How to Make Banding Wheel Pins for Centering Ease

Retrofit a banding wheel so that it accepts bats with a standard-sized holes.

Banding Wheel Pins

I am impatient when it comes to centering work on a bat on my banding wheel. But a banding wheel fitted with bat pins could make it easy peasey.

In this post, an excerpt from the Ceramics Monthly archives, Jim Wylder explains how he retrofitted his banding wheel so that it accepts bats with a standard-sized holes. So smart! – Jennifer Poellot Harnetty, editor.

Cut four stay blocks that are ¾ inches wide and 2½ inches long. The stay blocks need to be the same thickness as the edge of your banding wheel. Use the outside curve of your banding wheel to draw a curve on the stay blocks. The curve needs to be cut out of the block so that the block will fit snugly against the edge of the banding wheel (1). I used a jigsaw to cut the curve but it could be filed or sanded to fit.

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Drill a 1⁄8-inch hole though each stay block. Center the hole left and right and about 1⁄8 inch from the curved edge. This is where the washer and screw fasten the bat to the banding wheel.

Banding Wheel Pins

Center the ¾ inch-thick bat on the pottery wheel. While spinning the wheel at high speed, make a dot in the center—this must be very precise. Draw a line directly through the center. Draw another line directly through the center perpendicular to the first one. You now have an X. The four stay blocks that will keep the bat on center will be glued on using these lines as a guide.

Measure your banding wheel diameter (mine was 10 inches.) Draw a circle on the bat (while it is spinning) to match your banding wheel diameter (2). Turn your banding wheel upside down and center it on the bat using the drawn circle as a guide. Spin the pottery wheel and nudge the banding wheel to the exact center.

Banding Wheel Pins

Position the blocks on the X lines and glue them with the curved side next to the banding wheel. Use tape to hold them while the glue sets (3). Turn the bat over when the glue is dry and center it again on the pottery wheel. Locate the center as before and draw a line through the center. Position this line so that it does not intersect the stay blocks underneath. Make two marks for the bat pin holes on this line. The marks should be 10 inches apart and 5 inches from the center point on the line. Drill a 7⁄32-inch hole ½ inch deep on the marks.

Use an Allen wrench to screw in the bat pins (4–5). Notice that the first time they are inserted they will cut the threads in the wood. Putting a little wax on the threads helps. Test fit one of your standard bats. Plasti-bats that are larger than the 12-inch plywood banding wheel head make removing the bat handy. Turn your newly-pinned, wooden banding wheel head over with a bat in place.

Put your banding wheel in the opening and secure the plywood to it using the nylon washers and stainless steel screws inserted into the pre-drilled holes in the stay blocks.

If a test run reveals that all is as it should be, remove all the hardware, sand it smooth, and coat the wood twice with any finish that will protect the wood (6).


Banding wheel head: A ¾-inch-thick plywood bat, 12 inches in diameter. This can be either a commercially made bat or a homemade bat.

Bat pins: Two bat pins (SS Socket Cap Screw ¼ inch × 20 × 12 course thread, ½ inch long), 7/32-inch drill bit.

Stay blocks: Four wood blocks that are the same thickness as the edge of your banding wheel. My banding wheel was ¾ inches thick, so I used ¾-inch plywood cut ¾ inches wide and 2½ inches long.

Stay washers and screws: Four 1⁄8-inch thick × ¾-inch nylon washer, four stainless steel no.8 × ¾-inch wood screw, 1⁄8-inch drill bit

Tools: Drill, screwdriver, ruler, Allen wrench for the bat pins, jigsaw, wood glue, painter’s tape.

**First published in 2013.
  • Beverly H.

    This looks like a nice tool to have. I didn’t understand the purpose of the wood screws and washers and where to screw them in. The screws would not have been long enough to join the stay blocks to the plywood wheel. What are they for? Is there a picture of where to screw those in? Thanks!

  • To Jo Smith, The splash pan is made from a section of a pickle barrel and some exterior plywood. It works great but not for use with water.

    To A Warner Dewey, The instructions are brief. If you make the item, you will find the instructions clear. I agree with you about “…how one might use the thing.” First, you would need to want to center a bat on a banding wheel. I use the thing when I move pots from the potter’s wheel to the banding wheel for altering or other freehand work. Sometimes I move the pot several times back and forth to observe and adjust the silhouette.

  • Cathy P.

    I too found my splash pan too small when using the Giffin grip. I made one using the cut down, upside down plastic garbage can method shown on CAD. It was a contest video found in the archives. It works great!

  • did you make your splash pan? I have a lockerbie and when the griffen is installed the splash pan is to small. Tried using a cardboard box but that didn’t work well.

  • Warner D.

    The writer obviously knows what he is doing. However, his instructions are not very clear. Also, it would be nice to know why one would want to go to this effort and how one might use the thing!

    W. Dewey

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