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Power Slab Roller


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I did write a up on my 30 inch power Bailey years ago here. That 40 inch would be real monster.The 30 inch with the large outfield table is large enough for most all work. I love mine but have modified it. Since its a safety modification you can PM me about it. I could not live with the/off safety on push board.

Dirt Roads also read my piece on mine and If I recall bought a 30 inch as well.

I'm not sure what you want to know they are top of the line -ZERO issues ever-

Is the 40 a used one??or new?

let me know specifically what you want to know-its easy to use adjust and keep clean all good.

The roller adjustment is super easy to use-I changed the dial to a crank handle(they still sell them)I use a slab Matt(no texture) and a piece of canvas as I have yet to find oldladys printer matts yet-I have tried but need to leave area for them.

These machines do not use boards -it just rolls the two covers(whatever you want to use) out onto the table between two rollers.They are state of the art in slab rollers-

I use the outfeed table as a work table as well as its about 8 feet over all and has about 6 feet of working surface on end outfeed.

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have seen the 30 inch in action at Ellen Currans studio in Oregon.   wonderful machine that allowed her to work for many years even with arthritis.   talk to jim bailey about it if you really want that big one.   

the drive board model is the one with equal sized table tops on each side of the roller.   the clay rides on a board covered with canvas in the original design.   i hate canvas because of the dust and use printers blankets with my 24 inch drive board model.   it can be backed up after rolling one way but you should loosen the slab to prevent bunched up clay on the return.    i have used it since buying it in 1991 or so.  not in production but never had a problem with it.

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Not particularly hung up on the 40, 30 would probably be fine. I could only find this brand of power slab roller. We have a regular shimpo slap roller now which is a 30".

Focus for use is slabs for 2", 4" and 6" tiles @ 1/2 thick.  The manual one we have has a dial and its really hard to nail the thickness precisely every time since what we want seldom falls easily on a marked notch, so we tend to keeps notes by the roller for different forms. It also takes forever and small art tile installations with these size tiles take a lot of field tiles.

I will go find Marks write up on his. There are other methods and this might not be the best. Watching the video it seemed like a lot of effort to end up with a slab.

I have an air release mold system that does crank them out. My biggest issue with that system is warpage. The mold is flipped over and air applied and the tile drops out but the tile does not drop out evenly every time but one or two corners drop then the rest. I think this is causing higher than normal warpage. The slab is showing less warpage but the process is much slower. It is kind of a wash but the mold causes a lot of clay to reclaim and if the warpage happens in glaze fire (often does) then its a loss.

I have also looked at pug mills with barrel chutes that can be used to slice a square section into tiles. 


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to set the 'gap' on the slab roller:  Make two gages the thickness you want the clay to be, one for each end of the roller. 

Raise the gap between the roller(s),  insert the gages, close the gap by adjusting the roller until it barely touches the gages; remove the gages; roll the slabs.  If you are starting with a very thick slab, you eyeball the first few settings, then make the final roll using the gages.


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I agree with MMR regarding the gauges ( easily cut from hard wood) but add canvas to account for the thickness(es) of it (them), depending upon whether you sandwich your clay between two pieces or only one on top.

Otherwise when you roll your clay, it won’t accommodate for the canvas, and your slabs will be consistently thinner than your gauge or “target” thickness.



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The gauge is a key tool for getting it the same each time.

The Bailey also has an adjustable tile cutting roller system for cutting the slabs. I think I boughtone when I got my slab roller-its still in the box under the machine. The issue I have with say a die in my Peter Pugger for tile is cutting them and keeping them flat out of the machine-it seems they would be a pain unless you had a roller stem outfield onto a table the same height ..

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