As a newbie I didn't know the first thing about equipment so when a friend gave me an old Model 402 Amaco potters wheel that had been converted to motor drive, I didn't know that it was considered to be a relic. It has been cut down so you can sit at the wheel and an angle drive was added so the motor is horizontal. initially it had a single speed AC motor hooked up and that spun the head clockwise at a pretty quick pace. Not knowing any better, I started making stuff but admitt that it got to be a challange cause wide thin things tended to spin out of shape very easily. And right now $400 is just not in the budget for a decent wheel.
On the internet there are tons of examples of building your own wheel. I am handy enough, but I didn't need a home built wheel, I need the one I have to work better. I will add that I am very content with the wheel's heavy frame, metal splash/drip tray and general layout. The solution was to use part of the "build your own" formula and fit a variable speed 1.5 hp electric motor to my old wheel. I already had the dead treadmill, I just needed the electronics from E-bay. $50 and I have a varialbe speed setup that now turns counterclockwise. Seems like a lot of these older wheels could serve very well with a motor/controller upgrade.