I LOVE the built in splash pan of the Thomas-Stuart wheels. Super steady and heavy and easy to clean. Plus TS wheels have more torque than most. The 1/3hp models can handle over 75 pounds. I've got 11 of them, and they work great. But there are lots of good wheels out there. Find a used one, try it out and if it feels good get it.
I got to wondering about the ingredients in the 266 and saw that there was a post that said it had mangenese in it, and that would react to some of the glazes. Standard website doesn't say what the percentage is, so I emailed them and Julie was very accomodating for us and said that there was only about 1 1/2 percent of manganese in the 266, it had a LOT of iron in it. The small amount of the mang should not affect any glaze we use, but the iron definitely will. She didn't say what the percentage of iron was, but from my experience some of the glazes used on this clay come out so absolutely georgeous it is mind boggling, especially when layering Potters Choice Iron Stone or Iron Lustre. But then again, some of those glazes are, well, a disaster....Gun metal green runs so badly, and it is def not any color of green I have ever seen, I had to take a side grinder to grind off the drips, even using Kiln Wash, and the Key Lime from Coyote turned out dangerous, with craters that cracked inside, and shivering outside. So I may try them one more time in a different application, but I am not going to be to hopeful that those glazes will work with the 266.
Of all the clays I have ever used, the 266 is the messiest, but it is by far the most beautiful when glazed with the right colors. Will send a few pics of it with PC Seaweed, Indigo Float, Layering of Deep Sienna Speckle under Ancient Jasper (awesome!) and am now doing Blue Rutile under Vert Lustre today. Havent tried the layering of the 2 different manufacturers yet, that is next on my list.
Time to go finish this last glaze, and start in on some more cannisters, mugs and yarn bowls!
So, this will sound a little silly, but use a lot of gentle soap and a nail brush (Gently) after you throw. Got all the little bits of clay. In my case, this is more important after a glazing session than a clay session.
Then use Neosporin-type cream.... Then use a bit more of the neosporin cream at bedtime... really working it into the nail bed and the cuticle. (If you have any skin allergies... be careful of the bag balm. I'm terribly allergic to bag balm... my hands swell and buff up - itch! horrible!)