|Project by llwynog||posted 756 days ago||6745 views||22 times favorited||25 comments|
Hello fellow Lumberjocks,
I agonized several minutes whether I should post this as a simple blog post or a full-fledged project but I eventually figured that this would get more visibility as a project.
I have never been attracted to turning as an end in itself but I regularly feel the need to use a lathe to turn the odd tool handle or make parts for a larger project. Until now my only resort was to borrow some other people’s lathes. Therefore, ever since I got introduced to them on Roy Underhill’s show, I have been entertaining the idea of building a spring pole lathe. As it turned out, I really never committed to actually making one. Seeing Dave's blog post made me pull the trigger.
I found several plans for pole lathes on the internet but I was always put off by the space requirements they would claim in my already too small b̶a̶l̶c̶o̶n̶y̶ workshop. I then found Jennie Alexander's page about using the end-vice of a workbench as the bed for a pole lathe and instantly knew that this was the way to go for me.
Building this bench top lathe took me just about 1 evening and cost me 4 Euros in threaded rod, string, bungee and winged nuts. Everything else is made from scrap materials.
The poppets were sawed off reclaimed church benches that my grandfather salvaged many years ago.
The spring pole itself was replaced by a bungee tied to an unused shelf frame that came with my apartment.
2 scraps of wood were screwed together to form the treadle and the string was tied to their end.
I used my sculpting tools to turn the test piece and they cut without issue.
- On picture 1, you can see the resulting lathe itself, without the tool holder
- Picture 2 shows how the puppets are secured to the bench through the bench dogs holes.
- Picture 3 is a shot from my messy workshop and you can see the bungee being tied to the shelf frame, which is itself simply leaning on the workbench and tucked against a crate.
- Picture 4 exhibits the most high-tech tool rest you will ever find on a lathe (patent pending)
- Finally, the first piece ever turned on this lathe is displayed on picture 5. I used a scrap of an exotic wood sold under the name “ramin” in local home centers.
That’s it. All in all, this lathe performs flawlessly for simple spindle turning.
This is without any doubt my quickest and dirtiest project that I ever uploaded to lumberjocks.com but I hope that this project can inspire someone like me who until now could not afford to invest the real estate and money required for a regular lathe.
-- Fabrice - "On est bien bête mais on sent bien quand on se fait mal" - my grandfather