Curvilinear Slide / Curvilinear Apparatus


Curvilinear Slide

A Curvilinear Slide is used to make shapes that follow a template. For example, the ornamental turner could make a template that looked like a section of a gourd, and then use that template to make a gourd-shaped object on the rose engine lathe.

Lindow Machine Works makes one which replaces the top slide of a Hardinge cross slide.

If you go the route of an MDF rose engine, there are some really inventive people in the community who have made some that work quite well.

Additional pictures of this device

Examples of work produced with this device

Examples of this device in use

Usage Notes

How it works

Notes on making one

If you want to make your own curvilinear slide, you will need to incorporate these parts.

  1. A lateral movement device (e.g., a screw mechanism) which can be engaged with the spindle for coordinated movement. This is similar to the leadscrew on a metal lathe.
    • You should also incorporate a way to automatically disengage this movement when a defined limit is reached. This will help ensure you do not damage your machine.
  2. A sliding mechanism which allows for movement at a right angle to the lateral movement. This will have some form of rubber which follows the shape of a template.
    • This is attached to the top of the lateral movement screw.
    • There will also need to be a way to keep the rubber engaged with the template. Generally this is a weight attached to a cable.
  3. A template with the designed shape.
  4. A mechanism which can be used to advance the cutter into the object being cut. This is used to increase the depth of cut using multiple passes until the desired depth is reached.
    • This is attached to the top of the sliding mechanism.

Sources for buying one

More Information

Published Articles

Books and Papers

Web Sites


  • This YouTube video is about curvilinear designs. It was given by Martin Strand at the 2018 Ornamental Turners International Symposium.
  • This YouTube video is about a rotary curvilinear design, which is a whole new level of wierd. It was given by Kenneth Newton at the 2018 Ornamental Turners International Symposium..


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Disclaimer: eMail comments to me at OTBookOfKnowledge @ The process of woodturning involves the use of tools, machinery and materials which could cause injury or be a health hazard unless proper precautions are taken, including the wearing of appropriate protective equipment.