Ornamental Turning Book of Knowledge
Guilloché

Guilloché is a decorative technique in which a very precise, intricate, and repetitive pattern is mechanically engraved into an underlying material (usually metal) via Engine Turning.

Guilloché is a form of Fixed Tool Turning.


The patterns can be in a radial manner using a rose engine lathe. Below is a YouTube video showing a coin (a flat, round piece of metal) with guilloché patterns being applied in a radial pattern :


Coin with guilloché processing in production
(if my Dutch-to-English translation is correct)

There are also some other really nice videos by Roger Smith (rwsmithwatches) showing similar work.


Alternatively, the pattern can be in a linear manner using a straight line engine. The YouTube video shows a watch face with a basket weave guilloché pattern being applied in a linear pattern :


Part 1 of 4 - Straight Line Engine Turning by Roger Smith

Some brands of straight line engines include :

  • Kenlock
  • Lienhard
  • Neuweiler and Engelsberger
  • Pear
  • G. Plant

The Vimeo video below shows both types of machines in use. I find that watching this video of such a master craftsman at work is mesmerizing.

The Art of Guilloche from RGM Watch Co on Vimeo.

If you are interested in pursuing this segment of ornamental turning, Calina C. Shevlin wrote a great book. Calina finished her MFA in the USA, then moved to Switzerland to work in the watch industry making watch faces. It came out in 2017, and is titled, Guilloché: A History & Practical Manual.


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Disclaimer : eMail comments to me at OTBookOfKnowledge @ Gmail.com. The process of woodturning involves the use of tools, machinery and materials which could cause injury or be a health hazard unless proper precautions are taken, including the wearing of appropriate protective equipment.