Treadle Lathe #4: Paying attention to basics...

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Blog entry by Texasgaloot posted 09-11-2008 05:04 PM 4749 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Big wheels keep on turnin' Part 4 of Treadle Lathe series Part 5: The Plot Sickens... »

One of my design considerations for this beast is that it be made completely from mediocre dimensional, or at least Big Box lumber. A part of my reasoning for using this MO is that I cannot afford enough quality hardwood lumber to complete the project at this juncture. I still feel this is a good premise; furthermore, perhaps I can get all the goobers and boo-boos out of the way before I build the final showcase ideal model. In the meantime I’ll be able to get some turning experience in.

And here comes the “But…”

After beginning to assemble the frame over the weekend, I began to notice that a couple of the upright pieces didn’t really want to sit flat on the assembly table. Further investigation revealed that in the time it took me to prepare the rear way, it had taken a notion to, shall we say, go it’s own way. That twist was NOT there when I started, and the lesson is that there is meaning to the fact that your supposedly kiln-dried material is forming puddles of water rather than piles of sawdust on your workbench as you saw. Hmmm. It was back to the Big Box store, down the dimensional lumber aisle, and to the more expensive 2×4 stack. And then, back to the bench.

I’ve re-cut that way, and have found my joints aren’t as tight as they were the first go-round. Figures. The good news is that the feet of the uprights all sit flush on the assembly table. My next step will be to finish bolting the ways to the legs and then to add the diagonals that capture the flywheel.

-- There's no tool like an old tool...

7 comments so far

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 3768 days

#1 posted 09-11-2008 05:33 PM

Tex, sorry to hear about the excessive wood movement you’re experiencing. I’m in the planning phase of building a stroke sander, and I’m thinking about using poplar and ash. I buy my all of my lumber from Brazos Forest products on the south side of Austin. You should give them a call, they’re very reasonable on their lumber prices. 800-777-7712.

View JonJ's profile


163 posts in 3864 days

#2 posted 09-11-2008 05:34 PM

I really like this project…course, I am very partial to things with wheels and flywheels.

-- Jon

View Texasgaloot's profile


465 posts in 3724 days

#3 posted 09-11-2008 06:14 PM

Tim: Great tip about the lumber. Been looking for a reasonable source of Mesquite to finish up another project.
Jon: Point taken about the wheels and flywheels! ;^)

-- There's no tool like an old tool...

View sIKE's profile


1271 posts in 3778 days

#4 posted 09-11-2008 06:23 PM

Brazos is good for a great majority of hardwoods, they are decently priced lumber (when I am not on the road and I am working from my office they are a 10 minute drive) but mesquite pricing is not one them though if you are buying smaller quantities they are the place to go. However if you are wanting a large load of mesquite ( I normally try to get several people to go in) and are willing to take a road trip M&G Sawmill in Huntsville is the place. The guys there are great, but with the cost of gas these road trips have become fewer and farther between.

-- //FC - Round Rock, TX - "Experience is what you get just after you need it"

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1520 posts in 4149 days

#5 posted 09-11-2008 07:04 PM

When I’m working in softwoods I’ve found that paying the extra for the FSC kiln dried stuff from the lumber yard rather than the stuff from the box stores is well worth the dollars.

The other thing that’s served me well is buying 2×6 or 2×8s and ripping a half an inch off each side ‘til I get to 2×4, giving the internal stresses of the lumber a chance to stabilize.

But, yeah, what’s sold as “kiln dried” these days, especially in Home Despot and its ilk, is an absurd joke.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

View Kaytrim's profile


63 posts in 3599 days

#6 posted 09-11-2008 09:47 PM

Stay away from 2×4 dimensonal lumber. Get the biggest you can afford 2×8, 2×10, or 2×12 will give you much better lumber to work with then 2×4.

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 3768 days

#7 posted 09-12-2008 01:24 AM

Right now the Llano Building Materials is having a sale on everything. The owner, Gary Holden called this morning. He has mesquite. He’s located one block east of the Hwy 29/Hwy16 intersection in Llano.

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