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pole lathes
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Author:  JackCampin [ Sun Jul 08, 2012 6:08 pm ]
Post subject:  pole lathes

Look in the background of this video about the Mollenhauer csakan:

They appear to have two pole lathes. That's really trying for authenticty.

Anybody here used one?

(The csakan doesn't appeal to me at all - has a sound in between a recorder, whistle and transverse flute without the distinctiveness of any of them).

Author:  Feadoggie [ Mon Jul 09, 2012 2:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: pole lathes

The recital is being given at a workshop at the Mollenhauer museum which is part of the Mollenhauer education programs. The pole lathes are used as part of their living history presentations and they do get used in some of their programs evidenced by the photos on the Mollenhauer website.

I have turned spindles using a pole lathe more than forty years ago. It can have a nice rhythm to it. I was going through a low tech hobby phase, back to the earth and all that. It beats using a bow lathe. But if that's what you've got, it'll work. And if that's what you prefer to use, it will do just fine. I vastly prefer the control, power and speed of a modern machine lathe personally.

I would still consider using a pole lathe as part of a living history presentation though. It's part of our industrial past and nice to know. A few turners I have met use modern lathe beds, chucks, spurs and tailstocks but still drive them with treadles. Others prefer to make everything themselves and the treadle lathe design seems convenient enough for them. I may still have the drawings and instructions to make one around here some place. But the four lathes in use down in the workshop all draw power from the grid.


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