2015 December meeting

Engine Turning

Philip Whyte Hon FBHI

The final lecture of 2015 will be given by our own Philip Whyte. Philip is this year’s Master of the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers and a Director of Charles Frodsham & Co. He is also a member of the George Daniels Trust Advisory committee and a Vice President of the BHI.

Philip believes you need to physically handle as many clocks and watches as possible in order to fully appreciate what top makers really had achieved.

This lecture on Engine Turning, explores mankind’s ingenuity in creating machines that could, both replicate and repeat, a fixed pattern on an object.

The talk embraces the early days of these mechanisms and continues right up until the typical Rotary and Straight-line machines, which were produced in Birmingham as recently as 50 years ago.

The huge range of objects that were Engine Turned will be explored, and the reasons for doing so, which surprisingly were not always done from a decorative standpoint.

The lecture will show how Engine Turning was used to great advantage by clock and watchmakers, both in England and abroad.

How, although the overall Engine Turning trade has declined, many contemporary watchmakers are now incorporating it into their products

In addition, the principle of how these machines work, and how one might use them from a practical viewpoint, will be covered. Tool sharpening and tool angles details will be shown for those of a ‘hands-on’ nature in the audience, and design considerations for those who might be contemplating making something that could be Engine Turned.


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