Touch-Wood Multi-Purpose Lathe
Many people will now be familiar with the pole lathe through revival of the craft in recent years. Broadly speaking there are two types:
· the spindle lathe (bodgers lathe)
· the bowl lathe (for hollow turning)
There are many variations on each type, incorporating traditional design and the personal innovations of the turner; rightly so as the lore of this craft often demands that the turner is resourceful and makes his/her own equipment.
The Touch-Wood (multipurpose) lathe has been developed in this spirit over the past 25 years; it allows both spindle and hollow turning using the adjustable tool rest; it is heavy and has very little in the way of metal fixings. The bed and stocks are formed from a 3” thick slabs of hardwood (oak or ash) and the legs are cleft from an oak log. The legs are fitted by gravity; this is a “sliding dovetail” joint. The adjustable centre has a forged vice type pin, rather than the clunky crank, which is widely seen on other lathes. The only other metal parts are the hinges and adjustment for the treadle.
The whole lathe (except the 15+ft pole!) can easily be stowed in the back of a hatchback for transport. Many of the modern revival "pole" lathe turners in fact use a type of elasticated rope (known amongst the bodgers as "bungee"), to use the same lathe as a bungee lathe; this is really easy to achieve simply tying the bungee to something above the lathe, and attaching the drive cord to this; although some more complex and Heath Robinsonesque creations have been seen.