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  #1  
Old 01-26-2009, 08:30 PM
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plat955 plat955 is offline
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Default Medal Ruling and copying machine

This is a very cool tool used by engravers of years past
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File Type: jpg BNequip1.jpg (82.5 KB, 496 views)
File Type: jpg Untitled-1.jpg (114.7 KB, 337 views)
File Type: jpg Untitled-2 copy.jpg (94.9 KB, 295 views)

Last edited by plat955; 01-26-2009 at 08:39 PM. Reason: Wrong info
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  #2  
Old 01-26-2009, 08:45 PM
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Default Re: Geometric Lathe

Sorry wrong pics. This is the geometric lathe. I was told that the one and only one the Gov. had... was mislabeled and lost in one of the thousands of warehouses that are used for storage by the Government... 20yrs ago. Every time you see that cool spider web pattern this is how it was done. NOT by hand.
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File Type: jpg BNequip3 copy.jpg (80.0 KB, 376 views)
File Type: jpg Untitled-1.jpg (130.0 KB, 288 views)
File Type: jpg Untitled-4.jpg (199.9 KB, 343 views)
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  #3  
Old 01-26-2009, 10:09 PM
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Default Re: Geometric Lathe

Quick note:
There are captions under all the pics describing them. Zoom in as far as possible to read.
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  #4  
Old 01-27-2009, 05:55 PM
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Default Re: Geometric Lathe

What a machine! I'd like to find one for sale.
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  #5  
Old 01-27-2009, 06:24 PM
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Default Re: Geometric Lathe

Those are called guilloche machines. There is a company that occassionally has one for sale. Check out the link. They are all antique, and pricey.

http://davidgoldphoto.com/machinery/6043.htm

You often see work done by these machines under enameled pieces such as were made in the shops of Faberge.
gail

I forgot to add that they also sell on ebay as 'goldmachinery', lots of heavy industrial stuff as well as antique. I am sure it would be a fun place to visit if ever in Rhode Island.
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  #6  
Old 01-27-2009, 08:08 PM
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Default Re: Geometric Lathe

Hi Gail,

Yes they are R.I. Since it is one of (if not the) smallest states, they made a lot of the costume jewlery for years.

Gold Machinery company has been around for quite some time. I used to live in connecticut and would visit there on many occasions. They do have some great old equiptment and you could spend a day in there warehouse checking out everything from Italian gold chain making machines to bridgeport's, cnc jewlery making equiptment and all types of ovens.

If you are in Pawtuck R.I. (or near Newport) you should call them and enjoy some really cool stuff. They are pricey but they are the only ones in the area that keep (or have been Keeping) the vintage tools from the turn of the century on..

AirAmp
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  #7  
Old 01-27-2009, 09:46 PM
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Default Re: Geometric Lathe

The guilloche machines are very cool and have a kind if similar look to the pattern, but they are very different from a Geometric Lathe. This machine scribed through an acid resist then was etched. Then transfer pressed twice for the negative. What you actually see on the bills are a negative of what this machine actually produced. This machine was built and patented by a banknote engraver for banknote engraving... but hey a guilloche machine would be a great addition to the antique tool section! :yesnod:
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  #8  
Old 01-28-2009, 05:00 PM
Gail Gail is offline
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Default Re: Geometric Lathe

Hi plat955, Thanks for pointing out the difference between the machines.
Do you know how the designs were set up for the machine to re-produce? Like was there a 'master' that was hand generated first? Were there more than one or two more of these lathes ever made? Since similar designs appeared on various types of certificates and documents is it incorrect to believe they were in use by more than one company or person?
Thanks for the pictures. Neat stuff!
gail
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  #9  
Old 01-28-2009, 06:44 PM
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Default Re: Geometric Lathe

I think of all the interesting things that have been revealed to me in learning about engraving, the money making aspect has to be the most interesting. I had always assumed that there was some kind of spirograph-type machine that made those designs, but I would have never imagined something this big or complex, thanks for enlightening me, I look forward to seeing more interesting antique tools and equipment.
-Chapi
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  #10  
Old 01-28-2009, 11:06 PM
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Default Re: Geometric Lathe

Your welcome
I'm going to try to do my best to explain...LOL All of my info is either from out of print old books that I purchased at auction or what I was told personally by the cheif engraver from the BPE. (please read the post on "Transfer Press" click the pics and zoom in to read captions under the pics)

Ok I attatched a scan from a book I have that gives a little info. The Geometric lathe was first invented by Asa Spencer in 1812. Engraving banknotes was still very much in its infancy at that time and started to blosom from around 1830 and on. Banknote engravers were private firms, there were only a handfull in the North East, US. Up until the civil war anyone that had enough gold bullion could apply for a bankers license, employ an engraving firm and print as much paper money as they had coin to back it up. Thus loans, interest, bla blah were born.

Being that these were private "security" engraving firms in competition. They coveted and hid this technology. Then Mr. Spencer died. W.L. Ormsby modified, changed, and patented his new and improved version. He sold them to other banknote engraving firms or upgraded theirs. Also he was a huge activist against counterfieting. So I'm pretty sure they didn't stray far.

In 1858 two of these firms joined to form American Banknote Company, and proceeded to buy up all the firms in exsistance including their engravers,equipment, and assets. Huge, crazy monopoly!

The last one known in existance was lost some 20+ yrs ago by our government. mislabeled? I was told...LOL

So my first question was how do you keep using the patterns if you don't have the machine? The answer I recieved was "transfer press". Crates filled with rollers with these patterns on them. Purchased by our Gov from American Bank Note Co when U.S. currency was made Federal.

I was told: The B.P.E. hardly used it when it was there. They have enough rollers to transfer press into eternity.

Then how do you do long rectangular strips with variations of patterns? This machine only makes frilly roundish or ovalish patterns?

My answer: Machine off everything but a wedge shape off of a roller. and roll it alternating onto a steel plate in a strip! I was freekin blown away! LOL

I hope this is kind of clear LOL sorry for the history lesson I though it was necessary.
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  #11  
Old 01-28-2009, 11:15 PM
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Default Re: Geometric Lathe

Here are a few more pics of this insane thing! Steve you'll love this!
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File Type: jpg 2.jpg (61.9 KB, 125 views)
File Type: jpg 3.jpg (115.5 KB, 139 views)
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  #12  
Old 01-31-2009, 09:07 PM
Gail Gail is offline
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Default Re: Geometric Lathe

Now THAT is a real Rube Goldberg thingy
gail
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  #13  
Old 02-01-2009, 01:32 AM
Roger B2 Roger B2 is offline
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Default Re: Geometric Lathe

I realize that it wouldn't have happened overnight but imagine the brain who contrived this monster in the first place

Roger
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  #14  
Old 02-01-2009, 07:36 AM
Peter Peter is offline
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Default Re: Geometric Lathe

I was also thinking that whomever invented those machines had to be a mechanical genius.

I have been interested in mechanical scales for some time and found Gold Machinery in R.I. a while back. I'll have to see if I can go there some time. I was VERY disappointed in their sales practices from the website. NOTHING has a price and you need to request them. The few times I did, they were SO exorbitant I never considered buying anything.

I was frustrated by the absurd prices and called there once. The fellow I spoke to was VERY polite and when I suggested that their methods are to extract the absolute utmost price for anything they have, he replied that Mr. Gold indeed had that in mind! Additionally, he mentioned Mr. Gold didn't NEED to sell anything if he didn't choose to.

It would be a real pleasure to have an opportunity to look at their inventory though. It is EXTENSIVE in many types of machinery.

Peter
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  #15  
Old 02-01-2009, 06:45 PM
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Default Re: Geometric Lathe

LOL yeah this thing is pretty crazy! It's hard to believe that it was first patented in 1812...

Those pics were taken by Myron Davis in 1942. New York, NY and were printed in LIFE magazine.
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  #16  
Old 03-02-2009, 05:26 AM
Nicksot1 Nicksot1 is offline
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Default Re: Geometric Lathe

Well you may think that the machine illustrated from the BPE is complex but the design does date from the 1880's or so. They were made by a company called HW Chapman and after about 1901 by his son WH Chapman based in Newark, New Jersey. They were in general use throughout the world. In 1954 a German firm called Michael Kaempf produced a more sophisticated design called the A3 Supra which then became the banknote industry standard until the 1980's when computer graphics took over. They made about 60-70 of them
The basic function is to produce wave patterns from a series of cams on to the rotating table and the "count" of the number of waves is varied by the gear ratios used. The Chapman had 5 cams and later 6, but the Kaempf went to 9 cams. The later machines had 250 gears to choose from. The operator could also vary the amplitude of the wave and its phase relative to other wave patterns. The wave pattern was superimposed on a circle, an oval or another wave pattern to produce a rose pattern. Borders or edge patterns were produced by superimposing the wave pattern on a straight-line. The machine could also produce cycloids by having waves at right-angles but out of phase. Simple really !!!
I have an A3 Supra to play with and it's a neat machine as in the photo always interested to share historical information on these machines
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  #17  
Old 03-02-2009, 05:55 AM
Peter Peter is offline
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Default Re: Geometric Lathe

That is an AMAZING machine Nicksot1! That must be a sight to watch it in action.

Peter
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  #18  
Old 03-02-2009, 07:30 AM
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Default Re: Geometric Lathe

I'm with Peter - I could (and probably would) spend hours just fiddling with it for the sheer joy of watching it work.
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  #19  
Old 03-02-2009, 11:29 AM
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Martin Strolz Martin Strolz is offline
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Default Re: Geometric Lathe

Interesting website for engravers here, videos of machine turning too.
http://www.rgmwatches.com/engine.html
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  #20  
Old 03-05-2009, 04:52 PM
adamantine adamantine is offline
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Default Re: Geometric Lathe

This looks like a Guilloch engine. They were used by Faberge before enemaling. Great machine. There are a few of those around to be found. There was an article about those some years back in the Lapidary Journal.

Boris
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  #21  
Old 07-08-2010, 10:47 PM
Guy Lautard Guy Lautard is offline
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Default Re: Geometric Lathe

Another type of machine used for doing similar (not identical) work is the Ruling Machine. Cronite made them, also Hope (another maker), whose machine was somewhat larger than the Cronite machine.

These machines have a round table on which a sheet of copper or steel would be stuck down, having first been coated with a waxy resist. The table can rotated by varying amounts, with stops to control the rotation, so that it is the same for every move. Plus the table can also be moved in a straight line under accurate screw control.

There is a carriage running on a slide-way above the table. This carriage carries a scribing tool (likely diamond tipped, for durability), and a metal strip whose edge would be sawn and filed to some wavy pattern by the user.

Each time the carriage is pushed along the slide-way, the scriber comes down and scribes a wavy line through the resist onto the workpiece, per the template. The table would then be rotated a desired amount, and another wavy line would be scribed. When the pattern was completed, it would then be etched into the metal, and the plate would then be used to print from.

Obviously the patterns thus generated would be very hard to reproduce by anyone not possessing the hand-made wavy line template used on the original.

IIRC, I posed a couple of pictures of these machines on here some months ago.

Guy
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  #22  
Old 07-08-2010, 11:17 PM
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Default Re: Geometric Lathe

Hi Guy, Fun info! Here is that older thread about ruling machines that you posted pictures in. http://www.handengravingforum.com/showthread.php?t=4047
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  #23  
Old 07-09-2010, 12:39 PM
delder delder is offline
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Default Re: Geometric Lathe

Found this site a while back . I thought it might fit in here.http://www.oberonplace.com/products/...sign/index.htm
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  #24  
Old 09-19-2010, 01:32 PM
Gerhardt nortje Gerhardt nortje is offline
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Default Re: Geometric Lathe

would it be possible to reproduce a geometric lathe if Yes do you know of any such plans
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  #25  
Old 10-06-2010, 10:21 AM
eliottpeacock eliottpeacock is offline
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Default Re: Geometric Lathe

Also there's the Rose Engine Lathe. Not too familiar with the technical distinctions between the above noted machines, but this seems to produce quite similar results and is currently manufactured and sold by Lindow-White Machine Works, and thus readily attainable for any of you inspired by the conversation.

CLICK HERE for a link to some sample pics and CLICK HERE for info about that product.
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  #26  
Old 10-07-2010, 01:09 AM
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Default Re: Geometric Lathe

Rose engine lathe is just another name for a geometric lathe. You may also remember 'spirograph,' the name that Hasbro gave their toy version of the geometric lathe A neat virtual version can be found here: http://www.math.psu.edu/dlittle/java...aph/index.html
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  #27  
Old 10-08-2010, 05:29 AM
me2cyclops me2cyclops is offline
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Default Re: Geometric Lathe

not quite, a rose engine copy's the pattern from the rosette to the workpiece with varying magnification
a geometric lathe and a spirograph produce a generated pattern on the workpiece developed with gears and levers
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  #28  
Old 04-07-2012, 05:36 PM
Christopher Madden Christopher Madden is offline
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Default Re: Geometric Lathe

you look familiar. We must have spoken (ANA?) since I am the lead engraver at the BEP. Great to see so many craftspeople interested in engraving history!
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  #29  
Old 05-18-2012, 03:12 AM
pat pat is offline
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Default Re: Geometric Lathe

Remember spyrograph when we were kids?
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  #30  
Old 01-13-2013, 10:18 AM
Oichiro Oichiro is offline
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Default Re: Geometric Lathe

Hello to the forum from Japan.

Please allow me to notify that I organized the exhibition: A History and Aesthetics of Guilloche Patterns in the Modern Banknote Design, from December 26, 2012 to March 3, 2013, at the Banknote & Postage Stamp Museum run by the National Printing Bureau of Japan.
http://www.npb.go.jp/ja/museum/event.html
I know that the museum is far away from most of you but I am posting this because this forum is the only place I can find in the Internet where the geometrical lathe is discussed in the beginning of the 21st century.
We are actually showing a Chapman geometrical lathe operated at the exhibition.
I did some research on the history of the geometrical lathe and guilloche patterns as I prepared this exhibition but the information I could find was limited. So I would be very happy if I could exchange information with you.

O Kawani
oichiro@jcom.home.ne.jp
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  #31  
Old 01-13-2013, 04:15 PM
GeneC GeneC is offline
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Default Re: Geometric Lathe

In 79 they had one on the floor of the history museum in Washington, DC, I spent an hour so looking at it.
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