Homemade lathe

Has anyone ever tried converting a treadle sewing machine base into a
lathe? if so, was it successful and do you have plans drawn up I could
look at?
I used to collect antique treadle sewing machines and have several
bases I thought might make interesting mini lathes for pens or other
small items.
Reply to
NoName
I made a mini lathe with a washing machine motor.
Made a micro lathe out of IBM typewriter parts. The typewriter had hundreds of springs, bolts and some steel shafts to salvage too.The typewriter has a nice small size induction motor that is very quiet with enough power to do small diameter work.
You should be able to adapt the treadle sewing machine to a wood lathe by beefing up the flywheel with more thickness or weight. Check online for treadle lathe how-to and adapt to the treadle sewing machine. The old singer machines are well built and work forever. Jamffer
Reply to
Ghamph
What's a "Typewriter"?!?! };->
I have several Singer's, and yes, prior to 1960ish it was hard to kill a Singer. I have a cheap Taiwan replacement treadle base I was thinking of converting. If it works I'll let folks know.
Thanks.
Reply to
NoName
Try a search of the archives here
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It's the Old Tools Group Pete Visit my site at:
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Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without
Reply to
Canchippy
In 1960 I saw a sweat shop full of foot powered lathes in Hong Kong. They consisted of two pedals which were pumped and a cord wound around a bamboo drum between bearings. this resulted in a forward and backward rotation. They had a screw chuck on the headstock end to which they mounted ivory blocks. They were turning ivory balls, the type with several balls within a ball. I bought a chess set that had each piece mounted on one of these balls.
They used a small scraper which cut on both the forward and back rotation. They could cut a ball out faster than I ever will be able to do with a Oneway.
Paul Gilbert
Reply to
Paul Gilbert
The current issue of Popular Woodworking (August 2007, Issue #163) has an article entitled A Bicycle Built for Bowls, that might be of related interested. It's about making a foot-powered lathe using bicycle parts.
Reply to
Michael Faurot
Fine Woodworking had a collection out some years ago of plans for homemade woodworking tools. There was a really nice looking treadle lathe in that using bicycle parts.
I loaned my copy of the book to a grad school professor...so much for that...
Reply to
David Kazdan
My wife has an old treadle in working condition.It was her great grandmothers. I had the same thought as you, would make a lathe from it. Wife had other thoughts, said she would do a Lorretta Bobbit on me if I touched her treadle. Made a treadle lathe from a couple of books, Roy Underhill has an article in one book that shows you how. I used that lathe for several years, finally removed the flywheel and treadle and added a motor. Getting to old now to pump the treadle. In any case I believe you could easily make a small pen lathe, You would need a spindle with a morse taper and threads,so the old method of using round stock for the spindle won't work for pens.I have not turned pens , but I imagine the least you need is a morse taper spindle. You can get parts from Grizzly or many lathe manufacturers, ask for replacement parts.Might be cheaper to buy an inexpensive lathe and power it with the treadle.
mike
Reply to
kwoodhands

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