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.



Al Collins, who seems to never sleep, but only invent and make new wonderful things has made an amplitude adjuster for the MADE lathe.
From the bench of Al Collins:
I thought an Amplitude Adjuster would be a nice addition to the MADE RE. In thinking about it, there wasn’t much room for improvement on the Armbruster design. As expected, Fred did some thorough R&D and came up with an amazing design which, again as expected, he shared insight and encouragement. Thank you Fred.
    I didn’t want to copy Fred’s design, but why change what is already proven to work well. One thing I wanted in my design was a more open area above the touch bar. To that end I attached to the headstock at the lowest place feasible and came up from there with 2 arms to support a small dovetailed rail that will rock with the headstock and support a carriage/ Adjuster all the way back to the auxiliary rosette holder without interfering with the Retractor. This design required a new touch holder and touch with a carbide rod the rides against another carbide rod on the adjustable swing arm. The swing arm is incremented to give Amplitude adjustments of 100%, .8, .6, .4, .2 % or anywhere in between. 
   The A/A touch rides on a small linear slide for ease of movement and has a separate adjustable touch to make a proper fit against the rosette. This touch is reversible to put it’s bearing either left or right depending on the rosette used.
    All in all it’s very desirable and interesting to be able to change the amplitude at will. —— AC.
This beautiful video Al put together shows the amplitude adjuster in action.


Al Collins shares with us another of his incredible projects: the making of his remarkable four ball box utilizing his MADE lathe. Such incredible craftsmanship and strategy went into its production.

This piece, like other pieces Al has made, was first researched and planned. Al, having delved into the techniques used to make the Coburg Ivories, based this box on a section of one of the Coburg Ivory Chalices. Read more about his process in the latest edition, Volume 23. No.1, of the Ornamental Turners International Newsletter.



Here Al is cutting the exterior of the box before hollowing out the inside.



Al hollows out the inside of the box for the four spheres using a fixed tool, after first roughing out the inside with a high speed cutting frame.



Al uses a special chuck system to make the top of the box.


The completed piece!

One couldn’t call these spheres pointless!

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.


An incredible amount of work goes into the making of each lathe. Every part is manufactured and finished by hand here in the United States. We thought we’d share some photos of the process with you.