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gigirouge

Which Slabroller To Buy? (And New Or Secondhand)

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Hi All, I want to buy a slabroller, what are others experience of studio-based slabrollers. I am setting up a studio following my foundation art degree and want to make lots of slab-built items, (many tiles/vessels etc). I have used the college slabroller and am impressed with the ease/thickness/drying of slabrolled clay versus hand-rolled clay, but because of the expense, want to make sure that I buy the right one. I do not want to buy a hobbyist one, as will be using it for business. Would a floor-standing or table-top one be more suitable?? I am also purchasing a second shed to house this and more equipment, (as ceramics are taking over my house), so need to make important descisions on size now!!!!!!!!! Also, where would I find a secondhand one, as a google search only found a very small one on e-bay!! I live in England (Essex) so would have to be east of England-based. Any ideas or thoughts anyone??? Cheers, Gigirouge

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I would recommend you look into the Bailey products and the Northstar ones.

They are the names we hear most often in North America.

 

Your decision on floor models depends on how much room you have ... They take up

a lot of space but can also be used as work tables.

 

I have the Bailey floor model with the round wheel and have been happy with it but I

do not know if it is the best choice for you.

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Hi All, I want to buy a slabroller, what are others experience of studio-based slabrollers. I am setting up a studio following my foundation art degree and want to make lots of slab-built items, (many tiles/vessels etc). I have used the college slabroller and am impressed with the ease/thickness/drying of slabrolled clay versus hand-rolled clay, but because of the expense, want to make sure that I buy the right one. I do not want to buy a hobbyist one, as will be using it for business. Would a floor-standing or table-top one be more suitable?? I am also purchasing a second shed to house this and more equipment, (as ceramics are taking over my house), so need to make important descisions on size now!!!!!!!!! Also, where would I find a secondhand one, as a google search only found a very small one on e-bay!! I live in England (Essex) so would have to be east of England-based. Any ideas or thoughts anyone??? Cheers, Gigirouge

 

 

I used a German made slab roller when teaching Architectural ceramics workshops at La Meridiana in Italy. I liked it. I can't remember the brand name. You could contact La Meridiana and ask. My classes really ran a lot of clay through that machine. It is very sturdy.

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Hi All, I want to buy a slabroller, what are others experience of studio-based slabrollers. I am setting up a studio following my foundation art degree and want to make lots of slab-built items, (many tiles/vessels etc). I have used the college slabroller and am impressed with the ease/thickness/drying of slabrolled clay versus hand-rolled clay, but because of the expense, want to make sure that I buy the right one. I do not want to buy a hobbyist one, as will be using it for business. Would a floor-standing or table-top one be more suitable?? I am also purchasing a second shed to house this and more equipment, (as ceramics are taking over my house), so need to make important descisions on size now!!!!!!!!! Also, where would I find a secondhand one, as a google search only found a very small one on e-bay!! I live in England (Essex) so would have to be east of England-based. Any ideas or thoughts anyone??? Cheers, Gigirouge

 

 

 

Hello - I have a floor-standing Cowley slabroller which I bought from Potterycrafts in Stoke about ten years ago and it's as good today as it was then - a brilliant investment. However, I've just checked their website and they still sell them - but they are Very Expensive... I'm sure I didn't pay anywhere near that much. The problem with good equipment is that we tend to hold onto it, so there's not much of a secondhand market, but I'd suggest contacting any of the Stoke suppliers (Potterycraft, Potclays etc) and ask their advice

Good luck in your search and for your future business

Christine

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I found a used Northstar slab roller on craigslist.com at a good price and have seen others there. Mine had a little surface rust on the table but works great. There are also a number of plans to make your own on the web, if you're handy that way. I took classes in a Florida studio where they had a homemade slab roller and it worked very well.

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I have a northstar studio slab roller which i bought 8 years ago and have been very pleased with. Whatever you buy I strongly recommend you go with the two roller model which evenly compresses the clay. Top roller only models require you to flip the slab so it gets rolled on each side--otherwise you have stretched the top clay particles more than the bottom ones and you can be assured of warpage--the curse of slab construction.

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I have a northstar studio slab roller which i bought 8 years ago and have been very pleased with. Whatever you buy I strongly recommend you go with the two roller model which evenly compresses the clay. Top roller only models require you to flip the slab so it gets rolled on each side--otherwise you have stretched the top clay particles more than the bottom ones and you can be assured of warpage--the curse of slab construction.

 

 

Thank you Charles, I hadnt realized that fact, but is obvious now you have pointed it out. Crucial Information !!!!!

Gigirouge x

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I found a used Northstar slab roller on craigslist.com at a good price and have seen others there. Mine had a little surface rust on the table but works great. There are also a number of plans to make your own on the web, if you're handy that way. I took classes in a Florida studio where they had a homemade slab roller and it worked very well.

 

 

Hi MerryMary, Thank you for your input. I have looked on craigslist.com, but had no luck at present. Cheers anyway, Gigirouge x

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Hi All, I want to buy a slabroller, what are others experience of studio-based slabrollers. I am setting up a studio following my foundation art degree and want to make lots of slab-built items, (many tiles/vessels etc). I have used the college slabroller and am impressed with the ease/thickness/drying of slabrolled clay versus hand-rolled clay, but because of the expense, want to make sure that I buy the right one. I do not want to buy a hobbyist one, as will be using it for business. Would a floor-standing or table-top one be more suitable?? I am also purchasing a second shed to house this and more equipment, (as ceramics are taking over my house), so need to make important descisions on size now!!!!!!!!! Also, where would I find a secondhand one, as a google search only found a very small one on e-bay!! I live in England (Essex) so would have to be east of England-based. Any ideas or thoughts anyone??? Cheers, Gigirouge

 

 

 

Hello - I have a floor-standing Cowley slabroller which I bought from Potterycrafts in Stoke about ten years ago and it's as good today as it was then - a brilliant investment. However, I've just checked their website and they still sell them - but they are Very Expensive... I'm sure I didn't pay anywhere near that much. The problem with good equipment is that we tend to hold onto it, so there's not much of a secondhand market, but I'd suggest contacting any of the Stoke suppliers (Potterycraft, Potclays etc) and ask their advice

Good luck in your search and for your future business

Christine

 

 

 

Hi Christine, Re-looked at Cowley slabroller, which was a good price as compared to other ones at Poterycraft, but they all seem to be out of stock with a vague delivery-time of months. (May give me time to raise extra funds!! Ha Ha!!) Will research fully till then. Thanks for input Gigirouge x

 

 

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I would recommend you look into the Bailey products and the Northstar ones.

They are the names we hear most often in North America.

 

Your decision on floor models depends on how much room you have ... They take up

a lot of space but can also be used as work tables.

 

I have the Bailey floor model with the round wheel and have been happy with it but I

do not know if it is the best choice for you.

 

 

Hi Chris, Have just looked at these online, and do look a cut above the others because of the single, one-way rolling, very expensive though. Its almost like buying a car, you get what you pay for!!

Thank you for post Gigirouge x

 

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I would recommend you look into the Bailey products and the Northstar ones.

They are the names we hear most often in North America.

 

Your decision on floor models depends on how much room you have ... They take up

a lot of space but can also be used as work tables.

 

I have the Bailey floor model with the round wheel and have been happy with it but I

do not know if it is the best choice for you.

 

 

Hi Chris, Have just looked at these online, and do look a cut above the others because of the single, one-way rolling, very expensive though. Its almost like buying a car, you get what you pay for!!

Thank you for post Gigirouge x

 

 

 

 

Hi there -

Just a couple of thoughts about slab rollers. First, there are smaller "Table Models" and larger "Floor Models". Space and finances usually help with decisions concerning both of these aspects. Another consideration, though perhaps one of less importance, is choosing between a slab roller such as a Northstar or similar machine that rolls the slab out on canvas and a slab roller that rolls out slabs on "carrier" boards. Well, just a couple of things to consider. As for sourcing a used machine, here is a link that will take you to the Clayart Wanted/For Sale site (http://www.potters.org/subject14033.htm). I saw a couple of machines offered for sale with recent dates on the posts, hope this helps.

 

 

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I like my Brent. You find a lot of Brents in school settings and I've foudn mine to be virtually bullet-proof. I never had a problem with a single roller slab roller, all slab rollers cause a bit of warpage, if you want warp-free slabs the only way I have found is by using a press.

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I had a Brent at the University where I taught for 25 years. Our brent developed frayed cables which were really hazardous to regrease..even with rubber gloves.

have you ever had to re-grease the cables or reset the tension?

Marcia

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I had a Brent at the University where I taught for 25 years. Our brent developed frayed cables which were really hazardous to regrease..even with rubber gloves.

have you ever had to re-grease the cables or reset the tension?

Marcia

 

 

Actually at the first sign of wear the cables should be replaced since the the roller depends on relatively equal tension on the cables. I grease the cables regularly and I've replaced one set after about ten years. The cables are easy to replace and tension. In a teaching setting it has been my experience that one needs to instruct the students not to let the roller slam to the end of the roll, that seems to damage the cables mostly. I also installed a threaded rod on either side of the roller in the schools I've taught at to act as a guard, I think there might be a possible pinching hazard with the roller and the threaded rod keeps fingers out and away from the roller. I've never had a problem with someone getting pinched but when one is dealing with students I have found over the years that one can never be too careful. My credentials are in vocational education and there are certainly more dangerous endeavors than clay arts but I just like to play it safe.

 

Best regards,

Charles

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I found a used floor standing brent for cheap and this one will out last me. I modified the floor stand for shelves. Craig's list! Save Money! There are many baby Boomers retiring from pottery that are willing to get rid of slab rollers, wheels, dry chemicals, extruders. All good stuff. I do love my neighbor's Bailey as well though.

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I would recommend you look into the Bailey products and the Northstar ones.

They are the names we hear most often in North America.

 

Your decision on floor models depends on how much room you have ... They take up

a lot of space but can also be used as work tables.

 

I have the Bailey floor model with the round wheel and have been happy with it but I

do not know if it is the best choice for you.

 

 

Hi Chris, Have just looked at these online, and do look a cut above the others because of the single, one-way rolling, very expensive though. Its almost like buying a car, you get what you pay for!!

Thank you for post Gigirouge x

 

 

 

 

Hi there -

Just a couple of thoughts about slab rollers. First, there are smaller "Table Models" and larger "Floor Models". Space and finances usually help with decisions concerning both of these aspects. Another consideration, though perhaps one of less importance, is choosing between a slab roller such as a Northstar or similar machine that rolls the slab out on canvas and a slab roller that rolls out slabs on "carrier" boards. Well, just a couple of things to consider. As for sourcing a used machine, here is a link that will take you to the Clayart Wanted/For Sale site (http://www.potters.org/subject14033.htm). I saw a couple of machines offered for sale with recent dates on the posts, hope this helps.

 

 

 

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Hi All, I want to buy a slabroller, what are others experience of studio-based slabrollers. I am setting up a studio following my foundation art degree and want to make lots of slab-built items, (many tiles/vessels etc). I have used the college slabroller and am impressed with the ease/thickness/drying of slabrolled clay versus hand-rolled clay, but because of the expense, want to make sure that I buy the right one. I do not want to buy a hobbyist one, as will be using it for business. Would a floor-standing or table-top one be more suitable?? I am also purchasing a second shed to house this and more equipment, (as ceramics are taking over my house), so need to make important descisions on size now!!!!!!!!! Also, where would I find a secondhand one, as a google search only found a very small one on e-bay!! I live in England (Essex) so would have to be east of England-based. Any ideas or thoughts anyone??? Cheers, Gigirouge

 

 

I bought my Bailey slab roller 20 years ago and it' still like new. One money savings thing we did was just order the unit and built the bi-level table ourselves. Back then the table was almost as expensive as the slab roller unit and high shipping cost, Bailey included instructions on how to make the table. My whole unit is 7 feet long, I think I could get along with the unit being 5 feet long, I also use it as a work table so I"m leaving it as is. Denice (Wichita, Kansas)

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I have a Northstar that I really like. One big plus is that it rolls both ways so I can roll a slab through, rearrange the clay if needed or lower the roller, then roll it back through without having to distort the clay by moving it to the 'front' of a one-way roller. The roller at the art school where I teach is a one-way.......a student got her fingers caught in the rollers and had to stay stuck there until someone found tools, crawled under the slab roller (first had to move a lot of clay that was stored there), and loosen enough bolts to release the rollers. She was in a lot of pain! Anyway, I made sure I could reverse the roller on the one I purchased.

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I have an old Brent that I bought used back in the 1980's--it's only 16" wide so sometimes it is limiting, but has been a big plus in the studio. I looked up comparable new ones and (gulp!) the prices rattled me. I will be content with what I have.

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I have a 30" from Clay King, double rollers, $650, The slab Master, It's the same item as the Rolling Thunder from Axner, I think. I have compared it closely to the 30" North Star and can't find the difference that would explain the much greater cost of the North Star. I have used it alot.

 

2 things I REALLY want from a slab roller, 1 thickness adjustment by only turning 1 crank, not walking aound it or reaching across to have to turn the other wheel and then look at the dials on each side to see,hope, that they are even.

2 A small enough sheet of canvas that I can rotate so as to roll the clay in both directions, with out feeling like I have been intoombed by a ginormous sheet of canvas .tongue.gif

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Hi All, I want to buy a slabroller, what are others experience of studio-based slabrollers. I am setting up a studio following my foundation art degree and want to make lots of slab-built items, (many tiles/vessels etc). I have used the college slabroller and am impressed with the ease/thickness/drying of slabrolled clay versus hand-rolled clay, but because of the expense, want to make sure that I buy the right one. I do not want to buy a hobbyist one, as will be using it for business. Would a floor-standing or table-top one be more suitable?? I am also purchasing a second shed to house this and more equipment, (as ceramics are taking over my house), so need to make important descisions on size now!!!!!!!!! Also, where would I find a secondhand one, as a google search only found a very small one on e-bay!! I live in England (Essex) so would have to be east of England-based. Any ideas or thoughts anyone??? Cheers, Gigirouge

 

 

 

Gigirouge,

 

I am primarily a handbuilder and I consider my slabroller to be my most valuable piece of equipment. I use a Bailey at school and have no problems with it but I have a 30" NorthStar in my personal studio... it is my favorite piece of studio equipment. It is almost 10 years old and has rolled miles of clay. It performs as well today as the day I bought it. My studio is on a screened porch so it is semi-exposed to the elements... The NorthStar is rust free and virtually maintenance free... No chains, cables or cast-iron gears... I particularly like the scale on the roller which allows me to roll uniform slabs every time... the same thickness everytime. It serves as a work table, too. After using both the Bailey and NorthStar on a regular basis, I am confident I made the right purchsase for me. I have found the NorthStar company to be very reliable... they have always given me personal attention and answered all my questions with one phone call. I looked for a used one when I purchased mine but was unable to find anyone who wanted to part with theirs... seems to be a piece of equipment most potters keep once they aquire one. I understand that NorthStar has a dealer in Staffordshire (Potclays LTD, Brickkiln Lane Etruria Stoke-on-Trent).

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