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from the viewpoint of a practitioner.  

containing: a Gallery of ornamentally turned items made by the author, information about the Craft of Ornamental Turning, including a treatise on Ornamental Turning Lathes and Equipment, advice on certain Ornamental Turning Techniques, a list of useful Books, a catalogue of items For Sale and Wanted, information about HoltzapffelEvans and other makers of OT equipment; and Links to other websites of interest to ornamental turners.

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updated    01 October 2015  

SALE CLOSED - Collection of O.T. accessories Ended at midnight UK time 30th September 2015

          [click here for catalogue]


Q: and A:  How did the early Rose Engines work?   [click here]

NEW  Register of Evans Lathes  

I wrote a book in 2001 about John Evans & Sons, Lathemakers.  It included details of all the Evans lathes then known to me and information about some of the most useful accessories made by the firm.  I have since decided to revise this book and include in it a photographic Register of all known Evans lathes.  Accordingly I have produced this preliminary Register.   

                                To download a copy   [click here]   

Please help me to make this (and also the Holtzapffel Register) a useful reference work by sending me details and photographs of your Evans (and/or Holtzapffel) lathes and accessories.

The revised book will also include the complete collection of articles on 'How to Make it' (an Ornamental Turning Lathe and all its accessories) and other articles written by J.H.Evans for English Mechanics magazine.  

Register of Holtzapffel Lathes  to download a copy         [click here]    updated:   18th June 2015   (New item H2425 Tailstock only, and New photos: H2083 and H2453)

Q: and A:  Origins of the Rocking Slide-rest   [click here]

NEW  A friend told me recently about a free service called 'Change Detection'.  It monitors any website you register and sends you an email whenever a change has occurred on that website.  You can find it at  http://www.changedetection.com   I update my website at odd intervals, so my followers probably get fed up when I don't make changes for months at a time and then make changes almost daily.  To avoid this frustration may I suggest that you sign up to 'Change Detection' so that you can follow my website (and any others that interest you) without needing to check them yourself.

NEW  - For Sale - Holtzapffel #2413 - a good basic lathe suitable for building up into an O.T. outfit.

   for more details click here

  -  I have set up a page on FACEBOOK, so if you would like to be informed whenever I update this website you can find out by clicking on this link:  https://www.facebook.com/ornamentalturning.co.uk  

or you can open your own Facebook Homepage and type Ornamental Turning in the search box.  This will show you several pages with O T content.  Click onto the one with a photo of a  Holtzapffel lathe and you will be on my Ornamental Turning Page.  

Register of Holtzapffel Lathes - recent updates

5th September 2015 (New photos H762, H2136, H2142, H2167, H2306

18th June 2015  (New item H2425 Tailstock only, and New photos H2083 & H2453)

16th May 2015  (Addition H2413)

30th January 2015   (Additions: Identification list of well-known former owners; and 2438; Revisions: 2214 & 2432)    

 26th January 2015   (Additions: 2132 & un-numbered; Revisions: 540 & 2432)        

 16th January 2015   (Additions: Nos.135 & 690)        

15th January 2015   (Addition: No.1520) Numerical List now annotated where photographs are present.

14th January 2015  (Revision: No. 1972) 

Thank you! - to those who have sent me details and photographs of their Holtzapffel Lathes for the Register.  If yours is not shown please send me a photo.

Holtzapffel Volume VI   is in stock.  If you would like to buy a copy, email or phone me - (contact details below).



I hope you all enjoyed a Merry Christmas and I wish you, belatedly, a Happy and Healthy New Year!


On the internet there are now many YouTube videos about various aspects of O T.  I have listed here a selection that you might find interesting.  If you find others that you think are particularly useful, please tell me about them.  [click here]

Q: and A:  Sharpening Hand Tools and Ornamental Cutters   [click here]

RESULTS of the Competitions of the Worshipful Company of Turners 28th October 2014.

Master's Competition for a Matching Pair of Goblets:  Winner Maggie Wright;  2nd Paul Coker; 3rd Mike Bain;  4th John Fells

Felix Levy Open Freestyle Competition:  Winner Nick Agar;  2nd Jean Turner; 3rd Rodney Page.

WCoT Open - Fiona Woolf Competition on the theme of 'Energy for Life in the Square Mile':  

Winner John Edwards;  2nd  Paul Coker;  3rd Joey Richardson; Commended Nick Edwards.

      for more pictures     -[click here]-     

Bert Marsh Senior:  Winner  Stuart King;  2nd Pat Spero;  Bert Marsh Junior:  David Batchelor.

S.O.T. - Lady Gertrude Crawford Gold Medal:  Richard Hoodless;  Fred Howe Gold Medal:  Paul Coker;  

A.W.G.B. - Senior Class:  1st Nick Agar;  2nd Sally Burnett;  3rd Marcel Van Berkel; Commended Rodney Page; Graham Bernard; Gwilym Fisher.   Junior Class: 1st  Tom Streeter;  2nd Matt Underwood;  3rd Jack Sims.  Ray Key Competition for Juniors:  1st Tom Streeter;  2nd Matt Underwood;  3rd Lorne Mulley.  Pole Lathe Turning:  1st  John Burbage;  2nd Katie Abbott;  3rd  John Burbage.



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If you are interested in Engine Turning, Hand Engraving, Jewellery, Gem Cutting and/or Gilding you might find some interesting information on the video "All that Glistens" which may be viewed on:     http://engineturning.me/

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                             Register of known Holtzapffel Lathes   I am currently attempting to put together a concise register comprising: Serial Number, special notes, Country of present domicile and a photograph if available.  Names of some famous previous owners are included but the names of current owners will not be disclosed without their express permission.  Any reader wishing to contact the  owner of a specific lathe should state their reasons and I will forward them to the owner who will be under no obligation to respond.

If you own a Holtzapffel (or Evans*) lathe, or if you know someone else who does, please contact me and, if possible, send me a good digital photograph together with any details of its type, equipment level and history. 

*  I intend to compile a similar Register of Evans Lathes as these also bear serial numbers.

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Contact Information

telephone: 01732-355-479    e-mail:- ornamental.turning[at]talktalk.net  
                          - please use the @ character in place of [at]                            

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Meetings of    The Society of Ornamental Turners  -click here for details-


My Holtzapffel #1869 Rose Engine and Ornamental Turning Lathe rebuilt by John Bower c.1848

My 'Armbruster Mark II' Rose Engine! 

As smooth as the best Holtzapffel Rose Engine but more versatile: this Rose Engine has a '5C' collet system within the mandrel, so it is quite easy to adapt any chuck to fit it; it also has a combined amplitude adjuster and dog-leg drive to allow a pumping motion from rosettes without 'crown' (flank-cut) profiles.

Well done Fred - and congratulations to everyone who has (or will have) the privilege of owning one of these magnificent machines.

recent updates     

AUCTION RULES amended to make it clear that a 'BUY IT NOW' bid beats all other bidders and closes bids on that item  

A SHORT HISTORY OF TURNING  - This is an article I wrote in 2001 for the website of the Worshipful Company of Turners and I now reproduce it here [click here]

Rose Engine & O.T. Lathe: the best  ever made by Holtzapffel & Co., sold at auction on 1st December 2012 

   [click here for more information]

[click here to go to the 'FORUM' PAGE for Q's & A's]




Last modified: October 01, 2015