Pole lathe help

discussion of the niceties of turning on a bow, bungee or pole lathe.

Moderators: jrccaim, Bob_Fleet, gavin, Robin Fawcett, HughSpencer

Pole lathe help

Postby hyperion » Tue Jan 31, 2012 4:02 pm

I'm doing a woodland skills demo day at college in may and I've managed to borrow a polelathe for the day, only problem is I have never used one before!

Does any one have any tips on the use of a polelathe and idea on simple stuff that I can make please?, I know about the only cutting on the down stroke thing but thats about all I do know, any help would be greatly appreciated

Cheers
Hyperion
hyperion
Regular
 
Posts: 35
Joined: Sun May 30, 2010 9:38 pm
Location: east dorset

Re: Pole lathe help

Postby Baggy » Tue Jan 31, 2012 4:11 pm

This is going to sound rude but... why demo a skill that you do not have?

I have tried a pole lathe for a few hours was pleased to end up with a stick, another stick and a club!

Maybe someone here that does know what he is doing could join you?

Edit: Just a thought, if you do not know what you are doing it would be easy for a tool or the work to fly off into the audience!
Best wishes
Mark
----------------------------
I can spell but I cannot type.

Photos of the Chelmer and Blackwater canal
http://markbaigent.zenfolio.com/chelmer_blackwater
Baggy
Regular
 
Posts: 306
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 11:03 pm
Location: Danbury, Essex.

Re: Pole lathe help

Postby hyperion » Tue Jan 31, 2012 4:21 pm

we are doing a small scale carcoal burn and coppice craft gumph and the offer of a polelathe was there along with some other bits and bobs including a shave horse and dowl maker so would have been rude to turn it down, we are going to have the use of the lathe for a couple of months prior to the demo day so will have a bit of time to practice some basic stuff so why not?

Plus its a good chance to learn a new skill and even if we are just making priests we can at least demonstrate the principal!

Cheers
Hyperion
hyperion
Regular
 
Posts: 35
Joined: Sun May 30, 2010 9:38 pm
Location: east dorset

Re: Pole lathe help

Postby Baggy » Tue Jan 31, 2012 4:33 pm

Hiya

hyperion wrote:we are going to have the use of the lathe for a couple of months prior to the demo day so will have a bit of time to practice some basic stuff

OIC, is there a bodgers group near you?
Best wishes
Mark
----------------------------
I can spell but I cannot type.

Photos of the Chelmer and Blackwater canal
http://markbaigent.zenfolio.com/chelmer_blackwater
Baggy
Regular
 
Posts: 306
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 11:03 pm
Location: Danbury, Essex.

Re: Pole lathe help

Postby hyperion » Tue Jan 31, 2012 4:42 pm

Not that I know of
hyperion
Regular
 
Posts: 35
Joined: Sun May 30, 2010 9:38 pm
Location: east dorset

Re: Pole lathe help

Postby Baggy » Tue Jan 31, 2012 4:52 pm

hyperion wrote:Not that I know of


I am assuming that you are a member of the the Association of Polelathe Turners & Greenwood Workers? if yes you may find some members close to to you who may help.

I have just had a look at the Bodgers gazette and there is a Dorset group
http://www.bodgers.org.uk/local-groups
Best wishes
Mark
----------------------------
I can spell but I cannot type.

Photos of the Chelmer and Blackwater canal
http://markbaigent.zenfolio.com/chelmer_blackwater
Baggy
Regular
 
Posts: 306
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 11:03 pm
Location: Danbury, Essex.

Re: Pole lathe help

Postby hyperion » Tue Jan 31, 2012 5:10 pm

Nope!

I'm at college near Winchester at the mo, our tutor has already said we cant have any outside help on the day as its down to us a students to do the whole thing
hyperion
Regular
 
Posts: 35
Joined: Sun May 30, 2010 9:38 pm
Location: east dorset

Re: Pole lathe help

Postby Baggy » Tue Jan 31, 2012 5:13 pm

hyperion wrote:Nope!

I'm at college near Winchester at the mo, our tutor has already said we cant have any outside help on the day as its down to us a students to do the whole thing


Fair enough, still worth contacting your local group for help. Polelathing is best learnt hands on.

Hopefully you will get some tips in here.
Best wishes
Mark
----------------------------
I can spell but I cannot type.

Photos of the Chelmer and Blackwater canal
http://markbaigent.zenfolio.com/chelmer_blackwater
Baggy
Regular
 
Posts: 306
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 11:03 pm
Location: Danbury, Essex.

Re: Pole lathe help

Postby jrccaim » Tue Feb 07, 2012 5:32 am

Erm, I would hate to demo never having used a pole lathe. For that matter I would have hated to demo on a power lathe the first time I used one! However, far be it from me to damp your efforts. I suggest you read Mike Abbot's Living Wood - From buying a woodland to making a chair, published by Living Wood Books, 2002 (Second edition, 2004). Haven't read the second edition. He has a number of simple turnings. A rounders bat, a spurtle, stuff like that. The traditional first turning in this country is a candlestick. A pole lathe (having used powered lathes for both wood and metal, I can speak from experience) is not quite the same animal as a powered lathe. Takes some getting used to. But somewhere in this forum I have put in a picture of a ten-year old girl turning on a pole lathe, and she never heard the word "lathe" until she walked into my shop. A natural. But not all of us are naturals. So might I suggest you practice before the demo, even if you turn out to be a natural?

It is not hard to come by a pole lathe. If you look in the thread "Pole Lathe Ad [sic]-on to a carpernter's workbench" in this selfsame section of Bodger's, you will see my little tool-handle turning "pole" lathe. Correct tem is "reciprocating lathe." Can be made in a morning, runs off bungee. Clamps in a workmate. Can't do a rounders bat, max length is about 20 cm. But it might give you some useful practice. Maybe your audience will be forgiving. But maybe not. Can't tell with audiences. This is why even star theatre players rehearse. So it wil all come out right on the night, as they say.
User avatar
jrccaim
Regular
 
Posts: 1082
Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2008 3:53 am
Location: Willow, Alaska USA

Re: Pole lathe help

Postby gavin » Tue Feb 07, 2012 10:46 am

hyperion wrote:we cant have any outside help on the day as its down to us a students to do the whole thing


short response:
My very strong suggestion is you seek help BEFORE the event. Seek help beforehand and you won't have had help on the day, so you adhere to the rules. If you just pitch up and wing it you disrespect the public, your college and demean yourself. If you display clear and ongoing incompetence on the day, you also run a strong risk of a member of the public jumping in and taking over. There are many power lathe turners out there who wish to demonstrate their skills to a wider audience than their own shed and family, and you will probably meet one if you persist in hapless behaviour.

longer response:
It is surprisingly easy to put on a dazzling pole lathe demo that enthralls the public with only narrow skills possessed by the demonstrator - IF that demonstrator has been set up correctly by someone who knows their stuff about lathe balance, material selection, blank preparation and choice of item to make, and whether you encourage public to have-a-go or not.

It is up to you to find such a mentor. Given the strength of this on-line community, I'd be stunned if you did not find find one. Be prepared to pay him or her something for digging you out of a hole you are about to create for yourself.

You could learn a much wider lesson here. You are at college to learn skills, and very probably one skill you seek is how to earn a living from your learning - whether directly or indirectly. One skill many tutors seek to impart to their students is how to make people want to give the student money for products or services offered. ( You've heard the line about Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for life.)

I assert that if some of the public is not wanting to give you some money either for ware, or for having a go, then you are not offering enough competence to be valuable. Whether you charge by the 3 minute have-a-go session, or solicit donations of a gold coin, or sell ware you make on the day is up to you. But if someone is not willing to give you some money for something you offer that day, then you have failed either to offer value or to ask for what would have been very willingly given by Joe Public for fun they will have.

To those who may be shocked by my apparently naked commercialism: I ask "How will Hyperion eat when s/he leaves college if Hyperion does not experiment with ways of asking for money?"
Gavin Phillips


- teacher, demonstrator & supporter of greenwoodworking & human-powered turning
- Supplier of Fun & Confidence

info@shed-therapy.com
http://www.shed-therapy.com
User avatar
gavin
Regular
 
Posts: 1595
Joined: Mon May 16, 2005 4:17 pm
Location: Dalbeattie, near Dumfries, Scotland

Re: Pole lathe help

Postby hyperion » Tue Feb 07, 2012 5:44 pm

Cheers guys

I'm going up to Crab wood to see the polelathe on Thursday this week and to talk to Joe about what we will be getting our hands on so hopefully will be able to elaborate on what tools I will have access to soon.

As for asking for money, we will be selling some wooden whistles on the day for a few pennies and hopefully i'm going to be flogging some of my own spoons and bowls but I doubt we will be offering people to have a go.
hyperion
Regular
 
Posts: 35
Joined: Sun May 30, 2010 9:38 pm
Location: east dorset

Re: Pole lathe help

Postby mstibs » Tue Feb 07, 2012 6:18 pm

hyperion wrote:I'm going up to Crab wood to see the polelathe on Thursday this week and to talk to Joe about what we will be getting our hands on so hopefully will be able to elaborate on what tools I will have access to soon.


I'd recommend taking some pictures and posting them here. People like Robin Wood, Sean Hellman, Gavin, JRCCaim and many others here have so much experience to give you helpful advice just from a look at the lathe.
And make sure you'll be getting taught the basics by Joe and spend some weekends with the lathe until May when the demo takes place.

Good luck!
STIBS
Saxons. Were good wood-turners, they had to be because they were poor potters...from "A Short History of Woodturning with the Pole-lathe" by Brian G. Howarth; My bilingual (de/en) Blog: http://mstibs.wordpress.com
User avatar
mstibs
Regular
 
Posts: 166
Joined: Sun Dec 25, 2011 7:53 pm
Location: Dresden/Saxony/Germany

Re: Pole lathe help

Postby gavin » Tue Feb 07, 2012 8:48 pm

hyperion wrote:As for asking for money, we will be selling some wooden whistles on the day for a few pennies and hopefully i'm going to be flogging some of my own spoons and bowls but I doubt we will be offering people to have a go.

Be prepared to'dynamically price' your products - sometimes you will find what you marked with £1 would actually sell for £3 or £5. Get some strung labels - or send me SAE and £1 or near equivalent in postage 2nd class stamps and I''ll sell you 20. You can buy them v much cheaper on ebay, but you must buy in quantity.
Role play varioius sales situations with real product - be prepared to have serious fun with this whole thing. Few people will get a living at greenwoodwork, and you probably won't be one of them. But the lessons it teaches however are profoundly applicable. It won't be the last time you think about how to sell something to best advantage.
Gavin Phillips


- teacher, demonstrator & supporter of greenwoodworking & human-powered turning
- Supplier of Fun & Confidence

info@shed-therapy.com
http://www.shed-therapy.com
User avatar
gavin
Regular
 
Posts: 1595
Joined: Mon May 16, 2005 4:17 pm
Location: Dalbeattie, near Dumfries, Scotland

Re: Pole lathe help

Postby Attermann » Sun Feb 12, 2012 10:15 pm

jrccaim wrote:But somewhere in this forum I have put in a picture of a ten-year old girl turning on a pole lathe, and she never heard the word "lathe" until she walked into my shop. A natural. But not all of us are naturals..


Here she is...
http://chalupyacres.blogspot.com/search/label/kids
User avatar
Attermann
Regular
 
Posts: 54
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2010 5:46 pm
Location: Brejning, Denmark

Re: Pole lathe help

Postby Bob_Fleet » Mon Feb 13, 2012 12:00 am

hyperion wrote:we will be selling some wooden whistles on the day for a few pennies and hopefully i'm going to be flogging some of my own spoons and bowls but I doubt we will be offering people to have a go.
A few points following up on some of the previous
Hope you had a good session on the lathe and most importantly enjoyed it. Keep practicing.
If you like something and are enthusiastic about it then it's easier to teach it. The enthusiasm rubs off too.
Put yourself in the audiences place. Was the demonstrator struggling or competent. Did it encourage you to want to do it?

Change "pennies" to 'pounds' otherwise for the rest of your life you'll be working for pennies.
If you have a marketable skill then you should be selling the skill not minimum wage.
I do free demos etc but if selling then I reckon you should look at £15 an hour or so.
By my reckoning that's about 4 - 5 whistles an hour not 400 - 500.
Remember the costs for the materials even if it is only the hour or so to gather them.

Take out the "hopefully". Either demonstrate half made or rough spoons and bowls or sell ones you are proud of.
If you're not sure then display them and sell if you get an offer - a form of quality control - the customers will decide for you.

APT membership insurance doesn't cover 'have a go ' any more.
Do all the safety checks on your tools and lathe including a string around the front in case the workpiece flies out.
I'm not sure if a notice of 'at your own risk' is enough.
The next couple of posts will probably advise.
http://www.onegoodturn.co.uk

Society is like a stew. If you don't keep it stirred up, you get a lot of scum on top.--Edward Abbey

Come and see us all at http://www.wooplaw.org.uk
User avatar
Bob_Fleet
Regular
 
Posts: 665
Joined: Tue Aug 15, 2006 8:11 pm
Location: Sunny Dunbar


Return to Polelathe turning

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

cron