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  1. Gigirouge, I am primarily a handbuilder and I consider my slabroller to be my most valuable piece of equipment. I use a Bailey at school and have no problems with it but I have a 30" NorthStar in my personal studio... it is my favorite piece of studio equipment. It is almost 10 years old and has rolled miles of clay. It performs as well today as the day I bought it. My studio is on a screened porch so it is semi-exposed to the elements... The NorthStar is rust free and virtually maintenance free... No chains, cables or cast-iron gears... I particularly like the scale on the roller which allows me to roll uniform slabs every time... the same thickness everytime. It serves as a work table, too. After using both the Bailey and NorthStar on a regular basis, I am confident I made the right purchsase for me. I have found the NorthStar company to be very reliable... they have always given me personal attention and answered all my questions with one phone call. I looked for a used one when I purchased mine but was unable to find anyone who wanted to part with theirs... seems to be a piece of equipment most potters keep once they aquire one. I understand that NorthStar has a dealer in Staffordshire (Potclays LTD, Brickkiln Lane Etruria Stoke-on-Trent).
  2. For my birthday a few years ago, my friend and potter extraordinaire made me some sandbags to keep my plates flat while drying. She used pieces of an old sheet cut into various sizes and poured sand in the middle then tied them with electrical ties. The sand absorbs the water and the weight keeps them flat. Works like a charm... They have become a staple in my studio.
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