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averyherr23

Finding Bats To Fit Shimpo Rk-2 Wheel Head

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Hey so I'm new to the community but I have a question in regards to my Shimpo west RK-2 potters wheel.  I have been searching for bats that will work with my wheel head.  the wheel head on the Shimpo RK-2 has bat pin holes that are 8 inches apart but all I am only able to find Bats with Pin holes 10 inches apart.  Where can I find Bats with bat pin holes 8 inches apart or find bats with no bat pin holes so that i can drill them myself? 

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North star sells bats . I had 2 RK2 s in my class room and ordered bats with both 8" and 10" holes. 

Northstar will custom drill for you.

 

But I agree with Neil, It is easier to drill 10" holes into the wheel head. 
Measure the wheel heads, ding the spot with a hammer and nail, use a little mineral oil and start drilling. You may need to start with a smaller bit and work up.

 

Marcia

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Speedball (formerly Creative Industries) plastic bats have 2 sets of pin holes - 8" and 10".

 

I hate those bats. They don't hold on well and don't always sit flat.

 

I don't particularly like them either, but they are the only widely available bats with 8" holes and I was wrong before, they don't have 8" holes either, 9" and 10" are the hole-pairs. The Northstars are great, but 8" is a custom order. All the other suggestions require the additional work of drilling one's own holes, whether in the bats or the wheelhead. In my experience, drilling one's own holes in the wheelhead requires very careful work so that the holes/pins are exactly the same 5.00000000 inches from the center on the exact same line through the exact center, otherwise the bat will be off center. That's not a problem when throwing the initial form, but if the bat is removed for drying and then returned to the wheel for more work, you will need to be absolutely certain you get the bat holes back on the same pin they were on originally. If the bat is remounted opposite its original position, it will still sit on the pins, but the center is now in a different place and the work will spin erratically. For that reason, I would stay with the factory-engineered pin holes in the wheelhead and instead drill new 8" holes in standard bats. If those holes are slightly off center (but exactly 8" apart), the edge of the bat may turn in an eccentric manner, but the center of rotation will always be in the same place no matter which way you put the bat back on the wheelhead pins.

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The easiest way to make your own holes in the wheel head is to center a good bat and mark the holes. Then mark the very center of the wheel with a fine point sharpie by turning on the wheel and marking it while it spins. Then use a good straight edge to see if your bat pin hole marks are exactly 5" on center from the center of the wheel and lined up with each other. If you've got a good bat they should be fine. Then center punch the marks so your drill bit doesn't drift, and drill the holes. I've done several wheel heads this way with no problems. And if you do screw it up, just drill another set. Extra holes in the wheel head won't affect anything.

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Speedball (formerly Creative Industries) plastic bats have 2 sets of pin holes - 8" and 10".

 

Speedball bats actually have 9" and 10" pin holes.  The old Creative Industries MP/HP/Jr. used a 9" bat pin spacing while most other manufacturers were 10". 

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Make a template from some thin plywood or masonite.

 

Remove the wheel head and place it on the template

 

Draw around the outer circumference and center punch the two bat pin holes. 

 

Remove the wheel head from the template and replace it back on the wheel

 

With a straight edge draw a line using the two points you just made to the edge of outer circumference. Use a sharp pencil or better yet a sharp knife

 

Use a compass and set it to draw a 2" circle

 

Place one end of the compass in the center punched holes and draw a circle on each end

 

Where the circle intersects with the line closest to the outer ring make punch marks. Check and make sure they are 10" apart. You should now have four punch marks

 

Drill four holes using the punch marks.

 

Use the bat(s) check to see if the holes are on center. This works better if you have bats for both 10" and 8" bat pins.

 

Once you are certain the hole are correct, place the template on the wheel and secure using the bat pins..

 

Using the placed template, drill the two outer holes for 10" centers.

 

Clear as Mud?

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Here are the bats I got from Dirty Girls for the Aspire, but I think you are right about the pins being closer than 8". When I find them I an check, but if that i a 10" bat, the holes would be one inch in from the edge. Doesn't look like it.

Marcia

 

Dirty Girls 10" Masonite Bat for Aspire

dirty-girls-aspire-10-bat.jpg

 

NEW 10" Masonite Bat for Aspire by Dirty Girls

The 10†Masonite Throwing Bat for Aspire Pottery Wheels with Bat Pin Holes allows for the throwing of pots with a base that is equal to or smaller than the size of the wooden insert. Use inserts that can be easily removed by prying it up from the insert tab in the master bat. The master bat has pin hole cutouts that make it easy to remove as well, which is perfect for gentle cleaning and drying.

***PLEASE NOTE, THIS WILL ONLY FIT THE SHIMPO ASPIRE POTTERY WHEEL!!!

Buy Description Price 10 inch Dirty Girls Masonite Bat for Aspire $5.05 10 inch Dirty Girls Masonite Bat for Aspire - 10 pack $48.50

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North star sells bats . I had 2 RK2 s in my class room and ordered bats with both 8" and 10" holes. 

Northstar will custom drill for you. <snip>

 

I have a Creative Industries wheel with 9" bat pin spacing and requested a custom drill from NorthStar with both 9" and 10" holes.  This would allow me the flexibility to use the bats on my CI and other wheels that have the more common 10" spacing (Brent, Thomas Stuart, new Speedball, etc). 

 

While the holes were drilled at the correct spacing, unfortunately, I didn't specify that I wanted them offset 90 degrees from each other.  I received bats with both sets of holes drilled in the same line or axis.  The end result is that these bats have two pairs of holes that are separated from each other by 1/2 inch (from center to center). This really makes it a pain to find the right hole when trimming a platter and you can't see the holes when trying to place the bat back on the wheel.   If you ask for custom drilling, please learn from my experience and be specific about what you want.

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Speedball (formerly Creative Industries) plastic bats have 2 sets of pin holes - 8" and 10".

 

Speedball bats actually have 9" and 10" pin holes.  The old Creative Industries MP/HP/Jr. used a 9" bat pin spacing while most other manufacturers were 10". 

 

My bad, you are absolutely correct. I just went and measured mine and yes, the inner holes are 9". The small square bats are 8" across, so that is where I had 8" in my head. So, we are back to drilling something, either wheel or bats, as the only solution.

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The wheel head drilling to make it fit standard bats if you can is the best bet.

The layout is critical but not that big of deal if your are handy with tools. The key points are measure 3 times and make sure its right-Check it gain before drilling-have a sharp center punch -use a smaller 1/8 inch bit 1st for 1st hole before using your larger bit.Did I mention check it before drilling?

If your wheel head comes off then use a drill press-if not a good drill will work fine.

If you do this on your wheel head than all bats will fit as they are some what standard and you will only have to drill two holes.Or you can drill your bats which is also no big deal its just more for for every bat.

I have made a 100s or more bats over the decades before they where offered by everyone -Bats once where hard to fine and easy to make.This was before Northstar and other jumped in.This would be another topic making your own bats.I still make and use mu own plaster bats. I use the Blue northstars  for larger flat stuff.

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Speedball (formerly Creative Industries) plastic bats have 2 sets of pin holes - 8" and 10".

 

I hate those bats. They don't hold on well and don't always sit flat.

 

 

The holding problem can be mostly solved with a small ring of clay.

The sitting flat is an issue... I should get a rubber mallet for the studio.

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it isn't that hard. I did it for all the wheels in the shop because I switched over from plaster bats. I said this before, ding the spot with a nail for your bit to find and use a little mineral oil. STart with a smaller bit and work up to the right size, if you need to.

Marcia

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Speedball (formerly Creative Industries) plastic bats have 2 sets of pin holes - 8" and 10".

 

I hate those bats. They don't hold on well and don't always sit flat.

 

 

The holding problem can be mostly solved with a small ring of clay.

The sitting flat is an issue... I should get a rubber mallet for the studio.

 

 

The reason for having bat pins is to not have to use a ring of clay to hold the bat to the wheel head.

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It's all a matter of accurate layout and marking (if you're not so accurate). I have a CI-Mp wheel with 10" pin holes. I've made plaster bats, corian bats and bats from old Formica topped particle board kitchen counters. In all cases I have marked the bats on one edge to align with a mark I scribed on the wheel head. This way I can reposition the bat the same way it was on the wheelhead when the piece was thrown.

In making the corian and formica bats, I rough cut the material, layed out the center point and dinged it with a SHARP center punch, and layed out an accurate 5" radius circle. I drew a line through the center point to intersect the circle on 2 sides, carefully punched the bat on the intersecting lines and drilled the bats first with a 1/8" bit and then with a 3/8" bit to match the bat pin heads, also being careful not to drill all the way through the bat. Test the piece BEFORE you cut the final circle so you don't waste a lot of time if you screw-up the hole drilling. You can layout the final size to whatever you want the bat diameter to be.

The particleboard bats were painted with 3 coats of spar urethane to waterproof them so they didn't swell when they got wet. No urethane on the Formica side. You can generally get the Formica and Corian sink cutouts for free from a place that installs kitchen counters, or you can contact a friendly kitchen remodeling contractor and ask for the pieces. You can usually get at least 2 bats 12"-14" in diameter from each 21"x30" cutout.

JK

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carefully punched the bat on the intersecting lines and drilled the bats first with a 1/8" bit and then with a 3/8" bit to match the bat pin heads,

 

Just in case someone missed this, Johnny is correct when it comes to bats, but you do not want to drill the wheel head with a 3/8" bit.

 

The upside of making a template is if you make a mistake you just make a new template. On a wheel head if you make a mistake you get swiss cheese.

 

I've made bats from MDF and so far there is no need to apply any finish. I drill 5/8" holes and insert a grommet with an inside diameter of 3/8" to help prevent wear.

 

I've also made 2 bats with a 5.5" square hole for inserts. I applied a few coats of boiled linseed oil on the outside section since it can be reapplied anytime. I was going to use tung oil (Waterlux) which would have been better, but I didn't have enough to finish the job since MDF soaks up a finish like crazy.

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It's all a matter of accurate layout and marking (if you're not so accurate). I have a CI-Mp wheel with 10" pin holes. I've made plaster bats, corian bats and bats from old Formica topped particle board kitchen counters. In all cases I have marked the bats on one edge to align with a mark I scribed on the wheel head. This way I can reposition the bat the same way it was on the wheelhead when the piece was thrown.

In making the corian and formica bats, I rough cut the material, layed out the center point and dinged it with a SHARP center punch, and layed out an accurate 5" radius circle. I drew a line through the center point to intersect the circle on 2 sides, carefully punched the bat on the intersecting lines and drilled the bats first with a 1/8" bit and then with a 3/8" bit to match the bat pin heads, also being careful not to drill all the way through the bat. Test the piece BEFORE you cut the final circle so you don't waste a lot of time if you screw-up the hole drilling. You can layout the final size to whatever you want the bat diameter to be.

The particleboard bats were painted with 3 coats of spar urethane to waterproof them so they didn't swell when they got wet. No urethane on the Formica side. You can generally get the Formica and Corian sink cutouts for free from a place that installs kitchen counters, or you can contact a friendly kitchen remodeling contractor and ask for the pieces. You can usually get at least 2 bats 12"-14" in diameter from each 21"x30" cutout.

JK

I also have these formica cut out bats for about 35 years . I made them exactly as JK says. The reason I switched out to north stars is they take up less space.

I do move most of my pots around on the e 18 inch formica bats. Since I use so many bats space is an issue.

This is key point(The particleboard bats were painted with 3 coats of spar urethane to waterproof them so they didn't swell when they got wet)

 

Thats right do not use a 3/8 bit on the wheel head as thats the bat pin head size not the wheel head size.If I recall its 1/4 inch but check a bat pin before drilling -did I mention to mention measure  everything at least 3 times before drilling 

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I make all my own bats, I also had to drill my wheelhead to fit bat pins: I first made a template with a 3mm hole at the centre to allow me to centre it on the wheelhead in which I'd also made a 3mm hole at the centre, a 3mm diameter masonry nail serves as a locating pin.

 

I made the holes for the bat pins asymmetrical: one of them is about 90mm from the centre and the other is about 120mm -  my bats can never be put on the wrong way cos it would be very noticeable.

 

I've obviously kept the template so that any future bats can be drilled out to the same dimensions, a 3mm hole at the centre and a couple of clamps and it's ready to go.

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