Beginner's Question--Potter's Wheel

They're all over the place, of course, and have dozens of characteristics
and quirks.
I remember two things (From how long ago I will not mention!):
1. A MASSIVE foot powered wheel that seemed to hold momentum forever. No
power required except the legs. Are these antiques, (or at the very least)
vintage now?
Any DIY possibilites?
2. A little kick lever powered rig with an aluminum top wheel, that seemed
to want to fly apart when you were pedaling it up to speed, and DID NOT hold
momentum.
Well, there are now a myriad of these little electrical ones all over the
web, and they do look simple, but I want something that just doesn't
vibrate.
They look so light that I have suspicions.
Any Help?
thanks.
Buck
(P.S. Good sources of equipment and raw materials in the SF Bay Area. Tools,
clay, glazes?)
Thanks Again
Reply to
Buck
most pottery wheels you can buy today new or used are pretty good. the bad ones have long disapeared. i have two Brent electric wheels. very strong, very stable. lockerby kick wheels with their motor attachement capability are very good for both kicking and electric assistance.
i had a home built wheel years ago, bought it from someone for cheap. today i'd sooner buy one then make one although "it's just a wheel" so it should be easy to make one.
see ya
steve
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Reply to
slgraber
[I've seen kickwheels built from car parts; a VW as I recall. But these are pretty simple machines; all you need is a bottom thrust bearing, a flywheel (a tire filled with concrete) an axle, and a top plate with axial bearing, plus a wooden frame to hold all that and sit in. I still like my kickwheel for trimming, but it's hard to beat the electrics for throwing, especially for larger pieces.]
[I haven't seen one of those for quite a while.]
[There are some wheels sold as toys, that really don't work at all for things larger than a teacup. But the professional brands are pretty good; modern electric speed controls are cheaper than the mechanical systems that used to prevail, and actually do function pretty well.]
'
[The SF Bay Area has lots of good ceramic supply places: Leslie Ceramics in Oakland, Claypeople in Richmond, Ceramics and Crafts on Bryant St. in SF; Sherry's in San Carlos - I'm sure there are more.]
Andrew Werby
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Reply to
Andrew Werby
"The Self-Reliant Potter," an old book by Andrew Holden has plans for a DIY treadle-wheel and a DIY kickwheel -- but I wouldn't recommend building either. Wheels are relatively simple machines, but they have to be very well made, or they're inferior to manufactured wheels -- which is usually the case.
Get a second job, or make some hand-built pieces and sell them -- or do anything to get the modest amount of money necessary to buy a good second-hand wheel. You'll be better off in several ways. There should be many to choose from in your area.
Marco
Reply to
Marco Milazzo
Money is not a problem.
But no matter how much one has, spending on a loser that winds up in a storage shed and is eventually thrown away is, to say the least, irritating.
I have a few mis-fires from the realm of woodworking that I remember well.
Thanks,
Buck
Reply to
Buck
If money is not an issue, then I recommend the RK Shimpo Whisper as a wheel. Kick wheels are great to learn on (and to keep in shape with) but as far as ease of use an electric wheel is far nicer. The Whisper, as its name suggest, is really quiet. The wheel also turns freely when off so it can be used as a banding wheel. I only throw at most 25# at a time but it should handle much more than that. You can also resale it easily if you want.
Reply to
DKat
pottery wheels have a great resale value. if, like in woodworking for you, things do not work out you can still sell a potters wheel easily for not a big loss.
see ya
steve
Reply to
slgraber
Things are still 'working out' in woodworking, but i've just bought a few clunkers in the way of machinery.
A Ryobi B2K Table saw, for example. No guts, no compatibility with other equipment, no nada. I use it for the most simple jobs only.
I just don't want to buy several wheels to get it just right.
I notice kilns are plentiful in the used market.
Arouses my curiosity.
Buck
Reply to
Buck
A good lot of information to start with.
that product called "whisper" is intriguing.
I think I'll be making a small nuisance out of myself at a few of the Bay Area suppliers.
Regards
Buck
Reply to
Buck
Word of warning - by the time you add shipping to the costs at EBay you are paying more than what you can usually get other places. Bennett has the lowest prices I ever found for kilns. I think I got my wheel from Sheffield - or Nevada Dans... Watch for sales which should be about now.
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(nevada dans)but others are also good.
Reply to
DKat
Shipping costs can be the dirty little secret of E-Bay and other web suppliers.
Any savings can evaporate very quickly.
Waiting for promotions is a good idea.
I pity the folks who have to buy clay from a distance.
Thanks.
Buck
Reply to
Buck
I bought my wheel used from my teacher. A steal! The kiln was a refurbished one from a local supplier, with one year guarantee - and I love it!
Look for a good supplier with a good reputation, then keep an eye on the special offers - and/or let them know what equipment you are looking
Marianne
Reply to
Bubbles_
I don't know if you found what you're looking for yet or not. I'll give my two cents anyway. I've thrown on a Soldner and OWN a VL whisper. My mom can keep her Soldner. Side by side we both centered a simple 15 pounder, the Soldner bogged down (only a little mind you), the Shimpo didn't even flinch. In the RadioControl world (my other passion) brushless tech has become the only way to go, seems Shimpo is proving it in pottery as well. Only one thing buggs me, at low RPM the 60hz 110 causes the wheel head to ocilate (ie hesitate then lurch) But who throws at 1rpm anyway? So, if you haven't bought anything yet, here is my advise. find someone, anyone, willing to let you throw on their wheel (most potters are more than delighted to help you) then find a different wheel, and another, etc. When you find one that fits your style, buy one. If you aren't close to another potter (can't imagine this) i say go Shimpo.
Graham
Reply to
Graham Ryan

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