Hosted by MacGregor Historic Games
Early Man-powered Wood Lathes
When I first started experimenting with man-powered wood lathes, the sources I found were piecemeal bits and occasional illustrations in various books on modern motorized woodturning. But as a member of a historical re-enactment group with a firm educational mission, I was interested in not only the machines, but also period techniques, tools, and accessories to help me talk about the history of the trade in front of the public.
This site is an attempt to collect and share various sources, and illustrations I have found on early turning to assist others who are interested in experimenting with these machines of the past. My interest has been in pre-industrial turning so there is little here about the manufactured lathes of the 19th century.
At the right is your host, sittin' & spinnin' at
the Minnesota Renaissance Festival (photo courtesy of Bryan Patzke) -Since I switched to my small hand-pumped
lathe I've been turning mainly smaller items like simple cup &
ball toys, game pieces and lace-making bobbins in wood as well as bone.
4/17/10 Added 2 videos to the Youtube page
1/20/10 Added a pic of a potter's "lathe" to Related Machines page.
7/29/08 Added a new video to the YouTube page.
5/10/08 Updated the Bibliography
3/22/08 I started a new page with embedded YouTube Videos on traditional turning
3/13/08 Added a video showing My bow lathe in use
|Ancient lathes||Continual rotation lathes||Spring-pole lathes|
|Bow lathes||Tools||Related Machines|
|Specialty Lathes||Quotes about turning||Notes on a 17th Cent. turner|
|My bow lathe||Bibliography||Links|
|YouTube Videos on traditional turning|
now has links to titles that are available through:
"An Informal look at Wood Turning Through the Ages " CD-rom
If you like this website, I am offering an expanded version of this information on CD-rom with additional features and many larger graphics and scans of full pages from some of my primary sources so you can see the illustrations in larger size and in their original context.
Included on the disk:
Mac and Windows compatable.
$20.00 + $2.00 shipping