It’s one of the oldest woodworking ‘machines’ ever invented. It can be made quite simply, and yet turn round stock or other spindles out of square blanks.
It’s a pole or treadle lathe, and in the UK, the Association of Polelathe Turners and Greenwood Woodworkers has a great plan on how to build one of your own. The plan goes into great detail about how to build the stand, the stocks and centers and how to select wood for the pole.
Building your own pole lathe may be just as impressive as the projects you turn on it.