Dale's Woodturning Dale's Woodturning
 
 

My Home Built Rose Engine Lathe

Ornamental turning originated in the 1500s, proliferating with European nobility. It was commonly practiced for pastime and profit thru the early 1900s to the end of the Victorian era to decorate a myriad of personal items such as top-of-the-line pocket watches, pens, lighters, cigarette cases, jewelry boxes, snuffboxes, hair and money clips, combs, wine goblets, as well as many other items.

For many years I've been fascinated with the Rose Engine Lathe. After many hours of research and several months of design and construction my Rose Engine Lathe is up and running. Can't say it's finished because on-going enhancements and modifications are planned.

For several years I've been collecting material for the lathe. The one part I was having design issues with was the headstock. In the summer of 2013 I was prowling through the surplus metal at a machine shop in Bridgewater, VA and found a piece of extruded aluminum rectangle tube, 6" X 4" with .5" walls, this fit the bill perfectly. With the headstock problem solved I began to get serious about starting the final design and construction. The lathe is operational as I continue to work on it and experimenting with it.

Want to know more about Ornamental Turning and the Rose Engine Lathe, visit Ornamental Turners International and the Ornamental Turning Book of Knowledge
 

The original Rose Engine Lathe:

Rose Engine Lathe Rose Engine Lathe
  • Designed as a rocking rose engine lathe. May consider adding pumping action in the future.

  • Designed to be motor driven. The spindle is driven by a Leeson 90V DC gearmotor with an Automation Direct Drive that provides variable speed with reverse capability.

  • The Index Wheel has 36 holes with a one degree vernier scale that allows the spindle to be indexed to 1 degree.

  • The compound cross slide is a Rockwell/Delta accessory that was designed to give limited metal turning capability to the older Rockwell/Delta 12" wood lathes. The top cross slide can be rotated 360 degrees.

  • A Porter Cable Router with an external speed controller is used with various router bits and end mill bits as the cutters. The router can be adjusted or rotated to any position.

  • Belts Made with 3/8 Round Urethane Belt material.

  • Rosettes made with 1/4" Acrylic or Polyethylene Cutting Boards. I have purchased several rosettes from Mandala Rose Works and have made several using Polyethylene Cutting Boards.

Rose Engine Lathe Rose Engine Lathe

The latest upgrades to the Rose Engine Lathe: (2022)

Rose Engine Lathe Rose Engine Lathe
  • Still a rocking only rose engine lathe, no change was to this function.

  • The spindle is now driven by a stepper motor with an Arduino Uno Microcontroller. The stepper motor is mounted inside the headstock and drives the spindle via a 3/8 Round Urethane Belt.

  • The Control Panel consist of a main power switch, a spindle on/off switch, a spindle reverse switch and a potentiometer to control the RPM of the spindle. Also included is an LCD display that displays the Motor and Spindle RPMs and Revolutions and a push button to reset the Revolutions to zero.

  • The Cross Slide remains the same, however, the mounting has been modified to allow a greater range of adjustments. The Router has been upgraded to a variable speed Bosch Router.

  • The router is used with various router bits and end mill bits as the cutters. The router can be adjusted or rotated to any position.

  • No change to the Rosettes.

  • Future upgrades being considered:

    • The Round 3/8 Urethane Belt slips during operation, I may replace the stepper motor pulley and the large index pully with timming belt pulleys.

    • Amplitude Adjuster, this will provide much more flexability to the rosettes.

Rose Engine Lathe Rose Engine Lathe
Rose Engine Lathe Rose Engine Lathe

Some of the Items I've made with the Rose Engine Lathe:

Rose Engine Lathe Rose Engine Lathe Rose Engine Lathe
  • There's an unlimited number of designs and configurations that can be made with a Rose Engine Lathe.

  • The rosettes and phasing of the rosettes, the cutter bits, positioning of the router, where the cuts are made on the piece all will determine the end results.

  • My Rose Engine Lathe is primarily designed to cut turned wood items such as bowls, plates, boxes, lidded boxes and other turned wood items.

  • These photos are just a small example of some of the items I've made with my Rose Engine Lathe.

Rose Engine Lathe Rose Engine Lathe Rose Engine Lathe
Rose Engine Lathe Rose Engine Lathe Rose Engine Lathe



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