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A little background. I am new to this,  just finishing my first class, totally hooked, and planned on waiting a year to start investing in a home studio.  My local school has shut down in the midst of the Corona Virus pandemic with no end in sight.  All work and supplies are being cleaned out over the next few days by appointment.  I really don't want to wait months to throw again, so I think my timeline has moved up.  My school has a dozen Brent C's, a CXC, and a few Shimpos. I only use the Brents. They are old and the pedals have terrible modulation, so the Shimpos are always occupied. Supposedly the pedals are exponentially better, as they are newer.

-I had planned on getting a Brent CXC, but had some more questions and thoughts since I have begun looking more seriously. I like the warranty, want something with good customer service. I want something I can work on myself.  I want a decent amount of power as I hope to graduate to primarily throwing larger forms as I progress.  The splash pan seems rugged and stands up to coming on and off for cleaning many times a day, seven days a week, for years. I wish the pan was a little bigger.  I have no idea what a new proper pedal feels like on one. I fit well on the Brent.

-The Shimpo owners that have reviewed online seem to love them for the quiet. I like the idea of the freewheel acting as a banding wheel. The pan seems the flimsiest and appears even smaller than the Brent. does the direct drive play that much difference in pedal modulation?

-The Thomas Stuart wheels have caught my attention. I like the removable head. I like the splash pan set up. It's been a real pain taking delicate pieces off the wheel head that aren't on bats. I like that with the TS I can just slide them forward. With the Brent, I often need to remove the back half of the splash pan. It seems like the TS would be a cleaner wheel to own and this will be in my basement .  How big of a PITA is it to clean the models without a removable splash pan?

I'm not loaded, but not at the point in my life where I need to quibble over a few hundred dollars between models. I have a long standing "buy once cry once" mentality on my purchases, and tend to wait for the best option if I have too. Any advice would be appreciated or pros and cons owners may want to share. I've done a bit of digging on here, and online in general, but there is surprisingly less apples to apples comparison than I expected. Lastly, where would you order your wheel? Thanks in advance.

 

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The Thomas Stuart/Skutt wheels are easy to clean, both the built in a removable pans. I prefer the built in, some people prefer the removable. They do a much better job of keeping the floor clean than any wheel with a small splash pan, and they have the most torque. I've got 11 of them, and I love them.

Order from whoever has the best deal. Most places are going to have them drop shipped from the manufacturer.

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If I was to buy a wheel stricking on keeping an area clean the TS built in pan is the best for that.The removable wheelhead is a plus as well.

That said I would never give up my CXC-I threw pots from 1970 to 1982 on  Brent model C then in 1982 bought a CXC-since then I have added two model Bs to the studio (one for dark clays in seperate room) and a model A that I only trim on.I went full time with clay in 1976 on that model C which is still in use here today.

I still throw every week on the CXC-I love brent wheels and have learned all there is to repairs if needed which is super rare.They have one of the best warranty's for a reason .

They are not the cleanest splash pan wise but are very funtional.The biggest downside is the wheelhead is permanently connected to the lower bearing and its a replace the whole thing if that goes out  as well as they have expense overpriced parts. My CXC bearing went out about 3 years ago after over 35 years of full time production porcelain and I needed to buy a whole new wheelhead as well. Small complaint for sure but just saying. The TS wheels have not been around to say how in 35 years they will be hjolding up.

Brent stuff is built like tank -just look at their extruder-bullet proof. The resale is always been high with Brents as well. I can sell my model C now for more than I paid in 1970 -it was $ 275.00 back then.

On another note I noticed the Brent wheel get a  lot heavier as time goes by - back in 1970s I could carry one anywhere now they weigh a ton-seems odd right?Same thing with 100# bags of dry materials-way hevier now than back then.

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Thanks for the help everyone! More reading on the TS wheels raised concern with some of the unresolved screeching from the motors. It seems the rarity and not the rule, so I'm actually less concerned with that than the wait time, and my hope of being able to work sooner than later. It appears the TS wait would be significant, as they are more or less made to order.  I can get the Brent now and I can't even look at a TS anywhere remotely near me, so I think I'm going to get my CXC next week. I know you guys have probably answered this question 1000 times, so thanks for indulging a newbie !

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Good choice, either way. ...should you reconsider TS, could be the deeply discounted units (e.g. 25% off retail, shout if you don't find...) have been sitting at the retailer for some time; easy enough to call, get the serial number(s), then ring Skutt. When I inquired regarding warrantee transfer, Skutt gave me the date the unit went out, which is when the warrantee countdown begins. btw, warrantee did transfer. 

(Original owner bought from Clay-King)

Edited by Hulk
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So I ended up getting a TS Premier last year. All the research I did pointed to the screeching being the stators on the motor and just had to wear in. Mine was a bit louder than expected in the beginning (I got the SSX speed control upgrade) but it went away after awhile. It seems you just have to run it to get it quieter. I absolutely love mine and expect it to last me many many years.

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12 hours ago, Kosch said:

So I ended up getting a TS Premier last year. All the research I did pointed to the screeching being the stators on the motor and just had to wear in. Mine was a bit louder than expected in the beginning (I got the SSX speed control upgrade) but it went away after awhile. It seems you just have to run it to get it quieter. I absolutely love mine and expect it to last me many many years.

Never really heard of wearing in a stator really. The stator is the stationary coil and the rotor is the part that rotates. Usually they have pretty precise tolerances, don’t touch and the rotor spins very freely.. Is this a brushless motor?

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I have gone through all of this with wheels back in the 70's, and bought a CXC. Now as it is more a hobby wheel and I have never produced thousands of pots it is still running great! Maintenance? None, never replace a belt or a pedal or any other part. Good investment.

That said, I considered several other wheels in the 80's & 90's when I purchased wheels for the HS I taught at. Bought a pair of CI's an MP and and HP. Price saving for the money I had, and at the same time thinking that the way I centered and threw would be best with the HP.  Really glad I bought the HP, as I could literally stop the MP while centering 10#. I always demonstrated on the HP. It is still there, and running well, as is the MP. 

Mid 90's and I bought a new wheel for the HS a Bailey top end with the fixed splash pan. I didn't like it, but could not stop it. . it was quiet, plenty of torque and would throw well, I just did not like cleaning it. Kids liked it though, as did a lot of the adults. Then I bought the same one with a removable splash pan. Great wheels! Belts just needed replacing, but then I retired in 2009, and it has seen two teachers since then. 

Any wheel you get, you will probably have to keep and I on, don't get lulled into thinking it is not the wheel when things seem to are not as impressive as they had been, wheels don't wear out, belts and potentiometers and other things do, but they are repairable. When you use a wheel everyday, it is tough to notice is the belt is slipping more than last week or last year. Belts shouldn't slip, that is why I check mine monthly just to know the condition of things.

 

best,

Pres

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I thought my Skutt wheel was louder than expected when I first started it up, Now after 3 days I only hear it when I listen for it to notice speed changes. I am surprised that I can slow it down when centering  20 lbs but it does not stall out, even when I lean hard into it.

Shop around for the wheel you want. I found some shops saved me up to $500. and have free shipping. Mine was shipped from east coast  to Sumas  Washington  in a week.  Some shops will have then in stock, give them a call. Found mine on the 2nd call  $1234.00 for a Skutt Legend delivered.

 

 

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Since I finally after 20 years got my Pacifica GT400 working properly, I doubt I'll ever get another wheel unless I run across a used deal.  Be nice to have a separate wheel for trimming and glazing.  I really like the Pacifica foot pedal.  I can confidently rotate the wheel head 1/4 turn using the foot pedal.  I haven't found the upper limit to centering clay now.  I can't stop the wheel with 20lbs of clay, which is probably my working limit.  I don't know what a better foot pedal would do.  This one seems perfect to me.

Buy a kitchen counter top with back splash and cut it to fit under the back part of the splash pan.  Now you have a 4 ft by 2 ft work table.

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If you want the TS-Skutt, try calling Clay-King.  When I was looking for wheels a few years back, the sales person mentioned that they try to have wheels in stock  and ship from their facility in Greenville, SC.  A friend of mine in Raleigh NC  bought a TS-Skutt wheel (Stephen Hill model) from them and it arrived in less than a week.

-SD

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