The Memoria Technica Workshop has released a limited edition MADE lathe enamel pin, in an effort to make the lathe affordable to everyone. Now you can own a portable version of this iconic machine that may be worn on lab coat, apron, jacket, bag, and more.


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Check out the rest of the pin series at Memora Technica




We thought it would be fun to feature the lathes of each of the 4 MADE collaborators. Here are some photos from a recent visit to Eric Spatt’s workshop. Eric has a small business making bespoke pens from wood and metal. He uses colored resins to achieve the aesthetic qualities of traditional enamels, but with a more stable and durable surface.


After a tour of his unique collection of ornamental turning apparatus, we got an intimate look at his lathe. Eric keeps his shop in pristine condition, while somehow still managing to produce an incredible body of work.

At the end of the visit we set the MADE lathe up for some fixed tool work. Not surprisingly, the wood shavings were tidied almost immediately.


Making the MADE Cabinetry & Hardware

We are excited to share some photos of the bases for the latest run of the MADE lathe. These custom African Sapele mahogany cabinets are handcrafted at Brookfield Woodworks.

Meanwhile Al Collins has been busy making hardware for the lathe and hand tools. He started out by roughing the blanks down to 1.25” round. From there he drilled and installed the threaded inserts, so as to not risk cracking if they were installed at a smaller diameter.

After cutting the blanks to dimension, Al set up form tools in separate holders in order to feed in to each dimension, allowing easy transition to the five different form tools to feed in to the next dimension.

When all five operations were complete, Al parted the knob off the blank and started the process again.

Once finished, the faces of the drawer pulls were decorated with barleycorns on the Rose Engine. First the tops were faced off and then Al set up the MADE lathe to pump on a 24 lobe rosette. The eccentric cutting frame was set to scribe circles from the center to the outer edge. The cutter was ground and sharpened to an inclusive angle of 112 degrees. This angle is known to produce the best light reflection.

The handles for the curvilinear lever and other hand tools are made to the same dimensions. Al started by roughing the blanks to size, and cutting them to length. After which he drilled the handles to accept the tang of the hand tools and then mounted handles on a mandrel. To make each identical to the other, he used a duplicator of his own design. It follows a pattern that is located on the platform and reproduces the shape on the blank. The next step was cutting the tiny bead at the small end and blending everything together. After some light sanding and steel wool, a rich finish was applied.



See the MADE lathe in action as Al uses it to decorate the drawer pulls!


Thanks for sharing your photos and videos with us Al!


Inspiring the revival of lost mechanical art through machines honoring past traditions.

The MADE Lathe is an Ornamental Turning Rose Engine capable of a swing of 12” and a 24” long work piece supported by a 2MT tailstock. The bed is made of cast iron and supported in a frame of twelve quarter mahogany secured together with ½” spanner bolts in escutcheons. Mounted below is a 9-drawer chest. The frame back board is a cover of 3/4” mahogany ply simply sitting in the void behind the bed and is available for placing tools and other devices. The back is paneled construction so it’s as beautiful from the back as the front.
The headstock is a 75 lb. machined solid iron casting. It extends up from its lower pivot securely fastened in fully adjustable steel plain bearings to the underside of the bed cross member.
The spindle is of hardened and ground tubing hand fitted to bronze, oil ported bearings in the headstock.The spindle employs 5C collets with a manual drawtube.
The overhead standards are machined cast iron and support a 1-1/2” diameter hardened and ground cross bar. Three cranes ride on the overhead bar, one to power the spindle with a slow turning gear motor, fixable for position and belt tension, one to power the cutting frame with a high speed DC motor riding on a linear bearing for traversing, and one to supply belt power for the slide rest auto-feed unit, fixable for position and belt tension. A safety bar is positioned and secured across the overhead to keep a crane from swinging in the event of mishandling or belt failure.
The barrel, as standard-equipped, contains 10 rosettes arranged for rocking and pumping, as well as 10 “rosette spacers” that contain low amplitude features designed for engine turning. The barrel is hand-fitted to the spindle and thrust is taken up by a radial roller thrust bearing. Thrust load is constantly applied to the barrel by fastening the barrel tight on the spindle using a clamp collar behind a spring washer pocketed in the back of the barrel. Work can be phased coarsely by way of a standard pattern crossing plate and lever for divisions of 48, 72, 96, 120, 192 & 288. For finer phasing, a winding key operated worm and worm wheel system is used that produces 3 degrees per revolution. A four row simple indexing ring is included on the barrel with 96, 120, 144 & 180 division circles. A rubber holder-mounted spring pin detent is provided for indexing.
The headstock rocks and pumps exclusively or simultaneously by way of specially designed leaf springs and mounting rods. For added control of rocking, coil springs attached to the headstock can be brought into operation by simple means. The pumping spring unit, drawtube-hand wheel and drive pulley can be readily removed for easily changing rosettes or other devices on the auxiliary rosette holder.
The drive train of the lathe consists of a 50 rpm forward and reverse variable speed, clutch controlled gear motor on a counterbalanced crane, supplying power to the flywheel, which in turn supplies rotational power to the spindle by way of a conventional V belt. The flywheel is of solid cast iron and machined construction weighing 120 lbs. supported on a cross shaft fully adjustable for belt tension to the spindle pulley. A hand crank and shaft housed on an adjustable bracket can be used for setting up or turning the spindle manually.
Cuts are taken using one of two slide rest / tool holding methods. One is a curvilinear slide rest of our design and manufacture with the auto-feed and auto-stop mechanism carrying a conventional ornamental turning toolbox accommodating standard 9/16” square cutting frames. The other method is by employing a dovetail tool holder on a Hardinge compound slide rest, mounted on a base specifically designed for the MADE lathe bed and cradle.

This is an excerpt from a post on Memoria Technica and is used with permission. See the original post here.

David Lindow and Brittany Nicole Cox of Memoria Technica paid a visit to Al Collins at his workshop in LA. Al is producing some fascinating pieces using his MADE lathe through research into techniques and materials used in the making of the Coburg Ivories. Check out what he’s been up to below.