There is a little wrench included with the machine (for removing the blades for cleaning) and since I am always misplacing things I used a magnet to attach it to the one end so it is handy when needed.
I'm also still going to use my "modified" Atlas machine and have moved it over to my side counter. I plan to use it only for my transluscent clay when I'm in the middle of a project and do not want to stop to clean the blades on my Dream machine.
I made a list of things that are unique about the machine and have put them here in point form:
- The machine is very heavy and solid and because I purchased the motor as well, it does not need to be clamped down.
- The motor has two settings -- regular and reverse -- this I really like!
- The thickness settings are different than my Atlas where the #1 or thickest setting is a little thicker and the #2 is somewhat equal to the #1 on the Atlas. The first thing I did was to run my clay through at the various settings to familiarize myself with them.
- The dial to adjust the sheet thickness is quite unique as you can turn it in either direction or keep going all the way around in the same direction. In other words, when you are at the # 1 setting no matter which way you turn the dial, it is switching to #2, #3 and so on. I'm assuming that would mean less parts to worry about that can break down.
- I tested out all the settings and have found the #8 setting to be very thin. There are still two thinner settings going up to #10 which caused my clay to ripple quite a bit. I don't see a need to use those two settings, however, as I found that the eighth setting was about as thin as I would want it.
- Cleaning the scraper blades is not as easy as they make it out to be. I found removing and cleaning the blades on my modified Atlas machine much easier and quicker to do.
To remove the scraper blades, there are two bolts to unscrew on each side which are very awkward to get at. They provide a wrench (the one that I showed earlier) but the space is so narrow you can hardly use it. After I managed to get the two bolts off I unscrewed the three other bolts and then pried the scraper blade off for cleaning. Then to put it all back again and replacing the two side bolts again was the most difficult. Then you go through it all again to clean the scraper blade on the other side. This is definitely not an easy process and I do not want to do this very often.
*** Update: ***Thanks so much to Sue who left a comment here, I discovered you do not have to take out the side bolts like they show in the instructions. As a matter of fact I couldn't believe how easy it really is. I removed both blades to clean in a matter of seconds. I also found it was best to not tip your machine over but leave it standing upright when you do this. Hope this helps.
So all in all, I am really happy with my purchase and since I have the motor, I should notice some relief in my shoulder pain and hopefully make working with my clay more productive.