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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    09 December 2020 

 HAVE YOU SEEN THE NEW 'PLUMIER FOUNDATION'?  This is something you really must not miss.  Created to teach, encourage and preserve the practice of ornamental turning and fine woodworking, this excellent foundation is now up and running.  You really must visit the website: https://www.plumier.org where you will see beautiful photographs of some of the finest O T Lathes in the world.  Enjoy!  -  -  -  -

HAVE YOU SEEN THIS LATHE ?  -  -  -  You need to check it out now, before it gets away!  Is this the moment you have been waiting for? -  -  -  -   FOR SALE - Ornamental Turning Lathe by Holtzapffel - No.2209 - the famous 'Stanley School' lathe: in superb condition, well-equipped and ready to use.

To view the full catalogue of this lathe  -[click here]-

               For more information phone me on 0(+44)1732-355-479

or email me at ornamental.turning[at]talktalk.net (substituting @ for [at]).

                    There are no O.T. Accessories currently for sale but I hope to offer a new catalogue in the not too distant future. 

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 As a further extension to the Registers of Holtzapffel and Evans Lathes, there will be some photographs of various other makes of ornamental turning lathes and their accessories and illustrated inventories of certain important lathe outfits.  The current feature is  a full inventory of the lathe made by George Birch c.1890, for Brigadier Wood.  To download this file       -[click here]-   


and for a selection of photographs of various Birch lathes  -[click here]-



As an extension to the Registers of Holtzapffel and Evans Lathes, there will be an illustrated inventory of certain important lathe outfits.  This commences now with a feature on the Tyntesfield Lathe, Holtz No.1890.  To download this feature    -[click here]-

Rose Engine & O.T. Lathe No.1636: the best  ever made by Holtzapffel & Co., sold at auction on 1st December 2012 

   [click here for more information]


Almost a year ago I said:    "Would you like to buy one of the large and very rare Holtzapffel Rose Engines?  There is a strong possibility that one may be available for sale shortly.  This could be the opportunity of a lifetime!"          

            Too late - you missed it, but someone picked up a real bargain!

Now I can tell you:  I believe that, of all the lathes made by Evans & Sons, there were just three that were very special.  One of these three may be will be available for sale shortly.  Watch this space.

Registers of Holtzapffel, Evans & Other Lathes I am currently compiling three registers of lathes made by (1) Holtzapffel, (2) Evans and (3) Other recognized makers of antique lathes.  The information in these registers comprises: serial number, special notes, country of last known location and photographs where obtainable.  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 if I know the owner I will forward their requests.  The owner will be under no obligation to respond.

If you own a Holtzapffel or Evans lathe, or any other antique O T lathe by a known maker, or if you know someone else who does, please contact me and, if possible, send me good digital photographs together with any details of its type, special equipment and history. -  contact details below -

                    to download a copy of the Holtzapffel Register         [click here]    

updated:   23rd October 2015   (New item H2372, and New photos: H1594)   

 Register of Evans Lathes  

In 2001 I wrote a book about John Evans & Sons, Lathe Makers.  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 the new Register of all known Evans lathes.  In the meanwhile I have produced this preliminary Register.   

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

updated:   19th October 2015   (New item E1291, and New photos: E421, E1263 & E1291)

                         To download a copy of the Evans Register               [click here]   

Please help me to make the Holtzapffel & Evans Registers useful reference works by sending me details and photographs of your Holtzapffel, Evans, and any other named lathes and accessories.

Want to know when there are updates on this website?  There is 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.

  -  I have also 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.  

Registers of Holtzapffel & Evans Lathes - recent updates

3rd June 2017 (New item H645, H1328, H1761 and H2328) and NEW photos: H1665, 2194 and improved photo for H2328)

19th October 2015   (New item E1291, and New photos: E421, E1263 & E1291)

17th October 2015   (New item H942, and New photos: H135, E1045 & E1637)

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 & Evans Lathes for the Register.  If yours is not shown please send me a photo.

My book - Holtzapffel Volume VI. is now out of stock and I regret that no more copies will be printed.  

YouTube videos about Ornamental Turning  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]

 Gallery - to see pictures of my work   -[click here]-     to see pictures of the work of other featured ornamental turners  -[click here]-

The Craft - For a definition of Ornamental Turning, and information about its History, Techniques and other aspects.   -[click here]-

Q: and A: Forum - If you have any questions about Ornamental Turning   [click here]  If you don't find the answers you want - contact me, I might be able to help - contact details below.

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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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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  for details go to www.the-sot.org

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

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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     

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]

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Last modified: January 16, 2015