Pole Lathe

LatheHere’s an image of Mick’s pole lathe where my bowl and plate were created.  It’s hard to see all the workings from this view but it’s a pretty great set-up.  Unlike a modern, continuous motion lathe, the cutting is done on the down-stroke (about 2 1/2 revolutions) and the spring returns the system to the “up” position.  This type of woodworking is done with green wet wood; in this case, alder.


About George Crawford

archaeologist, archer, primitive technologist, and wannabee musician ... mostly
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5 Responses to Pole Lathe

  1. Mike Wild says:

    Great lathe Mick – any wooden rocket stove fires at Wintercount this year? Will you making a trip to Woodsmoke this summer? How about Rabbitstick?

  2. Interesting “pole” lathe. The lever is handy when the there is no ceiling. Difficult to suss out what powers the return stroke- sprng, spring pole or weight. On my greenwoodworking.com web site there is a “pole” lathe with an in line metal spring directly above the lathe. Th source is Viires, Woodworking in Estonia, a fascinating book on preindustrial woodworking. I made one for light work . t worked just fine. I put Viires’ diagram up on my Website-Greenwoodworking.com.

    Jennie Alexander 2/23/14

    • Paleotool says:

      Thanks for the information and the book reference.
      Mick is working on a web page for his set-up but I’ll answer as best I can. The arm return is spring driven. Initially it was a wooden leaf with a metal coil spring but I think he changed to just a coil spring. You can see the leaf sticking out the end of the table.

      • Jennie Alexander again 2 / 24 / 14
        I was going to send you a diagram of the spring or bungee cord lathe that was drawn up in Viires. I forgot that I had already put it up on my website Greenwoodworking.com. So if interested it is already there. They used a sprin

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