Make Your Own Treadle Lathe

make your own treadle latheIn the last 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.

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 all 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 untraditional uses for the tool, like sanding”

Find the manual here.

More do-it-yourself projects.

How to make everything ourselves: open modular hardware.