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A Spring Pole Lathe in the making for The Horn Guild House.

On September 30, 2010 Guildmaster Ed Long and I made a personal inspection and discussion of use of an original mid-eighteenth century spring pole lathe at Old Salem in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.  The gunsmith manager, Blake Stevenson, and his crew assisted us with discussion of use of components, photography and measurements of all aspects as well as providing photo copies from a 1756 description of lathes by Johann Martin Teuber that is no longer in print.  The old original is of Germanic design American made and was modified and used for more than 150 years.

The purpose of the visitation was to gain knowledge from an original lathe so that a similar design could be produced for use in the Horn Guild house next to Jacobsburg Historical Society’s property in Bolton, Pennsylvania. This lathe will be portable and used to reproduce early powder horns with turned elements. 

I will undertake the reproduction project and will be assisted by other guild members.  The target date for lathe’s completion is March, just in time for the HCH Convention in Morristown, NJ. I want to thank Blake Stevenson and the staff of Old Salem Museum and Gardens for their help with this undertaking.

Old Salem Museum and Gardens is located in Old Salem, North Carolina. Please visit their website by clicking here,

Dick Toone

Blake Stevenson built lathe from original design and period texts.

Blake Stevenson at the orginal lathe.

Here is an open-air mandrel, the open-air cup and its support.

2 Responses to A Spring Pole Lathe in the making for The Horn Guild House.

  • Ron Westlake says:

    Jack Pot!
    I’ve been looking for a good picture of this lathe for a long time. I cant wait to see your reproduction. Is it posible to get more pictures and measurments? I have a spring pole lathe that I built a few years ago but I am going to make another. I like this design a lot. I seen it on videos from the wood Wright Shop.

    • Rick Sheets says:

      Hello Ron,
      The “reproduction” will actually be a reduced size lathe purpose built for horn work and in a knock-down design. The only part that will be an exacting copy from the Old Salem lathe will be the mandrel assembly. Please come back to this blog to see the progress of this project.
      Rick Sheets

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