Treadle Lathe Build #3: Tool rest

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Blog entry by brianl posted 10-04-2011 05:14 AM 3807 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Framing Complete Part 3 of Treadle Lathe Build series Part 4: The flywheel »

Construction of the flywheel and pulleys is taking longer than I anticipated, so I thought I’d skip ahead and show the progress that I made on the tool rest earlier today.

I started by sawing the basic shape – I threw in a couple of decorative curves.

I followed that up by cutting a 1/8” groove in the top and tapping in a piece of 1/8” steel bar stock. I figure that should provide a solid rest for the tools. In Roy’s original plans he doesn’t mention doing this, but I think it will really add to the life of the tool rest. I sawed the line initially, then widened it with my 1/8” chisel until I could tap the bar stock it. I really didn’t want the piece to split so I made sure the fit was just snug.

Afterwards I mounted it to the frame and my tool rest is complete!

The top is secured through the lathe rails and uses a bolt & wingnut to hold it in place. As you can see, I bored a slot through the top to allow for depth adjustments.

As usual, after the build I got to thinking – it would be nice (for more complex turnings) to be able to adjust the height of the tool rest. I’ll have to see about modifying it to allow for that.

-- Brian - Belmont, Massachusetts

6 comments so far

View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 3524 days

#1 posted 10-04-2011 05:29 AM

Yes, height adjustment is very important unless all your tools are the same size, mine are not. You are doing great.

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View Jon3's profile


497 posts in 4611 days

#2 posted 10-04-2011 04:42 PM

I wonder if you could thead the tailstock where your live centers would go. That might make it easier to apply pressure to the workpiece.

View CartersWhittling's profile


453 posts in 3180 days

#3 posted 10-04-2011 10:46 PM

Its looking good, I would recommend trying to find a way to raise and lower the tool rest, but as long as it does not sacrifice strength. A wobbly tool rest will make turning…a little less than enjoyable.

-- And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord... Colossians 3:23

View Tomcat1066's profile


942 posts in 4302 days

#4 posted 10-05-2011 12:15 AM

Still looking good. Unfortunately, I don’t know enough about turning to offer anything constructive. Instead, I’ll just keep waiting happily for more details on the build.

-- "Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust." Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That's how I roll!

View brianl's profile


108 posts in 3587 days

#5 posted 10-05-2011 01:57 AM

Jon: Great idea – Now I just need to figure out how to build a locking handle…

Carter: that’s exactly what I was thinking earlier today. I’ve been brainstorming a way to do it.

-- Brian - Belmont, Massachusetts

View mpmitche's profile


428 posts in 3482 days

#6 posted 10-23-2011 05:22 PM

Looking good so far; can’t wait to see the rest!

-- Mike, Western New York

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