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Ever seen a rotary tool that used a large flywheel? Answered

Has anyone ever seen or built any kind of rotary tool that was driven by the inertia of a large, heavy flywheel? I have seen kick wheels for pottery, but i am curious about a vertical flywheel.
Lathe, Grinder, pump....

Seems like you could attach a treadle to a pedal assebly of an old bicycle to drive the flywheel....if the pedal assembly was the free wheeling kind, and there was something pulling the treadle back up, it would only power the flywheel when the treadle was pushed down.


When I was in engineering I once worked in a factory where the boss had converted a flypress with a large flywheel, it was spun up from a shaft on the back of a huge lathe which disengaged when the press was brought forward, when the screw reached the desired depth the flywheel would disengage from it & not re-engage until the press was brought back to the top position.
The lathe that drove it had five foot diameter four jaw & three jaw chucks that had to be mounted by winch so the small amount of energy involved in spinning up a thirty odd pound flywheel was negligible & it was on a slip clutch so nothing could jam up & cause an accident.
I don't think I have explained it very well but it really was a clever arrangement, it was running for at least twenty years to my knowledge.

My mothers Singer sewing machine had a cast iron fly wheel and treadle - worked very well.

Many manually powered wood lathes had large fly wheels - often concrete or iron.

My great-grandfather was one of the first dentists to fill teeth to repair them. His early dental drills were footpowered, and they used a flywheel ..


5 years ago

Sure a stamp mill stores energy in a large flywheel and uses the energy
to drop forge iron into metal tools.


I have seen plans for a freewheel lathe drive as you describe.
They are part of a book titled:
"Fine Wood Working on Making and Modifying Machines"
The book has lots of other neat ideas too for making your own wood working tools.
The ISBN number for the book is:0-918804-43-4.
Actually . I just got done restoring an old Singer treadle sewing machine.
Not really a super heavy flywheel/pulley on the sewing machine ,
but then it's not really necessary for sewing . The pulley is 12 inch diameter though, which gives the machine lots of torque.
Other than that ,most treadmills have a dc motor with a flywheel attached to the motor. When I fitted an old treadmill motor to my ShopSmith 10ER,
I left the flywheel on the motor to smooth out the power, like frollard says.

There are pedal driven lathes - more weight on the flywheel means more stored energy for whatever work piece you're tooling, which can give better results than intermittent pedal/treadle input. You still have to work within the guidelines of total power is the same as having the treadle, but you can store up a little more so the slowdowns don't affect you quite as much.