Meet Gale Wollenberg, as he set up shop with his bow lathes at the Tecumseh (Kansas) Heritage Day festivities. On Saturday, September 25, Sandy and I had a wonderful drive to Tecumseh, just outside Topeka, Kansas. And we had a chance to meet Gale Wollenberg (and his wife Betty).
Gale was easy-going, pleasant, and knowledgeable about bow lathes. I need a vest like his, especially during video shoots, and field photo sessions:
His large lathe, in bow drive mode:
Gale at the small lathe; but notice the dual-pedal, string drive on the large lathe (Gale made the spool, holder, everything on his lathes):
The pointed center on the tailstock is standard. However, Gale also made the cupped holder, to enable the user to turn small-diameter pieces:
I was able to pitch in and help Gale get additional information on 18th Century lathe holders from the Sloane-Stanley Museum in Kent, CT (with thanks to Barb Russ, Museum Assistant):
The following is Gale’s version of the work piece holder, later confirmed by photos shared with us by Barb Russ at the Sloane-Stanley Museum:
Question: What makes the bow lathe run smoother?
Answer: (From Gale) Pork fat or bees’ wax.
I received a gift from Gale before leaving on our return trip home – he gave me the piece he had been turning during the demo:
I struggled trying to decide the best way to show the gift from Gale. In the end, as I edited photos and video shot during our visit, I took the easy way out. I decided it was best to show off the turned piece in our office, as part of the editing work:
If you are interested in buying a bow lathe from Gale, please contact him directly via e-mail, at firstname.lastname@example.org. I won’t provide his phone number here, but he will gladly provide it if you are serious about a lathe purchase.
The following is the edited version of the video I shot during our visit. You will hear a lot of background noise, as the Heritage Day festivities took place all around us. Gale demonstrates the use of his lathes:
I also thought it suitable to share the March 2010 YouTube video by Stuart King during a visit to Marrakech, Morocco:
Let me know if you connect with Gale. I look forward to hearing about your experience with the wonderful bow lathe!
— Al Navas