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  • ornamental lathe

    For those that maybe haven't seen these lathes there are pics here:

    http://www.ornamentalturning.co.uk/

    Scroll down a bit to see the lathe built by a Maine surgeon who also has a metalworking home shop.
    Very nice workmanship.

  • #2
    Ornamental lathes are awesome! It would be hard to use every piece with that one in a single lifetime.
    Kansas City area

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    • #3
      Try Googleing "Geometric Chuck". Ibetson and Plant were two manufacture's, I can't remember right now if Holtszafel (sp?) built them of not. There's a very good explanation along with pictures and an exploded view in T.D.Walshaw's Ornamental Turning book of a two part chuck. And a huge amount of info on the Society of Ornamental Turners website in the U.K. about most of the tooling used.

      Pete

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      • #4
        Pete, It is spelled "Holtzapffel". Yeah TRICKY i Know!! Lol

        This style of lathe was invented back in the late 1700's, The company built approx 2400 lathes but not all of them were ornamental, as they were only for the very rich.

        The builder of the lathe in the pic is Dr. Fred Armbruster a "Retinal Surgeon" who has quite a well equipped metal working shop in maine. The lathe took him 5 years to build.

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        • #5
          I live only a few minutes from the Bob Lynn Museum at Tinwald, New Zealand. There are a number of ornament lathes there including 6 Holtzapffels! One guy's visit is described here http://www.petermcbride.com/lynn/index.htm

          Also http://lynnwoodworkmuseum.org/collec...ge=29&type=sub

          It is such a fascinating place that I have started to make an ornamental lathe myself. Of course I cant hope to replicate those beautiful works of art in brass and mahagony but I am using them for inspiration.

          My intention is to make a dual spindle lathe with change gears so that simple shapes can be used instead of cutting the complicated cam plates that have been called "rossettes". For example a simple off centre (eccentric) plate would do the work of a many sided sine plate (rossette) according to the ration between the rossettes and the main spindle.

          So far, I have made the threaded spindle nose with a morse taper, same pitch etc to take the face plates and chucks that fit my Drummond lathe (1" 8tpi and MT1). Right now I am contemplating cutting the dozen or so gears, steel, brass, aluminium or form them in plastic?
          Last edited by The Artful Bodger; 01-24-2013, 10:26 PM.

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          • #6
            Very interesting Bodger,, hope to see a few pics when you get under way a bit.

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            • #7
              Ornamental turning is interesting. I've followed it for a while. There seems to be two main areas, the collectors of old equipment and the turners.

              As far as the turners, it can be a tedious cut and repeat process after complicated figuring out how to do certain cuts using traditional methods. Of late you've got the CNC guys getting into it who look at traditional work as shown in the link and think "what's the problem?"

              The wood turner's national group, AAWT (?) had a sub-group for ornamental turners. Interest seems to have dropped off significantly. It could be the CNC issue is killing interest because the challenge is no longer there. As always good work requires good, pleasing design, but a good piece isn't necessarily a monument to the makers skill and patience any longer with CNC available.

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              • #8
                I forgot to mention that Armbrusters lathe he bored the headstock arbour to accept 5C collets.

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                • #9
                  I don't really know if they are still around but

                  http://www.ornamentalturner.com/Archive/LAWLER.HTM

                  Plus not that far from Tormach there is a really nice Wood Lathe built by Robust

                  http://www.turnrobust.com/
                  Last edited by Spin Doctor; 01-25-2013, 11:07 AM.
                  Forty plus years and I still have ten toes, ten fingers and both eyes. I must be doing something right.

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                  • #10
                    I love those old rose engines, and was absolutely drooling over the ones that Skinner auctioned this past December. Roland Murphy (of RGM Watches fame) has one and they have a neat video about it you can see here: http://www.rgmwatches.com/about_rgm/engine_turning.php
                    Max
                    http://joyofprecision.com/

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by The Artful Bodger View Post
                      My intention is to make a dual spindle lathe with change gears so that simple shapes can be used instead of cutting the complicated cam plates that have been called "rossettes". For example a simple off centre (eccentric) plate would do the work of a many sided sine plate (rossette) according to the ration between the rossettes and the main spindle.

                      So far, I have made the threaded spindle nose with a morse taper, same pitch etc to take the face plates and chucks that fit my Drummond lathe (1" 8tpi and MT1). Right now I am contemplating cutting the dozen or so gears, steel, brass, aluminium or form them in plastic?
                      It sounds like you and I are working more-or-less in parallel. I'm also (slowly) assembling an ornamental lathe using single profiled cams and change gears. I'm satisfied that this approach can be far more versatile and more accessible to those of us who lack the funds to obtain a "name brand" rose engine. So far, in what research and reading I have done, I've not seen this approach taken anywhere, anytime.

                      As for gears, I've decided to use stock change gears from Boston Gear. I've designed my gear train around the same series of gears that fit Atlas/Craftsman 10" and 12" lathes, so if the rose engine project falls flat I'll still have spare gears for my old Craftsman lathe.

                      Once I get mine together and operating (hopefully within the next 5 or 6 months) I'll start a thread here, maybe get someone to shoot a couple of videos for me so I can show it in operation.

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                      • #12
                        John,
                        I too have not seen this approach by modern amateurs anywhere but there were some very highly complex machines made in the "golden age" involving a lot of gears.

                        I have a couple of sets of change gears that I considered using but I am not sure the ratios will be very useful, to my mind what is needed is a series of integer multiples, 2,3,4,5,6.... etc, up to about 24. Some ratio like 3.7:1 will not repeat the pattern and will leave incomplete patterns on the work, I hope I have explained that right!

                        My current thinking (which will likely change by lunchtime!) is to have three stages of gearing and have multiple pairs of gears to give ratios of (for example) 1:1, 2:1, 2.5:1, 3:1 to give all(?) the ratios up to 27:1 excluding the prime numbers. I am also hoping this approach will avoid having to have really huge gears in the train. It is still a lot of gears to make!

                        What ratios will you have with the Atlas/Craftsman gears?

                        John
                        Last edited by The Artful Bodger; 01-25-2013, 01:50 PM.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by mars-red View Post
                          I love those old rose engines, and was absolutely drooling over the ones that Skinner auctioned this past December.
                          Looking at the machines and the cases of tools and accessories in Bob's museum here leads me to suspect these machines, at least those in the hands of private owners, produced much more drool than sawdust in their lifetimes!

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by The Artful Bodger View Post
                            Looking at the machines and the cases of tools and accessories in Bob's museum here leads me to suspect these machines, at least those in the hands of private owners, produced much more drool than sawdust in their lifetimes!
                            Probably true, but I like to think that, at least before the art of guilloche went the way of the dodo, machines like this would have been cherished, sought after, and very much utilized. From everything I've read, it sounds like the watch dial makers kept plenty of rose engines busy for a good many decades. It's nice to see some appreciation for these traditional techniques and machinery resurfacing, IMO.
                            Max
                            http://joyofprecision.com/

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                            • #15
                              The machines used for watch dials appear a little different to those that were made to be displayed in the libraries of the stately manor houses of Europe. The later seem to have been mostly intended to produce intricate wood and ivory carvings.

                              My intention had been to make a wood turning machine but maybe I should review that...

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