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Pole Lathe: Build Your Own

Credit Woodspirit Handcraft
Credit Raphael Berrios

Course Overview

The foot-powered pole lathe is an ancient tool used in many cultures and modified in countless ways to best meet the needs and desires of the user. Though once a common tool, the only way to get one now is to build it yourself. Over three days, students will build a splayed-design bowl lathe from sawn timber. The design incorporates a bungee system in place of a spring pole so it can be used with either a pole or bungee. This design is very portable and can be taken apart easily to load up or ship home after the class. We will discuss various other designs and possible custom designs, too. The joinery for the lathe is very simple and includes round mortises and tenons and a basic keyed or wedged-through tenon. Both power and hand tools will be employed. 

Students should be prepared for a very physically demanding class that requires a certain level of stamina, coordination, and physical strength as well as the ability to follow precise instructions with regard to safety. Students must have the hand strength to open a sealed jar or swing an axe or hammer repeatedly. If there are questions about this or if students have injuries or physical limitations, please contact the school before registering

Course Details

Length: 3 days