pole lathe project ideas?

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Dave Budd

Gold Trader
Staff member
Jan 8, 2006
Dartmoor (Devon)
My dear old dad was so taken with the Moot last year that he talked himself and Tony into demonstrating/have-a-go sessions with a pole lathe this year :)

Old two snags with that. Firstly, he doesn't have a pole lathe and secondly apart from a quick try at a show donkey's years ago, he hasn't ever used one! :rolleyes:

The first problem was easily solved by the fact that I happened to have one sitting around not being used (as one does!). The second problem was just a case of learning a new tool, he can already turn and in fact taught me how many years ago with his electric lathe. So over the winter he has been practising and getting used to the lathe (it's currently set up in his living room :lmao: )

The question then is: What would YOU like to learn to turn at the Moot this summer? I've suggested that he sticks to spindle turning, at least for have-a-go. I figured priests and hand reels might be popular, but what else?

Suggestions p!ease folks :)


Full Member
Jan 23, 2009
Simple tool handles would be a good beginners piece. Then when people have finished them they will naturally want a tool to put their new handle on. I wonder who makes and sells nice hook knife blades for such an eventuality?


Jan 21, 2005
S. Lanarkshire
Handles for slinging carrier bags on. Stops them cutting into hands, and helps keep them together.

Line winders.



Heavy duty candle stands.



A bemused & bewildered
Jan 5, 2013
SE Wales
A nice spurtle is an easy thing to make; they can be very lovely and personalised things and are seen and used every day by anybody likely to want to make one.


Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 9, 2004
Rossendale, Lancashire
Nostpinnes for knitters and dibbers for gardeners. Handles for beeeeg files, cooking spoon blanks to be split and the bowls hollowed out. Long pastry rolling pins, oat crushing rolling pins, knitting needles holders ( fit under a belt , a needle protrudes from a hole in the end freeing up a knitters hand. Bases for candle sticks and rushlights holders, pestles for mortars, crude mallets for battening, handles for biscuit pricked and stamps stool legs and my favourite old school potato mashers ( which according to the middle son are better than the modern metal or plastic ones for making really well mashed spuds. Oh and lids for small pans and pots.

When you do move on to bowl like jobs, big ladles with handles all carved from one piece and dippers. You can't really make them on ellectric lathes, even the slowest speeds are too high to do it, the rough cut handle acts like a single bladed propellor and even my heavy old Milford starts bucking across the floor. I managed one short handled dipper but the three long handled ones I had to carefully fake the bowls ( the originals were all turned inside and the first inch or so of the outside until the you reach the handle ) with super careful carving and scrapping and sanding. Thus guy uses a pole lathe.


I'm really tempted to make a dedicated pole lathe for doing ladles, ie with enough depth for wide jobs and suitably placed rests. Main thing stopping me is the lack of funds to get the fancy centres I like.



Dave Budd

Gold Trader
Staff member
Jan 8, 2006
Dartmoor (Devon)
all good suggestions, thanks folks :) I'll pass the list on to my old man so he can get some examples made up.

Mostly I only turn tool handles, but once in a while I'll make a cup, bowl or plate when I need a new one (or presents!).