From A Whisper To A Shout…

Well, maybe not a shout as much as a loud whirring like a large metal wheel rolling on a metal track. This picture cannot be anything but bad news…

My wheel is a Shimpo VL-Whisper and was one of the things I splurged on when I gave the wheel I was borrowing back to the friend that loaned it to me. It is called the Whisper because of how remarkably quiet it is when you’re working on it and it has lived up to that name… until yesterday. I slapped a hunk of clay down and when I pushed the pedal, this awful noise that was quite loud and a feeling of slight vibration as though there was Grit In The Gears… but how would grit get in the gears? If the 4 bolts here are removed, there is a large rubber ring that seals it to the white top and the gears are underneath anyway.

I have a call into Shimpo and Bob there urged me not to take the bolts out and that I might have to go at it from the bottom. He also said that he wasn’t sure what could be wrong because the wheel still turns and has full torque and speed. He also said that the guy that designed it was at lunch and would call me back but he hasn’t so I will be calling him after I’m done with this. I guess worst case is I’d have to buy a new wheel and I have to say that I’ve become quite accustomed to this particular wheel. The feature that I thought was useless when I first got it but now find indispensable is that when the user lets off the pedal, the wheelhead spins freely like a banding wheel. I’ve become so accustomed to this that if I had a wheel without it, I’d be tugging at the wheelhead constantly to no avail. Mom and I decided to do new year’s eve a night early last night as I hate the crowds and pandemonium associated with special days. Terry from last post’s scrabble playing and Kathy, my lifelong friend whose poetry is on this post drove their daughter, Quinnie, over to babysit Sofia while Mom and I went to a movie and dinner. We’ve only been out a couple times since Sofia was born and haven’t been to a movie and dinner on the same night since before she was born. I guess Kathy and Terry decided to use bringing Quinn over as an excuse to see a movie and maybe get something to eat also. So they dropped her off in front of the house and drove away and after we got Quinn and Sofia settled for a minute or two, we were off. Quinnie brought Sofia an xmas gift and she was so excited she jumped up on the kitchen table to open it…

Well, we walk into the theater to sit down and there’s Kathy and Terry at the same movie (Up In The Air) so we sat next to them and afterward we told them where we were going and they joined us which was great. The funny thing is that if we had called them and said how about we all go to a movie and get some dinner, the scheduling of it would have taken months and required an act of congress to get everyone’s calendars cleared. We went to a new restaurant named Caffe Classico, which up until a couple weeks ago used to only be a little cafe with really great coffee (I think it’s called Meinl coffee) and the owner has been working to expand into the adjacent building for years. We had vino and the food and conversation were great.

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11 Responses to “From A Whisper To A Shout…”

  1. Gordo Says:

    Yikes, tough to throw those amazing bowls without a wheel. I’ll kepe my fingers crossed.

    Sounds like a great evening, Jim. Bridget and I are doing something similar tonight, but Phil is old enough to look after Cameron. 🙂

  2. gary rith Says:

    omigosh, you all met like that???? btw, what’s goingo on with the goose and your daughter, is that your house?

  3. ron Says:

    Hope you get the Whisper sorted out. That’s a giant goose!

  4. Jason Says:

    I know what you mean about needing an act of congress to get everyone’s calendars cleared in order to go out to a simple movie and dinner with friends! Glad you had a good time with them.

    Sorry about the Whisper! I don’t suppose you can do much without it!

  5. meredith Says:

    Your stars were all lined up or maybe it was the blue moon!
    Good luck with your wheel you need it!
    Oh- Happy New Year to you and yours!

  6. zygote Says:

    Ouch…. love the goose.

  7. cindy shake Says:

    Arrrgh. Sorry to hear about equipment issues -makes it tough on a production schedule! We just saw Up In The Air as well!! What a FUN movie 🙂

  8. soubriquet Says:

    Bearing. Top bearing, failed seal.
    Or bottom bearing. If you turn it by hand can you feel any lumpiness in the movement?
    If the wheelhead’s spinning freely, no bumps even if you push it down hard, then the fault’s in the drive. If there’s a belt drive, could be the belt’s breaking up.
    A motor will spin, full speed and full torque with a bad bearing. But the bearing will be mashing itself to bits internally. Bearings are CHEAP! Even top quality ones. you don’t need a Shimpo branded part, if it’s the bearing, there will be a bearing supply place not far from you, take the old one in, they’ll supply a new one to the same measurements.
    I haven’t pulled a Shimpo apart since, oh… 1982. They’re nicely made, easy to work on, or were then.

  9. soubriquet Says:

    http://www.shimpoceramics.com/vl_motor_repair.php

  10. soubriquet Says:

    Okay, further research… the Shimpos I’ve used were the older type RKs, the ones with a cabinet.
    The VL whisper uses a direct drive motor, not a belt, so ignore my earlier comment. The motor is a pretty neat thing, Fisher and Paykel washers and driers use the same tech, you can make wind-turbine generators out of them. Theres a british manufacturer using similar motors too. I bet shimpo’s standard reply is that you have to replace it as a unit.
    I also bet there are standard bearings in it. A motor rewinds type shop would be able to pull bearings.

  11. ang Says:

    yey for the night out!!

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