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Posts from the ‘Engraving’ Category

G. Phil Poirier, Master

Phil Poirier is a true Master of many trades. He is a world class lapidary as well as goldsmith. He is a teacher, having presented numerous times at the Santa Fe Symposium as well as taught individual workshops all over the world.

A manufacturer of tools that make the jobs of goldsmiths, silversmiths, and metal artists the world over so much easier, he is the owner of Bonny Doon Tools. His broad array of products are available through Rio Grande Jewelers Supply  in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Though I am not affiliated with either company in any way, I do consider myself among the many happy customers whose elbows and ligaments are  less sore and tired through the use of the ingenious tools and accessories Phil has developed. His knowledge of CAD and CNC is broad and deep and allows him to realize the creation of such marvels, among many,  as synclastic and anti-clastic bracelet and ring formers that move metal as if it were clay and make production easier for creators everywhere.

What I didn’t know until a couple of years ago is that for over 20 years Phil has been restoring, repairing, and collecting engine turning equipment as well as become master in the art of its practice. He is also an accomplished ornamental wood turner. Last year, he presented an excellent paper on titled, “Art, History and Processes of Guilloché Engraving” at the Santa Fe Symposium. This article is available and free to download from the web link above.

This year, Phil’s presentation, his fourth,  at the Santa Fe Symposium will be titled, “Implementing the Processes of a Rose Engine in the Modern Shop”  and will cover a broad range of topics and include more information on engine turning/guilloché. It is still possible to register and attend this event as of this posting through the links included herein.

In order to see this Master in action, please have a look this well executed video, “For the Love of Jewelers”:





Straight Line Engine Turning Machine For Sale: Ohio, USA

As a courtesy to anyone wishing to sell a machine, I am happy to list it here on the blog and perhaps I will even create a special area for this as it seems more and more difficult to find machines at good prices. I must say that I bear no responsibility for anything relative to the sale or purchase and that listing a machine here is only as a service to buyers and sellers! If interested, please email me and I will put you in touch with the seller!


This machine was gone over by Steve White, a tool and die maker and an engine turning expert who has several YouTube videos available for view.

Steve White's Straight Line Machine

Steve White’s Straight Line Machine

One Straight-Line Machine from about the 1940’s. It has all been rebuilt and repainted.
There are several pattern bars that go with the machine. The base and table are not original to the machine but look and fit perfect. The table is made of 1 inch thick steel plate. The headstock, cross slide and Pattern bar holder are in all vg working cond. There is a built-in leveling chuck in the head stock.
Cost $3,200

Holtzapffel Volume VI

Holtzapffel Vol. VI 2nd Ed. Compiled by John Edwards

Holtzapffel Vol. VI 2nd Ed. Compiled by John Edwards

John Edwards has compiled an huge amount of information and has published it as, “Hotzapffel, Volume VI”. He has just received the second edition run from the printers and it is currently available at his web site, Ornamental Turning. I am inserting a link to his site at the bottom of this blog and also adding this book to the bibliography section. This book is more concerned with ornamental turning than engine turning or guilloché, but since many of us have an interest in  both, I think it is very important to note it. John’s web site is a treasure trove of information and an excellent resource. This book was a Herculean effort on John’s part to produce and well worth the investment! It is a prized addition to my library.

To Quote From John’s web site:

The title of this book is really a stratagem, intended to attract experienced Ornamental Turners who are aware that the great work “Turning and Mechanical Manipulation” by John Jacob and Charles Holtzapffel was planned to be extended to six volumes but only five were completed.  A note by Holtzapffels in Volume V made in preparation for the final volume indicates that Volume VI would deal with the Principles and Practice of Amateur Mechanical Engineering, namely: lathes with sliding rests for metal turning, self-acting and screw-cutting lathes, drilling machines, planing engines, key-groove slotting and paring machines, wheel-cutting and shaping machines, etc.

Interesting though that might be from an historic point of view, very little of Holtzapffel’s material on amateur mechanical engineering has come to the attention of the compiler and, in any event, the subject has been well-covered by other 19th century writers.  The compiler of this book cherishes the instinct that the growing number of Ornamental Turners working at the beginning of the twentieth century would surely have demanded vociferously that Holtzapffel should devote a new volume to the many known ornamental turning techniques and accessories that had not been included in Volume V.  This book is intended to go some way towards filling this gap and it is therefore hoped that it will not be a disappointment to the reader.

Holtzapffel & Co. had long provided hand-written notebooks for buyers of their more exotic equipment, like Epicycloidal and Rose Cutting Frames and Geometric Chucks; some of these are quite rare and some of the information contained in them has never been published generally.  Also, around the turn of the century several typescripts were issued by Holtzapffels describing various forms of Rose-turning apparatus and the automatic drives which were developed to aid their use.

This book brings together these Holtzapffel Notes with contemporary magazine articles describing new apparatus introduced by them subsequent to the publication of Volume 5 in 1884.  Additional material is taken from notes by amateurs about their own inventions and details of some of the patents registered by the inventors.  In order to make this book more comprehensive, some inventions adopted exclusively by other makers have been included; although it is quite unlikely that Holtzapffels would have described any equipment not made by them.  Some of these manuscripts are very rare, not having been published previously, and others were issued to a limited circulation or are from magazines that have long been out of print.  The purpose of this book is to make this information more readily available to ornamental turners of the present time.  For continuity the material is arranged according to subject with Holtzapffel papers and those by other authors interspersed.”

Thanks John!

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