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 our Contact page for a Map and our About / Prog page 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


19:00 Thurs 6 September 2018

Demonstration of 3 cornered bowl for

the October Competition


Next Competition


October - 3 cornered bowl


Chairmans Challenge


September - Desk Top



August Meeting


David Hare demonstrated how he made large carvers mallets.


Norman Billingham shares his pen making tips







David Hare showed us how he makes large carvers mallets with a nicely shaped head and handle which is secured with a wedge









Norman Billingham gave us an insight in the world of pen turning with a variety of tips. He showed us a number of pieces of inexpensive kit that can help add variety to your design options



The winners of our Bud Vase competition are above and the other entries are below. Details will appear on the Competition page in due course



July Meeting


Mark Baker, editor of Woodturning magazine came to give us an informative and practical demonstration on split hollow form turning 








Having roughed down the blank between centres and created chucking spigots Mark initially shaped the vase and parted off the top before hollowing the bottom with a spindle gouge


With the hollowing mostly complete he turned his attention to the fit between the top and bottom which needs to be as accurate as possible so as to make it unobtrusive


Here Mark is machining the mating surface on the underside of the top ensuring a good close tight fit


Members jumped at the opportunity to encourage Mark to create three feet on the base using power tools and a file


Having added the top, and disguised the join with a series of seven grooves, Mark explains the benefit of raising the hollow form from it's surface with feet


Next month we have our Bud Vase competition. Here are some examples of Steve James' turnings - unfortunately he is unable to make the meeting. If anyone would like to enter, but can't attend, why not ask another member to bring your entry along. We look forward to seeing the result of your efforts - we will judge anthing that could contain a bud, flower or weed.


June Meeting


Chris Grace presented a slide show illustrating a range of different bud vase designs before demonstrating two variations and showing three methods of drilling suitable holes




Drilling the first project blank with a long jobber bit in a tailstock mounted chuck, Chris illustrates the efficiency of a high feed rate - you can barely see his hand turning the handle


The final method of drilling illustrated is using the humble spindle gouge. Chris' 12mm spindle gouge has a short fingernail grind of about 50 degrees and is asymetric with a little more ground away on the right for clearance when drilling


See the newsletter for a photo of a finished 3 bud vase and dimensions


For the second project Chris uses his height adjustable sled (see the March issue 316 of Woodturning Magazine). The drill is in the headstock and the blank is pushed onto it - make sure the blank is longer than the drill or use a push block


This month's Chairman's Challenge was Box, and numerous hopeful members entered hoping to win one of the 3 pens available as prizes


Having created a bottom and a face chucking point, and created the scallop at the top using the former, the first face can then be turned to a suitable curve. The second face is turned using a cup chuck and tailstock support


We encourage all members to show us what they have been making, or the tools they have been using. Here Jim Young made some boxes out of small scraps


May Practical Evening


Stewart demonstrated his latest colouring techniques

Barrie got technical with his equipment showing laser engraving pens


John showed members what you can achieve with a Banksia Nut

This month's Chairman's Challenge was Toy



Dave spent the evening helping newer turners, here he advises a new member

This month members brought in an extensive range of their turning for others to see


April Saturday Demo


Simon Hope visited us for a demonstration, brining many of the tools he sells.


He turned several projects, showing different methods of achieving the desired results.



Simon demonstrated thread chasing using hand chasers, as well as his special jig, reinforcing the sycamore with superglue


Not everything needs an expensive tool as illustrated by off-centre turning between centres. You could have a go with the Club's new Sorby Chuck


This is the final result, with sections turned on axis and a combination of others on other axes



April Meeting


This was a busy meeting and included our AGM, presentation of our annual competition awards, a cottonreel stand competition and a chairman's challenge together with a floating rim resin platter demonstration by Gordon Eaton



Gordon performs a bit of kitchen chemistry with some sticky epoxy resin and dye pouring it into a recess he has cut in his platter blank on his turntable


Gordon first turns the bottom of the platter (left) revealing the trough of resin in the wood


Then the top is turned, and following sanding to 2000 grit he uses mops and buffing compound in 2 stages to add shine before adding a protective layer of carnuba wax on a third mop


Gordon brought us along a selection of the platters  and bowls he has created using this technique, including some with sections of branch adding extra decorative elements to the resin features

Right are this months Chairmans Challenge entries for the Kitchen topic, the items Norman selected belonged to Robert Kemp, Peter Pullin & Bob Harris



Members created some interesting cotton reel stands incorporating some additional features such as lids, pin cushions, scissor holders


See the competition page for this month's winners together with the results of the 2017-18 annual competition


March 1st Club Meeting Cancelled

Due to the forecast weather the Commuttee have decided to cancel the March meeting due to concerns about travel and the safety of our members and our demonstrator. Jennie Starbuck has agreed to come in December instead. 


February Meeting

For the first demonstration of the new year Andy Heath shows us how to make cotton reel stands for the April competition.

Pete Brown has been turning his hand to pyrography lately and brought these in to show members what he's been up to.






Here Stewart Furini shows us his latest textured and coloured creation.



Our freestyle competition winners above are proudly displaying their work and certificates, see competition page for results.


Thanks to Alan Wesley for taking the photos this month.



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All material (c) South Downs Woodturners or contributing artists