New Lathe!

Ed’s back is in bad shape. It’s such that back surgeons don’t want to touch it. Back when I still worked at the Public Library and had health insurance he finally gotten to the point where he stopped resisting the idea of back surgery to bring relief to the sciatic pain and atrophied right leg. (It was truly alarming to watch the once strong muscles seem to melt away.)  An MRI had three different specialists shaking their heads, each tellingd him the MRI and his atrophied leg just don’t match: the messed up nerves from the degenerative bones and slipped discs should have caused the sciatic pain and atrophying in his left leg. Appeared that his nerves were switched around. Too risky.

He picked himself up and pushes on, mind over matter, the best he can. It does work but there comes a time when matter gives way despite the strongest will power. He’s started carrying a cane when he knows there will be lots of walking involved.  I’m usally the driver. Sometimes when he’s driving, he literally has to grab his jeans and lift his leg from the gas pedal to the brake. (The seat in his old Toyota pickup makes it easier for him to drive than my Focus both of which are manual transmission.) Occasionally he’ll have a day when his leg collapses several times while he’s working, after the third episode he quits for the day.

So it was while he was at the wood store in Portland looking to see what interesting woods might be available he spotted a Lathe. Not an ordinary lathe but one which can be operated from a wheelchair! We discussed the reasonableness of the investment. A few days later he went back up to Portland and bought it.

That evening after supper he went for his daily neighborhood stroll to see how everyone is doing. It wasn’t long before  several followed him home to help him offload the new lathe and take away the old one which was going to the happy young neighbor standing to the right on the trailer below.




It’s a OneWay Lathe which for now Ed has it set up to use while standing.








But if the day comes when he needs to sit and turn it will accommodate a chair just dandy.

He’s thrilled with it. It’s a heavy duty machine that should be able to withstand full-time usage. He added a choke and our s-i-l will be making a tool rest to Ed’s liking.

Ed is a man who loves working with wood and hopes to be able to all of his life.


Author: Wanda J

I never dreamed my life would be entangled with fiber and the tools used to produce fibery items. When I bought a boat shuttle used in weaving Ed looked at it, decided to make a better one and the rest is history. For a decade he made shuttles, crochet hooks, knitting needles, until his spindles became so popular that he had to devote his time to making them, as well as Walking Wheels. Free time is spent reading, trying to coax food from the ground, and playing in the creek near our place. I love long walks and camping far from crowds. Playing a fiddle beside a stream or with good friends brings sweetness to my soul. Sundays are set aside for worshiping God with our small Quaker meeting.

9 thoughts on “New Lathe!”

  1. I had no idea Ed’s back was so bad. Surgery isn’t necessarily helpful, if that makes him feel any better for not being able to have it. My dad has had two back surgeries that have not helped; too much nerve damage before he went under the knife.

  2. So glad that Ed has found a lathe that he can adapt if he needs to! His respect for wood is so evident in his spindles. The are made with love – each one is beautiful and perfect. Thank you, Ed! Wishing you both good health and many blessings.

  3. Clearly, Ed is one strong and courageous man! It makes me happy to know that he’s found a great piece of equipment that gives him the possibility to keep doing the work he loves so much while also taking care of his body’s needs. Both are really important!

  4. Wanda, I didn’t realize Ed’s back condition was so serious… I’m sorry. But glad to hear he’s finding ways to adapt, and that he has such a supportive bunch of people around him! 🙂

  5. Yay, yay, hooray, hooray!
    Sounds like a great piece of equipment.
    Now, to guarantee that none of the in-progress needles will
    break in-progress!
    We have a gal in our knitting group in the same boat with her back.
    Too many years of wrestling alpacas! No fun, and in constant pain!
    I hope this lathe will give him future woodworking hope!
    Have a grea Labor Day Weekend!

  6. I’m so glad to hear that Ed has a new tool that he will enjoy working with and will help him; that’s much how I feel about Ed’s spindles! (Spinning is where I find peace.)

  7. I’m so sorry to hear about Ed’s back. I believe I remember you mentioning awhile back that he has a time limit for sitting in the car, and that you do most of the driving. I really hope that with his new lathe, he will be able to keep on doing what he loves–making things out of wood. My dad had similar back problems quite a few years ago, and lost a lot of strength in one leg, but surgery helped him. Also, he was given exercises to do which he continues doing to this day (he just turned 89!) Maybe there is still some treatment out there which would help Ed.

  8. Oh, what a wonderful tool! I’m delighted that Ed found it – it sounds like exactly what he needs, both for now and for a long time to come. I know you know how much I sympathize with the leg pain and loss of muscle function – it’s frightening and frustrating. I’m really glad that Ed can know that his woodworking, at least, can continue in spite of that.

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