Tool rest

The tool rest is just a piece of poplar screwed to a pine board with a long hole in it so it can adjust laterally. It is bolted to a piece that acts as the bottom clamp on the lathe rails.

The rest fits nicely, but I am unsure what the correct height should be. Currently it sits exactly in-line with the points of the centers, but I feel like it needs to be a shaving lower.

Attaching it to the lathe brings me to the end of the main part of the build! I tried turning some scrap wood I have and it works pretty well. Time to learn how to turn – and in the mean time I’ll be thinking about how to attach the grinding wheel…

[***See the completed treadle lathe in this video, and read the entire build series through this link***]

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6 thoughts on “Tool rest

  1. I keep my tool rest just below centerline, but although I have three lathes (down from four) I am NOT an expert, not even a competent amateur. I just know that if I drop it down a bit below the line, I can hold the tools in a more comfortable manner and adjust the angle of the cutting tool to make changes to the thickness or angle of cut, but when it’s right in line with the centerline I am stuck holding the tool parallel to the ground – decent for a scraper but not a gouge or skew chisel. When are we going to see a video of this thing turning logs into toothpicks?

  2. So you tend to hold your tools at an upwards angle pointing towards the top of the turned wood? This is what I am doing, but I feel like if the rest was higher then I wouldn’t use the gouges in a scraper orientation – I tend to bring them to horizontal if I fail to concentrate! As my tool rest is only screwed, not glued, I’ll experiment by interchanging the upright block for those of different heights, or use shims. Are your rests adjustable?

    I’m out of town for a few days, but I’ll put a video together when I get back for sure. I think my first project will be to make chessmen, but it will take a while for me to get a feel for turning. I’m grateful for the interest this blog has generated – it has really got me motivated to be productive. Thanks!

    • Looks Beautiful. I just finished the working parts of my Spring pole lathe and it doesn’t look half as nice. I’ve just gotten to the tool rest, so I will be taking notes. Keep up the good work!

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