Building a treadle lathe started a long time ago, when the shop was too cold for epoxy to cure on a boat I was building. A lot of water has passed under our boats since then. Other activities, swimming, language learning, travel, and various forms of woodcarving have also happened. So, why back to the lathe now? Simple, some of the woodcarving I want to do is on various turned objects.
Quick recap: Plans are abundant. Making choices depends on intended use and can lead to analysis paralysis. My intended use does not include dragging the thing around to festivals, to shows, or any form of re-enactment. Out with the period costumes, and actually out with some of the other period authenticity. The lathe is intended for practical use and I’ll certainly be using modern parts such as ball bearings, chucks and live centers.
My choice of structure most closely resembles Stephen Shepherd’s 1805 “Moses T” lathe, but without the bench behind the ways. Mine is also heavier in certain areas, mainly the uprights and feet.
The last we saw of the build had the bigger parts mostly complete, the uprights, feet, wheel and rough tail stock. All of it has been set aside in the shop and has shown no signs of checking, splitting, warping etc. Not bad for construction grade lumber. The photo of assembled parts is showing only a dry fit. Nothing is fastened to anything else. … and what looks like a piece of lumber much longer than the lathe is really a french cleat attached to the wall behind the lathe.
Recent work includes getting the tail stock to fit between the ways. That was basic tenon cutting. After that, I hacked out a through mortise that will later house a wedge.
Next up: A bevy of smaller parts for the treadle, or getting that wheel mounted between the uprights? hmmmmmm…