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Tyler Miller

My Wheel.

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I thought I'd share the wheel I use for everything I make.  It's all I've ever thrown on.

 

The base is an 18" square of 3/8" in mild steel, with a 1" centre post.  The wheel itself is mounted on a 3" piece of stainless steel tubing with mounting flanges on the top and bottom, containing a two bearings.  The wheel head has a series of headless hex screws under it for fine tuning its level and height.  I had it made by a local machinist because my welding skills--well, it wouldn't have lasted this long if I had welded it.  I just cut some marine plywood for the head and foot.  No weight.

 

Apologies for the dirty workshop.  The pots are on the floor for firing tomorrow.  Tomorrow's also mopping day. ;)

 

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Do you just kick the outside edge of the bottom disk to keep it going?

 

That's pretty awesome! Now I want one. I couldn't for the life of me figure out how I'd ever be able to demonstrate wheel-thrown pottery at a historical display because there aren't any extant examples of wheels from my period, just the thrown vessels, and because every kick wheel I'd ever seen was too big and heavy to consider taking anywhere in a van stuffed full of camp gear. THIS IS PERFECT.

 

Also, I'm totally impressed. It doesn't look easy to work on in the slightest.

 

Edited to add: OK. Can't stop staring at it now. What are the wheel head and kick wheel themselves made from - the bits that the plywood is attached to?

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Thanks, John, I'm glad you like it.

 

Stellaria, the wheel head and kick wheel are just 4 layers of marine plywood cut, stacked, glued and fixed solid with deck screws from underneath.  I do just kick the outer rim of the kick wheel to get it going.

 

For which period of history do you do demonstrations?

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Cool wheel  Tyler. I made one similar years ago but used a cast concrete fly wheel on the bottom resting on an old VW throwout bearing. I'm surprised you get enough momentum with just the small amount of wood I see in the pictures.

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Bob, I don't get enough momentum by most Western potter's standards, but I have a lot of fun manipulating the effects of a low-momentum wheel on western-style throwing.  It was originally intended to throw large pots in the Korean manner, but I don't yet have a kiln to fire such large pieces.

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I try to do mainly pre Roman-invasion Britain. So anywhere in the century before 50 AD or thereabouts. But the groups I work with aren't huge sticklers for accuracy. Annoys the crap out of me a lot of the time, but sometimes a little room to let stuff slide can be nice. This might be one of those times.

Still trying to wrap my head around how I might get this to work... :)

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