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.


5 thoughts on “Pole Lathe

  1. 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

    1. 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.

      1. 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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