Welcome to South Downs Woodturners


East Sussex & West Sussex wood turners typically meet on the first Thursday of the month from 7:00 to 10:00pm in Lancing Parish Hall.

See Contact for Map and About / Prog for activities


If you would like to join us please come to any meeting without obligation

and meet our Membership Secretary. For further info please e-mail us at Enquiries@SouthDownsWoodturners.com


Next Meeting


1 June 2017


Practical Evening - bring your tools & wood


Chairman's Challenge - Movement



May Meeting


Gordon Eaton entertained us with his take on natural edge turning to give us some ideas for the competition in July







Gordon started by talking about what constituted natural edge using examples of things he had turned or scrounged to illustrate, before turning a piece of branch held sideways


Using a piece of branch turned sideways yields a nicely shaped bowl with a natural bark edge


Alternatively you can turn the branch on axis to produce an entirely different shape from a similar log



Chairman challenge was again supported by members interpreting the brief very differently as intended with Peter Pullin, Andy Heath and John Plater being awarded pens


April Meeting


Member Pete Brown demonstrates some of the techniques he uses to create the items makes to sell on his craft stall at Shoreham Market.

Left, you can barely see it as it whizes round, so paying attention to where you put your fingers is essential

Above, you can see the creative potential



Our members look on with interest to see and learn how Pete holds the blank and creates patterns on each surface in turn



For his second project, Pete shows us how he creates a small triangular bowl from a cube of wood



The trick is starting with an exact cube and alugning it between the points so that you can create a chucking spigot

Then you can hold it to turn it into a delightful little bowl, and finally create a small foot



Right, Allan Fielding brought one of his signature Yew goblets for us to admire on the Tools 'n' Turnings table



Entries for our Finial Box competition with the winners below



March Meeting


Members prepare for a demonstration by professional turner Tony Handford.


The demonstrator is set up, the cameras are being checked, right the toolbank and raffle are open for business, together with our wood supplier Gil at the rear, and left our shop is open.





Tony started with a challenging log between centres to control it's axis before cutting the mounting spigot



Left and above, he starts to remove waste wood, reducing the out of balance, whilst creating the top portion of the outside shape based on his plans for the piece



Left Tony has started to shape the top rim, with the tailstock left in place for as long as possible

Above, he is using a morse taper bit to drill a hole to the intended 'bowl' depth to make hollowing easier



Tony's tool of choice for hollowing is a Woodcut shielded hook tool due to it's efficiency, ease of setup, and control



Having completed the hollowing, left Tony returns to complete the shaping of the outside of the hollow form

His final step is to reverse it against a shaped block to remove the chucking point

Above are three of his pieces including the one he turned at his previous visit to us, now completely sanded and finished with oil



Chairman's Challenge


Right we have the participants in this month's Chairman's Challenge

Thanks to everyone who entered with a variety of high quality items. As usual it was difficult to single out just a few, but Chris awarded pens to Gordon Eaton, Allan Fielding, Anna Cates and Alan Reed


Tools 'n' Turnings


Below we have this month's selection of items made by members, from left to right we have Pete Brown's 3 Box Bottle in Yew, John Plater's Burr Poplar Bowl, Andy Heath's bowl he hoped members would be able to assist him with wood identification, John Plater's Coolibah Burr bowl, and finally Stewart Furini's collection of colourful textured bowls created with the aid of the Proxxon Angle Grinder from our Tool Bank



February Meeting


Jim shows us his finial box for the April competition

Jim mounted a block of Yew in his scoll chuck and trued it to a rough cylinder before deciding on proportions for the base and starting the hollowing with a forstner bit.

Then with his new favourite carbide tool he made quick work of hollowig the inside and creating a recess for the lid.




Having hollowed the inside to shape, jim turned his attention to the outside and made more shavings fly!


Next he made his lid with finial and kept trying the fit until it was perfect.


Right, the chucking and drive  spigots are still in place so it can be finished later, but this enabled you to look at it to assess if you are happy with your proportions before removing evidence of chucking.


Above are a selection Jim made earlier.



Left, we have a butterfly produced by Pete Brown together with two bowls made by John Plater. The bowls look fairly simple, however, he turned them on a pole lathe - standing on one leg and cutting only when the wood was spinning in the right direction!


Right, members are judging the Freestyle competition.



Above and right we have all the interesting entries that members enjoyed looking at. Marking them was the problem! But on this occasion everyone was a judge!






Below are the three most popular entries in each category as chosen by all of our members. See the competition page for full results.



Sussex Woodcraft Society Show

The Sussex Woodcraft Society held their annual show  on the 3rd of December where several of our members took part in their competition and sale of work.

The work on show was up to their usual very high standard and some of our members contributed to it's success.


Those recieving awards included:

Best in Show   Chris Grace   Winged Bowl


1st   Chris Grace   Winged Bowl   Yew

2nd   Allan Fielding   Apple   Yew

3rd   Gerry Jones   Finial Bowl   Apple


Congratulations to all who entered

Assembled Woodturning

1st   Gerry Jones   Gavel & Block   Ebony

2nd   Gerry Jones   Coconut Box w finial

3rd   Gerry Jones   Coconut Box sq base


Novice Woodturning

1st   Mike Dempsey   Avocado Stone   Oak

2nd   Mike Dempsey   Split Goblet   Oak

3rd   Mike Dempsey   Hubble Bubble


Carving in the Round

2nd   Jean Grace   A tale of 3 fishes


Relief Carving

3rd   Chris Grace   Defence of the Realm


Abstract Carving

2nd   Mike Dempsey   2 Faces of Man


Annual Competition - Xmas Decoration

2nd   Jim Young   Silver Banksia Nut

December Meeting

Greg Moreton Professional Demonstrator


To the delight of our members Greg announced he would turn a multi axis offset bowl - a first for a Club demo!


Initially Greg mounted his blank on a screw chuck with spacers so that he only needed to drill a relatively shallow hole. With the blank mounted he shaped the outside of his bowl to a rounded shape with no foot, so that it would rock


Having completed the outside he mounted it in his jig, two discs of MDF  which held the blank between them using round headed bolts to secure the halves of the jig


With a hole in the front MDF disc, making it a donut, and having mounted the bowl 'off centre' he was able to hollow the first bowl portion



Once he had completed the first hollow, the bowl was relocated to another offset for turning of the second bowl


This has to be done more carefully to ensure you don't cath and tear out the edge of the first bowl where they intersect


Marking the diameter of the envisaged bowl helps to maintain artistic balance


To maintain physical balance, Greg uses a stack of washers bolted to the inside front face of the jig


With the second bowl complete, Greg again turns his attention to finish sanding


It is essential to sand in a trailing action so as to not catch the edges of the intersecting bowls

With the bowl portion of the turning now complete, Greg turned his attention to the sphere that he places in the smaller bowl portion


This enables the 'wobble bowl' to sit at a jaunty angle adding to it's appeal


It's an appelaing piece, as when you remove the ball, it rocks to rest at a different angle












Left are turnings brought in by Pete Brown, Gerry Jones and Stewart Furini, thanks to them for sharing their work



Right, Gill shows off his Gold Medal for bravery awarded because he dragged a neighbour out of his burning house moments before it became an inescapable inferno


Congratulations Gill



December Chairman's Challenge - Xmas Decoration


We had an exceptional response to this month's Chairman's Challenge with a total of 79 individual turned items, and the member who entered the Xmas Carousel was counted as one item as there were too many small individual elements to count!


The variety of ornament was impressive, surpassed only by the quality of the entries


Members are clearly on a mission to make the Chairman's job of choosing entries to highlight as difficult as possible. Whilst it was overwhelming on this occasion our Chairman welcomes the challenge.


This month Chris highlighted the work of 5 turners including Anna Cates, Steve Golds and Jim Young who each recieved a Club Pen for their efforts, and Bob Harris and Peter Pullin who join Steve Golds in having had their work highlighted by Chris 5 times this year, and as a result have been awarded a Club Mug.


Thanks to all who entered and helped fill our new tree with fabulous treats


Photos of each item appear below

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All material (c) South Downs Woodturners or contributing artists