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Wheels: Shimpo Vl-Lite Or Bailey St


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#1 potomac meg

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 01:06 AM

I finally have space to have my own little studio and am looking into purchasing a wheel. I have found a lot of information on the Shimpo Whisper (which sounds like a solid choice but I'm not sure I can swing the cost) but I cannot seem to find much on the Shimpo VL-Lite. It is very reasonably priced wheel with 1/2 HP and claims it can throw up to 25 pounds. I typically throw with small amounts and it is rare that I will go over 10 or 15 pounds.

I am also looking at the Bailey ST. Seems like a solid choice, about $130 more.

These wheels are both under $800, which is the range I am looking for. I used to have a Pacifica 400 and it had some issues that I could never get used to. That is the only other wheel close to this price range but I will not buy another Pacifica. I've been endlessly searching craigs list but finding it hard to find something used.

 

Does anyone have thoughts on whether the Shimpo is good enough for my purposes? What about the Bailey ST?

 

Thank you!



#2 Pres

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 08:20 AM

I have had Bailey wheels in the HS that I used to teach in. These were like the ST, but I think they were STX's. The wheels were well built, had enough weight to hold in place well, and were reasonably quiet. There is a reverse switch so that if you want to throw counter or clockwise you are good. I would recommend them, but I cannot give you a comparison to the Shimpo. I did notice that Bailey is running a sale right now with free shipping and quite a break in price.


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#3 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 08:28 AM

I have had a Bailey for about 16 years. No problems. 

Can't say how it compares to the ST or Pres's STX. Mine has leg extensions. I like the drain in the splash pan and I have a 2.5" bat lifter to raise the level of the large bats that won't work within the splash. I am very happy with mine.

 

Marca



#4 timbo_heff

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 01:36 PM

Clay Boss is pretty decent for a cheap wheel too



#5 bciskepottery

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 01:47 PM

I have a Shimpo VL Whisper -- direct drive, not belt drive like the Shimpo VL-Lite. I looked at the VL-Lite but wanted something that had more substance and sturdiness Plus, Shimpo seems to have made their reputation on direct-drive wheels and the Lite was a belt-drive; seems like they were looking for something for the lower end of the market. Of the two you are looking at, I'd probably favor the Bailey.

#6 Pres

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 02:11 PM

OK, so I'll ask a silly question. Have you checked out the In the Studio FAQ under the strand for buying a wheel?


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#7 potomac meg

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 10:44 PM

thanks, all! that was helpful.

pres, i looked at the thread you suggested and that was helpful as well.



#8 Pres

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 10:56 AM

Let us know what you spend your money on. -_-


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#9 Pugaboo

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 04:22 PM

I got a Bailey for Christmas and love it. I got the leg extensions and the workstation since I have no shelves or space for them around the wheel. I LOVE the drain, it's soooo easy to clean and the little side door is wonderful for scooping trimmings out. Mine is very quiet and has more than enough torque for anything I might want to do now or in the future.

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

#10 Mark C.

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 10:12 AM

There was a thread on this and the shimpo had no torque if I recall.

Folks like the bailey


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#11 Stephen

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 11:50 AM

Well we have 2 Shimpo VL's and we do love them. They are so quiet.  Out most recent purchase was a Brent and I have been using it the past week. Seems to be a very nice wheel and I have no complaints but I have had to get used to the noise. I don't think the Brent is any louder than most wheels but since the other 2 are so damn quiet it seems like it is making way too much racket.

 

I think I read somewhere that it is the number one wheel sold today. I have also heard here that some complain on power and maybe that's true with really big pots but seems to be just fine with the mostly under 25lb stuff we do.  My partner is going large these days so I will post back if she starts complaining about power ;-)



#12 Biglou13

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 05:53 AM

The whisper is a dream!
Think luxury sports car vs. a '66 vw bettle
I wish I had stayed ignorant, now all the wheels I have access to are lacking

I'm keeping my eyes on that prize. ( unless it can be topped)
Caution big brother is watching.
The beige is blinding!!!!!!
The middle of the road is boring

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#13 ChenowethArts

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 06:45 AM

My studio's severely abused, student tortured CI from the 1980's still runs as long as there is duct tape and bailing wire available...all to say, I have new wheel on top of my list for Santa.  I admit to being spoiled by the Shimpo VL Whisper that I have been using in the university's clay lab this semester and I'm still thinking that is my best choice.  I max-out with much less than 25 pounds of clay when wheel-throwing and must hope that my sanity remains intact should I ever consider throwing something so large that it would require more than 25 pounds.

I had not even heard of the Bailey option until this thread started...is there some compelling reason (other than torque) that I should give Bailey a look?

 

-Paul


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#14 Pres

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 08:46 AM

The St and the STX are pretty quiet and have lots of torque. They will handle 25+# of clay, however when I demonstrated at the HS my go to wheel was the CI HP that I first purchased for the studio. They were too expensive when I started buying the Baileys. I could slow the Baileys even though they are quite powerful. My Brent, I can not slow at all, but it is noisier. In the long run when you get to a certain price point the variables are fewer and fewer. I would say that I do like the Bailey shelf extension and the splash pan is decently made. Not quite as well as the Brent, but much better than the old CI. The shelf allows a ware board, or tools and bucket to be up out of the splash or the wheel platform.


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#15 Pugaboo

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 10:19 PM

I considered pretty much all the brands but some were too expensive like the Thomas Stuart and Brent lines. So I then made a list of what criteria I liked from each brand I was looking at and edited it down to the few that looked to have the features I wanted. I went with the Bailey because of the built in splash pan with the trimming slot and drain hole. I also really like the workstation I got for my Bailey and the leg extensions. I should state I tried out a Thomas Stuart, a Brent and a Speedball at the center and liked the Thomas Stuart the best there. It didn't have the drain hole or trimming slot which my Bailey does have though. I keep my studio really clean and the ease of clean up with the Bailey is lovely. I should state I am left handed so wanted a wheel that would spin to the left or to the right, I also have a really messed up back so the leg extensions, and even the large tray allow me to adjust my position to give me support for throwing but also not stress my back. The Bailey is built really well and I don't think I will ever have to replace anything on it in my lifetime anyhow. I also have to admit I really don't like the color of the Brent wheels, stupid I know but I just don't. My Bailey is pale gray and black. I also bought the ST-1 potters stool as well and like it.

To get a wheel that works for you make a list up of what type things are important to you. do you like a splash pan, do you hate splash pans, do you throw Eastern or Western rotation, how big do you plan to through (ever), is super quiet the most important thing to you, etc. Once you get your criteria set it becomes easier, I got my list down to the Thomas Stuart and the Bailey and went with the Bailey because it was enough less in price compared to the the Stuart to get the workstation and leg extensions for it.

I hope this helps you decide.

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




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