Treadle Lathe - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 4 Old 03-27-2008, 12:24 PM Thread Starter
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Treadle Lathe

I`ve been asked to build a treadle lathe. I would like to incorperate an old Domestic sewing machine. Have seen a few in the past... mostly comical...and never with a sewing machine. I know that this machine would not be up to the task of todays high speed requirements...but it still sounds like an interesting project. This is to be built for the Brown Co. Arts and Crafts Department. Any ideas? Thank You in advance Rick

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post #2 of 4 Old 03-27-2008, 12:46 PM
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I currently have a small lathe that I am going to turn into a sewing machine treadle lathe if I ever find the sewing machine treadle at a price I can afford. Someone goes around here and buys them all up sends them to the flea mkt. in Nashville where they go for way too much money.
I have built a treadle lathe but I broke the drive mechanism arm due to my poor welding skills. I'm going to forge the next one so there won't be a weak spot. Right now I'm using it as a spring pole lathe for the demos that I have to do.
There are lots of plans for foot powered lathes on the net if you look. do searches for home build lathes, treadle lathes, foot powered lathes etc. You will find quite a few.
There are also some plans in the Roy Underhill books and the Foxfire books.
You can't get high speeds but with the proper drive wheels can easily get above 500rpm, probably 1000.
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post #3 of 4 Old 03-27-2008, 02:04 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks John, I`ll look around on the net.

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post #4 of 4 Old 04-13-2008, 02:40 PM
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pianoman,

Be aware of differences in treadle design. Those for sewing machines typically had a back and forth, heel -and -toe type action, designed for use by a sitting person, and higher speed with not much torque - how hard is it to drive a needle through cloth? Heavier duty ones for leather were designed to be used while standing.

Treadles designed for wood lathes provide a great deal of torque (needed when roughing) at low speeds, and higher speeds with less cutting being done on each revolution - sharper tools cut more, brake less, and typically have only an up (coasting) and down (power) motion, and if you have a really heavy flywheel, you can get them up to speed, and maintain the speed relatively easily. Stopping a heavy flywheel if the project comes loose, however, is another kettle of fish. Design in some kinda brake for the flywheel.

Think of bicycles in the 1880s vs modern ones - the basic design is the same, it's the refinements that make lots of difference.

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