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My Pole Lathe (Part 5)

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This post covers installing the bungee (replaces the pole) and making a treadle. 

Please make sure you read the previous posts in this series. Part 1 Part 2  Part 3 Part 4

Congratulations on making it this far, we are in the home stretch.

I installed 2 eye hooks about 4 inches down from the top of the posts in the center board.  The size of the eye hook should be determined by your bungee.  Mine are inch and a half.  I pre drilled the holes just an 1/8th of an inch smaller than the diameter of the threads.  Make sure the eye hooks are installed so all the threads are in the wood.  The eye hooks take a good amount of stress.  I oriented the eyes so they are parallel with the floor. 

0119da54f2e981f40e56cbd61db8aa0ac7214963One of the bungees was falling out, just a bit of twine did the trick.

I use 48 inch bungees.  The length of the bungee corresponds with the length of the cross member.  The length of the bungee is based on when no stretch has been applied.  Any multiple of this length will work as well.  As we are talking about bungee, you have a bit of wiggle room.  I now use 4 bungees, I started with 3 bungees.  The number of bungees will have an effect on how hard you have to push down on the treadle.  You can install multiple bungees or have one long bungee looped through the eye hooks.  I would imagine that for larger bowls, you would want more bungees to bring the wood back to a starting point.  Based on how you attach the cord to the bungees, you can change the number of bungees you are using.  This may help as you reduce the amount of wood.

01c59b89f7c4172686ce0a01d1e9098b2ea4f997Eye hooks near the top of the post. Bungees for the spring. A little bit of string to keep then ganged together and falling out of the eye hook.

To attach the cord to the bungees I use a piece of thick scrap leather.  I buy scrap leather from a local arts & craft store and use it for everything other than sheaths.  Leather has a bit more friction and is better at staying put on the bungee.  I originally used an inexpensive carabiner, this moved around quite a bit while turning. 

0196d745086bff07625209707d68dbf8461438f5Chain saw starter cord, on a bargain carabiner, and a piece of scrap leather wrapped around the bungee. I found that the leather has just the right friction of keep the cord where I want it.

For cord I use 3/16th starter rope.  Starter rope is used on lawn mowers and chain saws and so far has been very durable.

The treadle needs to be durable.  You will be pushing on it with your foot.  I suggest that you use hard wood rather than pine.  I broke my first treadle in less than a week.  Mine is shaped like a triangle and attached to a board I stand on with leather hinges.  I added another eye hook on the far side of the triangle with another piece of scrap pine and some screws to secure the cord.  The longer your treadle, the more rotations you will get.  My treadle is just over 36 inches in length, and I would make it longer if I had more room.  Getting the right length for the cord is a bit of trial and error.  I started by putting 3 wraps on the mandrel, and then feeding the cord through the eye hook on the treadle until the treadle was at a 45 degree angle to the floor.  Test this out and adjust to what feels comfortable and gets you the rotations you want.

01b5a38966db84b1f9d5b4c8bd43a1accc66a075The treadle with leather hinges. One of the few parts that is hardwood. This takes a ton of abuse. The triangular shape and two points of attachment keeps it from wandering. The leather hinges are thick leather from a bag of scraps sold at a craft store.

Congratulations, you’ve built a pole lathe!

I would encourage anyone looking to start turning to take a class.  I would also encourage you to watch the following videos on Zed Outdoors YouTube channel.  I think Zed has done a wonderful job of documenting that craft is alive and well in the UK. The first of the videos are a two part series of Sharif Adams, first video, second video, the last is of Yoav Elkayam. Sharif and Yoav are highly accomplished turners and I am hoping to meet them and take classes from both of them some day. I have hooks from Sharif, and they are great!   I watch these videos, or parts of these videos regularly, most often when I’m frustrated.  I’ve found encouragement and solutions for my challenges, and who couldn’t use that in their day?

I would like to thank all my recent followers to the blog.  I hope you find it useful and encouraging.  I really have no idea what I’m doing.  I just know that I enjoy learning more, and have an ego large enough to share my mistakes and a few successes along the way.

If you enjoyed this little view into my greenwood journey, feel free to like, comment, and or follow.  I know some people look at these posts; I would enjoy getting some feedback.

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