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Forum topic by AJBelch posted 02-11-2015 02:29 PM 774 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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7 posts in 1196 days

02-11-2015 02:29 PM

Has anyone ever turned pens on a treadle lathe? I do not have an lathe of any kind, I would ideally like to remain unplugged, but I would also like to turn pens so I am trying to see what would be best for me.


-- If you have time to do it a second time, you have time to do it right the first time.

4 replies so far

View TheDane's profile


5423 posts in 3656 days

#1 posted 02-11-2015 03:36 PM

Has anyone ever turned pens on a treadle lathe?

I have never seen it done, but I can’t think of any reason why you could not do it. You might have trouble getting appropriate mandrel, etc., but there are ways to accomplish most anything if you set your mind to it. It would require sharp tools and a lot of patience.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Wildwood's profile


2305 posts in 2128 days

#2 posted 02-12-2015 11:53 AM

Have seen several different treadle lathe designs never saw one that would make pen turning easy. Choose a design and components that will make life easier. Headstock spindle & tailstock components could be a blessing or curse.

If stick with single barrel pens will not need a mandrel simply mount between centers using kit bushing. Can use dead center headstock (lathe spindle) and would be nice to use a live center in tailstock vice dead center.

Good luck

-- Bill

View MrRon's profile


4757 posts in 3237 days

#3 posted 02-12-2015 06:43 PM

Before power driven lathes were used, turnings were done on treadle lathes for around 300 years. You might check with Roy Underhill, the woodwright. He doesn’t use any power tools.

View DrDirt's profile


4424 posts in 3735 days

#4 posted 02-12-2015 07:05 PM

WHen you get really good, you can hold the tools with your feet on a bow lathe an only use a skew chisel

fairly long- – scroll to the end and see his chess set – hand carved/embellished with the same skew chisel he turns with

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

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