Bowl lathe amendments for mediaeval festival

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Bowl lathe amendments for mediaeval festival

Postby Kevin Downing » Tue Jul 24, 2012 12:41 pm

I hope to attend a Medieval Festival in Campile in Wexford the weekend and would like advice on what I need to change in my devices so that they look as authentic as possible. It would be my first time at a re-enactor event. The period is Medieval but Fingal Living History Society (http://www.flhs.ie) also do Viking re-enactments.

I assume a spindle lathe from planed squared timber is no good so I wont try to bring it or even change the parts. However, I could change bits on my bowl lathe. What I reckon is this. Change the bungee cord for a springy pole. Change the platform for a rustic looking block, say adze a flat onto opposites of a block so it sits flat on the ground. My drive belt is leather but is new and still clean. Would I have to change my 5x2 treadle?

I have a holly log sitting on a 7x1 board with a vertical dowel to stabilise my treadle at the back and side. Should I get rid of the boards and replace with a bar driven into the holly and bent upwards.

Should I make a second set of poppets and another tool rest so that I have the option of spindle turning on the same lathe bed? I wont have time for that for this weekend. Any re-enactor advice would be appreciated.
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Re: Bowl lathe amendments for mediaeval festival

Postby paul atkin » Tue Jul 24, 2012 4:50 pm

It looks fine to me matey, so much better than a lot i have seen at reenactment events. Leather is always new at some point so will be fine.
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Re: Bowl lathe amendments for mediaeval festival

Postby robin wood » Tue Jul 24, 2012 11:07 pm

When I did my first re enactment event I spent a lot of time building a hewn wood lathe, frankly most re enactors know nothing about wood and are perfectly happy with planed softwood so long as it has weathered a bit and looks sort of old. You'll be fine. Re enactors do love to find fault so best leave something obvious for them like the bungy or a bit of polyprop rope, it makes em happy. You can tell them it's your first time out and they will be forgiving. If for your own personal interest you want to do authentic recreation that's different and difficult, it wasn't done in a field for a start.
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Re: Bowl lathe amendments for medieval festival

Postby Bob_Fleet » Wed Jul 25, 2012 12:56 am

Kevin Downing wrote:Change the bungee cord for a springy pole.
Yes !!

It makes it a lot easier explaining why it's called a pole lathe for one thing.
The movement attracts more people.
It does the job as well if not better than modern substitutes - modern cord and threaded spindles I'd exempt as they do the job better and don't substantially change the demonstration.
It really is a compromise between how much it is re-enactment and how much a demonstration or production of items.
You'll probably get feedback so thank them for it and act accordingly.

Either way - spread the enthusiasm and enjoy it.
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Re: Bowl lathe amendments for mediaeval festival

Postby Kevin Downing » Thu Jul 26, 2012 9:20 am

Thanks for the advice. I will take a pole not a bungee. I think the emphasis is on showing the craft and not producing items on the day. Anyhow, I will be finding out.
I normally use a pole at home rather than a bungee but the bungee set up is more compact for transporting.
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Re: Bowl lathe amendments for mediaeval festival

Postby Kevin Downing » Mon Jul 30, 2012 10:31 am

I never got to the medieval festival at the weekend. Ankle swollen so I was cautious and decided to cancel. It is on the mend already. Hopefully I will make the another festival shortly and let you know what they think of my spindle lathe.
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Re: Bowl lathe amendments for mediaeval festival

Postby Heinrich H » Mon Jul 30, 2012 1:42 pm

They will probably tell You that a flywheel will make it better 8)
I heard that sooo many times.
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Re: Bowl lathe amendments for mediaeval festival

Postby Bob_Fleet » Mon Jul 30, 2012 2:28 pm

Heinrich H wrote:They will probably tell You that a flywheel will make it better 8)
I heard that sooo many times.
Don't forget the motor too.
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