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




Have you been following the journey of the MADE lathe and now find yourself wondering, “Will I ever see one of these in person?” “How is this MADE?” “I’d like to try my hand at one of these…” Well…. Now is your chance!

We are excited to announce, MADE collaborator, David Lindow will be opening up his workshop for Obscura Day on May 6th. Currently, David is in the process of building the first batch of MADE lathes. Spend an afternoon at Lindow Machine Works where David will take guests through the workshop. You’ll have the opportunity to try some engine turning, learn about clockmaking, and see the lathes in production. Sign up here.

The slide rest is a distinguishing feature of the MADE lathe. While made in the tradition of its great Victorian predecessors it incorporates some modern features as well. First, the lead screw is set into ball races in order to increase smoothness and minimize backlash. They are, however, hidden in the end cap housings. Another improvement is that the lead screws have an Acme profile rather than being a “square thread,” which increases the life of the lead screw nut. The beds are ground and lapped in, and the mating brass surface is “frosted” to carry oil so that the traditional high finishes can be retained. Each slide is hand scraped and finished, sporting black lines and numbers contrasted with brushed and lacquered  brass, and accented with polished, blued steel set off by rope knurled knobs. The most careful attention to detail was given to every aspect of the slide as you will see below.

With a classic font, the numbers are engraved with a single lip cutter on a Pantograph engraver and then filled with black wax in the traditional manner.

A large turret nut provides adjustment for the cutter height.  It is quickly set and reset by use of the blued steel indicator. Lockable stop screws allow for accurately resetting the slide run, either perpendicular or parallel to the spindle.

The tool box is made in the traditional manner accepting 9/16″ square shank tools so that either new or traditional ornamental turning cutting frames can be used.   The lead screw in front is used for moving the top slide in and out, but can be quickly released by removing the blued screw. The slide can then be used in the curvilinear mode, which requires free movement of the top slide.  The screw in the rear is a stop which can be locked and reset easily.

This top view of the slide shows the rest with the curvilinear pattern bar installed, as well as the dead stops, which can be quickly adjusted and reset by simply loosening the square headed screws on top of them.  The lever feed is used when the curvilinear slide is being used by hand.  The automatic worm drive can be seen on the right and is powered by a gear motor from the overhead.
In addition to the dead stops, which clamp onto the bed, there are adjustable automatic stops. These are set by loosening the rope knurled thumb screws on either side of the saddle.  The auto stops repeat within a few thousandths of an inch. When pressed by the saddle, the rod is moved and the worm is automatically dropped out of the worm wheel, which can be seen on the left.  The larger knob above the worm is a manual release.
The mounting base is made in a traditional manner, and allows for quick adjustment both in and out and to the left and right by simply loosing the “D Ring” that secures the slide to the bed.  Because it is attached with a dovetail, there is no concern about the slide falling off when loosened.
Double sided ways are the traditional way of attaching the tool box.  Both sides of the ways are adjustable so one can always ensure the saddle is true to the bed.

The brass adjustment knob allows one to set the curvilinear follower deeper into the pattern.  It is incrementally adjustable on a fine thread.  The follower assembly also functions as one of the lock downs for the tool box,  with the lever handle pivot serving as the other.


The exotic hardwood handle sets off the hand lever for the curvilinear.
The dial mounted to the worm wheel on the right is fully adjustable so that it can be re-zeroed without having to loosen a screw and stays in place by friction.


Al Collins – busy as ever in his workshop, sets up the slide in these videos below.

From the bench of David B. Lindow:
The Auxiliary Rosette Holder has two main purposes.  One is to be able to change out rosettes very quickly.  While the operation of changing out rosettes on the main barrel is a big task, the ARH allows them to be changed in just a couple of minutes. This opens up a lot of design opportunities that wouldn’t be there otherwise.
The ARH allows two different rosette profiles to be used simultaneously and phased independently.  This allows one to decorate the sides of polygonal shapes by use of both pumping and rocking, and other rosettes combinations.

The phasing on the ARH is done exclusively through a worm, which phases the rosette 3 degrees per revolution.  The worm wheel has 120 notches.  In order to create the worm the wheel is “gashed” with a thread mill and then the thread profile is set into the wheel with a hob.

The ARH is marked out by divisions for rapid indexing, and that process is done on a pantograph engraver.  It may be obsolete technology at this point in time, but it allows us to choose more traditional fonts that lend themselves to the Victorian aura we’re seeking.
This is how the ARH is made in the Lindow Machine Works shop.
Another worm wheel we make is from our slide rest.  This time we used a 60 degree cutter that is 3/4″ in diameter, as the worm will be that size.


But… back to the ARH !

Once the worm wheels for the ARH have their teeth, they are engraved.  The 120 division lines are done first, after which the numbers are set in.  Rather than set up two machines this is also done in the pantograph engraving machine.  The spindle is well suited for the job, as it runs up to 18,000 RPM’s.

We use a Gorton P 1-3 “copy mill” or pantograph engraver.  It’s capable of ratios from 2:1 to 16:1 in two or three dimensions.  It was the smallest of the 3D pantograph that Gorton made and takes up a foot print of about 4’x5′.   The numbers are set into the table.  The “w’s” were used only as spacers so the stylus didn’t run afoul of the clamps.


After the numbers and lines are engraved they are filled with black lacquer or enamel. The part is then cleaned while the lacquer is still wet, after which it is clear coated with Nikolas lacquer.  This is a nitrocellulose lacquer designed specifically for musical instruments, which will be handled a lot.  This acts as a seal against the environment, keeping it free of oxidation.




The Lindow MADE lathe was the last of the MADE team lathes to be completed. Its physical manifestation represents 6 long years of hard work. The assembly began in 2015 and was only completed in mid 2016, but the idea was born many years before.


The machine was conceived in 2010 in a joint effort between Al Collins and David Lindow to produce a new and better ornamental turning rose engine than had previously existed for fixed tool work. Together, they formulated the most basic design direction, identified constraints and requirements, and developed a vision for the machine. They began to lay out and produce patterns for casting while constructing the logic of the machine’s operation. The project was on its way.
Read the full story here.
David shares a look at his first project on his MADE lathe. A simply beautiful bowl.

Welcome back for another spectacular project by Al Collins – a Lignum Vitae Chalice. It is really quite beautiful and unusual. This time instead of walking us through the project with words, Al leads us with imagery. Enjoy the following videos of the work.

Also – you might have noticed a new menu item at the top of the page – The Book. Find out about another of Al’s cool projects here.