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Robert Brent Wheels -older information

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I have had a fair amount of Requests for older info on Brent wheels-all from the 70s mainly thru PM's and E-mails. I'll cover all the questions I have answered in the past years here.

This is my original Brochure from 1969-1970-I bought a model C then from Robert Brent himself. At that time the model C and CXC where the only two models he made. The CXC was a direct drive transmission and could spin a 3/4 ton truck . The model C had two separate belts. Both had flat heavy duty decks with flat formica on top. The foot pedals where like in photos not like todays models. 

You can replace the potentiometer  by following that link at top of Equipment page on Brandon's post.

The splash Pans  where galvanized sheet metal and just slid in under the wheel head with no attachment .You can make one from say a plastic bowl like container. I like to find them at Asian Markets as they have the best selections

The CXC has a 1/2 steel thick deck and weight 160#s -yes 1/2 plate steel. The Model C was 1/4 inch thick deck and weighed 120#s. I still have my model C and its heavy.

The transmission takes 90 weight oil in that CXC. 

The control boxes where metal electrical boxes and were to small for all the contents and can be replaced with deeper boxes if you are working on one.

Any rust can be neutralized using Ospho bought online or any Ace Hardware store and let set for 24 hours then spray with flat black paint after 1st wire brushing away the loose material.

If your motor is blue (its original) the brushes are not user changeable -just take it to an electric motor shop and have them change out any neaded bearings or brushes at the same time.

If you have a bearing out on the wheeled (its all one unit) you can unbolt it from deck and replace with new Brent wheelhead but the shaft size on the model C was 5/8 and the new shaft/wheelheads are 3/4 so you will need new 3/4 inch shaft belt pulley as well

In Brent wheelheads the bearing and shaft/wheelhead are one piece so you need the whole deal.. The good news is they can last a lifetime unless you are a production potter.

All newer Brent motors have user friendly replacement brushes (non Blue motors).

Hope this helps those who buy these older Brent wheels

The wiring brochure is from the old days-the last document is the spring tension on wheels from the  late 70s onward written by an old acquaintance from Amaco/ Brent  Paul Scowden









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  • 8 months later...

Hi Dave

Found an ad for a CK model that indicates 1969.
 It's a listing by an individual; try searching "brent ck pottery wheel" with the ck in quotes, like

    Brent "CK" pottery wheel

Here's an article: Healdsburg Tribune, Enterprise and Scimitar 7 September 1983 — California Digital Newspaper Collection (ucr.edu)
The text indicates company was founded sixteen years prior, hence ~1967

This article indicates he opened a pottery school, started building his own wheels in 1967, founded the company in 1969: Sonoma Stories: Sebastopol arts center has Robert Brent pottery wheels, and Brent himself (pressdemocrat.com)

Hope you have many hours of productive fun on that wheel!



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  • 3 weeks later...

I was going thru downsizing old Ceramics Monthly's yesterday -the 60s and 70,s issues-kept a few 70s glaze recipes rest hit the recycle bin

I found this ad in the October 1970 issue-My Model C is that wheel assembled it was $265-splash pan was galvanized sheet steel. The thing to note was the flat formica decks and the foot pedal those are the two features that they changed fairly quickly in early 70s.  The other features that changed soon afterwards where 3/4 shafts on all wheels (these where 5/8 inch) and motors that had easy change brushes on the outside of motor. This ad also notes the location in Santa Monica that I bought my wheel from Brent himself-which was 1970.

Brent moved shortly afterwards to Healdsburg Ca.. I met recently a woman who's husband worked there back in the mid 70s. Small world



Edited by Mark C.
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  • 1 year later...

Is your new curcuit board for the older wheels like the one listed above????

You also mention a switch is this a new or older one. The Brent curcuit board youi need is for the older wheels as all As are really old. If I recall the old switches are all two wire?

Edited by Mark C.
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  • 2 months later...

Hi Elena,

Welcome to the Forum!

The CX (CXC) is top of the line.
I remember reading about a date code within the Serial Number, but I'm not finding the reference just now...
Brent may be able to answer your question(s); try contacting them? There's contact info on Brent's website.

Meanwhile, you might upload a pic of the wheel and a close up of the information tag (model and serial numbers, etc.) to this thread.
Several of the regular members know rather a lot about Brent wheels in general...

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  • 2 months later...

I'm pretty sure that  is a earlier pacifica wheel made in a small town in Northern  Wa state when they 1st opened. They used pressboard tops covered in plastic and smaller motors trhat are super quiet (they made the 1st super quiet wheel). I visited the factory  in about 79-or 80 on a return trip from BC.

I recall the pressboard and foot pedal

I'm about 80% sure it a pacifica

Edited by Mark C.
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  • 1 month later...

I have a 70's Brent Model C "blue motor" wheel that I'm restoring to operating condition.  Not sure of the exact vintage, but the motor control circuitry is in a standard rectangular electrical box, so I'm guessing pretty early in the history of Brent wheels.  The fuse holder is broken and takes rather (very?) uncommon 6mm x 30mm fuses so I would like to replace it with a more modern standard.  The rating of the fuse that came with it is 20A which seems excessively high considering this model was intended to run on a standard 115V/20A circuit. Normally I would expect an appliance to be fused at a lower current value than the circuit supplying it.  The fuse that came with it is not surprisingly still intact.

Does any of the above experts (to whom I'm immensely grateful for what has already been posted) know what fuse was originally specified, - amperage, and whether slow or fast blow?

Failing that, what fuse does the modern equivalent wheel take?

I did talk to Brent folks several years ago when I first acquired this wheel and a helpful gentleman told me the DC motor should spin at moderate speed on 24 V, which it does.  Beyond that, they could provide no information, such as how to service the motor, circuit diagrams etc., so the information posted in this thread has been invaluable.

Has anyone found a way to lubricate the bearings of the "blue motor"?

Does anyone know the manufacturer of it and model, specifications etc. (in case it needs to be replaced/repaired)?

Thanks to all!

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This copied from a manual dated "Rev. 09/18"
Note the dimensions; several vendors list Brent fuses, however, I'm not finding the twenty and twenty-five amp fuses, just 6, 8, 10  amp fuses for Brent wheels on ceramic/pottery supply vendor sites.

However ii, try this search string:
              ".25 x 1.25 slow burn 20 amp fuse"
Brent lists it, $10.90
Allfuses.com has the lowest price (that I'm seeing this morning).
I'd started reading up on fusing DC motors, uhm, 20 amps does seem "big" ...however iii, seems it takes a lot to get the motor turning, "...electric motors have a tremendous amperage draw during the starting phase..."
However iv, I'm not an expert on electric motors!

My guess on the motor bearings, likely they are press fit sealed units.
If that's the case, even if it is possible to repack them (with grease), once they are out and in hand, might as well replace with new ones.
Measure the inner and outer diameters, and stack height. Look for quality.
An electric motor repair shop may be an option.

If you can post a clear image of the information plate (or copy the serial number), that might provide a date of manufacture clue?
I believe a Forum regular had mentioned the serial number includes the year...

Check back for updates; perhaps someone has direct experience with the blue motor!


Edited by Hulk
however count, four, new PR!; serial #
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My 1st wheel I ever bought wasa model C blue motor from Robert Brent Himself in 1970 .  That motor is a 1/2 hp. The orginal models had a steel shallow standard electrical  box  that was way to small-If I recall is was what is called a duplex or square box. Anyway the blue motors cannot be serviced by you but can be by a motor shop. Motor shops are placed that work on Industrial electric motors near mill towns or lumber towns or anyplace that has lots of industrial motors. They can replace the bearings and brushes on that motor as well as give you info on that motor from inside plate info thats not available to you. You do not want to take this motor apart as I have and its a motor shop job to get it back together-trust me on this knowledge.I have sent a few to local motor shop and they fixed them all for reasoable fees. If you ever want a new one Brent sells a comparable  1/2 hp motor and its very spendy $$.. 

That wheel came with a galvanized steel splash pan and mine risted apart by the mid 80s. Now the  wheels come with what I call new plasic Brent splash pans, and they are held in place with flanged bearing on top of the deck which yours does not have. That splace pand will still work but will float around as the flange is not there. When you buy a new wheel head it has this flange. Also of note that motor shaft  you have and your smaller pulley is a diameter that Brent no longer uses (yours is 5/8 if I recall) so if you ever upgrade to a new motor you will need the new 3/4 top smaller pulley as well. That orginal wheel uses two single belts as well-they will last your lifetime. but if you get a new wheelhead you will have to go to the newer 4-6 slot single belt as well

As far as a fuze the 20 amp is for the 120V going in using a slow blow fuze. 20 amp is for #12 wire which was in most home back then for outlets. Today many wheels use less amps but that 20amp is what that motor called out for and is fine to keep using it. Now in terms of the fuze holder and steel box I replaced mine with a new brent plastic box and cover decades ago . No sure if they sell that today but you can use a plasic electrical box and a steel  or plastic cover that you modify. The fuse holder can be bought at a electronic supply online or locally or Amazon.

You need to be handy to assemble all the components into the new box  and mounting it to the deck rail . I would place the fuze holder on the back to keep it dry as thats where all the new ones are underneath not on the front plate but the back of the box

If you have your motor serviced get new brushes and bearings as they are not a greasable type.

Hope some of this clears up the mystery for you

let us know how this turns out please as feed back is always good

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Thank you Mark and Hulk.  Digging through the archives I've found great information from you and others and am making good progress.

First, fusing.  The correct fuse is 6mm x 30mm ceramic body sand filled 10 amp slow blow.  I hadn't noticed that this is actually indicated on a sticker on the controller itself, see photo below.  This is also the type specified for current model Brent wheels.  The 20A fuse that came with the wheel made no sense since its purpose is to protect the appliance itself, not the building wiring which is protected by its own breaker in the building's load center.  


Next, belt guards.  The wheel had neither belt nor guard when I acquired it and I assumed the guard had been separated and lost and I was planning on replacing it with a modern one from Brent.  However, there is a steel rib welded across the underside of the deck which looks as if it would prevent a new style guard being fitted, image below.  There are two holes drilled in the deck close to this rib, and corresponding holes in the mustard yellow molded plastic (not Formica) table top. Did these early wheels use a different guard attached by two countersunk machine screws through the table top and deck, or is mine one of those sold without a guard?  Don't worry, I'll fabricate something if there isn't a commercial option - wouldn't want the cat to lose its tail.


(As an aside, Hulk posted a news article about the Brent sale to Amaco which quotes Robert Brent saying he wanted to pursue a business without liability concerns (making calendars), and I wonder if he was reflecting on the wisdom of having sold wheels without guards.)

Now belts.  Did this model use two separate 1/4 inch wide belts side-by-side, or did it use a single belt with two grooves similar to the current 4 and 6 groove belts?  I believe this latter would be called a banded twin groove belt.  Does anyone have a specification for the belt (or belts) and  a manufacturer's part number (not a Brent part number as they don't sell them any longer)?  Images below show the profile of the grooves.  The required belt length won't be known until the wheel is reassembled and the guard situation  is resolved.


I'll post additional images that may help identify the model of wheel in due course, but in the meantime, many thanks to anyone who can answer the questions above.


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The slow blow fuse is in all Brent wheels and you can get one at a good electronics supply store or online

The deck issue is this (I own the same wheel and deck exactly) the new under deck that Brent sells will work maybe only with major modifications . I think a easier better solution is make your own with thin plywood to protect cat tails maybe 3/16 Liaun plywood with reinforced corners stabled and glued the screw it to inside frame with prefilled holes on inside,if you buy a Brent one it may not fit at all and to make it fit you will have to cut it and modify it at the very least call them to see if they have done this before. I have 5 Brent’s and my old model c is not protected by the newer style pan as I do not let cats in studio.

as to your belts they are neither what you described but two single individual belts and Brent did sell them so call and ask about them as well even if they are not on the website. I may know of a pair but it’s a long shot . Contact me if Brent has none ,these belts last forever did this she’ll have none when you got it?I replaced my wheel head on my model c long ago and it comes with a larger 3/4 shaft which uses the newer Brent belts and I also had to get a new motor pulley the that matched the new belt grooves. That all costs a bunch of money from Brent for this upgrade. The  next big cost is replacing the old style foot pedal thar came with this wheel what does your foot pedal look like?. As this will aid me in determining what you have.

now that the frame is stripped consider derusting the undersides and painting it if you are going to restore it


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I now have a new fuse holder and appropriate fuses purchased online.  Rust has been blasted off and steelwork painted - looks smart!

The additional images below may help identify the model and vintage.  The foot pedal is the more rounded style and contains a single rotary potentiometer driven by a plastic rack and pinion arrangement (don't have an image handy).

The table top and deck have two matching holes left and right, approximately midway between front and back.  Not obvious what these are for (belt guard perhaps?) and unfortunately they allowed water to leak underneath the table top causing rusting of the steel deck, but nothing serious, everything is structurlly sound.

The wheel head is 12" diameter and has a nice touch indicated by arrows in the image below - the two bosses for optional bat pins are pre-spot-drilled on hopefully exact 10" centers so all one has to do is drill through from the back in a drill press and obtain perfect hole spacing first time.  THANK YOU Robert Brent!

Some additional background:  wheel came as a freebie with a Craigslist purchase of a 1971 vintage THERMO-LITE updraft gas kiln (another story for another day), missing belts and belt guard.  It did not run when plugged in, which I traced to one of the solder tabs on the fuse holder having broken off the internal contact with the fuse.  Fuse is good and motor turns freely on 24v so I'm hoping that's all that is wrong with it and it will run fine when I've replaced the fuse holder (tomorrow).  It came with some personal papers of the original owner (deceased) from which I'm guessing they were not very technically inclined, so perhaps they removed the belts and guard in an attempted repair and then gave up.  Both wheel and kiln were in a barn of 'treasures' for many years.

Motor controller face plate has a toggle, not rocker, switch on the left and the fuse holder on the right.  The face plate does not match any of the ones on the Brent website now or 4 years ago.

Four years ago I called Brent and gave a description (no photos) to a technical person who concluded it was a model B, not C, which is probably correct since it appears to have a 1/2 HP motor.  He gave me a part number for the modern belt guard which he thought would fit (incorrect) and described the belt as a two-groove item, not two separate belts (which I believe now is also incorrect), and he suggested getting a new style foot pedal/speed controller which would be a direct replacement (which again I suspect is incorrect).  When I described the motor controller face plate he said it might be a very early model which they did not support at all.

I'm well set up with tools and materials so fabricating a belt guard will not be a problem.  However, the belt length and hence distance between the motor and wheel head axes needs to be determined first.  Thanks to Mark and others on this forum I now know I'm looking for a pair of polyurethane 1/4" wide belts, presumably classic not wedge profile, but I don't know what length.  If anyone can provide a manufacturer and part number for the pair of belts, their length (inner and outer), or the spacing between motor and wheel head axes it would be very much appreciated.

Also, does anyone know the functions of the three trim-pots on the motor controller board (image in post above)?  I'm guessing one is lo-speed, one is hi-speed, but what's the third one for?  Acceleration/braking, i.e. overshoot avoidance/damping?

Many thans to all!






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Belt issue now resolved.  Called Brent again and spoke to different person who clarified that Amaco Brent part number 22037T describes a pair of separate v-belts, (not a single twin-groove belt in the style of the 4 and 6-groove belts on modern wheels as I was told previously).  This part number is not available directly from Brent Amaco, only through distributors, and is currently in stock at The Ceramic Shop whose website describes it as a pair of 42-1/2" x 3/16" belts for a model CX wheel.  Expect to receive the belts shortly and have this wheel back up and running.

Much appreciate the help on this forum.

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The belts are small single V belts as I mentioned and that will last a lifetime-I mentione this in above pots

This wheel NEVER had a belt guard underneath most likely. 

I do not see any trim pots in your post on Feb 17th

The trim controls for wheel are in the bottom of foot pedal not on the control board-it has no adjustments for anthing take the bottom cover off foot pedal-you will see a red and blue wheel that takes a straight blade screwdriver one is high end one is low end. They work together to fine tune them

The two holes in deck someone drilled to attach a splash pan is my guess and use silicone to fill them as they will allow water to get under deck and be a rust issue

Just for you info Brent never made a model B in the early days-see the brochure at top of this post for all the early models.Your 1/2 HP motor means it was a model C . I have that same wheel only an earlier model that does not have the plastic deck but a formica flat top with no ridges around perimeter. Model Bs which came later all had 1/3 HP  motors as they are today

No one left at Brent knows this stuff anymore i feel-all the old timers are long gone I think.

That foot pedal is one of the early models and Brent has no parts for them. They do wear out over time so baby it if you can. You can buy a cheaper potentiometer here and fabracate it into this pedal here . Your potentiometer is white  as all the early ones where white and now they are all black.

When your contol board stops working the oldest control board brent sells will work fine for you but you will need a larger control box to fit it into.

These early boards fit into a shallow steel electrical box and used toggle switches not rocker as you noted.You can buy rockers for cheap when that control board stops working later.You may get lots of years still on that board or not its a unknown. I keep a spare board in stock in studio but I have 5 wheels adn like to keep tham all working well.

This is down the road for you as I have been there and done that long ago in terms of the larger plastic control box and new controls and reaplacing the foot pedal as well with the newer style.

I have a spare  foot pedal that was just sent to me from a person on this board who replaced theirs if you need one in the future.

Let me know if you need any other info just PM me


Edited by Mark C.
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Here is what an older potentiometer looks like (all white unit) .The whole unit these days is all Black plastic

Brandon covered all this well and then older units do get brittle and like this one in photo is cracked but can be epoxied to get more life from it.

You need to be handy a bit to repair unit or replace the potentiometer





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Mark, you are right, it's a model C.  And I just noticed when photographing the inside of the foot pedal that it's date stamped JAN 1972.

And the good news is the foot pedal, motor controller, and motor all seem to be working fine now with new fuse holder and toggle switch installed.  Just waiting for the belts to arrive.

The three trim pots are on the controller board shown in the Feb 17 post above, but they aren't that obvious because they are seen edge on in the photo.  I've added arrows to the image below to point them out.  Two are brownish plastic, and the third is a lighter colored plastic.


I didn't turn any of them because everything seems to be running fine as it is, and may never need to be adjusted.  Nevertheless, I'm intrigued to know why there are three not just two.

The foot pedal contains only a single 50k-ohm rotary potentiometer and the plastic rack and pinion to drive it as seen in the image below.  (And a huge gob of RTV silicone over the terminals.)


The good information and helpful people on this forum are much appreciated.  This is my first experience with an electric wheel as up to now I've been throwing on a hand-powered Japanese style (home-built) wheel and a 1971 kick wheel like the one in this ad.  Steel flywheel, but 12" wheel head.  Just need a period boom-box and some 70s mix tapes for the studio....


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When that 50k-ohm rotary potentiometer  you may be able to source another one on Brandons site in above posts. The mounting may be different. Mine lasted about 10 years in professional use.

The plasic can become brittle as well.If you don't mind what did you pay for this wheel?

I bought and sold one just like this about 10 years ago-was working fine

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For anyone needing to replace this 50k ohm rotary potentiometer it's a 1/4" diameter long shaft linear taper type for which a Google search finds many sources and different qualities ranging from $0.90 to $20, the former being a generic unsealed type (hence the big gob of silicone RTV in the image in earlier post) and the latter being a precision instrument type.  Certainly more common than the 'slider' type used on later models.

Wheel was a freebie thrown in with some other Craigslist purchases, so if it gives 10 years of incidental use for the price of belts, switch, fuse holder, and paint I'll be more than happy.  Although it's 52 years old, it appears to be a low mileage specimen that took a long barn vacation with rodents.  If the drive train dies it will revert to a banding wheel, the wheel head bearings are very smooth running.

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