I almost didn’t notice the torque of the treadle lathe was, over time, slowly dropping off. Something wasn’t quite right: it was taking more effort to turn stock to diameter and the wood was starting to jam without the tools being all that dull. I checked the rope and found it to be as loose as spaghetti on a fork – click on the photos below to see what I mean (the second photo is the ‘after’ shot):
The re-sewing of the rope made a world of difference! The gouges are happily eating through wood again. I am still considering the upgrade to a leather belt. A few other notable problems that have been shot include:
- Excessive wobble/vibration – the grinding wheel had been slightly knocked off-centre disrupting the balance of the rotating shaft.
- Loose treadle hinges – the pin was protruding and needed hammering back in.
- Minor rope slippage can be remedied by rubbing in a little cello rosin – improves rope/wheel cohesion between complete re-tightenings.
- The bearings worked a little loose in the wooden uprights, but I just tightened them by hammering small wooden shims around them.
Any part of the lathe can be easily fixed and I feel that little tweaks here and there will make it run smoothly for a long, long time.