In the hopes that this may spark some interest and maybe be the answer to someone wanting to try turning without spending money on more than a few 2 X 6’s, some nails, (2) 2 X 4’s X 8’, some twine and a bungie cord or two and of course…a set of gouges or some files will work too. The first step is to build an “A” frame or super saw horse, approximately,52” long and a comfortable height for yourself, like so:
This is a picture of mine, but I have added two 2 X 12’s on each side an two end pieces, that I use to clamp logs to to shave the bark off of, now. Also, it is missing the two 2 X 4 arms that were located at each end apon which the bungie cord was streched across. The bungie cord served the same purpose as a sapling would or did in the earlier made treadle lathes.
Second, you take a 2 X 6” piece of wood and make two (a head and tail stock ) with a 1/4” all thread rod going through the center. One all thread is stationary while the tail stock has two nuts jammed to allow you to screw the threaded rod through the piece. The head and tail stock are held in place with wedges that go through the 2 X 6 and under the two 2 X 6 cross rails as can be seen in this picture:
Also, seen is my advaced tool rest that I made towards the end of my use of this as a lathe. The original was just a 52” piece of wood cut at a 45 degree angle that ran the whole distance of the lathe. The problem with this was that there was no adjustment, so as the blank was rounded and became smaller the tool rest got farther and farther and the support for the gouge was less and less.
This picture shows the threadle that I made. The 2 X 12 was what I stood on to keep it from wandering and there is a groove at the end that the twine was tied to. This end went under the cross beams and on the opposite side of the lathe. The twine ran from the end; wrapped around the blank that was suspended between the two 1/4” all threads and up to the bungie cord. You made your cuts when you pushed down on the threadle with your foot and backed the tool off as you released the treadle(the blank turned away from you). If you did not back the tool from the blank, it would ride up as the blank spun upward.
This last picture shows one of the two of my final head and tail stock upgrades. I used two 3.5 hp lawnmower engines. I used my 1/2” drill to turn the shafts and used a file to shave them into a point. I also had to use the 1/2” varible speed drill to turn my stock, thus my threadle lathe became a motorized one. With zero to 500 rpms, I was in high cotton! Of course, that was before I purchased my Rigid lathe.
I turned the oak burl with the homemade lathe and a baby rattle and my chisel whacker. It gave me the confidence to continue turning and answered that question of whether or not I wanted to start turning. I hope this has been educational. One other note…there is also a brace visible in the bench that was added later. I wish I would have taken pictures when it was first built, but who knew there would be a LumberJocks site to post it on way back then. LOL.
-- Jesus is Lord!