait until the morning since it arrived in FIVE boxes. I need to read the instructions and start on assembling it when I am fresh. I can hardly wait it kinda feels like Christmas!

Wish me luck and I'll post pics when I get it up and working.

Terry


Congrats and good luck! I'm sure you will enjoy it. I bought an old Northstar (with legs) from a friend for a good price about a year ago and haven't even used it yet. But then i am primarily a wheel person and must produce a steady stream of that work for sale. But all this talk of slab rollers has me excited to try some simple, salable items made from slabs. I'm sure my old Northstar will have its idiosyncracies, but I've used one like it before and will be able to deal with it and have fun. Let us know how it goes with the Slabmaster!



Anne




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