Preview: Antique Ingenuity; The Shaw & Tenney Oar Lathe

Oar Lathe - Shaw & Tenney

For about 150 years this oar lathe has been making long square wood round. You start with a rough-sawn shaft of square cross-section that, in less than a minute and with only a single pass, gets shaved down to a round and perfectly-tapered loom. By hand, this would take you hours.

Two razor-sharp cuttig tools (knives) are involved, both mounted on the lead-screw-driven tool post. The first knife makes the square shaft into a round cylinder so it can slip through the post-mounted steady bearing, while the second knife, behind the bearing, creates the oar’s desired diameter and taper. Although the second knife mounts on the tool post, it varies its depth of cut as it slides along the length of the shaft by means of an adjustable taper-guide that’s bolted to the lathe bed.

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4 Responses So Far to “Antique Ingenuity; The Shaw & Tenney Oar Lathe

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    Carolyn & Ron Pease says:

    Maynard Bray, Loved your article on the above video! Please do one on ” Tying the best nautical knots when sailing on the great maine sea. I don’t think you folks have done one yet on that subject yet. Would sure like to see one yet. Keep up the great work,I sure have injured what you guys have done so far!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ron

  • David Tew

    David Tew says:

    It’s a wonder! Do you remember what the lubricant is?