Development of the pole lathe

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TRITON

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Im just watching "The story of English furniture on BBC iPlayer

Does anyone know of any references or examples of when pole lathurians moved out the woods and into specially designed workshops.

In it there was a woodcut showing a turner on a pole lathe, but not a springy tree but a solid timber rod instead. So clearly the concept was of this turner working indoors.
The rod size in the pic looked about 40mm, so easy i suppose for them to construct a frame and a way of holding the rod at its one end.

See you only ever see a pole lathe being attached to a tree, not a manufactured assimile. And if thats there, they must have effectively built a machine.
As demand grew work load increased, so all year round and how to move a tree into a workshop.
 
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Pole lathes are also used where space is limited by using a bungee as the energy store instead of a springy bough. There are also treadle lathes which don't reciprocate but rely on a flywheel maintaining momentum.
I think there was considerable overlap between the existence of pole lathes and powered lathes. Pole lathes were still in use by the bodgers well into the 20th century because they worked out in the woods, turning where they sourced the wood, where the was no power available to them other than leg power. Either treadle or powered lathes have been around for over 200 years (possibly longer - Leonardo Da Vinci designed a treadle lathe) and probably came into commercial use as the industrial revolution and steam power took hold.
 
George Lailey is reputed to be the last person in England to earn a living with a pole lathe. He worked in a workshop. I can only go by what I have read and bodgers worked in the woods as they traveled from place to place. The great weather in the country would have encouraged those that could to work indoors.
George Lailey - Wikipedia
Robin Wood who is a well known pole lathe guy kind of continues the way old George did.
The wood turner and the story of the long lost lathe | Seeker of the Lost Arts
Regards
John
 
As with so many things the invisible hand dictates what's going to happen. If your competitor gets a treadle lathe then he can undercut you. But he may have been an arts and crafts darling and become romanticised. Like kerry a ladderback maker in Evesham. These guys helped form a picture for the arts and crafts pioneers(not of course accurate but rose tinted) they also had some parody(they were selling bowls in harrods!) But when the link is lost the parody can sometimes be better.
 
The technology is still very relevant in India and places with dodgy electric supply. To see a guy turning a leg for a char poi with his feet at lightning speed is an eye opener
 
Here's a few pics I found
 

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Looking at that engraving it strikes me that the pole is easily replaced when it begins to dry out. I doubt it would retain its boingy-ness very long indoors in summer.
 
Before the pole lathe was the bow lathe.
https://www.historicgames.com/lathes/mylathe.html
No knowing how old that is as the bow was also used to power a drill and before that to spin a stick to start a fire. I guess the pole lathe is just an advance on the bow as you have both hands free to work on the turning. Quite clever really just using one end of the bow.
Regards
John
 
Im just watching "The story of English furniture on BBC iPlayer

Does anyone know of any references or examples of when pole lathurians moved out the woods and into specially designed workshops.

In it there was a woodcut showing a turner on a pole lathe, but not a springy tree but a solid timber rod instead. So clearly the concept was of this turner working indoors.
The rod size in the pic looked about 40mm, so easy i suppose for them to construct a frame and a way of holding the rod at its one end.

See you only ever see a pole lathe being attached to a tree, not a manufactured assimile. And if thats there, they must have effectively built a machine.
As demand grew work load increased, so all year round and how to move a tree into a workshop.
I suppose the Potters Wheel is a type of vertical lathe and it has an equally long history of thousands of years.
 
The potters wheel is a fiendish contraption. My attempt at throwing a pot it threw it back at me. When that wobble of failure kicks in things go downhill fast. :)
 

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