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Thread: Looking for treadle bowl lathe plans

  1. #1

    Looking for treadle bowl lathe plans

    Hi lathe woodworkers!
    My first post on the site and I come for help.

    OK I am looking to turn a large bowl. My lathe only has a 8" bowl capacity so I am very limited at this point. I have been looking at prices and it's astounding at the prices of equipment. When I purchased my lathe I really didn't know what I was doing I just remembered having fun turning back in school. It's a really poor lathe.

    Anyway I have been doing some research and I found out about treadle lathes and I don't have a membership to a gym. I don't mind working at it if I can turn a big bowl. Does anyone have any plans for a treadle/flywheel bowl lathe? I don't mind paying for them but free would be better. I found some plans for a regular treadle lathe but I want to go big. All the artists I know say they want to go big.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    bethel springs TN, but was born and raised in north east PA
    Chris didn't find any thing you were looking for, but did want to welcome you here.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Portland, Oregon
    Check out THIS link, they have a set of plans you can download a pdf copy for free.

    Hope this helps.
    Jesus was a Woodworker

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Orem, Utah
    Howdy Chris! Welcome to the Family!

    I don't actually have the plans you're looking for, but here is some related information that might give you some good leads:

    Web page about a 2006 project with Don Weber, a transplanted Irish "bodger"

    Abstract of a magazine article that resulted from the project. I remember the article, and I must have that issue around here somewhere, but it might take a while to find it. (However, I don't remember anything like detailed plans being included in the article.)

    An even older article that shows some details of how Don made his earlier treadle lathes. I'm sure his bowl lathe design builds on this foundation.
    I understand that Don Weber has offered a class in the past, on constructing the bowl lathe that he came up with for that project in Honduras. Not sure if he's still doing that....

    = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

    Finally, some references that may help with the "bicycle freewheel" part of the design:

    First, a Fine Woodworking article (original issue unknown) by Richard Starr, describing a treadle lathe that got much use in his junior high school shop classes. Includes a nice diagram of the freewheel headstock arrangement.

    This PDF of the article is only available by subscription......but it was also reprinted in an out-of-print book that you might find in your local library: Lathes & Turning Techniques (Best of Fine Woodworking)

    Mr. Starr included another version of this information in his book Woodworking With Your Kids. In fact, I noticed that the second edition of the book had a slightly different design for the headstock assembly.

    = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

    Hope this helps! If you ever pull all this info together into something like a pattern, I'd love to see it. Good Luck!

  5. #5
    Thanks for the welcomes and links. I contacted Don Weber. Maybe he can send me the plans from the bowl lathe they were using in Honduras. It looks exactly like what I am looking for. I will see if he is willing to share the plans or sell them.

    Thanks again for the advice.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Whittier, CA, USA
    I found this one:

    Treadle Lathe PDF

    I think it might be a duplicate of someone else's post.

    Welcome aboard!
    Dan Gonzales
    Whittier, CA, USA
    Dona nobis pacem

  7. #7
    Hi Dan,

    Yeah the plans you found are for a treadle lathe. I have seen those plans turn into an amazing lathe. I think they are pretty limited for bowl turning. We will see as I may be forced to continue looking or making that lathe and modding it for bowl turning.

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