any wood turners out there??

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hedgerow pete

Queen Bee
Jan 26, 2009
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UK, Birmingham, Sandwell. Pork scratching Bandit c
Hive Type
I want to build a pole lath at the allotment i have the plans and the timber so that is not the question either, what is ?

simple on of the items i want to produce is some new long tool handles for the hoes and rakes etc so around 5 foot long ,caause i am a big bugger yes i was planing on usig a centre steady but is it posible to turn long centres on a pole lathe the alternative is a treadle but both have to be power free as the genny is in bits, suggestions please
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pete we used to have a pole lathe when i live in wales some time ago..... the problem you will find with longer lengths of wood is it will bend with the tension from the cord, also on that length of wood you will lose some strength as you will be cutting out some of the grain in some plasses if that makes sence. i would look into using a "spoke shave" and a "shaving horse"

then get some coppiced willow or hazel and smooth it down to size, because you are following the grain of the woo it will much stronger.:)
then get some coppiced willow or hazel and smooth it down to size, because you are following the grain of the wood it will much stronger.:)

I agree with this advice surprising how long and straight they can grow, the pole lathe will be a good project if you are also considering the odd chair
His name is Martin Payne we have his details if req.
He made an excellent National Observation Hive for us to use this year and all from his own design! (The observation part that is.)
He used to own an aquatics shop and can cut glass so a really big help..the added bonus for us a nice trade of a nuc for an observation hive...(a trading post thing..)
I know that he was thinking of making a few to sell if there was enough interest and IMO better than probably something you could buy from Thornes.
thanks for the lead, I dont want to buy the handles nor do I want to get someone else to do them for me,
The idea was I have some split ash and a lot of laburnham all in 6 foot lenghts, I am going to build a pole lathe and I will turn them but I was going to use a centre steady, I dont want to plan them as this will leave me a straight stick which is not what I want, I have done that a few times with sapplings and they are to whippy and soft. So I was wondering can any one give me some tips before I start
Were I live the chaps of old used to make besoms, [birch or heather brooms] each came with a handle and were all processed by smoothing a birch stick about 1-1/4" dia smoothed off with a round shave. basically a draw knife, drawn around a 2” ish dia.

Needless to say they could process a handle in no time flat.

I guess the point I am making is if the pole lathe had been the tool I feel sure it would have been used. They were not ones to waste time or effort.

Short sticks such as the bodgers would have used the pole lathe. A shaving horse like the one linked to above would be as good an investment in time as well as a pole lathe. Both are fun to use…. unless you are trying to earn a living.

if your gonna go for it pete do it soon before the wood dry' out it is much easier to use green also chisels should be razor sharp, you can steady the wood as you turn it but for really long bits its still best to use the shaving hors and draw knife to get the wood as near as possible to the finished size.. this is because the force of the rope pulling and turning the wood and centrifugal force will wake long bits very hard i reckon- still worth a try though the pole lathe is great and very relaxing when set up right but a nightmare if not.

sharp sharp chisels
try various cords