Ornamental Turning
without a Rose Engine Lathe

There are some options for ornamenting turning without using a rose engine lathe. A few are presented below. The list order is in alphabetic order.


Beall Pen Wizard and Ornamental Mill

This machine can be used to make some really nice ornamentation on objects like pens, duck calls, wine bottle stoppers, etc. It is a very nice design and works quite well.

There are some features which make this a very useful option:

  1. The cutter has a guide which rides along the surface, allowing it to follow any surface shape,
  2. Both ends of the object are supported, so the method of work holding is less critical, and
  3. The cost for entry to use this approach is quite low.

The newer model has swapped the ends so that you can more easily see what you are turning. There is also an adapter for holding the object via a collet.

This machine combines an Indexing Wheel, with a Spiral Apparatus, and a Curvilinear Apparatus.

The Pen Wizard and Ornamental Mill

How to use the Pen Wizard and some things it can do.


Flute Master's Spiral Master

This jig enables the cutting of spirals on an object using the traditional lathe on which the object was originally turned. It comes after the success of the Flute Master, and they have even added a Variable Pitch Tool for spirals.

I've not used these jigs, but the brisk sales indicate they are successful for certain applications. One area where they probably excel is for larger vases/urns and columns.

As above, there are some features which make this a very useful option:

  1. The cutter has a guide which rides along the surface, allowing it to follow any surface shape,
  2. Both ends of the object are supported, so the method of work holding is less critical, and
  3. The cost for entry to use this approach is relatively low, especially If one is making repetitive work.

This jig combines an Indexing Wheel, with a Spiral Apparatus, and a Curvilinear Apparatus.

Spiral Master II

Introducing the Spiral Master II


JaHo Ornamental Turning Device

JaHo Ornamental Turning Device
The JaHo Ornamental Turning Device is the brainchild of the Dutch turner Jan Hovens, and is sold by Dreschselbedarf, a German company. There is a good write-up about it on Bowl Maker.

I've not used this device.

JaHo: ornamental turning device for woodturners

In this demo, we're going to show how to use the JaHo Ornamental Turning Device.


NOVA Ornamental Turner

NOVA Ornamental Turner
Teknatool sold this device for a while, but have discontinued it. It is still available periodically as a used tool -- one sold for $650 on the AAW member forum in 2020.

I've not used this device.

NOVA OT unit -- End cutting action
NOVA OT unit -- Side cutting action

Sorby RS3000 Ornamental Turning Device

Patent, Figure 4

The Sorby RS3000 Ornamental Turning Device was designed by Martin Thompson-Oram and marketed by Sorby in the mid 1990's for just a couple of years.

The following was posted on WoodWorkForums.com in 2012:

The device is quite unique as an ornamental turner as the work piece rotates and the cutter reciprocates back and forth at high speed to create the patterns.

A magnet attached to the lathe spindle acts as a reference for a sensor and the micro processer controls the cutter in accordance with user defined parameters for, the pattern, number of elements to the pattern, from 6 to 24, the pattern offset and length of cutter stroke. The user controls the alignment and placement of the cutter "frame."

The cutter is actuated by a solenoid controlled by the microprocessor. In the photo from top left - box of cutters; the cutter assy / solenoid plus spiral lead ; tool post with hose clamp height stop; cutter frame that fits to a horizontal flat plate tool rest which is missing (similar to a Sorby modular tool rest box platform); various tool posts; power leads and sensor plus lead; and the microprocessor unit.

To my surprise the unit is fully operational as I had set it all up, set the parameters, then turned on the lathe at a belt setting of 570rpm ( Nova 3000 8 speed lathe). The reciprocating cutter works, but I could not make any trial cuts due the missing flat cutter tool rest. The missing item is merely a flat plate with one threaded hole for the modular tool posts, similar to a Sorby modular tool rest box platform.

It is a bit of a unicorn, and I can't find much information about it. The sum of it is below.

I've not used this device, so I cannot speak to how good it is.


About this site
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.