Pearling Tool


The Pearling Tool is a hand-operated fly cutter used with a indexing wheel for guilloché style embellishments. It is a variation of the eccentric cutting frame.

Pearling Tool

Some believe that it was used to make the pearl-looking balls around the periphery of the object that you see in the picture below, though there are no references to this in John Jacob Holtzapffel's book, Turning and Mechanical Manipulation, vol. 5.

In fact, there are only vague references to this tool anywhere, making it seem to be more mythical than real. Some in the ornamental turning community think this is a term that was applied to another tool, but others disagree. In any regard, as shown in the picture above, this tool has been made at one point (I think it was by Lindow Machine Works), but I cannot find any sources for them as of 2019. If you really want one, contact David Lindow.

Pearling Drill Bit
Image courtesy Chris Ploof
of Ornamental Tools

As a final note, what is more likely to have been used to make the "pearls" shown in Figure 530 is a pearling drill bit like the one to the right. You can get one (or other, similar ones) from Chris Ploof at Ornamental Tools.

Additional pictures of this device

Examples of work produced with this device

Figure 530 - Plate XLVII, Ivory Casket;
oval and eccentric chucks in combination
Turning and Mechanical
Manipulation, vol. 5

Examples of this device in use

Usage Notes

How it works

Notes on making one

More Information

Published Articles

Books and Papers

Web Sites



########## Standard Footer for all pages ##########

About this Site

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.