Thanks for the advice. Solid is preferred by most people - but I think it's because they are not woodworker's, they are practitioners, and they only understand that in the old days they didn't have much choice but solid, and in Asia, there was a lot of teak, as well as other straight log hardwoods, readily available. I think a laminated piece is just as strong - in fact the first training dummy I got was made of 2x6 red oak laminated together and then lathed down, and it never cracked and was super strong. That's the only problem, as mentioned by others - checking and cracking, but if the wood is dried a decent amount, I think teak will hold up well, though I've never built one of these from teak yet.
And chainsaws next to moving objects just make me nervous lol.
Cabinetman you are for sure correct, and in fact in parts of Asia they are still making these training tools, as well as structural beams, pillars, etc., COMPLETELY by hand - from cut down to finishing - not a single power tool used, and then days and days of intricate carvings and ornamental additions. Really makes you appreciate the fortune of electricity and a good powertool!
ACP - awesome video! Thanks!
That pinnacle is pretty sweet. I'm wondering if the Powermatic has set stop points, or any of those features, or is that only common with a copy lathe?