pole lathe wood turning

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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 know theres quite a few wood nibblers and timber butchers on the forum so can i have some advice please.

a friend owns a pole lathe and for a certain amount of beers he is willing to turn me several ash hoe handles.

the down side is aswell as the beer i have to supply the timber too

so do i buy or obtain ash sapling say 2" to 3" in diameter and there fore less to turn and reasonally straight but would have several very small branch twig joints

or do i find a log that will have to be split up and then turned down

or do i bite the big bullet and buy sawn stock 1 1/2" and use that

also other than ash what other uk timbers could i use, the finished handles will be roughly 1" 1/2 by 60" in old english or 30mm by 1500mm
Possibly contact local tree surgeon firms see if they have felled/removed any local to you and see if they would sell you some?
I would go for seasoned wood over fresh cut, fresh cut tends to bow and split when drying out , if not in hurry I would cut fresh and store for year to dry out ,then turn down to rough size store for bit longer and turn down to final thickness,
Yes but the problem you'll find it seasoned wood is harder to turn and a pole lathe isn't the most sturdy and strong setups, if you had a motored lathe i would say seasoned but it can get hard to turn seasoned wood on a pole lathe.
Have you thought of big old pallets... had some 8 x 4 pallets some time back in Hickory
Turned up nicely for missing staircase spiggots thingies!
Spindles?... use electric lathe tho!
they need to be turned whilst the wood is green and not seasoned, not fussed about to many splits. there is a massive cost difference between sapling timbre which is free and a log which i have to pay for, but if saplings are no good i will get the log
Trouble with turning sapling wood is that you will have heart(sap) wood in it (the centre of the sapling) which isn't great for turning as it will bend and buckle as it dries out. You would be much better off with a log and splitting it radially to get your turning blanks. It may still bend as it dries out but not as much as if you have sap wood left in there. It will have to be turned while green - you've got no chance of turning seasoned ash on a pole lathe - it's just too hard.
a friend owns a pole lathe and for a certain amount of beers he is willing to turn me several ash hoe handles...
As far as I recall handles on old tools that went back to my grandfather's time, the longer hoe/rake type handles were not turned on a lathe but shaped with a draw knife. Could have been because they came out of a local joiners shop, it was some time ago and factory produced handles now look turned so anyone could give it a go. Wheelwrights, as far as I've seen demos, use ash spokes shaped with a knife, and that seems appropriate for heavier oval handles like axe or sledgehammer.
Although not impossible but it would be interesting to see a long thin pole turned on a lath or even pole lathe.
I suppose so, the well established snooker cue makers still do it all from hand in workshops. Don't see why a simple how handle couldn't be done with ease with a bit of time and patience.
Don't know whether you have had these done already...
If you get something bigger and split into 4 handles it doesn't need to be a large 'log' really. Advantage of doing it this way is that wood shrinks more around the circumference than towards the centre. This means if you turn 4 round handles when green they will be oval when seasoned - not a problem. If you use one single branch it needs little work to make the handle but will split and won't have the strength of handles made by the first method.
Probably best to use a drawknife rather than all of the work to turn on the lathe.
the lathe was built and used quite a bit. we made loads of stuff on it. i enentually altered it to a fly wheel and single rotational with a foot droven pedel.

the main requirement was to be able to turn beautiful long handle for the allotment tools.

where it fell dowm massively and is now confind to a area at the allotment to rot is the obtaining of sutible timber. i am needing 1.5m lengths of reasonable straight grained timber. finding any let alone ash is rediculas and as for the costs. its cheaper to buy them in poland and ship it over to the uk.

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