Stuart King’s reconstruction of Leonardo Da Vinci’s lathe –
Many of Leonardo’s inventions have been put to the test in recent times, indeed a number of them, such as his hang glider have been the subject of absorbing television documentaries. Because it appeared that no one had previously attempted to recreate the great mans lathe, to see if it was a viable and practical machine, the Worshipful company of Turners decided that such a project would be a fitting part of their quarto-centenary celebrations.
I was commissioned to recreate the lathe in time for the June exhibition, ‘Wizardry in Wood’, held at the Pewterers Hall, London. Although the concept is very simple, with the original being a collaboration between turner and blacksmith, the end result is a surprisingly powerful machine. The kinetic energy produced via foot treadle and flywheel is amazing. This is only one small step in historical science but we have proved that yet again Leonardo got there first, and yes it does work!
Stuart King: Leonardo Da Vinci’s lathe, Thanks Bf5man! Link.