2005, 2008, 2010 by Steve Schmeck Published by ManyTracks Publishing All rights reserved.Permission to reproduce portions of this book may be obtained from the publisher or author.Inquiries should be addressed to:
ManyTracks Publishing 770N Fox Road Cooks Michigan Web : 0-9652036-7-0 ESBN: 81897-050218-122102-14 Library of Congress Control Number:
2005922672 Print version printed on 100% recycled, acid-free paper with power from the sun.
Update Notes, January 2010:
This revision of the original 2005 version of this publication reflects feedback I have received over the past five years.The on-line E-Book and PDF versions have been downloaded thousands of times and some of the folks who built a treadle lathe have sent in comments and photos of their lathes.Some of those comments and photos have been available as a separate download on our web site but are now included in this update.
The majority of the content from the original version remains intact with only minor editing.I hope you enjoy this publication and also enjoy building and using your new lathe!
November, 2011: Updated to correct measurement for height of Tail Upright to 30 on material list.
3 Introduction Make Your Own Treadle Lathe
Why this small book exists In the last twenty years or so since I built this foot-powered treadle lathe, I have received many requests for drawings or plans.The lathe has been used as part of our traditional woodworking demonstrations and it never fails to draw a crowd.
Of course, the reason the lathe exists is because I felt a need for it as a tool.
Some of the main considerations when designing the lathe were:
Human powered -- our solar energy system was pretty small at the time
Size -- it had to be less than 42" tall to fit into our old truck
Compact -- since it would sit in our small shop all the time, a small footprint was essential
Portable -- as in not too cumbersome or heavy
Functional -- it had to perform the basic duties of a light-duty lathe
Adaptable -- I had in mind several untraditional uses for the tool, like sanding
Background During a demonstration at a Steam and Gas Antique Village many years ago, I had the opportunity to use a monster treadle lathe with a 6' diameter wood flywheel and 8' long bed.This old timer had been used during the lumbering boom years in Michigan's Upper Peninsula to turn decorative porch posts for some of the fancier "Lumber Baron's" homes.As you might guess, it took a lot of energy to keep that big, heavy wheel turning, even when the piece you were turning was not particularly large.I had built a couple of spring pole lathes for use in the shop and on the road at demonstrations.
One used an ironwood pole lashed in the shop's rafters, and the portable unit used a bungee shock cord for recoil power.
Spring pole lathes are cool and although their unique intermittent cutting action required a bit of getting used to, mine did a lot of turning of both spindles and some small bowls and plates.Eventually, though, I wanted an easier way to demonstrate the use of a lathe to turn the tubes of a series of wooden flutes I was making.This treadle lathe with its continuous cutting action was my next project.
Materials I wanted to use materials I had on hand to build the lathe.
Luckily I had recently had a local sawmill cut and dry some 3x3's and 2x4's from a large maple cut in our woodlot.Although I used this more or less uncommon stock, there is no reason a decent lathe couldn't be made from regular dimensioned 2x lumber.The denser and more durable the better.I would think that something like yellow pine would be very good.
This booklet can be used to guide you through the construction process, step by step or, if you like, just to help you see one way the design and construction challenges of building a human-powered lathe were handled.
4 Where from here? If you are reading this in digital format you can use the index at the left to move through the construction process.Click on any of the heavy-bordered photos accompanying the text to see an enlarged view or select a graphic from the list at the lower left.
If you are reading this in a printed form and would like to obtain a free, up-to-date digital version (E-Book or PDF), aim your Internet browser at www.manytracks.com/lathe.I hope you enjoy this project and that it helps you to build your own human powered treadle lathe. Lathe - Front View Make Your Own Treadle Lathe 5 Lathe - Flywheel End View Make Your Own Treadle Lathe Lathe - Measured Drawing Make Your Own Treadle Lathe Make Your Own Treadle Lathe
6 Materials & Parts
I have listed below the materials and parts used in the building of this lathe.In a few places I have listed options or alternatives based upon experience I've had using the lathe over the last 20+ years.In general it has done what I asked it to do but there are a few things I would change and have noted them here and in the building process text.
The materials are based upon stock I had on hand and the dimensions shown work for my 5'-10" height frame.Feel free to modify either materials or dimensions to fit your own needs.
I used maple for all wood parts except as noted below.
2 - 2x4 x 42" Base: 1 - 2x4 x 40" Base Stabilizer:
1 - 2x4 x 24" Headstock End Brace: 1 - 1x10 x 12" Tailstock:
1 - 2x4 x 18" Tailstock Braces:
2 - 1x3 x 6" Flywheel Center:
1 - 1x8 x 8' Flywheel Rim:
372 tesla coil
1996 - 2003
500,000 volt lightning GeneratorDiscover how to build a real Tesla Coil, that can generate lightning.Great many high Creative Science & Research PO BOX 557 New Albany, IN.47150Www.FuellessPower.comTESLA COIL #372Copyright
1996 - 2003 miniaturelightning bolts up to 24-in.
the device is unusually potent considering its overall simplicity and minimal power requirements.
In operation, the Lightning Generator spouts a continuous,crackling discharge of pulsating lightning bolts into the air.Thesewaving fingers of electricity will strike any conducting object that comes within it's range.
A piece of paper placed on top the discharge terminal will burstinto flames after a few seconds'of operation, and a balloon tossed near the terminal will pop as though shot down by lightning.
WARNING: You build at your own risk.High voltage is dangerous!use rubber gloves.If you are not familiar with high voltage rules thendo not attempt this project until you educate yourself in the use ofHV Capacitors and high voltage saftey.See your local library orget a begineers book on electronics from Radio Shack or any otherelectronic supplier from the web.
Building the Lightning Generator is relatively simple.
The cost, dep-ending on your scrounge-ability, will be from $35 to $80.Start with L2, the secondary coil, which consists of a 36 1/2-in.length of 1 7/8-in.OD cardboard tubing, wound with a single layerof AWG 30 enameled, copper wire.
Choose as perfect a tube aspossible and make sure that it is not contaminated with paint or othersubstances.Heat the tube in an oven to drive out moisture and paintit lightly with varnish or plastic spray.The coil can be wound by hand or chucked in a slow-turning lathe.Page 2TESLA COIL #372Copyright
1996 - 200336
x 1 7/8
1-20.Base for coilis made from a 3/4 Figure
1-21.This is a Schematic ofthe entire lightning generator10
x 5 1/4
x 10Plywood baseStarting 1/4-in.from the end, begin winding clockwise, making allturns
as close together as possible.Avoid kinks andoverlapping.Total number of turns will be about 3350, but there is no needto keep count since the turns are closely spaced.Leave about two feetPage 3TESLA COIL #372Copyright
1996 - 2003Page 4of the tube and run a 3-in.length of the wire through a small holeDrilled in the exposed cardboard apparatus.
This end will be the top of the secondary.
Apply several coats ofvarnish to the windings for protection and insulation.
To make the discharge electrode, fit the top of the secondary witha porcelain, center-fed insulator of any type (length should not exceed3 in.).Insert a bolt through the center of the insulator and attach the3-in.coil wire to the bottom end of the bolt.No more than 3/4 in.
ofthe bolt should protrude from the insulator top.Fasten the insulatorto the end of the secondary coil with electrical tape or " square from 3/4 "plywood, and fastening a 6-in.long wooden dowel to the center.
Usea 3-in.wood screw to attach the dowel, and, or glue it in place.Thesecondary should fit snugly over the dowel.The 2-ft.length of coil wire from L2 can be brought through a1/4-in.hole drilled in the platform 1 in.from the dowel.anotheroption for the base L2 would be to use 1/2" to 3/4" clear plastic.Primary coil LI.which fits at the base of the secondary, consistsof 28 closely-spaced turns of AWG 8 insulated copper wire on a 10x 5 1/4 in.
Quaker Oats box.
or use a 4" PVC pipe.
In a pinch, ordinary two-conductor line cord can be used, with the ends twisted together to form one conductor.The box should be varnished and it can be reinforced with a few layers of fiberglass cloth and epoxy resin.To wind LI, secure the first turn at the bottom of the box witha piece of string, then wind clockwise until 28 turns have been made.Do not wind the entire length of the box, but keep the turns as closelyspaced as possible.Secure the last winding with electrical tape.Cut a hole in the bottom of the box and slip the completed LI overL2, keeping the secondary centered.The exposed cardboard of theParts List for Tesla Lightning .
2.3.1-Spark gap (see text).
4.1-16 x 20 x 5-in.
deep box (plastic or wood-see text)5.1-porcelain insulator for discharge terminal.
6.1-36 1/2x1 7/8-in.OD tube (cardboard, phenolic, or other non-conductor)7.1-10 x 5 1/4-in.
OD tube (cardboard, phenolic, or other non-conductor-see text)8.
K1-5-amp.contact, 120-volt coil relay (Potter & Brumfield type MR3A or equiv.)9.
L1-38-feet AWG-8 solid insulated wire wound on 5 1/4-in.form.10.1-2-1650 feet AWG-30 enameled solid copper magnet wire (approximately a 1/2-lb.
spool) wound on 1 7/8-in.
form.11.3-SAE-30 motor oil, quart cans12.
8-12 1/4 x 16 1/2 x 1/4-in.sheets of glass (to fit box above-see text)
solder, insulating varnish or epoxy, tape, etc.TESLA COIL #372Copyright
1996 - 2003Page 5primary can be painted with nonconducting enamel or wound withtape.The Low-Leakage Capacitor
You can build a larger capacitor such as our homemade capacitor designs
( see # HVC1 plans )< x 20 x 5 in.
for capacitor Cl.- or 1/2-in.
and reinforced withfiberglass.
Box size is not critical, though the box must be large enough to hold the capacitor about to be described.
Glass dielectric for the capacitor consists of eight sheets of 16 1/2x 12 1/4 x 1/4-in.
window glass.Cost should run about $30.
Cut out seven sheets of 20- x 9-in.heavy-duty aluminum foil andassemble Cl as follows: lay a sheet of glass in the box and place asheet of 20- x 9-in.aluminum foil on the glass as shown