MDF Lathe Kits


Rose Engine Kit and Accessory Information

— MDF Rose Engine Kits are sold out and I do not plan to make any more kits at this time.  —

— Check back for updates soon... a new provider of MDF Rose Engine Kits coming soon. —

—  Refer to the “MDF Rose Engine” page of the website for the published plans.  —

Last updated March 2020

– Information below is for archival reference only – Kits are no longer available as of April 2019 –

(Apologies, some old links below may be broken or dead. Google is your friend.)

Here are answers to most questions about the MDF Rose Engine kits and accessories...

The kit includes all the parts needed to build a lathe, except a 1/2 sheet of MDF, biscuits and glue. You will also need to turn two pulleys, one of which you make from the MDF scraps during the building process. The kit includes two rosettes, the Plain 4 and Sin 24, which will allow you to make thousands of patterns. The lathe also features phasing and fading capabilities built-in. You can download the instructions, plans, an overview document and even watch a short video on the MDF Rose Engine page of my website. (The same information is also available on the AAW website as "Supplemental Materials", with the "Spring 2007" issue of American Woodturner.)

The complete kit costs $349 plus shipping, and ships in USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes. Shipping is $13.60 anywhere in the US. The total would be $362.60. Flat rate boxes to Canada are $45.95 each, so $394.95 total. The kit and up to two additional rosettes will fit in the same Medium Flat Rate Box.

If you want to order more than two additional rosettes, your kit will need to be shipped in a Large Flat Rate Box, which is $18.85 to anywhere in the US, or $59.95 to Canada.

If you are not in the U.S. or Canada, please contact me to determine the best shipping option (an email link is at the bottom of the page).

Additional accessories -- see the Rosettes & Accessories page of my website:

- Additional Rosettes, $25 each -- There are currently twenty-eight rosette designs. Click on the link above to see examples and descriptions.

- Double rubber kit, $80 -- This allows you to use two rosettes simultaneously to create millions more pattern options. The kit includes two ball bearing-tipped rubbers, two long thumbscrews and a shim washer. If you want to use any of the "complex" rosettes, you should use these bearing-tipped rubbers.

Please note that I do not recommend using some of the "complex" rosettes (rosettes with lots of sharp transitions, e.g. F4, F8, J6-36, etc.) with the original plastic rubber included in the kit. If you want to use these more complex rosettes, you should plan to make a bearing-tipped rubber, or use the optional double rubber kit with the ball-bearing tipped rubbers. The double rubbers, aside from allowing you to combine the patterns of two rosettes, also allow you to leave two rosettes on the lathe and switch quickly between them, or use them together to create many more interesting pattern variations.

If you are interested in ordering anything, let me know what you want and I will give you a total, and then you can either mail a check to:

Jon Magill

[mailing address deleted]

Or I can email you a PayPal invoice to allow you to pay for your order by credit card (you don’t need a PayPal account).

In addition to the kit, to get up an running, you will need a cutting frame, a compound/sliderest of some sort, and a way to hold your cutting frame on the sliderest.

Cutting Frame -- If you do not have a cutting frame yet, you can buy one from David Lindow (Lindow cutting frames) or you can build your own based on the downloadable plans published by Bill Ooms (Bill Ooms Plans).

For additional information on cutting frames read the two articles I wrote for the American Woodturner Spring 2008 issue, which are on the Ornamental Obsessions page of my website. One is an article on building your own overhead drive for these types of cutting frames, and the other is a description of the various types of cutting frames.

If you are going to build yourself an overhead drive, as described in the article, I have been telling people that a good motor to order for building an overhead like that is the variable speed mini-lathe upgrade kit sold by Penn State Industries (VS motor kit) which usually runs around $120, including the speed controller. In your own shop you can adapt the overhead drive to be mounted on the wall behind your lathe, or hanging down from the ceiling above your lathe, both are very good options.

Sliderest -- This is used to precisely manipulate the cutter on the lathe. A used compound off a metal lathe works great. For those who want an off-the-shelf sliderest solution, Little Machine Shop sells a compact X-Y Table now. Enco offers couple models, the #201-2536 heavy duty mill & drill table slide, and a smaller alternative is model #201-2826.

Quick-Change Tool Post -- This gives you an easy way to attach your cutter to the sliderest and has a built-in provision for adjusting the cutter's center height (very important in OT). This type of tool post is known in the metalworking world as a “quick change tool post.” They come in various sizes to match lathe sizes. The “AXA” or “Series 100” size is appropriate for the MDF rose engine. The Enco part number #505-2253 is a Series 100 quick change tool post and holder, 6 piece set (wait for a sale). To attach the tool post to any compound you will need to adapt the bolt that is included with the quick change tool post.

I am finalizing a design for a sliderest and tool post specifically made for the MDF rose engine. This should be available very soon. Kits to add pumping and a motor are also expected soon. Let me know if you are interested in hearing more about these.

Thank you for your interest and good luck with your journey into ornamental turning!


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