One very small solution is the bow lathe. In this style lathe, the rotational motion of the stock is produced by a bow and string. The string is attached to two ends of a stick and wrapped around the stock in between. My left arm is the motor.
|The bow, with string wrapped around the stock|
|The near end (the end I hold on to) with V-groove and notch|
|Close-up of the locking notch|
|The movable puppet is attached to the vise's movable jaw.|
The vertical piece is glued to a horizontal piece that is bolted to the movable jaw.
|The other puppet is a board screwed to a plywood base, fastened to benchtop with holdfasts|
|The pins are 3/8" hanger bolts with the wood screw ends filed to a point|
|The machine screw end goes through a hole and is fastened with nuts and washers on both sides|
|The stock to be turned is held between the two points|
|The tool rest is a piece of T&G 2x6 glued to a base that can be clamped to the benchtop|
|Tool rest in place, ready to turn|
|Starting to turn the maple - it was rough going|
|The lathe tools - 2 gouges and 2 skew chisels|
|The author using the bow lathe|
My solution was to change from the hanger bolts to 5/16" (because that's what I had) all-thread. I filed off the last 1/4" of threads, then chucked it in a drill and ran that bald end over a file to get a reasonably cylindrical 1/4" rod.
|The new points with 1/4" rod end|
|Drilled 1/4" holes in the ends of the stock to accept the new points|
The third problem I had was with the tool rest. You really need a smooth top of the rest for the tool and your fingers to slide smoothly and my T&G board was quite rough. So I sawed off the tongue, planed it smooth and glued on a piece of hardwood.
|The upgraded tool rest with smooth top and rounded edges|
At this point I don't know if my tools are bogus, my technique is bogus, or the lathe is bogus. But I'll keep working on it. Rome wasn't built in a day.