How high should the centers be?

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

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How high should the centers be?

Postby ilerner2 » Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:00 pm

I've been watching lots of videos of guys operating spring pole lathes all bent and hunched over. It's almost like they built these lathes from a standard plan for a man of 5'8'' and they are 6'3'' tall. Is there what might be a standard acceptable hight of the lathe centers for comfort and ease of use?

For example, should the centers be level with one's elbows when bent? Or perhaps level with ones solar plexus "V" ......... that sort of thing? I'd expect the level of one's chest nipples would be too high and one's waist line would be far too low.

I'm 6'2'' tall with back problems and I'm very sensitive to working heights of many things from kitchen counter tops to my workbench top etc. Surely the working height of a piece of wood in a SPL would have some design reference points for ease of use.

What works for you? Thanks

Thanks
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Re: How high should the centers be?

Postby Darrell » Tue Aug 29, 2017 10:39 pm

My lathe is adjustable, so I can set it for whatever is most comfortable. I think it is right around that V below the sternum. I lean my forearm on the tool rest a lot and it is at a good height for that.

If you use that folding leg design from the Pole Lathe 2000 you can use some clamps to adjust the height until you hit on what works for you, and then drill the holes for bolts.

Darrell
who had fun with the lathe on the weekend
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Re: How high should the centers be?

Postby woodness sake » Wed Aug 30, 2017 9:32 pm

Relax. Stand with your right palm flat on your stomach, thumb up and resting in the notch in your rib cage. Centers height should be even with the nobby tip of your elbow. For spindle turning, the top of your tool rest should be just below the centers. This will keep you standing upright so your posture doesn't go bad and it will give you good lateral range for longer or reverse hand turnings.

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Re: How high should the centers be?

Postby ilerner2 » Wed Aug 30, 2017 11:09 pm

Darrell, Woodness Sake, thank you both for your input. I knew something was outta wack watching some of these guys.....really bad ergonomics.

I figured the bottom of the elbow had to be close. That's great, now I know what to shoot for when I build. Thanks again.
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