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"Make Your Own Treadle Lathe"

by Steve Schmeck

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Makr Your Own Wooden Flute

Moving with the Music cover


In response to feedback from readers I have prepared a list of updates and parts sources to help you build your lathe from this book. Click on the 'Lathe Book Updates' button or click here to download the
"Updates PDF".

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.
   You can purchase the Print edition in Color (a great gift idea!), or Black & White; or digitally as an eBook.

Be sure to check out some lathes inspired by this book.  updates
Lathe in use - Video
Treadle Lathe in use Video

E-Book just $2.99!

Buy it now by going to:
 - Smashwords
 - Apple iTunes
 - Barnes & Noble
 - Amazon
or your favorite e-book retailer.

You can also purchase the print book online from CreateSpace or Amazon.

Links to Color Edition

    - Amazon

Links to B/W Edition
    - Amazon

Buy the full color Print edition directly from us for $10.99.
54 pages, 6" x 9" Paperback

The black & white Print edition directly from us for $6.99.


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

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

The book covers: 
- 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 twenty 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. I hope you like them!

 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 12/25/2020
Copyright 2016 by Sue Robishaw

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