Antique Copper Wheel Crystal Engraving Lathe


This heavy cast iron engraving lathe was made in Munich, Germany in approximately 1850 for an engraver named Moser. He passed it on to his son, Ludwig, who came to the United States to engrave crystal glass in 1925. Ludwig Moser (same name as the famous Moser glassworks) was born in 1904 and retired in 1969. Ludwig sold it to an old stone wheel engraver who never could "get it to work". I purchased it from this stone wheel engraver (who had no idea of how to do copper wheel work) in 1975. I have completely reconditioned it and put it back into full engraving condition. As you can see from the image below, I have used it as my demonstration lathe.








This beauty came complete with the selection of copper wheels/spindles shown below.

It also includes a selection of threaded spindles for specialized wheels (stone, polishing, wood, etc.). The go with the lathe, I made the oak table, oak motor mount, three-speed motor with five step cone pulley, drawing holder, stool, and oak spindle rack. Close up images of the various parts are shown below:

Additional information:

This is a professional copper wheel glass engraving lathe and a rare treasure of glassmaking history. With proper care it will outlast several more engravers. The heavy cast iron lathe is mounted on the original turned walnut base and features extra wide babbitt bearings. These are still the original bearings and show no signs of wear (copper wheel work is usually done at low RPMs and with very little pressure). The lathe spindle has a cast iron five step cone pulley (round leather belt) for speed changes. It is currently setup with the motor to the rear. It could be driven from a motor or line shaft above or even a treadle from below. With the current drive system and babbitt bearings this may well be the quietest machine you will never hear. In over 25 years of copper wheel crystal engraving I have never come across another machine like this. They are extremely rare.

Two additional views with sample engravings:

Close up images of various spindles:

An additional couple of views of the copper wheels and stand:

To see several examples of copper wheel crystal engraving: Click here.

For those interested in stone wheel glass cutting/engraving lathes - Click here.

Contact: James P. Riser