Documenting a Foot-Powered Treadle Lathe

From the YouTube channel, Chop With Chris where he does “amazing woodworking projects with no power tools.”  At last count, he has 19 “how to” videos available and a slew of other good things on his YouTube channel.

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From his “About” Page:

“I play in that weird intersection of woodworking and music! A few years ago I randomly picked up this woodworking hobby that started with a few cheap flea market tools and a wooden stump. Driven by inspiration and passion to try bigger and better projects, this “hobby” has turned into an obsession with wood, tools, and video editing. Join me for the excitement, the entertainment, and the eduction on my next woodworking adventure. Come on and Chop With Chris!

Learn and enjoy!

A Master at Work

It is awe-inspiring to see a master of anything at work, making their creation seem almost effortless.  Many thousands of hours, or even thousands of days, really show at a high level of work.  This isn’t to say that repetitive tasks are always fulfilling or require lot’s of mental exercise but that is often the route to real craftsmanship.  This short film is a great thing to watch.

jumping once again on the Bowl Lathe bandwagon

Peter Follansbee is up to more good stuff…

practice

Peter Follansbee, joiner's notes

 I took a break from basket making last week to finally build myself a dedicated lathe for turning bowls. Mine is based on the ones we used when I was a student this spring in Robin Wood’s bowl-turning course at North House Folk School in Grand Marais, MN. http://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2014/06/05/bowl-class-tip-of-the-iceberg/

I think I first saw this style of lathe in the book Wood and Woodworking in Anglo-Scandinavian and Medieval York, by Carole A. Morris (York Archeaological Trust/Council for British Archeaology, 2000), then in the work done by Robin Wood and others…

First off, I jobbed out the long slot cut in the 3″ thick beech plank. I traded Michael Burrey some carving work for his labor – I coulda done it, if I wanted to…

bench slot

Then came boring the hole for the legs. Legs like these angle out in two directions; to the side, and to the end. I mark…

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Occupation, Wood Turner ca. 1425

75-Amb-2-317-18-v.tifStill gathering old images of tools, occupations, and craftsmen.  Now I just need time to edit and post them in a sensible way.  To kick off this series, it’s a wood turner and his lathe from the early 15th century (German).  I think the artist may have neglected to show the tool rest here.

This one goes out to Kiko, Mick, and Veloja for their recent enthusiasm for the foot-powered lathe.

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.

The Wood Turner

A great short film about a bowl being turned on a treadle lathe.

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Info from the Vimeo Page:

Shot in a couple of hours on 2 separate afternoons, this is Leo who lives in a yurt with his partner and a variety of animals on the edge of Exmoor in the UK.
He is a craftsman of many talents, and this film shows him turning a piece of wood into a beautiful bowl using a traditional foot powered lathe (which he also built himself).
We started shooting on the first afternoon, but one of his sheep escaped, so we had to shoot the rest the following afternoon. Unfortunately, the weather was far from perfect and was actually raining lightly.
It doesn’t take him long to turn one of these bowls, and watching him work was a real pleasure.

Music –
Conversations with Angels – Luke Richards
Inner Dream – Barrie Gledden.

All shot using Canon 7D with EF 24 -105, f4 lens.