Ornamental Turning and Related Work


image link-topic-sf0.jpg


The classic bibliography is A Bibliography of The Art of Turning and Lathe and Machine Tool History, by Sydney George Abell, John Leggat, and Warren Greene Odgen, Jr. Third Edition. (North Andover, MA and Tucson, AZ: The Museum of Ornamental Turning, Ltd., 1987) [the first edition was 1956] Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 86-64010. ISBN: 0-942325-00-1. This is a comprehensive and very well-annotated bibliography. This 1987 third edition is present as a PDF on the Society of Ornamental Turners' 1998 CD No. 1 of the first set of back issues of their Bulletin. This CD is available to S.O.T. members only, which in itself is a good reason to join the S.O.T.

There is a particularly good annotated bibliography online at http://ornamentalturning.net

My own attempt at an annotated bibliography, restricted just to equipment-making, may be found as the final item here.

The online catalog of the library of the S.O.T. ( http://www.the-sot.com/library.html ) is also quite useful.

Short list (start here):

image broadside-divider-sf0.jpg

[click image to go to page]

image link-to-early-sf0.jpg

Early Works

Besson (1578). De Caus (1615). Grollier de Servières.

[click image to go to page]

image link-to-moxon-sf0.jpg

Moxon (England, 1680s)

[click image to go to page]

image link-to-plumier-sf0.jpg

Plumier (France, 1701, 1749)

[click blank image to go to page]

image link-blank-sf0.jpg

Nartov (Russia, 1710s-1750s)

Also Zagorskii's Outline of the History of Metal Cutting Machines to the Middle of the 19th Century (1960).

[click image to go to page]

image link-to-condamine-sf0.jpg

La Condamine. (France, 1734)

Possibly the world's first machine tool simulator.

[click image to go to page]

image link-to-teubers-sf0.jpg

Teubers. (Regensberg, 1740)

Gemeinen und höheren dreh-kunst (common and high turning / plain and ornamental turning).

[click image to go to page]

image link-to-encyclopedie-sf0.jpg

Encyclopédie. (France, 1751-1772)

[click image to go to page]

image link-to-nollet-sf0.jpg

Nollet (France, 1770)

Nollet, Jean-Antoine, Abbé. L'art des expériences, ou avis aux amateurs de la physique, sur le choix, la construction et l'usage des instruments . 2 vols. Paris: For sale at P.E.G. Durand, 1770.

Like Hulot (see below), Nollet illustrates only plain, not ornamental, turning. But the works on turning in the 18th century are few, and all are of interest to the ornamental turner. This book is a practical course of study in the sciences. Volume 1 therefore describes tools for working in wood, metal, and glass to build apparatus. The lathe, of course, figures prominently.

While the Abbé Nollet, a prolific popularizer of science and technology, did write one volume of the Descriptions des arts et métiers, this book is not a part of that project/series.

[click image to go to page]

image link-to-hulot-sf0.jpg

Hulot, père (France, 1775)

Like Nollet (see above), Hulot considers only plain turning. But his work is of considerable interest, and well worth the time of the ornamental turner. (Roy Underhill of Woodwright's Shop fame has done much to publicize a particularly clever treadle lathe in Hulot).

Hulot's book is a part of the Descriptions des Arts et Métiers of the Académie Royale, a vast project which also included the now-famous works of Roubo and the unpublished work of Jaugeon and The "Bignon Committee" on typefounding.

[click image to go to page]

image link-to-bergeron-sf0.jpg

"Bergeron" [Salivet] (France, 1790s, 1816)

This is probably the most important work on ornamental turning prior to the Holtzapffels (and unlike the Holtzapffels' volumes, it does consider the rose engine proper).

Note that both editions of "Bergeron" were actually written by Louis-Georges-Isaac Salivet. Apparently he borrowed the names of his friend Louis-Eloy Bergeron and Bergeron's son-in-law Pierre Hamelin-Bergeron for publication. There is no other work by "Salivet," as some online bibliographies have mistakenly asserted. It is convenient to continue to refer to the author of this work as "Bergeron," as he has been known traditionally.

If you are involved in watch repair or making, you may forever be mistyping "Bergeon" (a Swiss materials house) for "Bergeron," and vice versa. The two are unrelated.

[click image to go to page]

image link-to-holtzapffel-sf0.jpg

The Holtzapffels. (England, 19th Century)

The Holtzapffels' five-volume Turning and Mechanical Manipulation is the essential core of Ornamental Turning, and one of the greatest achievements in comprehensive technical documentation ever.

[click image to go to page]

image link-to-english-19c-other-sf0.jpg

Other 19th Century Writers in English

[click image to go to page]

image link-to-english-20c-sf0.jpg

20th Century Writers in English

Bibliography and links. Reprint of Chaplin's Ornamental Lathework for Amateurs.

[click image to go to page]

image link-blank-sf0.jpg

Contemporary Writing & Other Media

Bibliography and links. Rose, Straight-Line, and Brocade Engine work.

[click image to go to page]

image link-to-collections-sf0.jpg

Collections Spanning Eras

Bibliography concerning he S.O.T. CDs ( Bulletin collections) and John Edwards' collection, "Holtzapffel Volume VI".

Machines in various collections as shown in public domain, Creative Commons, or noncommercial-use images. The Birmingham (UK) Science Museum, CNAM (Paris), the State Hermitage Museum (St. Petersburg) and the Science Museum (London).

[click image to go to page]

image link-to-math-sf0.jpg

Mathematics and Ornamental Turning

[click image to go to page]

image link-blank-sf0.jpg

Annotated Bibliography of Equipment-Making

This is a subject-oriented annotated bibliography of the literature of equipment-making for all of the areas of interest here (rose and straight-line engine work, guilloché and enamel over guilloché, ornamental or complex turning, geometric turning, oval, eccentric, and thin spindle turning, medallion and brocade lathes, and anything else that seems appropriate). It will exclude the line of development that encompassed cam-controlled machine tools in industry (automatic screw machines and their kin).

The major items of the literature of these fields are discussed above, of course. But there is a rich literature of shorter works which is insufficiently well known. While working on my "Hacking Lathe," I found it useful to search for this literature (in particular, by reading from issue 1 the Bulletin of the Society of Ornamental Turners). It is necessary when doing this to keep notes; these are my notes.

About the images