Double Spring Pole Lathe [Part 5 – the drive-shaft]

It’s been far too long since I did any work on my lathe, perhaps because the last bit of work I did on it kind of ended badly. I chose a lump of natural wood with a diametre that was far too large for effective use of the lathe. So, anyway, I waited, and waited, and eventually a few weeks ago I stumbled on something that seemed at the time to be perfect, an old pestle! That’s right, a traditional food preparing implement was going to be the main drive-shaft for my lathe!

So, today, I finally got back to work on the lathe.

So, there it is, the old pestle. It’s a bit worse for wear, but the worst bits will get cut off when it is trimmed down to size anyway, and besides that, the roughness will make it easier for the rope to grip on it, at least, that’s the idea!
I cut the pestle down to size, making sure that the shaped handle is what the rope will be wrapped around. In the end I drilled a hole to insert a dowell which is inserted into the headstock.
I had to open up the large hole in the inner piece of the headstock up a bit so that the full diametre of the drive-shaft (as I’ve decided to call it lol) will snugly fit and rotate. Another oddity that I’ve chosen to use is an old worn out screwdriver, that has a square cross-section. I drilled a slightly undersized hole through the drive-shaft and hammered the screwdriver through it. The fit is nice and tight, and it allows the drive-shaft to spin freely but stops it from sliding horizontally out of position.
At this point I was eager to try it out, so I wrapped the rope a few times around the drive-shaft (or spindle if you prefer), and tied each end to the foot peddle and to the rocker bar up top.
Although this is supposed to be a double-spring-pole lathe, I’ve taken a modern short-cut for the time being by using a pair of bungee straps which neatly hook onto the rocker bar, and to the frame lower down. I’m not sure at this point if I will actually use spring-poles, this alternative seemed to work quite well when I tested it.
Now I’m getting into some tricky stuff. I’m not sure what will work best as a chuck, so I decided to play it safe for now and use some old scrap palletwood to experiment with my first design idea. Basically I cut it into two equally sized squares. I drove four nails right through one of the pieces, and then I nailed that piece to the other. I then drilled a hole and inserted a large screw.
I drilled a hole in the protruding end of the drive-shaft and screwed the chuck onto it. The next step is to test this out, but that means another day, and another blog post!

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