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 Meetings


10:00 Sat 21 April 2018

Simon Hope Pro Demo


19:00 SECOND Thurs 10 May 2018

Practical Evening - bring wood & tools


Chairman's Challenge - Toy



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.



December Meeting


At this year's festive meeting members showed us their Xmas decorations, we enjoyed special Xmas biscuits and were treated to turning demonstrations by Dave Smith and Jim Young





In his first ever demonstration Dave decided to show us how he makes offset candle sticks using a standard chuck



Jim held his blank with a faceplate ring enabling him to turn a chucking spigot on the base. He leaves the ring on until he is happy that the blank is mounted concentric on the turned spigot


He starts the process by turning  a chucking spigot and then turning the top section on-centre. Then he made 4 equal marks on the base of the work 


Using each mark he loosens the chuck, tilts the work (with the spigot still in the jaws) and re-tightens. Using a sharp spindle gouge and skew he works his way toward the chuck changing position as he progresses


Is that Steam or Smoke - no, it's Jim attacking the blank with his favourite carbide tool, making both shavings and dust at the same time!


Above he explains decorating options


In recognition of the 12 days of Xmas, members produced 12 decorative items for us to enjoy



November Meeting


Members were obviously getting into the swing of things early for our practical evening


They had produced an interesting variety of items for our Tools 'n' Turnings table







Ron Inglis turns for his audience


Beginners Time entry


Beginners Winner



Intermediate Winners (right)



This month's Chairman's Challenge was 'Two' and as usual there were a variety of interpretations with interesting items made by members



Pete Brown explains to members


Intermediate entries



Jim Young announced the competition topics for 2018 and displayed examples



Steve Church entertains a gaggle

      Steve enjoyed his first practical demo

Advanced entries


Advanced Winners



See Competition Page

for details of winners


Practical evenings are an opportunity to have a go - here Pete Brown helps another member understand a new technique


October Demonstration


Les Thorne visited us again to entertain members with his unique view on woodturning from a full time professional production turner.






Les chose to make an end-grain box


He started with an octagonal blank because it's quicker and less fatiguing to turn to round, many of his customers supply him with octagonal blanks where appropriate


After turning to a cylinder and initial shaping he created a chucking spigot on each end


Then parted the top creating a spigot and commenced hollowing it



Les uses an Arbortech mini long neck grinder with an industrial 50mm blade with two teeth that produces a smooth cut very quickly


Hold it in both hands for safety - Les uses one hand as he is very familiar with the tool, but his other hand is well out of harm's way turning the lathe spindle


Then he creates a decorative button on top and rings on the base










After de-nibbing Les finally set about colouring the turning with spirit stains using his air brushes


He started with the darker colours and worked through to yellow which he used to blend everything together


Not satisfied he had achieved the look he was after, he sprayed the top and bottom rims with black, fading out on the body and top/bottom


This provided the right amount of contrast and lifted the piece to a new level





Les brought his shop for us to purchase some of his goodies, with a choice of videos and his signature tools etc









Tools 'n' Turnings was well supported this month, thanks to members


Alan Wesley brought in paintings


Barrie Fitch  - Cuflinks etc


Stewart Furini - Coloured Platters


Pete Brown - Glue Bowl


John Byford - Wool Holder






September Pro Demo


New professional demonstrator Ed Oliver visited us for the first time and gave us a great insight into how he creates his interesting colourful pieces.







Ed started with a platter blank mounted on a faveplate ring held with short screws in his chuck to true it up and create a chucking spigot before reversing, texturing, ebonising, and colouring with interference paints, then tidying up the platter with some beads


Our Secretary Graham inspects Ed's work closely


Having rough turned the inside of the hollow form Ed marked on a pattern and pierced a couple of holes (left) to help him judge the wall thickness as he finish turned the inside.

Above, he then did the rest of the piercing and sprayed it black before applying his interference paints


Left and above, the results of his coloured hollow forms

Spigot's to be removed later

Ed then moved on to create a small hollow form


For his third project Ed applied hot melt glue to a prepared hollow form, ebonised it and highlighted the glue with silver gilt cream.

Ed's tips:

"use a heat gun to melt off any unwanted glue hairs"

"remove surplus gilt cream with a lemon oil soaked cotton bud"


Thanks to the members who participated in our Tools 'n' Turnings table, allowing our members to see the interesting things that others produce


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All material (c) South Downs Woodturners or contributing artists