polelathe cord sources.

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polelathe cord sources.

Postby HughSpencer » Tue Dec 05, 2006 10:26 am

Pat O'Carroll aske me to post this for him;

I would like to find a source of cord for my pole lathe. I am in Lincolnshire, but am happy to buy mail order. I know some-one had put a note in a past Gazette about finding good quality cheap cord but can't find the contact.Can anyone help?

Thanks
Pat O' Carroll

I think Mike Gordon had some but if anyone has a source of cord that they prefer let's here it.
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Postby gavin » Wed Jan 03, 2007 10:18 am

Any yachting supply shop will sell cord of 3, 4 or 5 mm diameter. I'd go for 4 mm. Kevlar core is best, and probably worth the extra cost.
FYI : I have had good success with leather strap 5 mm by 12 mm and may be selling this once I can get a consistent supply. Industrial belting suppliers should sell this.
I have yet to trial some 5 mm by 5 mm leather. That would be half the price!
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Re: polelathe cord sources.

Postby Mike Abbott » Mon Jul 26, 2010 8:25 pm

Only just dropped on this question. I use 3.5mm starter cord less than £10 for a spool (I think 50 or 100 metres) from English Braids in Malvern.
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Re: polelathe cord sources.

Postby ulfhedinn » Mon Jul 26, 2010 9:54 pm

Glad this came up--back when I had a pole lathe I never did come up with a long-lasting sort of cord. (Never tried leather drive belting or sewing machine belts, as some here have advocated--maybe if I build another lathe.)

My workpieces frayed my cords at a fairly impressive rate. Since I never hit on an expensive cord that would last, I went with a coil of cheapo sisal, about a quarter-inch diameter. I found it took six or seven feet to go from the treadle tip to the end of the pole, if I wanted to avoid thumps on the head, and of course that piece wore out in the middle. Eventually I found I could tie the end of the line to the pole tip, run an appropriate amount down to the treadle and tie it off there without cutting it loose from the coil. Then I unwound enough slack off the coil to allow the treadle to move freely, and just left the coil under the lathe. That way when the cord started to thin out, I could just trim off the part at and above the work, and retie the new end. Saved almost half the line that way.

It's a useful trick if you have to regard the line as disposable, but I'd much rather get something that lasts more like a year than half an hour. Looking forward to hearing about better materials!

Back to work. We're cutting the year's firewood mornings and evenings, and right now I've been spending the hot part of the day in my nice cool shop. I'm hewing some wonderful straight-grained ash that I laid down about twenty years ago, because my splitting maul handle just broke. It was a nasty steel handle I never liked anyway; now I'll have a nice one that doesn't jar my hands. Heavier head too--found a ten-pounder for a dollar at a yard sale.


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Re: polelathe cord sources.

Postby RichardLaw » Mon Jul 26, 2010 10:57 pm

As clarification, the cord differs depending on whether you're making bowls or spindles. Bowl turning demands something substantial like leather or belting but for spindles I find a good sheathed nylon job like this:http://www.cheap-rope.co.uk/productdetails.asp?sectionID=10&ProductID=163 works well and lasts just about as long as it takes to crash into it with a chisel! Note how much cheaper it is per metre for 200 metres! Heat the ends to seal them and stop fraying. I was talking to a chap this weekend who had to tie an awful lot of this stuff while making the trellis walls for a yurt, he burnt his fingers so may times while sealing that he had to resort to gloves, be warned!

I find the broken ends from the lathe make very good windlasses for holding legs whilst the glue sets in stools etc. At a pinch they would make strong boot laces, or fastenings for tarpaulins ... drones on and on for a while ... in fact they're about as useful as shavings - cleaning out pans, nest box bedding, getting algae off bark .........
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Re: polelathe cord sources.

Postby monkeeboy » Tue Jul 27, 2010 8:39 am

4 or 6mm Nylon cord from B&Q.
It's pretty cheap. If you're breaking loads of it then maybe you're doing something wrong?
I only break cord when I hit accidentally with a chisel.
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Re: polelathe cord sources.

Postby ulfhedinn » Tue Jul 27, 2010 9:52 am

RichardLaw wrote:As clarification, the cord differs depending on whether you're making bowls or spindles. Bowl turning demands something substantial like leather or belting but for spindles I find a good sheathed nylon job like this:http://www.cheap-rope.co.uk/productdetails.asp?sectionID=10&ProductID=163 works well and lasts just about as long as it takes to crash into it with a chisel! Note how much cheaper it is per metre for 200 metres! Heat the ends to seal them and stop fraying. I was talking to a chap this weekend who had to tie an awful lot of this stuff while making the trellis walls for a yurt, he burnt his fingers so may times while sealing that he had to resort to gloves, be warned!"

Thanks for that, Richard--I'll try it the next time I have a lathe, or the next time I borrow Roderick's. Thanks also for the distinction between light and heavy turning jobs!

I find the broken ends from the lathe make very good windlasses for holding legs whilst the glue sets in stools etc. At a pinch they would make strong boot laces, or fastenings for tarpaulins ... drones on and on for a while ... in fact they're about as useful as shavings - cleaning out pans, nest box bedding, getting algae off bark .........


With a wood-heated home and a coal-heated smithy out back, an awful lot of our shavings go for lighting fires I'm afraid. I just came in from finishing my splitting maul handle, and the shop floor is adrift in enough hewing chips and drawknife shavings to light quite a few batches of coal... :D

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Re: polelathe cord sources.

Postby RichardLaw » Tue Jul 27, 2010 8:26 pm

monkeeboy wrote:If you're breaking loads of it then maybe you're doing something wrong?


Or other people use your lathe a lot! But then I suppose I used to get through quite a lot when I was learning. And then the unused cord also gets used for roping off spectators, lashing lathe pole to supports, lashing cross piece to treadle, cat's cradle, guy ropes, knot practice, ... temporary repairs to transatlantic cables :idea: (always wanted to use that one), etc. No wonder I'm on my second reel.
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Re: polelathe cord sources.

Postby Bob_Fleet » Wed Jul 28, 2010 6:40 pm

Ulfheddin wrote:It's a useful trick if you have to regard the line as disposable, but I'd much rather get something that lasts more like a year than half an hour. Looking forward to hearing about better materials!


I found that the cord frays if it starts winding over itself laying on and off the workpiece.
Even a slight rub will do this very quickly.

Its important to move the foot pedal and lever so that it is always on the correct side of the winding with respect to the workpiece.
angle.JPG
angle.JPG (6.15 KiB) Viewed 14114 times

The angle "a" should always be less than a right angle as shown here.
If you wind the opposite way then it will be to the left.

I was working with a friend and the cord started fraying and I realised he winds it the opposite way.
It still turns the same way when you press down but comes off the opposite side.
I was therefore setting the angle so it overlayed and frayed.
Duh !
http://www.onegoodturn.co.uk

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Re: polelathe cord sources.

Postby ulfhedinn » Sun Aug 01, 2010 7:31 pm

Bob, thank you! I never realized that the wrap direction/angle made such a difference, so I probably had it wrong. The perils of being self-taught....

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Re: polelathe cord sources.

Postby Bob_Fleet » Sun Aug 01, 2010 10:44 pm

Let us know how you get on and how many cord suppliers in the US go out of business now you shouldn't need so much.
http://www.onegoodturn.co.uk

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Re: polelathe cord sources.

Postby jarrod stonedahl » Thu Oct 14, 2010 4:52 pm

I was using starter cord for bowl turning for awhile, but as i got into bigger,heavier blanks the cord would slip a bit on the return and then heat up the cord slowly until it broke due to the heat/melting. I'd love to find some belting of some type for bowl turning. right now i am using a serpetine belt from the auto supply and cut off the grooves, it's working so far but is starting to show wear. i'd like to know if anyone in the states found any source for belt/strap? anyone ever use full grain cow rawhide? cause i got a bunch.i know it was used in wider pieces around large pulleys when steam was used to power. machines
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Re: polelathe cord sources.

Postby Twalsh341 » Sat Apr 23, 2016 6:01 pm

I know this is ages out, but http://www.McMaster.com has belting, I'm interested in trying out a 3 ply leather belt with nylon core, (.17" thick, 1/2" wide $3.52 per ft. part number 6355K31) when I get my lathe built.
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Re: polelathe cord sources.

Postby Ian G » Sun Apr 24, 2016 11:57 am

Have to agree with Gavin and Monkeyboy, I tend to either go to a Yachting Shop or B&Q, 3-4mm nylon cord has done me proud for years. both for spindle and bowl turning. I've had the same bit on my lathe in my shed for years, but I will go through a bit more on my demo lathe with people accidently hitting it with the chisel. For bowl turning I just wrap it around 5 or 6 times and as Bob Fleet says as long as it all runs in line there shouldn't be problem. Never had a bit fray in around the bit of wood I'm turning or heat up. Would like to try out a bit of leather to see how it differs but have never got around to it
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