The folks at Lindow-White make a Rose Engine based on the Victorian-era model that allows you to apply the Rose Engine techniques of ornamental turning to wood and metal work. The Rose Engine is a type of lathe with a headstock that can rock side to side; that action is controlled by circular cams (called rosettes) that bear against a rubber piece. As the spindle revolves (the spindle is powered by a handwheel, so the rotation speed is slow; the tool is usually either a powered spindle or a drag cutter so the power of an electric motor isn’t needed as one a woodturning lathe) the headstock moves side to side against the pattern of the cams. A tool is held in a cross slide and brought against the workpiece.
Many complex and beautiful patterns can be cut both on the face and periphery of the workpiece. There is also a “pumping” accessory available that allows the action to be in line with the spindle for face work. The Lindow-White website has videos and pictures of the sort of work you can do. The machine is a bit pricey at $2,750.00, considering you still need to supply an X/Y table and such, but kudos to them for making such a thing available! If you are interested in building your own machine the excellent website of Ornamental Turners International has plans and links.
Rose Engine Lathe [Lindow-White]