How to make a slab roller.

How to make a slab roller.
How to make a slab roller..


THIS IS HOW I MADE MY SLAB ROLLER. It is just the cost of the wood being cut to size and the pvc piping  plus the cables and a  tensioner or two. I have tried to show all the details in the photos with the explanation under each photo. I use this roller quite a bit and i have not yet had to tension up the cables.. Make sure that the cable is thick enough (3.5mm or so ) and that your wood is protected so that the cable does not eat into it as this will loose cable tension and the system will not work. The wood should be at least a 20mm ply or more so that it can take the cable  tension. I made my roller to fit into a shelf so as to save space and it works fine as i do not loose table space that is always in short supply. I always have thick cotton cloth for the studio on hand and i have used this in place of a canvas and it seems to work well. Just remember that if the top or bottom cloth gets wet from a lot of use in one day then you will need to use an extra layer of cloth on top of the clay to be pressed as the cloth must be fairly dry as to not stick to the work. Point “A” must  be a strong anchor point that doesDSCN0788 not let the cable slip through its cleat. Point ‘b’ is where the cable comes through from the rollers and goes through  pulley “D” to the anchor point “A”. “C” is a cable tensioner so that both cables have the same tension and have a tight hold on both rollers.DSCN0789Note that at point “E” the cable does not ride up or over its self, this is done by not having the two holes in the frame( where the cable is anchored and the tension side ) opposite each other points “G”. They can almost be the same amount apart as the width of PVC joint section “H”. Point ‘F’ shows the aluminum profile pieces that the rollers roll on.DSCN0790DSCN0795Cable goes from the anchor side of the frame then runs to the bottom of the upper roller then around that roller and down to the bottom roller making a figure 8 then up to the top again and down to the bottom once more before leaving the bottom of the top roller again to go through the frame to the tensioner  and anchor .Be sure not to  cross the cable over its self. When the roller is rolling out a slab you should not hear the cable touching each other , that is why the two holes in the frame must not be opposite each other.DSCN0794The cables must have enough tension that the top and bottom rollers follow each other and ride hard up on the aluminum profilesDSCN0791These inside struts determine your table height, so take the thickness of your table wood and the thickness of the thickest slab you ever wish to make  and this will determine the height at witch you place the inside struts.Note i have put on a brace between the legs at each end so that it sits well on the shelf.  NOTE: the legs must be long enough to let the bottom roller roll without touching the shelf or table.DSCN0792These slats are added to raise the table height for thiner slabs.DSCN0793



  1. HI There, do you have a materials list and diagrams with dimensions that I could have to make my own slab roller?

    1. Hi Louise, I just made the basic box shape as big as the table space i had . So you can actually just make the roller box and roller as big as the space you have. Just make sure that the longer the roller pipe is for the roller the stronger you need to make it. Filling the roller pipe with cement is a good option so that is does not bend. But all in all not a hard thing to make at all. Also try to make the roller table in the shape that you will be needing, long slabs or square slab shapes.!!

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