No demonstration of medieval woodworking would be complete without a pole lathe.
I have spent quite a lot of hours this summer building an adapted version of Roy Underhill’s double spring pole lathe. It’s by no means medieval but it demonstrates the concept. And it doesn’t require a 20′ long sapling.
Yesterday was the culmination of the work I have been doing. I spent several happy hours demonstrating joinery and pole lathe turning at Fen Ditton 800. It was an exceptionally successful, well-organised and enjoyable event and I was delighted by the reception my little stand got.
While I was setting up a gentleman in his seventies arrived and started asking a lot of very astute questions. It became clear that he had been a joiner for most of his working life and he was delighted to see someone working with hand tools. We spent about fifteen minutes talking about his career, the huge workshop he had spent much of his adult life in and, inevitably, the decline of crafts and trades in the U.K. He set the tone for the day: interested, insightful people testing and extending my knowledge in the nicest way possible.
Pingback: Let’s get medieval | Making Things Work
Very well done bit of filmmaking. I learned your method for grommet making. I know a stronger way, but yours clearly works, too.
Thanks for your comment.
I was taught to make grommets with a different finishing – the strands get separated again and tucked into the lay of the rope. But it’s a bit messier and I like the whipping.
There is a lathe very similar to yours in Old Salem wood working Shop in Winston-Salem, NC. The spring saves space as well as not having to spend time finding one, as you pointed out.
I’ve never made it as far down as NC. Next time I’m over it’s on my list. Old Salem sounds like a fascinating place. Thanks for the recommendation.