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Opinions on Shimpo VL lite


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Hi. I have just purchased a Shimpo VL lite but have not used it yet. I was looking at wheels a year ago and thought I would get a Brent. I decided to get the Shimpo lite because it’s only 50 pounds. I also belong to a studio but of course that is closed right now. I am having second thoughts about the lite wheel because it is belt driven and I would exchange it for a better quality. I thought I’d reach out here to ask folks opinion about the lite versus something heavier. Any info would be greatly appreciated. I am probably not the person  to throw more than 20 pounds but I’m concerned about other factors. 
Thanks so much for input

Ellen

 

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There's nothing wrong with belt driven wheels. Brent, Skutt, Pacifica, Bailey are all belt driven, and they generally have more torque than the direct drive pancake motors they us in the Shimpo Whisper wheels. But if you don't make large pieces, just about any wheel is going to work just fine. That said, they VL Lite has a very small motor, so long term you may want something with more power. But the belt drive is not the problem.

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Maybe evaluate just what you throw and try to figure out if you think you will really have much of a limitation. Below is a link to a chart from the Lakewood Pottery FAQs I used as a gauge when I first started throwing. We use a couple of Shimpo Whisperers which some say have low torque for really big pots but since we rarely throw large pots we haven't noticed. Nothing on this list even reaches 6lbs. I love the Shimpo Whisperer because I'm hard of hearing and they are really quiet and I assume folks love the Lite because it can be moved around easier at only 50lbs.

I guess what I am saying is that I wouldn't necessarily give up that convenience if it motivated you to buy it because you might throw a pot that is a lot bigger than your biggest ones  now. 

http://www.lakesidepottery.com/HTML Text/Tips/amount-of-clay-per-pottery-ware.htm

 

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It's a matter of preference, we have 4 wheels, one of them happens to be a VL lite. Unfortunately, unless you get to try your wheel out at another studio for an extended time, it's hard to say what you will like. I can say the lite is used alot at studios teaching, there are a ton of brents in schools, old shipos from the 70s still lurking about. If you're worried about not being able to throw big, 10-20 lb is pretty big. I tend to adjust my throwing to the wheels strengths, as well as my clay body. Unfortunately, the stats published by manufacturers, due little too clear this up, and we all have a favorite. I bought my latest, because it had an easily removable wheel head, could have went with three other brands, had it not been for that one feature. It was important to me. A lighter wheel may be what you need.

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