Wiregrass woodworkers make a new take on equipment

(WTVY News 4)
Published: May. 15, 2018 at 5:26 PM CDT
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You've heard of riding a bike for exercise and for fun, but how about for building something?

At Landmark Park, the Wiregrass Woodturners showed off a lathe, a piece of woodworking equipment meant to rotate wood at high speeds, to smooth and shape planks.

Their new lathe has a new spin on it, because it's powered by a bike.

Laura Staklum, the Public Relations Director at the park tells us, "It's quite unique, I've never seen one before. We do have the Woodturners who meet at the park, they use the electric lathes, and then they also demonstrate the spring pull lathe on our special event days. But this will be a brand new thing for our area."

Woodturners President, Bob Newsome says the project took only a couple of weeks to build, with one small difficulty: using the bike's front wheel to get rotation for the planks.

Newsome says, "We had to put wood on the outside and fill it with sand to get the weight, so this thing will actually spin good."

And spin it does, generating more than 1,200 rotations per minute.

It's an accomplishment not just for the park, but for the Woodturners as well.

"I think it's quite the accomplishment, for them to do the research, and learn about how these work and to build one, and bring it out here for us to see, we're very excited and proud of their accomplishment," says Staklum.

Newsome tells us, "We hope we can entice other people to come to our meetings and be able to pick up a craft that they aren't familiar with."

As well as reach out to the next generation.

If you're interested in learning more about the Woodturners, they meet at the former Agricultural Museum in Landmark Park the first Saturday morning of every month.