Hand-cranked/treadle equipment advice - outdoor workshop


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2 Oct 2012
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Hi All,

Merry Christmas! I’m new here, but also not - in a way. I ended up here looking for info and when I tried to sign up found out I already had, years ago! Anyway, I’m trying to put together an ‘outdoor workshop’ using hand-cranked or treadle powered equipment. If anybody was watching the job lot of hand-cranked bench drills on eBay, it was me who got them (top bloke and fantastic drills).

So, I’m sorted for drilling but I’ve decided to track down a Hobbies fret saw. There are a few on eBay but they are a bit far or need too much doing for the price. However, if anybody has an idea for an alternative, or any advice here then please step in, i.e. what should I watch out for, which particular model etc.

I’d also like to have a treadle lathe. I’m way out of my depth on this front so very much looking for advice on makes, models etc. It would need to be quite compact and I would be interested in hearing about both metal and woodworking lathes.

They would be used for a Forestry School type setup and would possibly be used by children (under supervision) although not the lathe. We have heaps of hand tools but I thought that it would be great to bring some cool vintage items into the mix.

My woodworking skills are ‘developing’ and I’m enthusiastic! My background is fabrication and welding, and I’m Head of D&T at a school (for the past 13 years) so I’m pretty handy, but definitely more of a metalworking skill set. I’m enjoying the move over to wood and looking forward to getting this project up and running.

Thanks in advance for any help or advice, there is a huge range of knowledge here which I humbly bow down to!