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adkspr

Best Time To Buy A Wheel?

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I am going to purchase my own wheel, and I just received an email that one of the places I've considered buying from is having a 20% off sale. I feel like i would be crazy to pass this sale up, but it never hurts to ask: Do wheels ever go on sale more than this? If so, from where and when?

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I would recommend doing a search on pottery supplies and then check several sources. They all discount under suggested retail and sometimes by a lot. I've seen hundreds of dollars difference on the same wheel and other studio pieces between the different suppliers.

 

I find bigceramicstore.com, shefield and clayking to be my go to's when shopping prices on larger buys.

 

Mind my asking what wheel are you going to get and how you decided on it?

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Stephen,

Thanks so much for your reply. I am going to purchase a Thomas Stuart Classic wheel. I threw on one all throughout college--it's the perfect height for my 6'2 self!

I found the wheel for the same price as Clay-King, so with the additional 20% off its a ridiculously affordable price.

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If you are happy, I would buy it. If it lasts 20 years then the cost per use is nothing at all! That is how I always look at shoes anyway. Spend £100 but use them for 4 years constantly and it is totally worth it

 

Is it just a larger wheel for your 6"2 self? What makes it better for a taller person? (just seen the extendable legs so I guess that probably answers my own question.)

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I never thought about comparing shoe wear to wheels. My Brent CXC just crapped out. The bearings are shot. I thought it would last me a life time. I bought it used in 1976. So that's 39 years. I thought it would last me at least 40 years.

I bought a used Brent B and have been using it since before Christmas. Why do things fall apart right before Christmas? If you can get as much use out of your Thomas Stuart as I have out of my Brent, you will be laughing. Shoes, now that's another story.

TJR.

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TJR

Well finally you wore something out on a Brent. If its the wheel head bearing thats and easy one if its a motor thats an easy one as well. Just talk to Bob at Amaco and have him send you a new one. He just sent me a fuze holder as one was cracked.

I just bought a spare model B motor -control box and foot pedal thru e-bay as back up parts. They all work and are wired as one-just removed from wheel. I have had to replace all these items at least once on a few wheels in my fleet-now its plug and play

Now as to shoes I only wear beater shoes in pot shop as the shop eats shoes-20 years for studio shoes is beyond reasonable thought process for me-maybe as a hobbist you could but full time no way -shoes last a few years tops before clay /glaze/water gets to them for some reason -like yesterday I mixed up 20 gallons of glaze and tommorrow during glaze day most seems to end up on/in my shoes? I do not know how this happens and it seems to happen more as the iron content goes up so a nice tenmaku turns my socks and shoes red.

Mark

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I buy a new pair of shoes every year. I wear them in the studio, on kiln repairs, etc, 7 days a week. They just don't last more than a year. I couple of years ago I bought a pair of waterproof shoes from Columbia, and I have bought waterproof shoes since then. I can spill throwing water, glaze, mop water, etc. and it never gets through to my socks. Also great in the snow!

 

As for the wheel, you'll love your new Thomas Stuart. I've got 11 of them, and they are all great. Go for the built in splash pan. Super heavy and solid as can be.

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Is it just a larger wheel for your 6"2 self? What makes it better for a taller person? (just seen the extendable legs so I guess that probably answers my own question.)

It was a number of things really--first of all it does sit taller and makes my throwing posture about 10 times better than any other wheel I've ever used. I also just liked the sturdiness of it if I ever needed to rest my forearms on it--I'm a decent sized woman, so other wheels I threw at had a flimsier feel that I just didn't like.

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Sorry to horn in on this topic but it does have to do with the same topic. What are your feelings overall on spending the additional money for a 1 horse over the one-third or one-half horse motor? I am just starting to throw so I have very little experience. Is the big difference the amount of clay you can center or are there other factors that come into play, like longevity?

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Sorry to horn in on this topic but it does have to do with the same topic. What are your feelings overall on spending the additional money for a 1 horse over the one-third or one-half horse motor? I am just starting to throw so I have very little experience. Is the big difference the amount of clay you can center or are there other factors that come into play, like longevity?

I've only been throwing for about 12 years so I can't speak to the longevity of wheels, though some studios I've worked in had wheels that were 30 years old 1/3hp wheels that worked just fine. For me, the idea of spending extra money for a 1hp motor is absolutely out of the question. I throw a 20 pound piece at the very most. Usually my bats have 2 pound mugs on them. I have to say, since you're first starting out, there would really be no reason, and no justification, for you to purchase a 1hp wheel. You may never throw a piece over 30 pounds...or maybe you will. If you start throwing huge pieces well and decide to throw something 100+ pounds, you will probably have a market for your products, so it would make sense to purchase the bigger motor. As for me and my functional wares, we'll stick with the smaller (less expensive!) motors! :)

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When selecting a wheel, the horsepower of the motor doesn't matter. What matters is torque and centering capacity- when you're putting the most pressure on the wheel. Some wheels use their power much better than others. If I were buying a Brent, I would absolutely go for at least a 3/4hp model, but on a Thomas Stuart the 1/2hp model is more than enough. Even the 1/3hp models can center 75 pounds. I've got mostly the 1/3hp models in my studio, and I throw 25 pound platters and 50 pound planters on them with no issues whatsoever. They have excellent low end torque.

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Agreed on the torque issue.  I personally find (unfortulately) that the Shimpo Whispers traded noise (wonderfully quiet) for torque (oh well).

 

In professional use, I'm still using a Brent CXC that is pushing 40 years old now.

 

If you are going to NCECA, sometimes you can find really good deals there.  And if you are DRIVING... the vendors often give amazing prioces on the demo models from the floor...... so they don't have to pack them up to get them home.

 

best,

 

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

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Agreed on the torque issue.  I personally find (unfortulately) that the Shimpo Whispers traded noise (wonderfully quiet) for torque (oh well).

 

In professional use, I'm still using a Brent CXC that is pushing 40 years old now.

 

If you are going to NCECA, sometimes you can find really good deals there.  And if you are DRIVING... the vendors often give amazing prioces on the demo models from the floor...... so they don't have to pack them up to get them home.

 

best,

 

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

 

I agree. I love the folks as Shimpo, and many of their products are dreamy (banding wheels!), but the pancake motor used on the Whisper wheels has very little torque. You can grab the wheel head and stop it while running at high speed. Not an issue for small pots, but not good for big platters and such.

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As a mechanical engineer Im trading fix-it time for pottery time at my local pottery studio.

 

The guy has 3 wheels that he has put out of commission.  

 

The Brent CX (direct drive)  needed bearings in the motor, but other than that i cant find any issues (brushes still had 1/2 life remaining).   He seemed to think it had issues with it shutting down on its own etc.

 

A Brent A that i couldn't find anything wrong with.  Took the belt off and spun the wheel,  thrust wheel head bearings were fine, and motor spun well with no noise.  I cleaned it up and told him to put it back in service and see if we could get any solid data as to how it was not working right (most of the wheels have been out of service for several years)

 

The last is a Pacifica that he supposedly has swapped everything out on and still has issues.  Havn't gotten to that one yet.

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Brent wheels often start running erratically as they age- skipping, no low end, no high end, etc. If you can't adjust for it with the pedal assembly adjustment wheels, then it could be a problem with the pedal assembly or the controller board. It can be very difficult to diagnose which is actually causing the problem without swapping out parts. But if you send the pedal and controller to Brent, they will diagnose it and replace any bad parts, usually without any labor charges. Give them a call first and see if they can help.

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Oh, yeah. If the 20% off is the lowest price you can find, go for it. I bought a TS Prodigy about 5 years ago -- after months of searching and researching -- and I learned two things about TS wheels:

 

1, they hardly ever go on sale.

2, they are hardly ever available used.

 

I got mine from BigCeramicStore because that was the best price AND they had free shipping. So also make sure you're getting free shipping with the deal; if not, that may negate your 20% off (and then some)!

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I have done lots of Brent diagnose work over the years since I bought my 1st Brent from Brent himself back in 69 in LA.

If the wheel does not shut off or does not have enough RPMs take the bottom of foot pedal cover off-you will see a blue and red plastic circle- straight slot small screwdriver will adjust these. They control the low end and high end RPM. I think they are called a potentiometer.

There is a realationship with the off point(wheel stops) and the high rpm point so one will affect the other. If wheel will not stop turning this is the usual cure. I a blue moon its the curcuit board in the controller (located in on off switch box)If the foot pedal will not stop the wheel from turning its most likely the curciut board. Each of these parts seem to be about $75 - 100$ and as Neil says if you want they will diagnose for free if you send them the parts. Its rare the wheel bearing go out as well as motor bruches. If you suspect motor bearings them send the motor and they will inspect and send you back a new motor fo a fee.The guy who knows the most now at Amaco/Brent is Bob-very nice guy.

I throw on a CXC and a C trim on  A and have another B for stoneware work as well as an extra B right now. My original model C has a formica flay deck with no plastic ridges.Its orginal foot pedal they stopped making years ago so I upgraded to the newer types as well as swap the head to a 14 inch and have put a new motor on it as I worn the old one out in 20 years-at that time I had to trade out all pullies and belts-also a new controller. Now the old deck made from 1/4 inch plate steel is the only original part left.

I'm a real Brent fan but I also use mine a lot every week.

Brent has been great over the years often sending me free parts especially back in the day-I sent them a whole motor controller set up completely covered in clay a few years ago-Bob Called me and said he likes to see there stuff used and mine was diffently that-he sent back new foot pedal for free and charged me for new curcuit board.

I usually keep a few parts on hand to make my own repairs now.

My next wheel of choice is the Thomas Stuarts-I have liked what I have seen-now that Skutt bought them out I do not know how the quaility is now-Neil has some of the orginals and like them-not sure if he has the newer Skutt ones?

I do not like the high built in splash pan but if you learn on them or are in a teaching situation then this will not be a an issue . I think it more what you are used to. I trim on a Brent with no splash pan as I want the trimmings to fly away.

Mark

Mark

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Thanks for the heads up on sending parts to Brent to have them look at.

 

The studio has 14 wheels of which i think 10 are Brent.  so i have plenty of other wheels to swap parts around on to see if my issue moves (swap a foot pedal, issue moves, then its the foot pedal)

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As far as I know, Skutt has not made any changes to the TS wheels since they bought them. I don't have any of the newer models, but I know people who have bought them recently and they say they are the same.

 

The distance between the splash pan and wheel head is greater on the TS wheels than Brent. For people used to a Brent it can feel like a mile. Personally, I always disliked the Brent pan being so close to the wheel head, so I never used the pan when I worked on a Brent. It was always too close to do much good when trimming, and hit my arm in the wrong spot when throwing. With the TS, the distance makes it much more comfortable for me, and the gap is big enough to actually hold some trimmings. It's nice to have a splash pan to keep the mess to a minimum. You get used to whatever you have, though.

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I have done lots of Brent diagnose work over the years since I bought my 1st Brent from Brent himself back in 69 in LA.

If the wheel does not shut off or does not have enough RPMs take the bottom of foot pedal cover off-you will see a blue and red plastic circle- straight slot small screwdriver will adjust these. They control the low end and high end RPM. I think they are called a potentiometer.

So from my investigation of the foot pedals it looks like the 2 screws (red/blue) are limiting or trim potentiometer.  So they set the min voltage and max voltage that the larger vertical pot, the one that gets moved with the linkage attached to the foot pedal, runs through.  

 

for instance lets say the large vertical pot runs 1-10.

 

I think those vertical pots get worn out especially in the low range(2-3),  so adjusting the low screw helps because you move the start point (min voltage for the motor) up to number 4 on the large pot and outside the worn area were things are "wonky"

 

Best i can tell thats the technical answer for "the wheel does weird things at low speeds, i think the foot pedal is bad" 

 

Sending to Brent to inspect would likely mean they just look at the sweep of the large pot on a scope or DMM and if they find "funky" results they just replace that pot.

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