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Pacifica wheel issue


ronfire
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I posted a while back on my Pacifica  wheel. I have replaced the bearings , belts and repaired the controller

Now that I can get some throwing done if find that the clay will not stay centred.  I can centre it well but when I draw up sides it always becomes off centre.

The head has no play in it and runs dead flat, no wobble at all.  The only thing I can  think of is the wheel head pulses as it turns. The large pulley has a slight bend in it ( may 1/16" ) but still runs true to round. The belts are new, tight and coated with belt dressing.

Never had this issue with the old Estrin wheel I had, now I wish I had kept it.

Might look at a new VL whisper as I never throw more than 15-20 lbs.

 

 

Edited by ronfire
typo
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5 hours ago, ronfire said:

I posted a while back on my Pacifica  wheel. I have replaced the bearings , belts and repaired the controller

Now that I can get some throwing done if find that the clay will not stay centred.  I can centre it well but when I draw up sides it always becomes off centre.

The head has no play in it and runs dead flat, no wobble at all.  The only thing I can  think of is the wheel head pulses as it turns. The large pulley has a slight bend in it ( may 1/16" ) but still runs true to round. The belts are new, tight and coated with belt dressing.

Never had this issue with the old Estrin wheel I had, now I wish I had kept it.

Might look at a new VL whisper as I never throw more than 15-20 lbs.

 

 

You may not be imagining things. If the speed changes (controller inconsistency) while throwing it will be difficult and sometimes hard to perceive  I assume you have had someone else try their hand with the same result. That said the VL whisper is nice IMO love the quiet operation.

Edited by Bill Kielb
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32 minutes ago, Bill Kielb said:

Generally level does not affect throwing unless the potter does something real special to change their hand reference plane while throwing.

 

There's a difference between knowing the wheel is unlevel and not.  He is still pulling perpendicular to the wheel in that video.  There's absolutely no reason to not have a level wheel, it's so easy to accomplish.

 

That said, if the wheel is knocking from a kink in the belt, that would be really annoying as well.  I don't have a level wheel, but i know that.  I use lumpy bats, but I know that.  When I overlube my wheelhead I get a really weird knock effect, but I know what's going on.  There's a lot of different little nuances that you can find and compensate for, but helps to know what to look out for.

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13 minutes ago, liambesaw said:

There's a difference between knowing the wheel is unlevel and not.  He is still pulling perpendicular to the wheel in that video.  There's absolutely no reason to not have a level wheel, it's so easy to accomplish.

 

That said, if the wheel is knocking from a kink in the belt, that would be really annoying as well.  I don't have a level wheel, but i know that.  I use lumpy bats, but I know that.  When I overlube my wheelhead I get a really weird knock effect, but I know what's going on.  There's a lot of different little nuances that you can find and compensate for, but helps to know what to look out for.

I actually tried this and it’s pretty hard to throw unevenly. You actually need to move horizontally while pulling in a very irregular fashion perpendicular not so much. So my conclusion was  sufficient rotation speed and consistent pressure and upward movement are key. Now this is an extreme unlevel condition. I do agree though, everything I make is pretty dead level, parallel etc... just cause it annoys me.

Checking for level is fine but I would consider it likely as an outside possibility at this point but, ya never know. The OP might level it a 1/32nd of a bubble and solve the uneven throwing issue.

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17 minutes ago, Bill Kielb said:

I actually tried this and it’s pretty hard to throw unevenly. You actually need to move horizontally while pulling in a very irregular fashion perpendicular not so much. So my conclusion was  sufficient rotation speed and consistent pressure and upward movement are key. Now this is an extreme unlevel condition. I do agree though, everything I make is pretty dead level, parallel etc... just cause it annoys me.

Checking for level is fine but I would consider it likely as an outside possibility at this point but, ya never know. The OP might level it a 1/32nd of a bubble and solve the uneven throwing issue.

I admit on these three legged unadjustable wheelss it's pretty difficult to be off level.  My shimpo with 4 legs was kind of a nightmare

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ronfire,  i had a similar problem years ago after replacing the wheelhead because someone sat on my wheel.    i took the wheel to a machinist and they could find nothing wrong.    just after that a new book came out and i read about the possibility that i was not opening in the exact center somehow.   the walls of my cylinders had thick and thin sides so it felt offcenter.   cutting down with a wire showed me that it was the problem.   

 

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Out of level does not matter. Your body is not so in tune with the gravitational pull of the earth that your hands pull in a perfectly plumb direction. If that was the case, no one would ever struggle with pulling a cylinder. Your body knows where the the rotational center of the clay is and adjusts as necessary as you pull.

I would have someone else try out the wheel and see if they have any problems. If the wheel is surging/pulsing, that could definitely be an issue. However it's also possible that you're just in a slump. I've seen that many times.

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I tried this wheel last year before going away for a few months and had the same issue, did not have this problem with my powered Estrin wheel ( did not like the effort to stop and start the wheel )

Now I am looking at purchase of a new wheel, you can only stay frustrated for so long. 

Considering the Shimpo  VL Whisper  or the  Skutt legend.    Concerns over the removable head but I like the idea of the 1 piece tray.

 

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Two factors (of many) centring  factors waitin' to rush back in:

   a) clay movement on wheel head and/or bat; this can be rather frustrating! ...doesn't take much slippage to put off centre, and once moved, likely there will be more movement - get a bit wider footprint, well smooshed in, or start over with a grippier bat.

  b) inconsistent clay - a bit of denser or softer clay moves differently than the rest. Wedge, wedge, wedge, cone up/down, again, again; well prepared clay is a real joy! Depending on where the different spot is, might be better off starting over when there's a thick or soft spot in there.

Another factor, very difficult (imo) to overcome a bit of shear - might be better off starting over. The clay can take being pushed around, up to a point, then it begins to separate, or shear. Try coning up aggressively, to the point where shear begins; can you recover?

Let us know how it goes?

Edited by Hulk
follow up plz
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The Shimpo and Skutt are two completely different wheels in my opinion. The Shimpo is a Prius- quiet, smooth. The Skutt is a truck- powerful, functional. I have 11 Skutt wheels, and love them because they keep the studio much cleaner. Small splash pans seem ridiculous to me now. The Skutt are louder than the Shimpo, but not so much that they're annoying. We run 11 at the same time, with the radio on, and have conversations just fine. The removable wheel head has no issues. Just lube the socket every 6-12 months. They run smooth, and have excellent control- the SSX drive is not necessary, nor is anything more than the 1/3hp motor for most people. I've got a 1/2hp for my personal wheel, but I haven't noticed that my 1/3hp have any issues with anything I've done on them.

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27 minutes ago, neilestrick said:

The Shimpo and Skutt are two completely different wheels in my opinion. The Shimpo is a Prius- quiet, smooth. The Skutt is a truck- powerful, functional. I have 11 Skutt wheels, and love them because they keep the studio much cleaner. Small splash pans seem ridiculous to me now. The Skutt are louder than the Shimpo, but not so much that they're annoying. We run 11 at the same time, with the radio on, and have conversations just fine. The removable wheel head has no issues. Just lube the socket every 6-12 months. They run smooth, and have excellent control- the SSX drive is not necessary, nor is anything more than the 1/3hp motor for most people. I've got a 1/2hp for my personal wheel, but I haven't noticed that my 1/3hp have any issues with anything I've done on them.

I've been using zinc anti-sieze on the wheelhead every time I take it on and off, mine will seize hard if I don't.  Is there an anti-sieze I can use every 6 months!?

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9 minutes ago, liambesaw said:

I've been using zinc anti-sieze on the wheelhead every time I take it on and off, mine will seize hard if I don't.  Is there an anti-sieze I can use every 6 months!?

I just use some anti-seize I got from the auto parts store- Permatex Aluminum Anti-Seize. Maybe give your connection a good cleaning. I've never had a wheel seize every time.

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Neil I see the 1/3 hp Skutt claims to centre 100 lbs but in reality what does it actually handle. Looking at purchasing one but not sure if I should jump up to the 1/2 hp. I have no plans of ever throwing more than 25 lbs  and so far have I have not thrown more than 20. I have stalled out my Estrin wheel  and I find the old (antique )Pacifica I have has given me lots of issues and can not find any specs on it as it is labeled as a GT500 I will do the 15 lbs but really bogs down and blows up electronics and fuses.

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 I have a Skutt prodigy which is a 1/3 hp wheel.  The motor is gigantic, I'd say almost twice the size of a 1/2 hp shimpo.

I have never had any issues centering or throwing.  You can hear the motor get loud when you bear down on a bag of clay, but the wheel doesn't slow down or anything.  Suckers got torque like you wouldn't believe, so don't get a wrist stuck between the wheelhead and the splash pan because I think it would probably snap it like it twig.

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They're tootin' their own horns here, sure, but fairly accurate descriptions:

https://skutt.com/pottery-wheels/features-benefits/the-motor/

https://skutt.com/pottery-wheels/features-benefits/built-like-a-tank/

and "The only way to measure this is scientifically with an instrument that can measure torque at the wheel head. Well we did and ours blew everyone elses[sic] out of the water." where "this" is centering capacity. 

The 1/3 hp is a beast, the 1/2 hp is more beastly, and the full 1 hp is over profligate, lavish, extravagant (get the thesaurus!) for just about all users.

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Thanks Hulk and Niel for the input. I did not want to get another wheel to disappoint me. Looks like the Skutt Legend will do the job for me well.

I might order tomorrow from Clay King or The Ceramic Shop as they seam to have the best prices with free shipping. I will fist call them to make sure they are approved for Canada so I have no issues at the boarder when I bring it home.

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