Rose Engine Cutter for Fixed Tool Work

Sharpen the edge to an exactly correct angle is not usually critical. Rather, the overall shape of the cutting profile (as viewed from the top) is more key.

Sharpening with lapping compounds of 6, 3, 2, and finally 1 micron are recommended. Additional honing information is in the Notes & Comments section below.

Some historical information about sharpening these is available on the Ornamental Turning Book of Knowledge.

The artist making pieces with fixed tools on a rose engine has the vision to see the angel inside the wood, and the skills to set her free.

Rich Colvin

General Guidelines
Usage α Notes
Hardwoods and Ivory-like Materials 20° - 22° This is recommended by Holtzapffel, but if the original angle is different, it is best to match that. Higher angles are recommended for reducing chatter in the cutting operation.

Notes & Comments

Angles shown are those recommended by John Jacob Holtzapffel in Turning and Mechanical Manipulation, vol. 5.

More Information

Books & Papers

Videos & Presentations

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About this site
Remember : The goal of sharpening is to produce sharp tools, and these tools can injure you if mishandled. Safety measures should be followed to protect yourself and those in your shop. Be sure to read and follow all instructions from the manufacturer, and and utilize proper safety equipment. Never consume alcohol or anything that could impair your judgement before sharpening tools, or using sharp tools. Comments can be sent via eMail to me at