Treadle Lathe

Leonardo da Vinci's sketchbook contains perhaps the earliest depiction of a continuous-action treadle lathe. The essential element of the treadle lathe is the crank mechanism that converts the reciprocating action of the foot treadle into the rotary motion of the large flywheel pulley, which, in turn, drives the smaller pulley in the head stock at high speed.

Even this simple mechanism is prone to disorder. The weakest point in my design is the connection between the 1/2-inch-diameter axle and the large driving wheel. To assemble the lathe, the axle/crank has to be removed from the flywheel. It must then connect to the flywheel with enough strength to resist the powerful shearing forces between the little axle and the big wheel. I use a shear pin through the axle and the flange mounted on the drive wheel, and when a new user gets out of phase on the treadle, the shear pin shears.

Still, after 30 years, I've had to make a new axle only once. If you want to make one like it for yourself, see Plan F in the Appendix.

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Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

There are a lot of things that either needs to be repaired, or put together when youre a homeowner. If youre a new homeowner, and have just gotten out of apartment style living, you might want to take this list with you to the hardware store. From remolding jobs to putting together furniture you can use these 5 power tools to get your stuff together. Dont forget too that youll need a few extra tools for other jobs around the house.

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