Homemade treadle wood lathe plans, plans for building a router table - Review

Categories: Woodworking Shelf Plans | Author: admin 02.01.2012

Myself, I have never had the opportunity to use a proper treadle lathe, one which was made in a time when such things were matter of course, intended to be sold to people who might use one for hours at a time, rather than as a novelty. I'm not sure the builders were studying Ergonomics at the time, otherwise the lathes would be powered by a machine. I have found that operating the treadle and anything close to attempting to operate the cutting tools needed to make the lathe useful will be like standing on one foot, rubbing your head AND tummy at the same time.
What I have found in operating both treadle and velocipede lathes and in having built a treadle powered one, is that the location of the various parts and pieces is very important to how easy or difficult it is to operate the lathe. Perhaps one of the neatest ways I have seen to operate a velocipede lathe is with someone doing the pedaling and somebody else standing doing the turning. On the debate of the Barnes treadle vs velopide power, in my opinion, I would MUCH rather use a treadle version. In the case of the lathe in the picture, it looks as if the pedal can be moved left or right, and I imagine that means that there would be more flexibility as to where the supporting (non-pumping) foot can be.

In terms of muscle comfort over long periods of time, it would seem that the treadle fulcrum height in the z axis (up-down) is at least as important as its position in the y axis (front-back), regardless of where the footboard itself is.
I have several treadle lathes, the Barnes # 4 velocipede is the easiest to use, sitting peddling and turning go well together. With the exception of turned wooden pulleys and the form to cast a flywheel, you can build this efficent treadle lathe with a few hand tools. Spindle height is such to enable one to pedal the lathe from either a standing or sitting position.
Contact us with errors, copyright information, problems or suggestions to our plans or DIY info. This is shown in a Woodwright Shop video, think it is episode 3006 from this year at about the 20 something mark on Continuous Arm Windsor Rocking Chair Making. Barnes was a great marketer and sold many, many more of the velocipede ones when compared to the treadle ones.

Approximately 100 downward strokes of the treadle per minute will give a spindle speed recommended for turning. If you put the lathe at the forward edge of the bench and made the foot lever long enough, your knee should have room to move up and down.
Elia is standing at a Barnes #3 lathe turning and Roy is sitting behind the lathe and pedaling.

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