As some of you know I make strops. These are made either from kiln dried oak or ash, sawn on the bandsaw and feed through a planer thicknesser. The video shows how I turn them on the pole lathe. Do not be frightened of turning seasoned wood or even square stock on a human powered lathe, it is possible, and we have been doing it for centuries. Okay there are a few drawbacks, tools go blunter sooner and as the wood is dry and therefore harder, it will take longer.
I often skip from modern electric tools to traditional ones, I have a small electric lathe but do not like it. I learned on a pole lathe and I am comfortable with the tools and techniques. to be honest I can probably turn stuff quicker on a pole lathe rather than an electric one. These handles are turned in under 3 minutes.
If you have a pole lathe give it a go, it will help improve you turning techniques, and your round dowels or components will stay round!