If you have been to a SPSW meeting, you most likely have seen work produced by Bob Sievers using his rose-engine lathe. Bob produces intricate, detailed designs on his turnings.
If you would like to try your hand at ornamental turning (OT) with a rose-engine lathe but don’t want to shell out $2,000 – $3,000 there is an option for you.
The Ornamental Turners International (OTI) is a virtual chapter of the American Association of Woodturners. Their website has great information about OT including articles and photo gallery, as well as a discussion forum and members only area. They happily share their passion for OT and this is where your rose-engine option comes in.
Jon Magill, a member of OTI, created a full set of plans for building a rose-engine lathe out of MDF. For about $300 and a half-sheet of ¾“ MDF you can build your own rose-engine.
UPDATE – Jon Magill has a site called Rogue Turner. His documents can be found there as well.
Here is a video of a rose engine in operation: