I haven’t touched this project for quite some time, and for good reason – it failed 🙁
On the other hand, it did succeed 🙂
How can it both fail and succeed? Easy, it was a valuable learning experience. Here’s what I learned from this project:
- I learned much more about traditional jointing, using through tenons and wedges, which made quite a firmly jointed structure.
- I learned to creatively solve problems unique to this project, such as incorporating a spindle into the design, and creating a chuck to hold the wood. Okay, the chuck was pathetic, but the spindle (which was a modified pestle) actually worked really well.
- The next lesson I learned was a vital one: don’t let your desire to recycle materials override common sense, you still need to use materials that are up to the job, and sadly, the panels that I had chosen weren’t. They turned out to be too light which meant that the lathe moved around too much in test-use, and also the material tended to flex when under stress (light stress I might add…).
In short, while as a lathe the project failed, as a learning experience it was a huge success, and I’m glad I attempted this project. Will I try again? Probably, but I’m more inclined to try building it’s successor, the treadle lathe which constantly rotated in one direction, so if anyone in Phuket or surrounding areas has an old Singer sewing machine (or similar) I’d be interested in hearing from you!
As for the existing project, it’s been knocked apart (an advantage of this kind of construction), and stored away for re-recycling into something else!