Williamsburg Treadle Lathe from the Gunsmith Shop
On a recent trip to Colonial Williamsburg, I snapped a few photos of this treadle lathe. Having been to the Anthony Hay shop several times as well as the Joiner’s shop I was surprised to see this lathe. Usually the Hay shop has a great wheel powered lathe and the Joiners have a massive treadle.
It turns out this model was on loan from the Gunsmith’s shop. I recognize the eventuality that I will be making a treadle soon. Maybe it is the hand cranked grinding wheel or possibly my ever increasing collection of hand saws, but it seems only a matter of time until my Jet mini lathe gets replaced by a meat powered version. As an aside, notice the treadle powered grinding wheel in the background. Maybe that will be my next acquisition?? I really need to seek professional help.
Up until now the issue holding me back is space. My shop ceiling is just too low for a spring pole lathe. I would be bumping my head on it all the time. A treadle lathe suits me better and I have experience working with one at my volunteer job at the Steppingstone Museum. However, this is like bringing another stationary power tool into the shop. It has a footprint that demands space. I foresee a major shop reorganization soon and plan to allow for some space for a turning corner. This lathe from the Gunsmith shop seems like a great option. I like the variable speed option of the geared headstock. I always thought variable speed on a treadle lathe meant, pedal harder, but it looks like this model has added in some more oomph to help things along.
At any rate, I have many things to do between now and when I start building my own treadle, but in the meantime you can expect to see some further musings from me about which design and how I intend to integrate it into my humble little shop.