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bang that wheel head

updated mon 5 mar 01


mel jacobson on sun 4 mar 01

you got it michael. get that mallet and whack that wheel head.
have done that a hundred times at the high school.

it reminds me:
when a wheel died, and that happened rather often, the kid that
was throwing on it had to pull it out of the line, get it up
on the work table, go get the tools and start to take it apart.
my women students did the same.
it was there responsibility to the dead wheel.
we had to do cpr. (i would be there for counsel, but they did it.)
we could not afford to have a wheel dead, even for a day.

i kept spare parts for all the wheels and kilns. just a huge box,
a brent wheel head drive, bearings, one extra skutt control box..
repaired. (dc-1's) and drive belts of all sizes. those cones on
shimpo's would always get out of alignment. we had the telephone
number of all the major suppliers written on the wall in the kiln
room. (and kenny in portland, the designer of the skutt wheel.)
when the coils would snap on the brent slab roller we would
always ask...`ok, who got an A+ in physics? oh, bennie, of course,
here, take this schematic and put this all back together.` upside down
and backwards. that damn thing drove me crazy..get a rag caught
in the coils....swear words....

we never locked anything.
kept one of everything out in the room. that is the key.
if you put out three jewelry mandrels, two would disappear the
next day. one would always be in the room.

i had a set of 3/8 sockets from sears (craftsman) in the
room for 35 years. never lost one socket. kids would take
that set home for the on cars. it was always
back monday morning. we had one of everything in that big
red chest. never locked. stealing would be like taking something
from yourself.

two years after i retired, i was in continental clay talking to em.
he said `look in the back room?` sad, broke my heart. 12 wheels
from hopkins high, broken, waiting for repair. it would take three
months to get them back to the school. a couple of thousand dollars.
keeping the pottery in repair was part of the curriculum with me.
kids felt that. respected it.
became of part of it.

far too many folks think that repair is something that comes
in a uniform.

Minnetonka, Minnesota, U.S.A.
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