Rose engines, and other pattern engraving tools

I saw an article some time ago about a machine called a "rose engine"
that was used to cut intricate repeating patterns into metal. From
what I can tell, all the existing rose engines are antiques, and
rather expensive. Does anyone know of modern machines that do the same
thing, or of technical diagrams of a rose engine I could take to a
machine shop and have made?

J. Mack

The Principles and Practice of Ornamental or Complex Turning

price: $14.93

A society in Australia who works in these ways is here:

Complex turning is essentially rosecutting in the round - the
principles involved are largely the same. Ornamental lathes are
extremely rare - there was a shop making them - I forget who, now,
but they were about $20,000. Rosecutting machines are still made,
though they’re not cheap either. They are generally called “Engine
Turning” machines - the background for Guilloche enamels and such.

In response to a question about engine turning, I saw engine turning
equipment for sale at, you have to go to

Richard Hart


Thank you. What a wonderful site! The artistry/design of old
machinery is always a such delight to look at. This equipment just
begs to be touched.

I had headed up the restoration of a 28 piece flat belt driven
machine shop in years past.

What I would give to watch a “Rose” lathe in action. By chance does
anyone know of one here in the southeast?

Bill Churlik

Hello Bill, funny we work right around the corner from each other
literally and I am responding thru e-mail. There is a guy in Texas
who has a rose engine. Ken went down for a work shop on enameling and
saw it. We want one! His name is Robert Whiteside, you can Google him
along with enamels. Everyone should take a look, really, engine
turning is beautiful. His work is great, very turn of the century
masterful pieces.

On to another subject, I have some worn out electro-stripping
solution from Rio that I need to neutralize. It is cyanide based, I
couldn’t find out how to do it through the archives, but I thought
there was a thread last year. It concerned using Hydrogen peroxide if
I remember correctly. Any help out there would be greatly
appreciated, I want to send the gold that is in the solution to a
refiner. I have grams and grams of the gold that built up in the
solution and I don’t want to harm anyone. I was stripping 22K for the
texture, the gold scum builds up fast.

thanks, Dennis


Thanks for the lead. James Miller from the UK also put me on to him.
I looked at Robert’s site and James’ (again) and spent the rest of
the day in the corner whimpering.

Can’t help on the cyanide. I will be watching for that post too.

Bill Churlik