Welcome to South Downs Woodturners



After months of not being able to meet in Lancing and the temporary use of Henfield Hall, we have secured a new venue for our meetings. Our meetings will now be held at:

Beeding & Bramber Village Hall, High Street, Upper Beeding,

West Sussex, BN44 3WN

Meetings will be on the last Wednesday of each month at 7:00pm, starting in May. 


There will be refreshments available but please bring your own mug!


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


Wednesday 29th March at 7pm in Beeding and Bramber Village Hall, BN44 3WN




The next competition is 'Vases' for April 2023


Chairman's Challenge

Watch this space!






Wednesday 29th March 2023, 7pm, Beeding and Bramber Village Hall, BN44 3WN


This month's demo we welcome back Terry Smart from Chestnut Products, who will be demonstrating a range of his products. Terry was the first external demonstrator to visit the club back in 2013 when we were based at Portslade.

Check out all the year's demos on our About/Prog page.


Don't forget about our Facebook group, which is a great way to keep in touch with members and to show what you have been doing! Find the group here.




February 2023


Wednesday 22nd February 2023, 7pm, Beeding and Bramber Village Hall, BN44 3WN


February saw the welcome return of Chris Grace, one of the club's founding committee members, who demonstrated the turning of a hooded bud vase. As usual, Chris's demo was detailed and thorough, explaining clearly each stage of the process. He also showed his off-centre chuck modification that helped to damp down the vibration from having the log mounted off centre and out of balance. It was an absorbing and thoroughly enjoyable demo.



January 2023


Wednesday 25th January 2023, 7pm, Beeding and Bramber Village Hall, BN44 3WN


January's meeting was a Zoom demo from Stewart Furini, to try out the new venue's wifi capabilities. Stewart demonstrated turning a shallow wide rimmed bowl in sycamore which was then textured and coloured. There were some minor blips with the connection in the first half of the demo but these were sorted out with a router reboot for the second half. Congratulations to the competition winners in the 'Freestyle' competetion.





December 2022 Meeting

A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all our members. It was great to share mince pies in the final meeting of the year and see the wonderful display of Christmas decorations you turned.






November 2022 Meeting

Barry Chidlow could not do his turned illusion demo due to ill health, so Gordon stepped in and demonstrated the making of a peppermill with a Crushgrind mechanism - thank you, Gordon!






October 2022 Meeting

Gordon and Andy treated us to an evening of thread cutting. Two different methods were covered, with Gordon using a tap and die set for cutting wood threads, and Andy using the Simon Hope Threading Jig. Great results from both systems!


Don't forget about our Facebook group, which is a great way to keep in touch with members and to show what you have been doing! Find the group here.




August 2022 Meeting

We had a hands-on evening with three lathes in action for members to try out a range of turning techniques and tools. Thanks to Gordon Eaton, Dave Smith and Stewart Furini for running each lathe. There was an excellent response to the Chairman's Challenge on the topic of 'Box' with a great variety of styles on display. Congratulations to the winners!


Don't forget about our Facebook group, which is a great way to keep in touch with members and to show what you have been doing! Find the group here.




July 2022 Meeting

We were treated to a demonstration from professional woodturner Kevin Hutson for our July meeting. Kevin has a workshop in Borde Hill and has been demonstrating, teaching and selling his work for many years. He is a member of the Sussex Guild and you can see his work at one of the many exhibitions the guild holds throughout the year. Kevin demonstrated the skills needed to turn chess pieces, producing a bishop with a combination of skew and gouge work. After the tea break he worked on a square lidded box, one of his signature pieces. There was plenty of discussion about technique, methods and design.


Don't forget about our Facebook group, which is a great way to keep in touch with members and to show what you have been doing! Find the group here.




January 2022 Meeting

It was great to finally have a meeting with some lathes out, after the December social. The plan had been to have two lathes for members to use, but one of the lathes had not enjoyed lockdown very much and insisted on tripping out the hall's fuses each time it was turned on! Dave and Gordon managed admirably though, sharing the one remaining lathe and demonstrating some turning techniques and projects that were especially appreciated by the members old and new. Grahame demonstrated a Robert Sorby Pro-Edge sharpener and we even had the raffle and tea-break. Thank you to all the team who made thispossible.

Don't forget about our Facebook group, which is a great way to keep in touch with members and to show what you have been doing! Find the group here.



March Meeting 2020

This month was another practical evening with three club members demonstrating turning and Barrie Fitch showing laser engraving. Dave Smith was making hedgehogs and having interesting discussions with Anna Cates on skew angles, Gordon Eaton was turning bowls, and giving beginners some hands on experience, and Jim Young was demonstrating turning and finishing of small bowls.


Alongside this, a new camera set-up was being tried out and there was the Chairman's Challenge of 'Finial'. Congratulations to the three winners this month - Peter, Dave and Sandy.


See you on Saturday 21 March for the full day from Colin Simpson.




February Meeting

The first meeting of the year was very well attended and there was great interest in the bud vase demonstrations from Anna Cates, Barry Chidlow and Andy Heath. They all showed different approaches not just in shape and colour, but also design with off-centre turning and multi-holed vases.


It was also competition time with the Open Competition and there were plenty of entries this time round. It would be great to have as many or more for the bud vase competition to be judged in April.



Anna Cates adding liming wax



Barry Chidlow getting a multi-axis ready



Andy Heath starting out on bud vase



Dave Smith registering competition entries



Plenty of entries to judge...



...and plenty of debate



The winning entries as judged by club members - congratulations to all

Casting votes for the final competition of the year - Turned Fruit



December Meeting

We had planned to have a talk from our Chairman, Norman Billingham, about tool-making. However, this was not to be as Norman was unwell. We wish him a speedy recovery.


We did have our final competition of the year though, and our Chairman's Challenge was Christmas decorations...definitely a festive feel!


There will be no meeting in January, but we return in February with our Open Competition. Remember that subs are due in February.


We wish you all a merry Christmas and a happy new year.

Les using a pull cut to shape the outside of his bowl



November Meeting - Les Thorne does a Bowl

Les is a regular professional demonstrator to visit us, and he never disappoints. His demo this time was bowl turning and he took us through the whole process of shaping and hollowing the bowl, adding texture and colour, and covering the full range of cuts that are needed. There was something for everyone in his demo, from beginner to seasoned turner. As well as covering the basics, he also went through push and pull cuts in detail, focusing on different bowl gouge grinds, how to scrape and shear scrape with a long-grind bowl gouge, and then showed how to bead the outside of the bowl with a spindle gouge, how to put an undercut on the rim using a small bowl gouge, and how to finish off the bottom of the bowl. There was even some advice on sharpening. A great evening!



Gordon keeping his audience entertained as well as showing us how to turn a peppermill and what different designs were possible.



October Meeting - Gordon's Grinders

Gordon took to the lathe again this year for his second club demo and treated us to a session on making pepper mills using a Crushgrind mechanism. He showed us the two different versions available - shafted and shaftless. This is a great project for turners of all abilities, and a good one for novices to put a range of different turning skills into practice. A copy of the drilling and dimensions has been emailed to all club members. As well as educating us with his turning, he amused us with his humour, as always...and left us with the probing question of 'What was the best thing before sliced bread?'  



A selection of Gordon's peppermills, complete with a festive Santa mill...



Chairman's Challenge for October - Miniatures.....and some were really tiny!



Snowmen and mushrooms...the numbers grow....for donation to the local nursery for decorating for Christmas gifts



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All material (c) South Downs Woodturners or contributing artists