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"Make Your Own Treadle Lathe"

by Steve Schmeck

Second Edition Cover
The Updated Second Edition is now available!

Here is a practical, step by step guide to building a foot-powered lathe for light duty wood turning. You can build your own treadle lathe by following the well illustrated steps presented in this compact book.

This book is available as a full-color paperback and as an eBook.

You can order this book directly from us for $12.95 + $4.00 shipping!

or ... it is also available from Amazon.

The E-Book is available from:
 - Apple iTunes
 - Barnes & Noble
 - Amazon
 - Smashwords
or your favorite e-book retailer.
for just $4.95!

In response to feedback from readers I have prepared a do-it-yourself "Treadle Lathe Hardware Kit". This list will give you an idea of what components you might need and sources for them. You can view the 'Kit' or download it as a PDF.

Thank you to everyone who purchased the First Edition! Your feedback was responsible for the new Second Edition content. If you already own the First Edition you can download those updates here.

Measured Drawing Download: Sorry this file has been so hard to find. Click here to download a PDF that shows my lathe's dimmensions.

Sale! For a limited time the First Edition paperback is available directly from us.
( Updates can be downloaded

Full Color paperback: $10.00

Black & White paperback: $6.00

OR ...
Click on
Order Form to order and pay by mail.

PLEASE NOTE: We can only ship within the USA. See ORDERING INFO for shipping charges and other information.    

The book covers: Lathe in use - Video
- Materials & components 
- Frame and headstock 
- Belt and tensioner 
- Tailstock 
- Tool rest 
- Flywheel 
- Using the lathe 

I also provide information on some non-turning uses for the lathe and sources for, and some shop-made alternatives to, the parts you may not have. All of the wood needed to build your lathe can be found at the local lumber yard or home center. Use ‘Make Your Own Treadle Lathe’ to make a near-duplicate of my lathe or as inspiration to build the unique human-powered lathe of your dreams. 
From the Introduction… 

Why this book exists: During the thirty years or so since I built this foot-powered treadle lathe, I have received many requests for drawings or plans. The lathe has been used as part of our traditional woodworking demonstrations and it never fails to draw a crowd. Of course, the reason the lathe exists is because I felt a need for it as a tool. 

Design considerations: 
Some of the main considerations when designing the lathe were: 
• Human powered – our solar energy system was pretty small at the time 
• Size – it had to be less than 42" tall to fit into our old truck 
• Compact – since it would sit in our small shop most of the time, a small footprint was essential 
• Portable – as in not too cumbersome or heavy 
• Functional – it had to perform the basic duties of a light-duty lathe 
• Adaptable – I had in mind several non-traditional uses for the tool, such as sanding 
Many unique and usable lathes have been built using earlier editions of this book. This current edition provides you with the instructions, photos and illustrations, and inspiration to build your own treadle lathe! 

go to Lathe Share & UpdatesView lathes that were inspired by this book, as well as updates to the book.

Spring Pole Lathe

January, 2020 - I have posted free plans for making a simple, portable, bench-top spring pole lathe right here.

A special thank you to all who have taken the extra time to review our books online! 

 Also by Steve Schmeck:
Make Your Own Wooden Flute ...
is to aspiring flute makers what my Treadle Lathe book is to wood turners.

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Updated 03/28/2023
Copyright 2022 by Steve Schmeck