Friday, July 9, 2010

Pole Lathe antics

The treadle on my pole lathe is makeshift to say the least. Couple of pieces of scrap plywood, a lath on the end. This will not do. I shall be drummed out of the bodger's forum in disgrace. So I went to my lumberyard, the alder and birch cuttings left over from the scythe Stürm und Drang session early this spring and last year, and found a likely-looking fork, quite serendipitous. I was aiming for something like Mike Abbot's treadle. Some drawknifing, some drilling, a bolt, and we have a new treadle.
Easier to make than Mike's treadle, but it does require a likely fork. I am beginning to think that you can dream up any shape and go find an alder in said shape. No hinges, so we cobbled up 2x4 plus nail hinge, and installed the thing.
So far so good. But there is a catch: the treadle is heavy. It jerks the lathe around. The masses of the lathe and the treadle are comparable. There are ways to fix this, of course. But the alder treadle is green. Lots of water. So I will let it dry out, and then we will see. It will be much lighter in a few months.

I then reinstalled the old treadle and went about making a taper reamer, following Jenny Alexander's instructions (greenwoodworking home page). It requires a keyhole saw blade and a turning.
With this thing, you can drill a hole and make it cone-shaped. And why, you might ask, would you do this? To make stick chairs, of course. You find some likely sticks in the Chalupy lumberyard, drill holes, shave rungs and jam the (pointed) rungs into the (tapered) holes. It is not elegant but it is rustic! More in subsequent posts.

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