OTI Symposiums

The Bulletins of the SOT on Compact Disk!

The craft and art of complex or ornamental turning (OT) has been practiced for more than five centuries, but much of the knowledge gained by ornamental turners during this period has been lost as the turners have died off and taken their hard-won wisdom with them. By the 18th century a few rare books had appeared in Europe but virtually no information on this craft was available in the English language. Then, in the 19th century, Holtzapffel's great reference work on Turning and Mechanical Manipulation was published in England and turning became the principle hobby of the English gentry. Volume V of this work, dedicated entirely to ornamental turning, is considered to be the most comprehesive instruction manual on the subject.

Interest in ornamental turning declined after the First World War and there has since been little information commonly available on modern developments. However, since its formation in 1948, the Society of Ornamental Turners (SOT) has revived this art and has recorded its accumulated knowledge in bulletins published at the rate of two per year. There are now 98 back issues of the bulletin and the body of information contained within these pages is, perhaps, second only to Holtzapffel in its value to ornamental turning enthusiasts.

The Bulletins include articles spanning many facets of the craft, including the description of OT techniques with modern developments, the adaptation of modern machinery to the craft, inventions of new apparatus, instructions for making special accessories for the lathe, hundreds of inspirational pictures of ornamentally turned objects, and a wide variety of uncommon information on all matters pertaining to the craft.

Unfortunately, printed sets of the SOT bulletins have themselves been scarce! Only a small number of complete sets is still in existence, and these are very expensive. This puts the knowledge contained in the bulletins out of reach for many people interested in trying their hand at ornamental turning...until now.

The Compact Disk Arrives!

Now there is a compact disk, meant to be played in your computer's CD drive, that contains every page of all the SOT Bulletins from number one to number ninety-eight. On this disk, you will find Adobe Acrobat versions of every page in all bulletins. In addition, I have included copies of three other important ornamental turning treatises:

  • The Rose Engine Lathe, by Normal Tweddle.
  • Bibliography on the Art of Turning and Lathe and Machine Tool History, by Abell, Leggert, and Ogden.
  • The Art and Craft of Ornamental Turning, by Rev. Grace.

Combined, this material makes this compact disk the source of more ornamental turning information than any other single publication in history!

Also, an index to the entire bulletin set is provided at the end of the table of contents. Use this index just like a normal book index, but with the additional feature that you can click any entry to jump immediately to that selection. You can also use Acrobat's full-text search capabilities to look for any word or phrase anywhere in the entire bulletin set, and you can print out any page or group of pages for perusal away from your computer.

The SOT CD is available directly from the Society of Ornamental Turners in England, or from the Ornamental Turners International Society in the United States.

If you're in the U.S. you can order a copy from Charles Waggoner, the club's Treasurer. He has a limited amount of these on-hand. You can reach him by email at: otitreasury@earthlink.net. Pricing is $80 for members and $115 for non-members. The $115 purchase price also includes a one year membership in OTI.

If you purchase it from the SOT in the UK, the price of the CD to new joiners would be £32 and that the price of the CD would be £40 to existing members. This means that a new joiner from the USA would pay £38 membership plus £32 for the CD if they wish. A UK new joiner would pay £28 membership plus £32 for the CD. Existing members or rejoiners would have to pay £40 for the CD.

Purchase SOT CD - $80.00
For OTI Members Only

Purchase SOT CD - $115.00
For Non-Members Only

SOT - Bulletins Compact Disk

Richard Vanstrom, Treasurer