The Making of a Foot Powered Treadle Lathe

chris builds lathe

“Hi everybody my name is Chris. I choose my woodworking projects based on whatever happens to inspire me”.

In this video, Chris builds a foot powered treadle lathe. Great project, great video.

Via Old Engineering.


Robin Wood, Bowlturner

robin wood bowlturner“The bowls created by Robin Wood’s reconstructed lathe have an unique finish, which is only found in bowls cut with a traditional pole lathe. The sharp tools leave a distinctive mark much like the lines found on thrown earthen ware or glass. The clean cut with the sharpened tools means that the objects are practical for everyday use. They can be washed with warm soapy water and will not fuzz up, unlike a bowl cut
on a machine lathe and later sanded smooth. Robin’s bowls and plates only improve with use and ware.”

“Of course making wooden table ware for a living means making thousands of items every year, which seems rather a tall order when you consider the technology being used, but Rob insists that his pole lathe can turn out wooden ware as quickly as the mechanised equivalent. This theory has been put to the test and proven correct. As Robin explains in the
film, when he’s powered up, so is his lathe and he can get results quickly. When he stops the lathe turning he can adjust the wood instantaneously, whereas when you power down a mechanical lathe you have to wait for the machine to slow down and stop turning in it’s own time.”

Any fool can make something more complex but it takes real genius to make things simple again“. A new video by Artisan Media. Robin Wood’s blog.

Via Toolemera. Previously: Make your own treadle lathe.


A fifteen minute ride in a velomobile. Previously: The velomobile: high-tech bike or low-tech car?

Medieval Lives Documentary Series

Medieval Lives is a BBC documentary series looking at the Medieval world with the intent of finding out what it was really like. The series consists of eight episodes, each of which examines a particular Medieval personality: the peasant, the monk, the damsel, the minstrel, the knight, the philosopher, the outlaw and the king. Via Ran Prieur.

There is Life in Strangers, Giants and Machines

Dancing with diggers“IN SITU is a documentary directed by Antoine Viviani about the experiences of artistic activity in the city of Europe. At a time when the city seems to be increasingly saturated by noise and information, the film features artistic experiences alternately invisible, monumental, participatory or secret, which provoque our daily glance, and surprise us. IN SITU confronts the visions of these artists from different backgrounds with the input of ordinary people, philosophers, urban planners, architects but also viewers of the film, so as to try to identify what these InSitu experiments tell on our period, our urbanity.”

The film can be viewed in its entirity in English, French or German. Short review here. Thanks to Eva Maori.

Disneyland’s Magic Highway USA (1958)

Magic highway usa “As in the past, the highway will continue to play a vital role in the progress of civilization. It will be our magic carpet, to new hopes, new dreams, and a better way of life for the future.”

Watch the movie. Previously: Magic Motorways (1939) / London Traffic Improvements (1938) / Roadtown (1910).