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miclynnmcd

Lockerbie K Kick Wheel

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So about 2 months ago my husband bought me a Lockerbie K model kick wheel.  I had previously learned how to throw on an electric wheel and had been using it off and on for a few years.  I have had  zero experience on a manual wheel.  2 months in and I am able to center easily but I can't get the speed I would on an electric wheel so it takes quite a bit longer than I'm used to on an electric wheel.  The real issue I'm having is when I pull a wall.  I have to stop in the middle of pull because the wheel has slowed down or has almost stopped completely.  I am only a novice potter so I some of the time can place my hands back where I left off when I get the wheel going again, but most of the time I end up pulling an uneven wall or worse than than that the top of the piece gets off center.  The Lockerbie has been around for quite awhile so I'm assuming someone out there has experience with this type of kick wheel (heavy flywheel).  My best guess is a baring has gone bad but before I order another baring I wanted to see if there where any other thoughts to why I was having this issue.  Thanks!

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Nope, probably nothing wrong with the wheel unless it's making grinding noise or wobbling. That's how kick wheels work. You have to start the pull with the wheel too fast, and end the pull with the wheel too slow. It doesn't take much to slow them down. If you're coordinated enough, you can kick the wheel a bit while pulling, but it's a bit awkward. Keep practicing!

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Yeah, the kick wheel thing has a little more coordination involved in some ways, The big thing is that you have to get it to speed, then partly center, re speed, then finish center, then re speed then make opening and get all ready for first pull, re speed and make first pull, re speed and make next pull. Now the secret to a lot of it is using just enough water to lube the clay, but not enough to get it to collapse, and using just enough force to move the clay up, and not slow the wheel too much. Practicing this will really improve your skills, and if you ever move to a motorized wheel you will be even better, because of what you learned on the kick.

 

 

best,

Pres

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After taking my first Learning Exchange pottery class at a local ceramic supply store/studio, my instructor gave me a wood-framed kickwheel that he was trying to get rid of. When I got it home, I found it had a couple of bad bearings, so I went ahead and replaced them. I made some other modifications and added a splash pan.

Much to my dismay, I found that I did not have the hand/foot co-ordination to effectively use the kickwheel. Doing what I usually do in this type of situation, I figured out a way to motorize the wheel which made throwing a lot easier!

Shortly after that, a friend of mine was cleaning out the barn on a piece of property that he bought and found a Creative Industries wheel in the mess which he "loaned" to me for however long I wanted to use it.

It has earned a prominent place in my studio and 2 weeks ago I sold an old and tired kiln and the kickwheel to a chef who wanted to make his own low fire dinnerware.

My question to you is; If you learned to throw on an electric wheel and used it on and off for so long, why would you revert to a manual kickwheel? Are you a masochist? :huh: 

Just asking...

JohnnyK

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Lockerbies I have known are cadillacs of wheels for their long smooth momentum. Maybe just give it some oil. Maybe no one has done that in a while.Another option is to buy the motorized kit and make it electric. I learned to throw on a kick wheel.And yes sometimes you have to stop and kick to get enough momentum to complete a pull. Try a lubricant. I like lithium based lubricants. Lockerbies are really great wheels except when you have to move them. 

Marcia

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The bottom bearing takes 3 in 1 oil. The top bearing you can use grease or Vaseline. I used a marine grade grease for the top bearing. This most likely is not the bearing unless what was previously mentioned. This is about technique. If you can begin kicking with both legs to start you can get a faster rotation going much easier. The second is if you can kick while throwing. I kick while throwing. I will say I throw no more than 3lbs on the kick wheel. I prefer to throw bowls while kicking. It will just take some time. You can outfit with electric motor kit(kind of costly). You can outfit this wheel with a DIY motor (this consists of a hinge, board, motor, rubber wheel, and spring. You turn the motor on kick the wheel to start and press down on the board which attached to the motor and wheel suspended above the fly wheel. When you need some speed you press down on the board to cause the wheel to contact the flywheel. I learned throwing with this type of contraption on a wood framed kicker. I would not say it was 100% safe in fact it was probably dangerous but that's what the community center had. I always wore shoes.

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Thanks for the suggestions.  I knew it would take more time to get used to in comparison to the electric wheel but am enjoying the process.  I have already been saving up for a motor to add speed while centering and save my knee.  I added some lubricant on the underside and it has helped pick up some speed but still when throwing 5 lbs or more I am stopping during a pull so I'll just keep practicing kicking while pulling.  

 

Thanks again,

Michelle

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