About 2wks ago I purchased a used potter's wheel of Craigslist for $75, motor ran smooth it just needed mounting bushing to be replaced. While inspecting the housing I saw it was an old Spirit wheel put out by Leslie's Ceramics, so I put it in the back of my truck and headed over for some advice. One of the stock workers came out and gave me a brief history of the wheel and about them being discontinued. He also said if I need parts they have plenty of old machines in back. Purchased 8 bushings for $26 and now I have a functioning pottery wheel!
I've been throwing on a kick wheel for about 14 months and half way decent at creating a pot, so I though it would be easy to transition to an electric model. Started small, about a pound of clay. The speed will definitely take some getting used to....and there's no in-between, it's either stop or full speed. So I lost a few from centrifugal force but I started to get the feel of it and wanted to see how much clay it could handle. Sad to say the drag of working with 5lbs was to much for it, not the motor but the coupler, the part makes the wheel spin can't handle the torque. Maybe if I used my fingers tips more to shape than the palms of my hands there would be less drag.
I made about 15 1-2lbs pots over the last week at the cabin. When I got home Sunday I tried the kick wheel,with 10lbs of clay. What a difference, I had much more control. Every was much easier to handle, I do like the slower speed better.
Anyway, I'll have to take some photos of the pots I made...stay tuned.