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Choosing Between 2 Pottery Wheels; Yeah Another One Of Those Topics

Thomas Stuart Skutt Bailey

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#1 Pugaboo

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 06:43 PM

Okay I wasn't going to pester everyone with this question but I would really like to hear from someone that has either of these pottery wheels.

My husband has informed me he is going to get me a pottery wheel for Christmas. He looked at me when he made this statement as if I already had a model picked out waiting to ship. LOL I have checked around locally and have not found anywhere that I can test drive either model chosen. Oh and yes I have done searches and read through all the subjects here on the forum that cover wheels.

I have gotten the list down from about a dozen different wheels to the final 2:

The Bailey Pro-XL
http://www.baileypot.../pro-series.htm

The Thomas Stuart Stevin Hill Signature Wheel
http://www.skuttwhee.../signature.html

Does anyone out there have either of these wheels? If so would you mind telling me you like and dislike about them?

My reasons for picking these 2 models:
They both have leg extensions so I can work standing up. How hard are they to adjust? Can I easily working sitting one and a standing the next? Have a bad back need the flexibility of doing both.

Both have reversing switches. I am left handed and would really like the option of working in either direction.

I like the integrated splash pan. Sorry to those of you that hate splash pans! I don't want the hassles of a possibly leaking pan nor can I because of my back carry heavy pans around to empty so even if the pan was removable I wouldn't be removing it a whole heck of a lot. I also don't want the mess of working with no pan whatsoever.

Want a motor big enough to never have to upgrade to a stronger wheel. I know this level of motor is more than I need but the price difference between this level and the next one down is not very much so might just as well get this level.

On the forum everybody seems to like both of these companies. It says a lot when working potters say they like or use a particular brand or model.

Now I know the Bailey is much cheaper than the Thomas Stuart so is it worth going that extra stretch to get the TS? If I get the TS I would have to cut back on the extras I would be able to get like the ST-1 potters stool, bats, shelves, etc.

Again thank you all so much for your input!

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

#2 Benzine

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 08:04 PM

I can't speak from personal experience, but I've heard nothing bad about the Thomas Stuart wheels (Other than the fact it has a built in splash pan).


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#3 neilestrick

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 09:43 PM

I own 11 Thomas Stuart wheels, and I love them. Don't waste your money on the Steven Hill model. Double check, but should be able to get extension legs for any of the models. You used to be able to, anyway. And the SSX drive isn't necessary. It's nice, but not necessary. Of course, if you've got the cash, go for it!


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#4 Pres

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Posted 06 November 2013 - 12:00 AM

When I was adding wheels to the HS studio, I looked for wheels I could afford one at a time. I purchased the Pro XL first, but after a year of use found that it was hard to clean well in a very short time, and the splash pan was just too big and a nuisance-for me and my students.  Next round we purchased the ST-XL. This wheel had a removable pan, and would throw well. Was the power needed? NO, but in the long run it held up very well for classes and we added 3 more for a total of 6 wheels with the two older CI's(MP, HP). I always demoed on the HP, but liked the Baileys a lot. In the end the Pro XL ended up being a fav for trimming, because it would catch much of the trimmings espesically with a couple of pieces of heavy cardboard stuck in the pan.  Hope this helps a bit.


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#5 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 06 November 2013 - 07:32 AM

you need to get the wheel that fits your body and your throwing needs. As Neil says, extender legs are probably available for all the models. Call the manufacturer and ask them.
An overpowered wheel may not be a good thing. It depends on what you are throwing and the speed you prefer. Splash pans could make or break your selection. If possible find a place where you could sit at one and see how it feels, sounds, etc.With back problems selecting the right stool will also become important.




Marcia

#6 neilestrick

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Posted 06 November 2013 - 10:10 AM

I have TS wheels with both built in and removable splash pans. I personally prefer the built in, because they are very heavy, very solid wheels. The removable pan models are still very heavy, but I have never liked the feel of a plastic splash pan on any brand of wheel. They're just not rigid enough. As for cleaning, I can clean the built in just as fast as the removable. But with my personal wheel I never really get it 'clean'. I just scoop out the trimmings and carry on.

 

The majority of the wheels I have are the 1/3 hp models, with a couple of the 1/2 hp. I can't tell the difference between them. I do 45 pound planters and 25 pound platters on the 1/3 hp with no problem.


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#7 JBaymore

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Posted 06 November 2013 - 11:09 AM

Won't speak to the wheel question.... Brent CXC man...... with no splash pan ;) ....... but above you mention a bad back,... and then you immediately express even THINKING about not getting the ST-1 Potters Stool !!!! 

 

Seems to me that is NOT an "optional" piece of equipment.  The ST-1 should be the FIRST purchase.... and then figure out which wheel you can afford.  Those seats can arrange the pelvis with a tilt that allows you to break at the hips, not in the lower back so much.  Makes a word of difference.  Been using one since the first year they made it..... and that was a long time ago.

 

And as I've said here before, I've seen MANY people shift to throwing standing up.... and move the injury zone from the back to the wrists, hips, knees, and/or ankles.  It is not as simple as just "standing up".  If you are going to go this route, research the "grand-daddy" of the "stand up and throw movement"....... the guy who started it all here in the USA .... John Glick. His system is the kind of effort that works.  And it is more than simply standing up.

 

Ergonomic use of the body has to be seriously looked at.  Just "standing up" will not make repetive stress injuries go away.

 

best,

 

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


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#8 Stephen

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Posted 06 November 2013 - 11:59 AM

We just bought a second Shimpo whisper and they are very quiet if that matters and have held up well. We have one with the Shimpo extension legs (extra $185 I think) and one normal height with stool. My wife is the thrower and she likes to rotate as that's good on her back. They do have removable splash pans but we have not had a leaking issues during the 6-7 years of using the first one nor the past year with the two. I do some of the cleaning and I certainly like being able to take the pans out and simply spray them off with a hose. One piece seems like it would turn a 10 minute wheel cleaning project into more of a hassle but I admit I have not used or cleaned a one piece one b4 so maybe not. 

 

Now we do clean them up every week or so of fairly heavy use of daily production. I do seem to remember a little leaking back in the beginning when the wheel didn't get cleaned for a long time once but I think it went weeks and finally just filled up with too much slip so the water had no place to go. It currently gets thrown on daily and cleaned every week or so with no signs of leaking.  



#9 Pugaboo

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Posted 06 November 2013 - 01:11 PM

Thank you everyone your input was helpful. I am going to go with the Bailey Pro-XL since I can also afford to get the St-1 stool. This will be a personal wheel with no one else using it so can fine tune it for my working style. I like Little loafers clay and tend to work in it exclusively so that will help in the day to day cleaning. I am hoping since the Bailey has a slot you open to shove trimmings out the side as well as a drain hole to put water through it will be easier to clean than the TS as well. I'll just put rolling buckets at these openings so I don't have to lift or move anything. I can get a trimming extension piece to put at the end of the pan if I find I need that. I spoke with the folks a Bailey and their tech recommended I start with the short leg extensions to work with the st-1 stool and if that doesn't work to switch up to the long extensions for standing. I know I need it raised a bit no matter what since the wheels at the center are not raised at all and are very uncomfortable for me, though it could have more to do with their little wooden stools! The wheels at the center have about the same horsepower as this model so am hoping there won't be much difference in how they spin. At the center they have 3 wheels, 1 with no pan (very messy), 1 with a small pan barely bigger than the wheel head ( kind of messy and don't like where the pan hits my arms so can't use it to relieve my back any) and 1 with a larger fixed pan like the Bailey and TS. I like that I can when needed rest my arms on it to not have to put all the pressure on my back. It's not a Bailey kind of looks like a really old Skutt model but can't read the name on the plate which is worn away. Gee I feel like goldy locks!

So thanks again now I just have to get it ordered and catch their free shipping.

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

#10 Mart

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Posted 07 November 2013 - 02:38 AM

Shimpo Whisper is very quiet but lacks power. Shimpo RK 3 E with 400W motor (aka VL-Whisper) is as quiet and has way more power. Awesome piece of equipment.

#11 Pres

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Posted 07 November 2013 - 12:03 PM

I think you will get many years out of the purchases. I finally opted for an ST-4 last year, and have found it excellent, even though not as comfy as the ST-1.  All in all, either is better than a wooden stool-those are a pain in lower extremeties. :wacko:


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#12 Stephen

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Posted 07 November 2013 - 03:14 PM

Shimpo Whisper is very quiet but lacks power. Shimpo RK 3 E with 400W motor (aka VL-Whisper) is as quiet and has way more power. Awesome piece of equipment.

Hi Mart,

 

Sorry about that, I was referring to the VL-whisper in my post but neglected to put the VL in.

 

The VL-Whisper and the RK both have 1/2 HP 400w motors and they claim they center 100lbs (never tried though) .

 

Are you talking about an older model?  



#13 Biglou13

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Posted 08 November 2013 - 04:19 PM

Its not a choice from the original post choices but...

I played on a vl whisper

It has spoiled me, ruined me, All electric wheels ive experienced pale in comparison.

It has precise feel, quiet, and powerful.

It has left me wanting
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#14 JBaymore

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Posted 08 November 2013 - 05:32 PM

We have a lot of VL-Whispers at the college (along with Brents).  When I am demoing larger work (25-50 pounds)... I find them underpowered also.  BUT.... the SILENCE in a classroom setting is GOLDEN.

 

best,

 

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


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#15 Pugaboo

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Posted 08 November 2013 - 06:46 PM

I placed my order for the Bailey yesterday afternoon, with oldlady holding my hand over the phone! Lol I can hardly wait for it to arrive now! I've been watching YouTube videos on centering and pulling cylinders like crazy hoping my technique will improve through osmosis. Cornered my teacher the other day and got some more instruction from him and spent some time at the group studio wheels.

I feel like hopping up and down and asking is it here yet?

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

#16 Benzine

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Posted 08 November 2013 - 08:23 PM

Congratulations on purchasing a wheel, and welcome to a life full of rewarding challenges.


"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#17 Pugaboo

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Posted 11 November 2013 - 10:27 PM

Just got the shipment notice for my wheel says it should arrive on the 14th... Yippee! Christmas do be coming early in Georgia!!!

Am busily finishing up glazing a bunch of stuff so I can move some stuff around the studio to make room for the wheel. I hope to put it right inside the door so I can leave the door open when I am working on it and have a nice breeze in the summer. It will also make it easy to roll the buckets out and clean stuff up. Just have to move a stack of canvases to another room and slide the slab roller down a couple feet and I should have room for it right where I want it.

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

#18 oldlady

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 06:42 PM

 HOORAY!  do not hurt yourself moving stuff around.  

 

just remember that you should unplug the wheel from the wall when  not in use.  JUST IN CASE OF AN ELECTRICAL STORM THAT WILL FRY YOUR ELECTRONICS.  it is a simple habit to pick up so start right away.  


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#19 Pugaboo

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 11:26 PM

Oldlady - Yes Mam! I promise to be careful AND to keep it unplugged when not in use.

I unplug everything when not in use in the studio I'm paranoid.... Except the kiln of course but it has a special switch I throw to turn off power at the wall.

1 day and counting....

T
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#20 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 01:02 AM

Congratulations! I love my Bailey and it has served me well. I don't find them noisy. I think they are fairly quiet. I work is silence usually and the simple little hum is rather comforting.Never had any problems in 15 years with my Bailey.

Marcia





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