A pole lathe is a lathe that uses a long pole as a return spring for a treadle. A lathe (ˈleɪð is a Machine tool which spins a block of material to perform various operations such as Cutting, Sanding, Knurling A treadle OE ''tredan'' = to tread is a part of a machine which is operated by the foot to produce reciprocating or rotary motion in a machine such as a weaving loom (reciprocating Pressing the treadle with your foot pulls on a cord that is wrapped around the piece of wood or billet being turned. Woodturning is a form of Woodworking that is used to create wooden objects on a lathe. The other end of the cord reaches up to the end of a long springy pole. As the action is reciprocal, the work rotates in one direction and then back the other way. Turning is only carried out on the down stroke of the treadle, the spring of the pole only being sufficient to return the treadle to the raised position ready for the next down stroke. While the action of the polelathe and the skills required are similar to those employed on a modern power lathe, the fundamental differences are that the timber used on a polelathe is unseasoned and freshly felled. The angle that the tools are ground is closer to that of a carpenters chisel than that of a power lathe tool. A chisel is a Tool with a characteristically shaped Cutting edge (such that wood chisels have lent part of their name to a particular grind) of blade on Using powerlathe tools on a polelathe is safe but hard work. Taking a polelathe chisel to a power lathe is to risk serious injury since the forces are such that the blade is likely to break.
A pole lathe's origin is lost in antiquity, we know that Vikings used them from the archaeological finds at Jórvík. A Viking is one of the Norse ( Scandinavian Explorers Warriors Merchants, and pirates who raided and colonized wide areas Jórvík is the Viking settlement discovered beneath the modern city of York in England. York ( is an historic Walled city sited at the confluence of the rivers Ouse and Foss in North Yorkshire, England. The use of pole lathes died out in England after the World War II. It has seen a return through the increased interest in green woodwork, although the majority of practitioners are at the hobby rather than professional level.