|Project by Bob Downing||posted 816 days ago||3015 views||17 times favorited||21 comments|
I’m a big fan of The Woodwrights Shop and decided I wanted a treadle lathe. It works great! Any deficiencies in the turnings are strictly the fault of the guy holding the gouge (ME).
This is a prototype. After I use it for awhile and decide on any changes in the design I’ll build one out of better wood. OK, the details. I built this out of 4×4 Doug Fir from HD. It was sufficient to the task and cheap. The hardware I purchased from McMaster-Carr. The whole project cost approx. $200.00. The headstock consist of a 1/2” shaft threaded on one end and 2 thrust bearings. I used a threaded coupler and welded an old spade bit in it to turn the work. The opposite end is a dead center, just a 1/2” shaft filed to a point. Found out early a little beeswax helps out here. Both to reduce friction and to eliminate a loud and irritating squeal. The flywheel is 25” in diameter and the drive pulley is 2” in diameter. This gives me a 12.5 to 1 ratio. So 100 rpm’s on the flywheel gives me 1250 rpm’s at the work. I know, slow by the standard of a powered lathe but seems to work OK if the tools are sharp. The flywheel is 3” thick and mounted on a 1/2” shaft with ball bearings. It weighs about 25 lbs. and it has plenty of inertia to overcome the drag of the tools on the work. The connection between the tie rod and flywheel is made with a 1/2” bolt. I used a piece of 1/2” copper pipe thru the wheel and tie rod as a spacer. This way I can tighten the nut on the bolt but maintain just enough space for the tie rod to move freely. I’m using 1/4” round leather as a drive belt although when it’s time to replace it I’ll probably go to 3/8” to try to cut down on much it stretches.
As you can see by my practice turnings, I’m not very good at it yet. This is the first lathe I have ever used (power or treadle). But it sure is fun to use.
-- BobD Chandler, AZ