Ornamental turning and engine turning is a decorative wood cutting or engraving technique creating precise, intricate geometric patterns which are mechanically derived and machined into wood, plastic or engraved into metal products (guilloché), with very fine finish and detail. The mystery in the final design lies in the illusion created by altering the orientation of repetitive cuts of a singular pattern.
Ornamental turning originated in the 1500s, proliferating with European nobility. It was practiced commonly for pastime and profit thru the early 1900s to the end of the Victorian era to decorate a myriad of personal items such as top-of-the-line pocket watches, pens, lighters, cigarette cases, jewelry boxes, snuffboxes, hair and money clips, combs, wine goblets, furniture details, moulding and mosaic tiles and molded parts via the mold cavity.
The impact of WWI nearly extinguished the craft entirely. Post-war, product trends and manufacturing entered the machine age giving rise to a new aesthetic of the time. Today, this mechanical art is experiencing a revitalization due to the ready availability of information about this gratifying art form’s techniques, materials, history and equipment.
The MADE. Ornamental Rose Engine, a modern ornamental lathe, is styled, and functions, similar to the machines employed during the Victorian era, however it offers modern enhancements in design, construction, performance and usability over the machines of the 19th Century.
What sets the MADE. Ornamental Turning Rose Engine apart from all others is its unique suitability to perform fixed-tool rose engine work. The guiding principle behind the design and construction of the MADE. lathe was for the machine to be able to perform this type of work. Fixed tool cutting adds a dimension to the art of Ornamental Turning that is astounding and beautiful.
In order to execute fixed-tool cuts in exotic hardwoods, the mass and rigidity of the bed and headstock, as well as the strength of the rubber-tower and spring system, have to be of a significant magnitude and properly designed. Possessing this mass and rigidity, the MADE. lathe also lends itself well to engine turning or guilloché. For this reason, engine turning rosettes are used as spacers for the wood-working rosettes.
Together, Lindow Machine Works and Columbus Machine Works join in a formidable strategic partnership, enabling production of the best and most beautiful ornamental turning rose engine possible.