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By Paul.J
Hi folks long time no post :shock:
But does anyone have any experience of using a sit down lathe?
Any drawbacks on using one.Only thing i can think of is more strain on my back and having to move shavings away.
Lathes i am considering are the Vicmarc, Oneway or Wivamac which all have tilting beds
At the moment i am using a Vicmarc VL300 so the Vicmarc and Wivamac will suit my chucks etc.
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By woodbloke66
I used one just before Christmas; seemed to work OK but a bit limited :lol: ...


You can probably guess where :lol: :lol: - Rob
By Duncan A
There are some links here which may be useful: new-lathe-for-wheelchair-user-t75696.html
Poss also talk to Tony Wilson, who works from a wheelchair and turns out some superb stuff.
My main concern with working from a seated position (which I've never done) would be the proximity of my face to flying lumps of wood or tools knocked off course - good face protection essential.
Good luck
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By Dalboy
The problem of working in a seated position is the lack of movement you will have which would mean the modifying of tools as well as finding a lathe to work at. I have arthritis of the spine but still, stand at the lathe I just take a rest more often than what I use to.
I do now decorate much more than I use to so that part I can do in the seated position.
If you feel that you can reach across the lathe without tilting it then a bench with a cut out to allow your legs to fit underneath means that any normal type lathe can be used. There is a lathe that can be tilted and I forget who made it but it comes with a price tag to match.
Or if you can find a lathe to fit THIS stand
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By transatlantic
I am a paraplegic (paralysed from chest down). My situation may be different to yours as I struggle with balance (no core)

I don't have a tilting lathe, but just a normal lathe lowered. What I would stress though is to get something with a sliding and tilting headstock. I find it an absolute must for bowls.

The real annoyance is continually moving my chair around to get a comfortable cut with good control (again, made more difficult by lack of core muscles). It's slow going, but I enjoy it and am in no rush.
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By Lons
Duncan beat me to it as I was going to mention Tony who I've watched a number of times. Can't remember the make of his lathe but it's a big lump of a machine.
I guess his wheelchair makes it easy to move around so maybe a chair on castors / office chair might help otherwise I would think just getting the lathe to the right height, maybe leg room under and tools well organised would work well

Would be interested to see what you do as I find standing at the lathe gets pretty uncomfortable after a while.
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By Paul.J
Thanks for the replies folks much appreciated.
Reason for asking is that I have arthritis in both hips, lower back and knees, and recently getting pain in wrists fingers even shoulder while turning. Pain is getting very uncomfortable while standing at the lathe even for short periods and just feel I need to sit down. Also get pins and needles and numbness in legs which apparently is down to the back problems.
I have tried sitting at the VL300 by making a suitably sized platform and using a chair but because I couldn't get my legs under didn't really work but realised then that changing position while sitting will be an issue.
I can still stand and turn but just feel if I could sit down for a while it would help but again the height of the lathe would be the issue, so it would have to be sitting down all the time as things won't get any better I have been told??
I have seen Tony Wilson in the past doing his demos and was amazed then at the work he produces, he used to use the Hegner lathe as that was the lathe i had at the time but had problems with it so it had to go back.
That Robust stand would be ideal Dalboy but expensive pity there is nothing made like it over here??
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By Robbo3
The Toolpost at Didcot used to have a tilting Oneway lathe on display.
I haven't been for a couple of years so I can't say for certain that it's still there.
By Mdhazell
I suffer from arthritis as well so am interested in this although mine hasn't progressed to far yet. Rather than sitting have you thought about rigging something up so you can lean? Something like an angled tall bar stool so that you can take the weight off your hips/knees but without having to sit down fully. That way you would still retain the full movement you would need.

Just a thought,

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By Phil Pascoe
I did ask, but didn't get a response. Do you need to sit because you cannot stand at all, because you cannot stand for long, because you have a bad back or some other reason?
I am deficient to the tune of two in the leg department, I have no problem working from a wheelchair on a platform, but I can sit slightly sideways as I have no right knee to get in the way. Handy, that. :D
Sideways movement is difficult, though.
I prefer to use a prosthetic for a couple of seconds (I don't get on with it, it gets in the way, it hurts and is more trouble than it's worth) to stand to get on an eight foot long bench I made that runs up the centre of the 'shop - once I'm up, I can use the lathe, swivel around to use the bench and vice and slide along to use the bandsaw. So long as I ensure everything I'm likely to need is within reach I don't need to get down too often.
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By Paul.J
Thanks again folks all info is helping some but I think I sort of guessed what the issues would be sitting down working at the lathe so I think it will have to be a big change in the way I do things or just keep going as I am until I can't no longer as it is a big investment again if I do decide to go for a purpose built sit down lathe or perhaps as suggested get a smaller table top lathe and tilt it myself??
Time will tell no doubt.

phil.p- I did reply to your question on my first reply further up.