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Amberley Tuition

West Sussex Woodturners Tuition 

Another group of novice turners had a day of tuition see comments below:


I arrived feeling a little nervous, was greeted by Deano & Dave cooking sausages for the breakfast.  My nerves soon disappeared after the warm welcome and a cup of coffee. After a quick introduction from Keith we were paired up with a tutor, myself with Deano and we started with a stem vase. 

By 11 o’clock I had a vase via a few mistakes and a loan of some of Deano’s tools. Then onto 6" bowl, after discussing the shape we started, it wasn't long before I required help getting the curve right , it had become an  odd angle  Deano showed me again had a coffee  and showed me again . So engrossed with the way it was going and the enjoyment forgot about lunch finished bowl and went on to make a dibber. Rough down the blank which had  a split down one side  so Deano replaced it and roughed it down while I ate my  sandwich, then I started shaping it. l soon learnt this wasn't as easy as I thought. I finished about 3:45 in time to clean up, have chat about the day and a photo taken with the 3 items. I had great day and a good few laughs and learnt a lot.

Thanks Keith and team for making it possible, Deano you've certainly got some patience---



Well, I have to start by saying I am well and truly hooked!  This was my first experience of wood turning – save a ‘Mothers can do’ day at Amberley – and it was amazing.

 On our arrival Keith explained the format of the day and the health and safety bits, before we each introduced ourselves, explaining what experience we did, or in my case did not have, over a sausage in a bap and hot cups of coffee.

 My first item to make was a bowl.  My tutor Keith patiently explained and showed me how to hold and use the first tool to start. I made a start and found some tools easier to use than others, so Keith showed me how, in some cases; different tools can be used to achieve similar results.

 All of the five course members made the same items – a bowl, a dibber and a bud vase.  However, although we all started with the same raw wood we all made totally different shaped items.  We were encouraged to create the shape and style of the bowls and vases we visualised and were each given the assistance to accomplish this.

 I had not really expected to achieve so much and to come away with presentable items to be proud of.  The assistance and time that Keith gave me enabled me to achieve this and I learnt so much throughout the day.  Terms and phrases were used that I was unfamiliar with, wood turning talk I will learn in time I hope, but Keith always clarified where necessary, explaining and giving examples so that I fully understood.

 The day as a whole was steady and calm with banter and laughter shared by all, a perfect combination!

 I had a really enjoyable day and one that I will repeat, as this has proved to me that wood turning is a hobby I could really get into!  So to finish, I must say a big thank you to Keith and the whole team for such a great day.



Enjoyed my day, very much hands on with Dave, even though he could not get my name right, my adoptive name for the day was Ray. So just for you Ray! Thanks for a great day, oops sorry Dave, I really enjoyed the day and came away feeling a lot more positive and confident about turning. I look forward to my next training session, just for the sausage's alone, even they were good. Ha ha thanks Dave.

 Not really they were excellent and I want the recipe.



West Sussex Woodturners Tuition Day

Another six novice turners had a day of tuition see comments below and pictures here.

It was great! I can't praise the tutors enough; I was not expecting one to one tuition. Deano who suffered me with a smile, deserves a medal - I would turn him a wooden one - if he would be willing to wait several hours and risk splinters when having it pinned on. Judging by his encouragement and patience on the course, he probably would.
It was a very friendly group that obviously enjoyed their hobby and all were very willing to help with advice and encourage all on the course.
The only thing missing was ... talent from me, but even I went home with a bowl and small vase of which I was very proud. Can't wait to get on to next course and am thinking about a lathe - I am hooked.
Thanks to all for organizing. Gavin


 Thank you and the club members for a very enjoyable and informative day, in particular Tom, my personal tutor. I am sure wood turning is something that I shall return to once I get my garage sorted out and the warm weather returns. Now at least I know where to come to for advice and a sausage sandwich.



 My memory does not seem to be getting any better, unlike my wood turning however, which did improve today. Although I have been dabbling with wood turning for many years this was the first "proper" tuition I have ever had.

I learnt a great deal today, especially that my gouges were totally wrong for bowl turning. Once using the proper tools things improved immediately, and with more practise I know will improve even more.

I also learnt more about the availability of different chuck jaws, which will make life much easier once I purchase some. I also really enjoyed the centre at Amberley and would be very interested in helping with any event in the future, if you will have me.                Alan 




Five ‘experienced’ turners helped five novice turners spend the day producing items like, a Garden Dibber, Bud Vase and a Small Bowl. 

That the day was a success can be seen from the comments  below and pictures here.


Having not turned any wood for the best part of forty years I had always promised myself that I would get back into the craft….”one day”.  That day turned out to be 12th January at the club’s facility in Amberley where Keith, Deano, Dave U, Colin S and Colin W took five of us under their wings for eight hours.

The 1:1 method of tuition was extremely effective and I felt that I gained basic skills throughout the day.  Safety was clearly paramount.

Each of us took home a dibber, a bowl and a bud vase which we had turned.  Far more importantly, I took home the confidence and motivation to want to progress in the world of wood turning.

The day was light hearted and good fun.  During the debrief it was obvious that all ten of us had enjoyed the day.

 Outstanding value, and that included a sausage butty cooked by Dave U. 



My 1st ever experience of wood turning. 

It was a dark, wet January morning and I felt nervous.

FindingAmberleyMuseum was easy & the directions to the workshop were good, parking wasn't right outside the workshop but a short distance away (50yds), the walk was worth it though, because as you entered the SMELL of cooking sausages and the warm welcome you got my nerves soon disappeared. It was a bit chilly in the workshop but with a mug of coffee and a sausage sandwich I soon warmed up.

After a quick chat from Keith we were paired up, Colin W unfortunately got me and away we started with a DIBBER, about  1 1/2hrs later I had made a very practical tool ( in my trade) which I shall use for many yrs to come. I made coffee for us then back to make a BUD VASE, learning how to stand & hold the chisels and move them correctly; it will take a long time. Colin was very patient with me, and explained several times how to hold and use the chisels. (This must have been very frustrating for him, because he makes it look so easy when he demonstrated it) Time flies when you’re having fun, finished in time for lunch though and when we were all sat eating and chatting I thought what a enjoyable & satisfying day I was having.

After lunch onto the BOWL

Colin showed me several ways of attaching the wood to the lathe, we chose the screw method which worked exceedingly well, and so I turned my last piece of the day with Colin’s excellent guidance. We then tidied up (don’t tell the wife)

Had another chat in the group about what we had achieved. 

I drove home feeling rather proud of my 1st turnings, they may be on the bulky side, my wife Dawn  was amazed I could make something so lovely but with lots more practise they will get thinner.

I would like to thank the Team & other Turners for one of the most enjoyable, memorable days.

If anyone is thinking should I or shouldn't I, go, then even if you haven't turned for a while or have a problem or a complete novice like me then this team can sort it. (I've booked to go again in Feb)



My first tuition day at the Amberley workshop,

Lovely sausages for breakfast-

As this was my first time on a lathe, I had Colin to help and teach me the right way to work a lathe we started to make a dibber but as I had no tool control things went down hill fast. so we decided to try spindle turning, coves and beads.

Colin showed me how to hold the tool with my left hand fingers around tool with one resting on tool rest and right hand on handle. He then showed me how to use the Roughing out gouge and Spindle gouge and parting tools. I first used the roughing out gouge to turn a square blank into a round that was good, but when it came to use the spindle gouge things went down hill very fast, I first started to do a bead and found that I could do the right hand side OK after lots of go's but when it came to doing the left hand side I just could not get the spindle gouge to work for me, I used up lots of blanks trying, in the end we ask one of the other teachers if he could help me, he showed me another way of doing the left hand side which helped some.

Colin my teacher for the day had patience of a saint, I eventually made a snowman. I had a great day and even a greater teacher.

Have already asked if I can book another day in February----



I thoroughly enjoyed my 'beginner’s day' on Monday. The atmosphere was relaxed and jovial with plenty of time to do as much or as little as we wished. All of the tutors were so generous with their knowledge and happy to pass on their experience. Special thanks to Keith, who guided and encouraged me. 



West Sussex Woodturners Second Tuition Day


Five ‘experienced’ turners helped five novice turners spend the day producing items like, a Garden Dibber, Bud Vase and a Small Bowl. 


That the day was a success can be seen from the comments  below and pictures  here.


"Upon arriving at Amberley Deano had breakfast on the go and we all had a chance to sit and have a chat over a sausage roll and break the 'ice'.

Keith then divvied us learners up amongst the experts and we were directed to the individual turning 'cells' and Deano drew the short straw and got me. I have some limited experience but not in bowls and my problem was the grind and use of a bowl gouge. It was therefore straight into the bowl ignoring the dibber and vase. Those he said could come later. Off we went and it soon proved the finger nail grind was not for me as it was causing great difficulty. Deano had an idea and reground another gouge to a steeper grind and it made a world of difference and I could actually form some reasonable curves. By lunchtime with his help I had an acceptable bowl. After lunch it was me on my own (under his watchful eye) and success with a second bowl but there was no time for the dibber or vase. This was not a problem for me but has made the end of the day photo a bit odd!

I had a great time, a good few laughs and learnt a lot. The one to one teaching basis of the day allowed total freedom to sort out those individual problems and was what I wanted. So a big thank you to Deano and all the others who were there."






West Sussex Woodturners First Tuition Day


On our first Teaching Day in the new Amberley Workshop.  Six ‘experienced’ turners helped six novice turners spend the day producing three items each, a Garden Dibber, Bud Vase and a Small Bowl. 

That the day was a success can be seen from the comments below and pictures  here.


"I would like to say a big thank you to all the people who attended the class yesterday & especially Deano for putting up with the idiot he got lumbered with. The whole day was good fun and I enjoyed it very much.  The skills you guys have are amazing and I would like to say a big thank you for your time and patience." 


"What a great day, well organised and set at a pace that you felt no pressure and at ease with your Tutor. Learned a great deal from Turning to Tool Sharpening, highlighted some faults I already knew I had and pointed me in the right direction. I felt the day was really good value and I would have happily paid more after paying much more for a one day course as part of four with one Tutor, I do hope that the opportunity for more days like yesterday are offered as I found it to be better than I had expected and it was good to meet members of the Club. PS, Dave cooks a really good sausage Sarnie, Thanks again for a great day, more please."


"Many thanks to all those involved in bringing together the Tuition Day at Amberley. A lot of hard work went into the building of this fantastic facility in such a beautiful part of the country. Our day of tuition was unbelievable – one to one tuition from real experts. Tom patiently and clearly demonstrated tool control and helped me turn several “O SH**” s into OGs and prevented me from losing a finger on several occasions. He then took my bowl gauge home to sharpen it! These courses will definitely help to make woodturning more accessible to all." 


These are just a few replies from the students, the tutors all felt the day was a huge success and more are being planned.