The devices used to make these patterns are variously called "rose engines" or "geometric lathes"
Engine Turning refers to a fine geometric pattern that can be inscribed onto metal as a finish.
Aluminium is often the metal chosen but any metal can be finely machined to produce intricate repetive patterns that offer reflective interest and fine detail.
Engravings produced by engine turning are often incorporated into the design .
The resulting graphics are called Guilloches.
A geometric lathe is/was used for making ornamental patterns on the plates used in printing bank notes and postage stamps.
It is sometimes called a Guilloché lathe.
It developed early in the nineteenth century when efforts were introduced to combat forgery, and is an adaptation of an ornamental turning lathe.
The lathe was able to generate intersecting and interlacing patterns of fine lines in various shapes, which were almost impossible to forge by hand-engraving.
Hi BJ. Yes it sounds like the same thing only used for inscribing on wood or any scribable surface. Someone decribed a rose engine to me as having a headstock to which is fitted an eccentric mounting plate which can also be made to move like a piston to and from the cutting blade. Apparently the cutter is powered and the headstock rotated by hand. I've seen some examples of finished work on box lids etc. but have never seen the tool that does it and am curious as it is possibly something I'd like to try on my own work.
After reading this I'm still having trouble getting my head around the relationship between an eccentrically rotating piece of work which can also be pumping to and fro while being cut with a rotating blade! I might have to build one just to see how it works!
One thought. It would certainly qualify for the Strangest Thing In My Workshop thread.
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