Pole Lathe demonstration at an English Fair

I’ve been on a 6 week visit to the UK, helping my sister recover from recent heart surgery, as well as spending time with my children and grandchildren.

One of my sons and his 3 children took me to a fun event, the Wychwood Forest Fair , where a lot of traditional arts and crafts were on display.

One of the demonstrations, that I thought our club members might find of interest, was a couple of pole lathes.  A pole lathe is a wood-turning lathe that uses a long pole as a return spring for a treadle. Pressing the treadle with your foot pulls on a cord that is wrapped around the piece of wood or billet being turned. The other end of the cord reaches up to the end of a long springy pole. As the action is reciprocating, the work rotates in one direction and then back the other way. Cutting is only carried out on the down stroke of the treadle, the spring of the pole only being sufficient to return the treadle to the raised position ready for the next down stroke.

One guy was turning bowls and platters, the other spindles.  And I thought turning on my power lathe was hard enough!

Posted in Demonstrations.