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Clay roller

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  • Clay roller

    There has been talk about needing a clay roller. I'm not sure where to start with thinking this through. How wide and how thick should these slabs be? I'm thinking roller pin width to start but I don't know what the group needs. Most of the roller machines I see out there are either converted pasta machines or table sized. Please help with suggestions
    Jan McKeachie Johnston uses her pocket slab roller, a DIY slab roller that makes perfect slabs every time. And the best thing: it's portable!

  • #2
    ^That's certainly a rudimentary way to do it.

    Here are a couple different sizes like you mention:

    Lil fella, $296 USD

    Click image for larger version  Name:	Mini16%20BeigeRollers.jpg Views:	1 Size:	17.4 KB ID:	1556

    Big fella, $2240 USD with legs:

    Click image for larger version  Name:	SR-14SlabRollerPATH_withNote.jpg?1463769240.jpg Views:	1 Size:	61.8 KB ID:	1557

    Honestly though there really isn't much to these, as much as I like to be able to buy the right tool, I know we could make a heavy duty one for minimal expenditure.

    I could whip up a design of a nice adjustable and heavy duty slab roller using some conveyor rolls like this:

    Click image for larger version  Name:	5-x-19-Conveyor-Rollers-7-16-Spring-Hex-_1.jpg Views:	1 Size:	24.5 KB ID:	1558


    • #3
      Rob Nowicki and Bill were at one time, looking into creating a slab roller that mounted on the wall between the two windows in the clay space. Something portable or that mounts would be great since the space is tight. We were thinking slabs 24 inches in width so that larger items could be made like casserole dishes and things like that.


      • #4
        I haven't found plans but I have found demonstration videos. This one looks simple to build and if the legs are short it can hang on the wall and be used on the table. If the working width is 24 inches the length should be 40 inches?


        • #5
          ^ That's a little too DIY for my tastes.
          The removable spacers seem like a lot of hassle. Adjustable height via turning a few handles would be much nicer for the user in my opinion.

          I can design one up with full build plans using a few pieces of off the shelf hard ware and a few plasma cut plates, then a formply working surface - and make a very nice unit.
          Designing a piece of equipment like this would be a piece of cake - it is my job after all or at least that's what my card says.

          Please just let me know what people want to see, and I can design something that fits.
          metal dojo can you get us some plate cut when its time to build?

          I would be looking to build one that functions like this Northstar slab roller:


          • #6
            I was wondering about figuring a way to make the bed of the DIY machine adjustable. The Northstar machine seems to have a rather large footprint. In order to make a 24x40 slab the machine would need to be at about 84 inches long. The DIY machine would need to be 48 inches long.


            • #7
              A cable windup spool pulling cables and a slide mounted roller would be one way.

              This guy made the bed sliding, which still is a big footprint but the wind up cable idea can be used.


              • #8
                I saw this machine and its awesome. I skipped over that design because I'm not a welder. I would have to make a bolt-together design. The roller would be better as a piece of PVC pipe with plywood ribs inside to eliminate the flex. If a solid plywood roller was preferred I would use a holesaw to make them.


                • #9
                  If only we knew someone who could weld and also has access to a plasma cutter... some kind of metal shop... a metal dojo if you will....


                  • #10
                    What if we could adjust the DIY setup with steel pins or excentric cams from the outside. Steel pins work for bookshelves so they should work for this. A couple of diagonal rows of holes should give lots of adjustment. What is the range of thicknesses needed? Some of the machines start at 3" thick. 1/8 inch increments should be precise enough.