German Spring Pole Lathe

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Project by jjw5858 posted 06-09-2011 02:58 AM 13300 views 24 times favorited 27 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Something I have been wanting to get too for awhile, I have always wanted to try to turn on a Lathe. I was unable to get to Roys Class down south in April…so I had to learn from his pictured plan from his book Wedge and Edge and being a true beginner I found my way thru it…lol

The wood is not the most gorgeous pine you will find but Lowes fit the bill.

The Keys are made of Oak Dowel and a few taps of the homemade Cherry Mallet from a fallen tree taps them in solid and this thing holds very well indeed.

Everything is made by hand except for using my electric drill and grindstone bit to cone the bolts to make the centers.

But I do not feel too much of a…for I did handfile them first a good amount to get them started in cone shape.

Still have some finishing of design here and there but once I got it working I used some old files and some Scrap Pine dowel….and hell it worked!!...and I was amazed. Once that was accomplished I sent out for the Henry Taylor’s and went on to make a holding rack which just slides and hooks on the bed and comes off with ease.

My treadle which is not pictured, it is a slab hinged to a cross slab which I stand on….lol, Nothing fancy but works effective and holds well while pushing my foot.

The feet of this piece were done with…...a coping saw…yes I know….lol…...a challenge it was coping curves with a 2×4. After this I got smart and actually just sent for a nice Frame Saw (Turner Blade.) Glad for the package of extra cope blades! All other curved areas were also with my cope saw.

It was a fun and hard working project, great in rewards and satisfaction as you can see my total greenhorn Its a start, and a helluva lotta fun once you get into the rythm of it and after a enjoyable Saturday in the shop and an hour plus of your feet and body turning away the Beer tastes that much better in the evening.

Thanks for looking and checking it out! CHEERS

-- "Always continue to learn, laugh and share!" JJW

27 comments so far

View rmoore's profile


325 posts in 2570 days

#1 posted 06-09-2011 03:19 AM

Wow! Talk about homemade. That is awesome! I would love to see it in action. Great job. I have an antique lathe that used to be foot powered but I’ve cheated and have it hooked up to a motor. I’m a beginner, too. Have fun learning.

-- The more I learn, the more I realize I don't know. Ron, Crossville Tn

View yrob's profile


340 posts in 3588 days

#2 posted 06-09-2011 04:47 AM

It is beautiful. I just got roy’s book too just for the fact it had the drawings for the foot powered lathes. I really want to make one someday

-- Yves

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1286 posts in 2933 days

#3 posted 06-09-2011 05:26 AM

Ooooh, Pretty!

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune:

View mminella's profile


16 posts in 2896 days

#4 posted 06-09-2011 05:59 AM

I agree with Autumn…a YouTube video of it in action would be a sight to see.

View 308Gap's profile


337 posts in 2938 days

#5 posted 06-09-2011 08:12 AM

really have to video that. It looks cool.

-- Thank You Veterans!

View swirt's profile


2611 posts in 2907 days

#6 posted 06-09-2011 08:18 AM

Looks great, and you will enjoy it. I enjoy my bungee lathe and yours is much more refined than mine.

-- Galootish log blog,

View Blake Thornton's profile

Blake Thornton

152 posts in 2577 days

#7 posted 06-09-2011 08:23 AM

I especially like that you put a tool holder on it :)

I need to make one for my normal lathe!

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

20180 posts in 3041 days

#8 posted 06-09-2011 01:35 PM

That is a really neat project. It came out great.I had never heard of one of them before. Thanks for sharing!!.......Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 3172 days

#9 posted 06-09-2011 01:35 PM

Great looking project. It would be just the thing to show off your work at a craft show.

-- Hal, Tennessee

View saddletramp's profile


1180 posts in 2574 days

#10 posted 06-09-2011 02:05 PM

WOW!! I’m blown away.

-- ♫♪♪♫♫ Saddletramp, saddletramp, I'm as free as the breeze and I ride where I please, saddletramp ♪♪♪♫♪ ...... Bob W....NW Michigan (Traverse City area)

View Joe Watson's profile

Joe Watson

316 posts in 3482 days

#11 posted 06-09-2011 04:06 PM

beautiful sight there.

-- Got Wood?

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3050 days

#12 posted 06-09-2011 04:08 PM

you did a very well job on this lathe :-)
I like the toolholder too
thank´s for sharing it with us
welcome to L J enjoy and have fun

take care

View helluvawreck's profile (online now)


30538 posts in 2802 days

#13 posted 06-09-2011 04:11 PM

You did a great job on this lathe and I always like to see people working with stuff like this. I enjoyed the post and keep up the good work.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View branch's profile


1119 posts in 3089 days

#14 posted 06-09-2011 04:33 PM

hi great job on building your lath looks fantastic would love to see it working


View CartersWhittling's profile


453 posts in 2609 days

#15 posted 06-09-2011 05:02 PM

Very cool. I made a lathe from Roy’s plans aswell last spring, and like you I made it by hand except for grinding the points and drilling out most of the mortises. I have since bought an electric lathe and have been using it for months now and when I tried to use my spring pole lathe I forgot how much more difficult it is and was amazed I was able to turn well on it before. I got to start using it again.

-- And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord... Colossians 3:23

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