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PortaRoller 18" Table-Top Slab Roller

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Price: $639.99
Manufacturer: Northstar
Part No: 501


Like the other North Star slab rollers, the PortaRoller has two rolls, much like the wringer on an old-fashioned washing machine.  Both rolls have a small diamond pattern ("knurling") machined directly into the metal to grip the canvas.  The bottom roll is turned by the handle, but cannot move vertically.  As it turns, it drives the top roll through a train of gears.  The upper roll both turns and can be adjusted up and down.  The two rolls turning together pull slabs through easily, and the vertical adjustment of the top roll gives an easy-to-set and infinitely adjustable thickness from paper-thin to over 2 inches.  A reference scale allows setting and repeating openings to within 1/100 of an inch.
    The design gives great flexibility in making slabs.  Very thin, translucent porcelain slabs and thick, heavily textured architectural slabs are equally easy.  A wide variety of other texturing materials and objects can be passed through the machine along with the clay. Slabs can be rolled either direction or reversed on all North Star machines, and a single pass is all that is needed for complete compression of the clay to produce the slab.

The PortaRoller body and rolls are made of cast and carefully machined high-strength special alloy aluminum.  Gears are made of the strongest material available for this application, nylon or steel.  Bushings are nylon and the remaining parts (except plastic gear covers and knobs) are machined steel.  The Table Toppers are made of moisture-resistant Medex with a melamine surface.  Metal surfaces are zinc plated or coated with a durable powder coat finish.  Virtually no maintenance is required, and the simplicity of the design ensures that any repair ever needed will be quick and easy.


  • Every part carefully designed and made for its intended purpose.  No off-the-shelf or inferior parts or material.
  • Rust free and virtually maintenance free.
  • No clumsy or heavy shims or boards required to determine clay thickness.
  • No chains, cables or cast-iron gears.
  • Thickness infinitely variable from 0 to 2-3/4 inches.
  • Slabs can be rolled in either direction and clay can be added or subtracted at any time.
  • Roll slabs up to 18" wide. The length of the slab is limited only by the space and canvas available.
  • Tapered slabs are quick, easy and precise.
  • Complete compression with dual rollers means warping, curling and cracking are drastically reduced.
  • All machines accept a wide variety of texturing material such as burlap, plant materials, rope, cork and bark.
  • Ergonomically designed to be easy to carry and set up. The roller and table units weigh less than 25 lbs. each.

Like all North Star products, the Porta-Roller was designed for reliability, safety and ease of use.  The PortaRoller is a fully functional slabroller, just built on a smaller scale than the traditional North Star Slab Rollers.  The North Star Porta Roller is approximately 4' long and is shown on a work table for easy working height.  The table surface must be 3' long to support to the PortaRoller.

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