Mini pole lathe. Is it possible, will it work?

discussion of the niceties of turning on a bow, bungee or pole lathe.

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Mini pole lathe. Is it possible, will it work?

Postby Wiffa1 » Tue May 24, 2016 8:14 pm

My pole lathe spinning days have been over for a while due to arthritis in my knee. I have now adapted my shave horse to be a carving vice and tine cutter horse but I am wondering if I can modify further to create some kind of treadle lathe. It would need to be simple to build reasonably light, and obviously can come to pieces. I would only use it to make coat pegs, dibbers, buttons etc. I figure it would not strain my joint too much as I could sit and use my good left leg instead of using it to balance and would make a different novelty factor at the events I cover. I have looked at the bow lathe but I think the scrunched up position would not agree with my spine (falling to bits me)
I am wondering if there are plans of a previous build you may know of or possibly you can see a flaw in my plan. I figure if an 8 inch wooden automata man can make a pole lathe work as we saw at the Bodgers ball maybe I can work a tiny version too!

Thanks for your time
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Re: Mini pole lathe. Is it possible, will it work?

Postby SeanHellman » Tue May 24, 2016 9:00 pm

Go for it Heather, of course its possible. Not sure how its to be done and I have not got the time to put thought into it at the moment. I would suggest lots of drawings to explore ideas and maybe then a cheap mock up but working version from cheap wood. This will soon tell you how and what need stop be changed in order for it to work perfectly. I also often just sit or lay down and visualise in my minds eye what it could look like. I find this design process to be great fun. I look forward to seeing your ideas and will also be happy to advise if you get stuck.
"Scarcely anything is original- it`s very hard to be totally inventive, so I am not terribly interested in originality. Vitality is all I care about" Clive James
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Re: Mini pole lathe. Is it possible, will it work?

Postby Davie Crockett » Wed May 25, 2016 3:03 pm

Hi Heather, Jane Mickleborough made a treadle type lathe from an old sewing machine base which she took to BB2015: You can still find foot engines which are a little heavier than the wheel on a sewing machine. both are designed to be operated from sitting position and won't stress your knees too much.
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