Traditional spring lathes predate motorized ones (or even flywheel designs) and aren't expensive or hard to build. They have their limitations, and if course since they're powered by the operator repeatedly stepping on the treadle they're slower and more tiring than a motorized lathe -- but as the furniture in museums demonstrates, they can produce most or all of the same kinds of turnings.
And there are some modern non-traditional versions that use return springs made of bungee cords and the like rather than a flexing stick, and thus may fit in a shop with less space overhead (though even the traditional ones often knock down for transport so you could set up outdoors wherever you want to work.)
Has anyone here played with these, and if so are there any tips/tricks you'd like to pass along about building and using them?
(I'm wondering whether bungee returns plus some block-and-tackle magic to replace the usual lever arm on the treadle could result in a spring lathe almost as compact as a motorized one...!)