Hand Tools Archive

Re: (Roubo) pole lathe dimensions

Warren in Lancaster, PA
I usually use a block knife to rough out a spindle, but probably the most common tool is a hatchet and a block, which are seen in old drawings of turning shops. So once you have a rough blank you make a small impression in each end and wrap the cord around the blank.

The first thing is to turn a pulley at one end, a smooth shallow cove for the cord. As soon as the pulley is done the piece is turned around so the cord rides in the pulley. As you have suggested, Wiley, the smaller the pulley the more revolutions, but the trade off is power. So we can turn with pulleys of various diameters but maybe an inch or so is a good compromise between revolutions and power. The power is very important not only to take a bigger chip, but to have the steadiness to make a smooth cut. In may cases we a pulley at each end for the bulk of the turning, then cut them away at the end, with the cord on any convienient place.

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