Ornamental Turning

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Machine Restoration

If you locate an older ornamental lathe, it's likely you'll need to do some restoration. An article originally written for the Society of Ornamental Turner's Bulletin on how to do just that is available here:


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Ornamental Turning Craft

Where can I see an ornamental turning machine?

At this point, a quick visit to YouTube will reveal a variety of ornamental turning machines in action. Places where ornamental turning machines, related parts and tools are on public display include the following:

  • Science Museum (South Kensington, London, UK) – Hayes Annex machine tool collection houses various items including a Holtzapffel rosette forming machine.
  • Science Museum reserve collection at Blythe House (West Kensington, London, UK) – Numerous rose engine and ornamental turning lathes. Tours on Wednesday afternoons only.
  • Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery (Birmingham, UK) – Various items related to the city's manufacturing history, such as early wooden treadle lathes.
  • Birmingham Museum Collections Centre (Birmingham, UK) – Collection of rose engine, straightline engine, engraving machines, medallion and ornamental lathes. Viewing by appointment only.
  • Lynn Historical Woodworking Trust (Ashburton, New Zealand) – Eleven lathes dating from 1804, including six Holtzapffel, two Gill, one Evans, one Davies, and a Bower rose engine. [Note: Status of this museum after Bob LLynn's death in February 2012 is unclear.]
  • The Hermitage (Amsterdam, Netherlands) – Eleven lathes of Peter the Great (1682-1725).