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.
You can find the Introduction and Overview, detailed drawings and construction instructions on the OTI website. You can also find videos of an MDF rose-engine lathe in operation.
UPDATE – Jon Magill has a site called Rogue Turner. His documents can be found there as well.
You can find his original article from the Spring 2007 issue of American Woodturner, the Introduction and Overview, detailed drawings and construction instructions on his website.
Here is a video of a rose engine in operation: