[Clayart] slab rollers

Michael Wendt mwendt at wendtpottery.com
Sat Jan 22 00:01:09 UTC 2022

I agree with Vince about vertical slabrollers.
How do you keeping it from falling?
I make a lot of platters, square plates, butter dishes and other slab items 
so I built my own slab roller from scratch.
It uses a pair of identical 2 1/4" outside diameter pipes (Machined on the 
metal lathe to the exact same diameter between centers) 26" long driven by 
3/4" diameter shafts that are synchronized via 4 heavy steel gears.
Because the transmission is bi-directional, its easy to form quickly.
I can roll through one way and then lower the top roll a bit to roll back 
the other way.
The slab itself is formed on a 3/4" thick MDF board 26" w X 36" long with 
smooth laminate glued on with contact cement.
For traction, I attached two 6" wide sander belts on the bottom of the 
I adjust the thickness via a hand crank using a 35 pitch roller chain that 
turns both elevation screws precisely at the same time.
It has been in service since I built it in 1982.
Since I have a fairly complete machine shop area in the studio, it makes it 
possible for me to indulge my other love, equipment fabrication.
Any of you who ever pass near this area (Lewiston, Idaho) are invited to 
bring your camera, note pad and anything else you might need to capture some 
of the fun and exotic machines I have built over the years.
It's all part of the fun of being a potter as far as I am concerned.
Michael Wendt
----- Original Message ----- 
From: <vpitelka at dtccom.net>
To: "'Clayart international pottery discussion forum'" 
<clayart at lists.clayartworld.com>
Sent: Friday, January 21, 2022 11:18 AM
Subject: Re: [Clayart] slab rollers

I had some hesitations about posting this, but I think it is important that 
Jeff get honest opinions, even if they qualify as negative reviews.  I have 
looked hard at the Hi-Roller slab-roller, and while I really appreciate the 
spirit of adventure and ingenuity that went into it's creation, I don't 
think it compares to a horizontal slab roller, and it is very expensive. 
The space-saving feature is a falsehood, because every studio needs 
table/bench space, and every horizontal slab roller is a table when it's not 
rolling slabs.  And if you have the Hi-Roller up against a wall, that's one 
wall where you can't put shelves or a cabinet.  I have repeatedly watched 
the demos of the Hi-Roller at NCECA, and I am not at all impressed.  And I 
am an equipment geek.  I love machinery and innovation and have been working 
with machines all my life.  This thing is a bad idea.

My primary work has mostly been slab-built for the past 35 years, and I have 
taught slab-building in all my college classes and handbuilding workshops. 
I have used slab-rollers by Brent, Bailey, North Star, Shimpo, Frema, and 
Axner, and the only one of those I would definitely stay away from is the 
Brent, because of the cost and the limitations of the shim system, compared 
to the infinitely-variable slab-thickness in the other brands.

I think that Jeff had the right idea to begin with sticking with Bailey, 
North Star, or Shimpo.
- Vince

Vince Pitelka
Potter, Writer, Teacher
Chapel Hill, NC
vpitelka at dtccom.net

-----Original Message-----
From: Clayart <clayart-bounces at lists.clayartworld.com> On Behalf Of David 
Sent: Friday, January 21, 2022 10:40 AM
To: clayart <clayart at lists.clayartworld.com>
Subject: [Clayart] slab rollers

You should look hard at this one...
The Original Hi Roller is the fastest, easiest, most durable, and least 
dusty slab-making machine available today. The innovative forming process 
and flat/touchless removal technique is amazing.
Your space-savings is just a bonus.
Checking it out here is free, easy,
and well worth your time. Made in the USA originalhiroller.com

David Bellar
<david at potterycarolina.com>
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