Engine Turned Block Crosses

Engine Turning is a hand operated lathe or machine, and requires great skill. Of Victorian design, these machines have not been made since the 1960's. The principle is the reverse of hand engraving in some ways. The work is forced onto cutter which is fixed and sharpened in the same way as a hand held graver. So the work moves and the pattern is built up with a series of straight or wavy cuts depending on the plate pattern used. As the bed holding the work moves it follows the plate which is shaped, this profile shape is then copied onto the item being engine turned. If the plate is the same, the next to it is the same and so the pattern is created.

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