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Converting an Old Kick Wheel into Electric Driven


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Google "motor drive kick wheel".  It's a motor with a wheel on the end that runs along the outside of the kick wheel.  I'm sure it has a VFD of some type.  The gear reduction would be huge.

A lot more work, but would last a long time.  A motor 2 gears, chain, chain guard, and a VFD (variable frequency drive).  You might need to cut the shaft to get a gear mounted to the shaft and should replace the bearings when your in there.  You would need to do a bit of reading and math to get the right gear reduction on the gears so you don't kill the motor.  You would need to get a motor that can handle a VFD.

 

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It's usually just a motor with a rubber puck on the shaft. The motor is mounted to a pivot that has a switch, and some sort of arm. You push on the arm with your foot, which turns on the motor as it pivots so the rubber puck engages the edge or top of the fly wheel. The motor runs at full speed. No gears, chains, etc. Look up the motor attachment for Skutt/Thomas-Stuart kick wheels, or Lockerbie.

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Mount the motor on the side that you don't normally kick on. So if you thrown counterclockwise, you'll be kicking with your right foot, so put the motor on the left. You'll want to kick the wheel once or twice to get it moving before engaging the motor, as it will save a lot of strain on the motor. You can see in the Skutt image below that the motor system is a safe distance away so you won't hit it if you want kick with both feet, and darn near impossible to catch a toe in it. The motor is at the 10 o'clock position as you're seated at the wheel. I used one of these Skutt wheels for several years and it worked well. It's not a delicate thing, though. Mostly just good for centering, not great for pulling and shaping because it gets the wheel going too fast for that.

 

Skutt Kick Wheel Motor.jpg

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Again thanks for all the useful comments and suggestions.

Following on from this, should I go AC or DC Motor?

if I use a step down transformer for supplying the DC motor I should be able to control the speed better and also change direction??

Any thoughts on this please?

 

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Most of the powered kick wheels that I have used, have had AC motors for cheaper solution. The thought of a DC, moves this into a more full time sort of operation, and would mean more in  the way of working the foot pedal even if you would have one. It certainly does not seem like it would have to be operated the same as the traditionalonal motorized kick wheel.

best,

Pres

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53 minutes ago, navyman said:

if I use a step down transformer for supplying the DC motor I should be able to control the speed better and also change direction??

A step down transformer does not get you DC, it needs rectification and filtering so maybe a bit more complicated than what you are thinking. Simple speed control (within limits) fairly easy for the AC motor and buy a reversible motor for direction change.

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22 hours ago, navyman said:

if I use a step down transformer for supplying the DC motor I should be able to control the speed better and also change direction??

A VDF with the right motor will get what you want.  I have no clue as to what direction to point you in.  If you know any plant maintenance workers or plant electrician would be good people to talk to.

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I over looked the gear ratio of putting a motor with a tinny puck on the end of the kick wheel.  Depending on the size of the kick wheel and the size of the puck with using an 800 rpm motor there would be no need for a VDF.  The calculations I did biased off one of my kick wheels would max out at 160 rpm.  It looks like pottery wheels max out around 240 to 250 rpm depending on the brand.

I never reverse my wheel and do not know any potters that do.  I have watched 2 on YouTube that will, but I can not think of who they are right now.

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19 minutes ago, saltedfire said:

The calculations I did biased off one of my kick wheels would max out at 160 rpm.

This may help
You should be able to divide the driven pulley diameter by the drive pulley diameter to get the ratio then divide your driven speed (rpm) by the ratio to get your final speed.
Variable Frequency Drives (VFD’s) Are best used on three phase motors. For single phase motors while available have their issues. Among them:  cooling themselves during low speed operation, available torque, Starting torque, even overheating at full speed operation.  The contact force approach really alleviates most of these issues and is economical.

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When I had my Estrin wheel I would stand on the motor hard and center the clay, release the motor and then throw my mug or bowl. By the time it slowed down I was ready to remove the piece. The motor ran 110v and was always running while I was throwing. The drive wheel on the motor was a hockey puck.

Now I have a Skutt wheel and would not go back, love a modern quality wheel.

 

 

Edited by ronfire
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25 minutes ago, Bill Kielb said:

This may help
You should be able to divide the driven pulley diameter by the drive pulley diameter to get the ratio then divide your driven speed (rpm) by the ratio to get your final speed.
Variable Frequency Drives (VFD’s) Are best used on three phase motors. For single phase motors while available have their issues. Among them:  cooling themselves during low speed operation, available torque, Starting torque, even overheating at full speed operation.  The contact force approach really alleviates most of these issues and is economical.

I know.  I just over looked the amount of reduction in the first few post and that's why I kept pushing the VFD.  Once it hit me That's why I calculated out what a 800 rpm motor would would do to my kick wheel and I'm hoping the OP would do the math on there kick wheel.

I have at least 2 VFD's in my pottery.  There is a good chance there are more in my HVAC and my lift.  The first one is to control the rpm in my mud pump.  The other one is to run a 3 phase motor off split phase power.  I know rotary phase converter is normally used for this.  There are a few manufacturers that make split phase motors that are made for low speed VFD applications.

As most potters are not going to need a ton of torque so cooling would be a huge issue if the right motor and VFD was chosen.  Yes low RPM and high torque would cause a ton of heat that would not get the needed air flow to cool.  I would have this issue as I like I do a lot of very large items.  I would think for people to have this issue they would also have barring issues with there kick wheels like I do.  I did do some looking a few posts ago and some of the motors split phase motors made for low speed VFD will work down to 25 rpm as long as they are low torque applications.

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