Friday, April 8, 2016

A Working Leach treadle Wheel!

I set up the wheel temporarily to make sure it worked correctly and smoothly prior to breaking it down for finishing. All I can say is success!
It needed some minor adjustments, but works exactly as I had hoped. Here I cranked it up, jumped off and filmed a short video of the wheel in action.

Leach Treadle Wheel Update

I have done a number of things on the Treadle Wheel since the last post.
Pacifica used to be the only electric wheel using a 1" shaft, but I discovered that Brent has been making some of their new models using a 1" shaft rather than the 3/4" shaft they have used for years. This makes both their 12" & 14" wheel heads available with the 1" shaft, which is perfect for the Leach Treadle Wheel! I opted for the 12" wheel head, as this is the typical size used on a treadle wheel (as specified by Bernard Leach) and it gives much more room around the wheel head than a 14" would. I also located some 1/2" Dupont Corian remnants to fabricate a splash pan. They where typically made from wood and lined with copper or zinc. I have to believe that had Bernard had access to Corian he would have chosen it too, as it is water proof, highly durable, and will last forever. The hole for the shaft has a piece of PVC pipe glue welded into place. The outside of the splash pan will have a 1/4" veneer of maple to add to the wheel's looks.
Here I have the wheel mostly mocked up to see if everything is working correctly...and it does! The flywheel is made from four layers of 3/4" birch plywood and has a 1/2" layer or Corian on top. In this picture the flywheel is installed up side down.
As an homage to Leach, I created a porcelain disk and inset it into the treadle/shaft connector. It bears the insignia of the St Ives Leach Pottery.

Koren Hybrid Wheel Update

So I started building a Korean Hybrid style wheel that I drew up some plans for...

I purchased remnant metal from the metal yard to fabricate the base and main rod from which the wheel is supported. I cut the pieces yesterday and welded them up today making sure that they are FLAT, SQUARE, and that the vertical rod is PLUMB. The finished base is 28" square and the rod is 35" tall from the ground, which I am going to cut to accommodate the perfect height.

At the top of the rod I have a 1" section which I have drilled a 90 degree countersink into creating a perfect "V." This piece is separate for two reasons, the first is that it is much easier to drill a 1" section of rod on the drill press than a 36" section of rod, secondly and most importantly...I am going to harden this section of steel so that it does not wear out as easily as stock mild steel would. Once hardened, this section will be welded back on top.
Here is the "live center" with the morse shaft cut off, which will be inserted into the wheel head and will mate up with the counter sunk cup.
This is how the mate up! they only make contact at the very tip, which creates very little friction = easier to turn and keep momentum!

More to come!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

New Leach Treadle Wheel

I had started to make a treadle wheel using scrap maple as a frame, but discovered that the finger jointed and laminated pieces of maple I was using were very susceptible to splitting if exposed to moisture (of which there is plenty in a pottery studio), so I scraped it.

Coming around full circle, I have now made a Leach style treadle wheel almost entirely from steel. It is composed mainly of 3" square tubing and 1.5"x3" rectangular tubing. When finished it will be powder coated, making moisture almost and non-issue.

Here is the initial framework:
Here is the frame with diagonal support added and temporary shaft with bearings aligned:
The shaft was fabricated from two pieces of 1" solid bar stock and two pieces of 1/2" plate. I tack welded the plates together to drill the 1" holes in them so that they are perfectly aligned. Once the two shafts are welded in place the center section of the main shaft is cut out. Doing it this way keeps everything perfectly straight and aligned. You don't want a wobbly oscillating wheel head!
More to come...

Hybrid Korean Style Momentum Pottery Wheel

Being inspired by videos of English potter Jim Malone throwing, I have come up with some plans for a similar type wheel, which is a hybrid of a traditional kick wheel (or Continental Wheel) and a traditional Korean wheel.  Here are the cut away plans...very simple design that can be adapted to any size thrower. In the case of Jim Malone, he has raised the wheel head up maybe 6" or more using blocks of wood attached to the wheel head, making it a more comfortable height on the back.

Essentially, this wheel can be made at any height by lengthening the center portion of 1" solid steel rod and the 3"I.D. steel tube.

Rather than fabricating a top point from hardened steel, my solution is to adapt a "live center" with built in bearings from a metal lathe, cutting off the morse tapered shaft. They are cheap, made with extremely high tolerances, and are hardened steel = perfect! The receiving cup should be simple to fabricate for a piece of the 1" steel shaft, drilled with a counter sink on the drill press, heated up to red with a torch and dropped into water to quench (to harden the mild steel). This cup is then welded back on to the top of the shaft.

I envision the flywheel being in the 30 pound range, with compartments so that weight could be added. It could also easily be poured concrete for more weight, but I think the flexibility would be better.

Here is what a "live center" looks like...three bearings inside. Just cut off the shaft and mount the body into the wheel head. Can be bought for as little as $10.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A Very Large Tea Pot!

I recently was asked to make a 12 cup teapot with twelve cups to go with it, as well as a sugar jar, creamer, and a platter. Here are the first of many pieces for this set....Twelve cups for a tea pot seemed a bit heavy for everyday use, but it actually worked quite well. The tea pot pours great and the two handles give plenty of leverage to handle the large tea pot safely.

Pictures of the cups to come....

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Large Bottle Progress...After Work

So I finished throwing the large bottle after it set up some and work was done for the day. I ended up bringing it up to 26"-28" (so tall, reaching all the way in I could not touch the bottom). I brought it out some as you can see and refined the form quite a bit. Collared in and threw the neck. Added four nice little pulled handles. The finished walls are 3/8" or less the entire way - no need to trim the foot! So I am still thinking about fluting it. Well see how it sets up for the night and what the morning brings.

The total total amount of clay used: about 16lbs - finished wet height: 21".