This lesson will discuss the wide variety of turning tools from roughing and spindle gouges to skew chisels and specialty hollowing tools. Despite the complex geometry of some turning tools, they are quite easy to sharpen when compared with the variety of flat work tools used by cabinetmakers. This lesson looks at all the aspects of turning between centers from preparing and securing the work piece to the actual cutting techniques to shape beads and coves.
Turning with a chuck or a mandrel is a very different style and requires different tools and rock solid work holding. Some incarnation of spring pole lathe has been in use since the Egyptians and this ancient lathe form still exists today. With a solid grounding in turning techniques and an option of Spring Pole or Treadle style lathe built, why not build a classic example of wood turned furniture? When I was young, I?d watch in fascination as my mother used her treadle sewing machine (a late 1800?s Singer that belonged to my great-grandmother) to fashion all sorts of clothing, blankets, couch covers and schoolbags.
Built before electricity, the heavy Singer emitted a peaceful clicking sound, interrupted only when the worn leather belt came apart.
As a teen, I made clothes for myself or modified straight-legged jeans by adding triangles of colorful fabric to transform them into bellbottoms. After a car, my next big investment as a young adult was a New Home sewing machine that could form buttonholes and even had some extra fancy stitches (that I never used).
Nothing compared, though, with the satisfaction of sewing with that antique treadle machine.
On our journey to self-reliance, we?ve been gathering human-powered tools when we can find them. I drove by a fix-it shop recently and couldn?t believe my lucky find ? an antique stainless steel hand-powered washing machine sitting out front. Our search for old-fashioned tools intensified this summer as Darren worked on his latest invention ? a pedal-powered PTO.
Our search for non-electric tools brought back memories of that faithful old treadle sewing machine. Within a few days of putting my brother-in-law on the lookout, he found an abused White Rotary treadle machine at a Springfield thrift store for $60.
Between the two of us, we had the cabinet and machine looking and running like new in no time. I haven?t decided yet what my first sewing project will be on my 100-year-old treadle machine. Lead screw train disengaged.Age and a little abuse from using carborundum grinding wheels has resulted in wear and inaccuracy.

The wooden blocks were lined with Emery cloth (carborundum) to polish the Swift crankshaft journals.The bit is made from locomotive firebox stay bar, nice lump of copper. The treadle lathe works great, almost as fast as a motorized lathe.Thanks to the heavy-duty drive wheel there is plenty power to the main axis.
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An example of an almost modern metal screw cutting lathe driven by a treadle, that is by foot power. This machine is in the workshop on board HMS Warrior, the first steel hulled, steam powered battleship.
The ship was powered by a large two cylinder steam engine, and at the same time it was a square rigged three masted sailing ship. Following the same policy, this machine that harks back to an earlier age, was made to have a foot operated drive or treadle. If you didn't find exactly what you are looking for try this search tool that will search the site and the web. These round sections can be done by hand using chisels and spokeshaves, but nothing beats a lathe for speed and consistency. I?d sit on the floor and watch as her feet deftly pedaled fast on the straightaway and then slowed as she rounded a curve or reached an end. What a thrill to pick out a Raggedy Ann pattern at the Ben Franklin store in town for my first project. I just plugged the machine in and away I went, consuming a million miles of thread over the years as I crafted curtains, quilts, clothes and even a boat cover or two.
It?s surprising how quickly hand- and foot-powered tools were abandoned when electricity became available.
I quickly swung in the parking lot and ran over to the washer, only to discover that petunias were blooming in the rusted out basin. The original intent was to develop a device that could pump volumes of water from our well, not the measly 2 cups per stroke our hand pump yields.
So, he set it up to operate our grain grinder and a low-RPM alternator for charging batteries.
Even though I was somewhat discouraged by its neglected condition (I didn?t even want to take a picture of it), I was eager to get it home and start refurbishing.
The cabinet was severely battered and broken in places, and the hand wheel was stiff to turn, but we rolled up our sleeves and got to work.
Online copies of advertisements reveal that this machine was built to be affordable for the average household, costing about $55 new in 1913.

After cleaning and oiling the treadle in the shop, he gave it a few pumps to get it spinning and then came in the house to fetch me. I?m still waiting for my belt to arrive from an online Amazon order, but have tried out the machine by turning the hand crank.
This lathe is man powered and it was sometimes handy to have a lad (me)assisting with the leg work! I don’t know how this will translate but the last photo looks like a rigging block shell or maybe a parrel bead for a gaff rig.
Warrior was launched in 1860, a time when the industrial revolution was well and truly in full swing, but the designers of Warrior had a "belt and braces" policy. It could easily have been driven by steam, but in the case of damage to the system then a steam driven lathe would have been useless. Lathes have been around for thousands of years so there are many options open for the galoot.
Without realizing it, I was learning much about mechanical advantage just by watching my mother sew. The fabric, buttons and stuffing came from my mother?s scrap box ? what she called ?glad rags.? They may only have been faded remnants of former garments, but she was ?glad to have them? when she needed them.
I followed the directions in the yellowed manual, eventually trying out each attachment as I completed Raggedy Ann. Now, we?re continually thinking of other tools around here that can be adapted to the PTO (the drill press, metal grinder, band saw). Darren replaced or repaired the broken boards while I disassembled, oiled and cleaned the machine. Yet, the cabinet has in inlaid ruler, handsome curved drawers and detailed wrought iron stand. Since I have had the opportunity to work on a lathe like this in Archeon in Alphen aan de Rijn it is the first item on my Saint Nicolaas wishing list. This semester will tackle the art of turning and will start by comparing spring pole and treadle lathes, then build an 18th century treadle lathe with some modern hardware and finish with an iconic table as a perfect introduction to turning furniture parts.

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    Cabinet and furnishings design for shops.


  5. VASIF

    Shelf within the center and make the rest adjustable or make.