Wednesday, March 5, 2014

On the Farm and the Wheel Debacle

Well, late last week (Thursday and then into Friday morning), my trusty wheel motor died. If any of you fine readers happen to have a Creative Industries Model MP (earlier model, probably not 1 HP) wheel and could tell me some specs on the motor, that would be awesome. I'm hoping it is just the bearings, and have ordered some replacements, but the labels on the motor were removed at some point so I do not know the RPM, horse power, or voltage. If I don't have the specs just right, I can blow the controller! I'm limping along with an older Shimpo that also has a motor going out, but the photo above is where Week 9 of the 52 Form project got stopped! I've been playing a lot of catch up this week, so week 9 & 10 may just have to get combined when I can get things back in order!

Other projects this week in the studio have been mostly small items easily thrown on my rickety wheel. Bowls, mugs, and bottles have been filling the tables and shelves up!

New basket shapes
I was excited to make a few more of the basket shapes based on trials from one of my earlier forms from this year.
Pouring soil into the beds

Beds filled!

Plastic on!

In other news, we have plastic on the greenhouse and soil in the beds! I personally raked and hoed about 24 cubic yards of soil into the beds! The greenhouse plastic went on this past Sunday just before we had some snow and ice on Monday.
This morning's adventure was to pick up some wood for future kiln firings. This weekend is the North Carolina Potter's Conference. I'll be there on Friday and Sunday, and think it should be a good time.


S. Dean said...

I've got an old CI MP circa 1989. It's the older style that preceded the funky injection molded plastic table. I will take a look at the motor and see if there is anything on it that will be helpful. I found the original 2 page owner's manual, but its very generic and there are no motor spec's in it. It does say that (a) the head and motor bearings are sealed and should not need replacing/service, and (b) the brushes in the motor are good for approximately 15,000 hours (estimated at 8-10 years of heavy school use or a lifetime for an individual). So 25 years later, it could be a brush issue.

My recollection is that this vintage MP had a 1/2 hp motor (the Jr. was less and the HP was 1 horse).
I will follow up with you via email and let you know what I find out from the motor.

Also, did you call Speedball who acquired CI? About a year ago I asked them if they sold a replacement splash pan for my wheel (unobtainium BTW). Although they provide very limited support for the MP's, I think they mentioned that they have motors and/or controllers. Speedball is in Statesville, NC so it's not too far down the road from you. I could be wrong about the motors, but its worth giving them a call.

-Stephen Dean
Raleigh NC

Liberty Stoneware said...

So we were able to measure and replace the bearings on the CI MP. Unfortunately, though it made the motor run, we're afraid it might actually be the shaft of the motor, which means after it officially dies, it's a goner. I might have a lead on purchasing another CI MP, which is how I figure is the way to go for having extra parts and pieces since the whole thing has been discontinued. I think if this second wheel comes through, we are going to try installing a whole new 1/2 hp motor and see what happens. I'll keep you posted as to whether or not it works!

Anonymous said...

I have a CI JR model and would love to find a splash pan and some new bats for it, any ideas of where to look?


Liberty Stoneware said...

Depending on where you are located, there may be some pottery/clay forums that post various tools and supplies for wheels. For the splash pan, I would think you might be able to get away with a larger pan size such a what Highwater Clay carries- they're pretty good at knowing what kind of splash pan for what wheel. I have not looked to see whether Speedball carries supplies for the wheels, even though they don't make the wheels any longer. And, there's always Craigslist and Ebay! Good luck!