Upcoming Engine Turning Classes


I’m so excited to announce engine turning classes here at the Memoria Technica workshop! It’s been a long time in the making, but I’m finally set up to start holding regular classes. If you’re interested, please sign up on the Classes page found on the top menu bar. There you will find full course descriptions, dates, and costs. We are presently accepting applications for our January/February classes.

Click here and here to see what we got up to in our previous sessions. Students will have the opportunity to learn on both the rose and straight line engines. These two beautiful antique machines are from the Bulova watchmaking factory.

Here’s a quick description of the three upcoming classes:

January 23/24 – A 2-day Intro to Engine Turning class, geared towards newbies to the field. Whether students are looking into watch dials for jewelry, or curious about guilloché work in general, this class caters to individual’s interests via a variety of projects.

January 30/31 – A 2-day Intro to Engine Turning class, geared towards newbies to the field. Whether students are looking into watch dials for jewelry, or curious about guilloché work in general, this class caters to individual’s interests via a variety of projects.

February 6/7 – A 2-day, more intermediate Engine Turning #2, includes lessons on blank preparation, integrating divergent patters, and laying out work that requires multiple centers.

If you have any questions on the classes, be sure to get in touch!

UPDATE: due to a number of recent inquiries – we added another Beginners Class on the weekend of January 23/24.

Engine Turning Classes and Easy Workshop Ramen

Hello all! I’ve been pretty swamped with the finishing touches on the workshop, client work, and getting Engine Turning classes up and running, but I wanted to share a bit about what’s been keeping me so busy. This week I’ve had the pleasure of David Lindow’s excellent company. We did some fun class prep work – basically dismantling parts of the rose and straight-line engines, truing – adjusting – lubricating… the result was really exciting and incredibly rewarding. Here are some photos of this weeks classes!  Of course the day started off right with local “hand forged” doughnuts (haha), coffee, and a little inspiration.

doughnuts boxes



dialWe made a wax chuck for this 6497 dial blank and then turned it on the rose engine. There was a lot of lead up experimentation….

examples3 examples2 examples studentpiecces turning2 turning drapes2 angine2 studentpieces2


Students took off on their own projects after a bit of trial and error – figuring out phasing and pattern development. Master Lindow was always on the ready to troubleshoot.

student1 masteratwork rob class pat chris2 terrance cuttingdrapes penbarrel penchuck2 penchuck P1000088Overall it was a wonderful few days with some great people! So much information learned and imparted by David – who incidentally builds a modern version of these masterpieces. As well as the most gorgeous machine ever made.


The MADE ornamental rose engine

The MADE ornamental rose engine

And now for the workshop recipe! I’ve been noodling around a great deal and had quite a bit of trouble figuring out inexpensive, convenient and still delicious meals to have at the workshop. Indeed, my desire to bring “quick, cheap and easy” to  the culinary art form while not compromising my shop standards has brought about the quest.  I thought I’d share this latest recipe with you, in case you too, have experienced the same struggle, as it represents at least some degree of success.

Easy Workshop Ramen


This recipe only requires three fresh ingredients: Kale, garlic, and ginger. Easy items to obtain from your local grocery and they stay fresh for quite a while – with the exception of perhaps the kale…


You only need the following cookware:

Hot plate, small cup, personal wok (doubles as a bowl), small cutting board, knife, spoon, (optional chopsticks or fork). I use a small spoon to roughly measure out the ingredients and a knife to chop and grate the ginger. All of the ingredients should be readily available at an Asian grocery store. Most of them (or a version of each) can be found at a general store. Here is what I use:

noodles noodles1 condiments soupbase musroombags


Prep time – 5 minutes or less

Cook time – 15-20 minutes

Servings: 1


1 tablespoon sesame oil

2 cloves garlic – minced

1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger

3 cups vegetable broth (3 teaspoons vegetable bouillon in 3 cups of water)

1/2 cup mixed dried mushrooms broken into pieces

1 package fresh Ramen noodles (or dry – but fresh is AMAZING!)

3 leaves of kale torn into 1/2 inch pieces

optional garnish: sesame seeds, fried shallots, and sriracha sauce


Add the sesame oil, garlic, and ginger to the wok. Let simmer for 2 to 3 minutes or until fragrant. Add the vegetable broth and mushroom pieces. Let simmer for 7 to 10 minutes or until mushrooms are soft. Add the noodles and follow the time specified on the package (usually about 7 minutes). Throw in the kale with about 2 minutes to go. Remove from heat and garnish with sesame seeds, fried shallots, and sriracha. Delicious!

ramen soup2 finished!




Memoria Technica Workshop Year One! – Jan. 19. 2015

Hello all! The holidays kept me quite busy along with setting up the shop. I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season.

It’s strange to think back to where I was and what I was doing this time last year. I had only just started the Harmon Estate  project not a month before. After digging through horological wonders for 7 months and selling quite possibly the most amazing collection this world has ever known, I returned to Seattle to begin the process of setting up my own shop. I am happy to report that I am now very close to being open for business.

You may have noticed some changes to the blog/website. I welcome your feedback and hope things are a bit easier to navigate. The blog is now located on the upper navigation bar on the right hand side under Automata Cabinet.

On another note I wanted to share this amazing work with you. Enjoy!

Settling In – Nov. 14. 2014

I was a bit worried about unloading the trailer once it arrived from Connecticut. Dennis Harmon’s workshop had a loading dock, which enabled us to literally roll the machines using pipes and levers onto the trailer (in most cases).

You may recall this picture of loading the Hauser jig borer.

You may recall this picture of loading the Hauser jig borer.

Fitting everything else onto the trailer was a drawn out game of Tetris. Things were packed tight, between and around all the machinery, but not above chest height for safety. I didn’t want any of the machines to get damaged in case things shifted during the long drive from the East to the West.

Moving things into my new shop ended up being rather painless, even though I don’t have a loading dock. I worked with Nelson Trucking, a local rigging company with a great staff. I had the trailer delivered to their dock – some friends and I unloaded it there onto a U-Haul and then the U-Haul was unloaded at the new shop. The machines stayed behind for delivery using a truck with a lift gate. This made moving them incredibly straightforward. With a couple of 4 x 4 ‘s and a pallet jack it all went quite smoothly. The move in of the machines took less than 2 hours from dock to door.

530am arrival!

530am arrival!


Putting things in their right place

All in and feeling proud.

All in and feeling proud ….and a bit blurry

Now comes a lot of organizing/taking inventory/setting up of the other contents. I’ve been working on just that for the last month. I’m happy to say that the upstairs portion of the workshop is almost there and I’ll be able to start working in a limited capacity soon.

But there's still more to do...

But there’s still a lot more to do…

Dug North’s Mekanikos vs. The Minotaur & a Potential Workshop Space!

Hello all! You may already know of the whimsies created by Dug North, and if you don’t, you’re about to discover some wonderful creations.

Dug North, toy automaton maker turned clockmaker, has decided to sell one of his marvels entitled Mekanikos vs. The Menotaur. See more photos, watch a video, and read about Dug’s process here. It is truly a work of art and clearly took an incredible amount of time, as every single piece is hand-made. It deserves a pedestal in a good home! To learn more about Dug and his work – you can find a link on the side bar under Blogs/Forums entitled “The Automata Blog” or click here.



In other news, I have recently found a potential workshop space. Super excited to see if it pans out.

P1170093 copy



I NEED one of these


This is a miniature lathe made by Manson that actually works. I just want to get a tiny generator and take this tiny lathe on a picnic…. Let’s go to the beach lathe!

Learn more about these miniature lathes here.

(Thanks for the photo Frank and letting me hold this tiny beauty).