Potters & Sculptors - Making Rock from Mud
My Shimpo M 400 just died. It may cost more to fix it than it's worth.
What electric potters wheels are you folks most happy with?
I have several wheels. The last one I bought was a Bailey. the price was good and I've been happy with the wheel. I like the large molded basin and drain. If it is in a classroom it is would be a pain to clean every day but in the studio it keeps us from having to clean every day - just put a bucket underneath the drain and wipe out the pan into the drain. The motor is strong and has been reliable for 3 years of use. Probably have close to 1000-1300 hours on it by now. I did have to adjust the foot pedal when I first received it - it was too sensitive at the the low end but was easy to adjust. I have a Strong Arm mounted on it. At the time Strong Arm didn't support it so I made a new centering arm out of a stock hickory handle from Lowe's. Very sturdy welded metal frame and plastic pan.
I've also used the Brent wheels quite a bit. I think the two are comparable with the exception of the Bailey is larger and the split pan on the Brent is more prone to leak if you get too much water in it. Frankly I found the split pan to be a pain.
When we first started throwing more than a decade ago I bought a Speedball, not wanting to spend a lot of money in case this was just a phase. Good news it was easy to repair, bad news it needed frequent repair. we converted it to a trim wheel and it works great for that.
Sounds like Bailey and Brent are the way to go.
Thanks for the advice.
I really love my Skutt. Mostly because of the power and the splash pan. I love just taking the entire splashpan up and dumping it into the garbage.
Which Skutt do you have?
https://skutt.com/products-page/potters-wheels/legend/ I have this one.
I've had a Brent CXC for over 20 years. I like that it has made it through very long distance moves and is still quiet and dependable.
I don't have a Thomas Stuart Legend, but it is at the top of my wish list. I love the quiet, nearly vibrationless power, at all speeds.
Is 1/3 hp powerful enough?
What do you think of the Shimpo Whisper VL?
The horsepower is deceiving. It has something to do with the way the wheel is made or something. I have centered 25# on it without it even flinching. There are videos of people centering a lot more on the same wheel. It isn't super quiet, but it isn't loud either, you can carry a conversation on with someone sitting beside you or in the same room without stopping the wheel or increasing your voice any.
I had a bearing go out on mine. I called skutt, they asked me to do some steps to make sure it was the bearing. I did those steps, called them back told them what I found, they sent me a new bearing that same day. It was there 2 days later no charge. I only paid to ship my version back. Which was like 8 dollars or something. Pretty epic customer service.
A for-profit ceramic studio donated this Shimpo-RK Whisper to our studio. 1/2 hp, exceptionally compact and quiet. If someone at the studio wants to use a wheel, I prefer they use the Shimpo. $995 - http://www.clay-king.com/pottery_wheels/shimpo_pottery_wheels/shimp...
We also have an older version of this Brent Model B, 1/2 hp which is definitely nowhere near as quiet (rumbling and whirring noise) $1,144 - so based on Joseph Fireborn's comments I may investigate getting new bearings for it, but I don't know how much quieter that will make it. It doesn't help that the motor casing is exposed instead of being inside a sound controlling shell like the Shimpo is.
Two of the owners of the for-profit studio donated the Shimpo wheel to us because "it was difficult to clean" - but that was because they didn't have the optional $85 two-part dish under the wheel. I think the third owner figured this out later because he came by nine months later wanting to undonate it, but they had received their tax deduction already - so he let the donation stand.
For some reason the Shimpo doesn't have bat pins, so when I glued together two bats with a washer screwed into the center to use as the base for a diamond lapidary wheel (which I saw a potter do on YouTube with a water pump) we use that on the noisy Brent. The grinding noise is louder than the wheel so I don't notice the noise from the potters wheel.
The similar-looking Skutt/ Thomas Stuart Revolution Pottery Wheel 1/2 hp Wheel is $1,155 from the same vendor, but we don't have that one, so I have no way to compare.
Three wheels, all similar in price. The comment I would make about Horsepower is the 1/2 horsepower models are only about $80 more than the 1/3 horsepower models, so why not get the extra power - you might want a home-made lapidary wheel.
I bought a Whisper vl a couple of days ago.
Grats on the whisper!