Slab roller

A new look at an old favourite

Having looked at the other slab rollers around, we looked at our design priorities.

  • Size. Many potters don't need a huge slab roller, but they are always short of working area. After discussion with a number of our potter friends we decided that the most useful size would have a bed of 850 x 450mm, giving a slab size of around 700 x 400mm.
  • Weight. To make best use of valuable space, a light machine that can be readily stored in a small area is desirable. With an all-up weight of around 17Kgs (about 1½ mini bags of clay) it is fairly easy to lift. It is designed to store on edge with a footprint of only 910 x 290mm
  • Adjustability. The roller should be rapidly adjustable over a wide range, with a single adjuster. By mounting the top roller on a pair of linked eccentrics with a single adjusting lever and a positive friction lock, the adjustment over the full range (2 to about 24mm) can be made in one easy movement as shown in the video below.
  • Repeatability. Some sort of stop on the adjustment would ensure repeatability. We have put a simple friction lock lever in the adjustment slot to make it easy to get the same thickness slab consistently.
  • Ease of use. The gearing should be such that it is light to use, but not too slow. Ergonomic testing gave us a guide to the best ratio of handle length to cable roller diameter.
  • Reliability. The mechanism should be simple, and the materials reliable. The stiff but lightweight steel frame is powder coated. The bed is made from quality birch ply (good stiffness to weight ratio). The top roller is uPVC for stiffness and moisture resistance. The drive cable is high-tensile marine quality stainless steel of the appropriate size for the cable roller to ensure long life.

Here it is

Slab Roller

The video

Great News

They are now ready to ship. Order them here.

The design and construction of these machines has been optimised for very economical small batch manufacture using the facilities available to us (CNC plasma cutting, wood, plastic and steel turning, MIG welding, powder coating). Thus it is not suitable for home construction so we cannot do plans for you.