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Easy Wood Tools

Speaking of treadle machines, ( DNF-4 ) over the holiday break I found some time between book editing and holiday cheer, to set up my CME Handworks Inc. treadle lathe and it just so happens, I ordered myself a set of Easy Wood Tools which arrived last week.

( a holiday gift for the wood shop really )

So the treadle lathe had been siting in the un-glamorous, laundry room side of the basement while I was writing my new book. I didn’t include any turned items in the projects except some cylindrical parts here or there that I shaped with elevated bench dogs and hand planes. I thought that introducing a treadle lathe into the scope of the new book projects was a little much so I’ve been eager to dust it off and get back on it. As soon as I started setting it up I realized that something was leaning against the belt over the last month and managed to stretch it.

; o

I had to re-work the tensioning rig but after a bit of fiddling, I was hummin’ with the birds~ to everything- (turn, turn, turn,)

The Easy Wood Tools came as expected and what can I say- they’re named right.

I ordered three tools,  the full-size Rougher, Finisher and Detailer. These three make-up a turning set that can get anyone turning in a hurry. They have carbide tips that you don’t sharpen but instead, simply loosen a screw and use a fresh side of the cutter when dull. When the full profile of the cutter is used/dull, replace it with a fresh one. The cutter is presented to the work at a horizontal axis and works more like a scraping tool for a very clean cut. The tools are very well balanced and a finely crafted product, proudly made in the USA.

I had heard about EWT over the past year or so, but hadn’t seen any information on someone using them with a foot powered, treadle lathe.

Well, I’m happy to report they work great and have given me the kick-in-the-arse I needed to put some miles back on the treadle lathe.

Here’s a video I shot on the weekend to show you the lathe and turning tools in action.



  1. Posted by Sam Powers on Jan 9th, 2013

    Viva le pot roast power!

    With all these treadle machines, you’ll soon be running up and down mountains in record time Tom.

    Nice video, cool lathe



  2. Posted by Jerm on Jan 9th, 2013

    In a few shots, it seems like the lathe is moving with the pumping of the treadle. Does this cause any issues with the final turning(i.e. not perfectly round or not as smooth of a turned piece)?



  3. Posted by JJ on Jan 10th, 2013

    I took at day long class on turning at my local Woodcraft this past weekend, after playing with the spindle gouge and skew for a while, the instructor pulled out the easy tools, the name certainly fits them, it was hard to believe.

    I am determined to give traditional tools a fair shot though. I bought a used delta lathe and a set of Robert Sorby tools which I need to sharpen

  4. Posted by tom on Jan 10th, 2013

    Thanks Sam-
    after turning all weekend it felt more like I needed a wheel chair than a mountain!


  5. Posted by tom on Jan 10th, 2013

    thanks for the question. In a few shots you’re right, the lathe was unbalanced as I kept sliding it along looking for a level space on my floor (impossible) while I was adjusting the tension on the belt.
    When I have this thing ‘set’ and on a flat spot, then you can keep it pretty steady and do some fine turning.
    This bowl had little sanding needed afterwards.


  6. Posted by tom on Jan 10th, 2013


    thanks for the comments. Good to hear people are taking advantage of classes offered and I agree, the EWT are hard to believe. Very simple to use.
    Good luck with the turning and yes, you’ll need to sharpen and keep those tools sharp in use. A bench grinder is hard to beat…one of the reasons I picked up these EWT.
    Robert Sorby are great and should get you going on the lathe. I have a handful of their chisels and I’ve always enjoyed using them.

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