Ryedale Woodturners

Dick Veitch

Dick Veitch

Thursday 6 July 2017

Snainton Village Hall

Dick visited us on a tour of Britain, while travelling from his base in Papatoetoe, South Auckland, New Zealand. More information and lots of woodturning pictures are on the South Auckland Woodturners Guild site at https://sawg.org.nz/

Saturn box

Dick Veitch

Dick showed us how to turn a small box with an off centre ring, finial and base, representing Saturn. He gave us a little information about his 140-strong Woodturning Guild in Auckland, where the centre they use has 12 lathes available to use by members, and they meet weekly.

Evolution dust mask

Using a 3 inch block of spalted beech, Dick marked two centres on the ends - one on centre, the other 16mm off centre. He then turned a double spigot, or "chuck-bite" as he called them.

Turning using sizing calipers

He roughed out the block on the off centre position, and put some sizing marks in using calipers. The first part of the turning was to be Saturn's ring, which eventually would be at an angle to the box standing on its base.

turning using templates

The ring was turned fairly thinly, with the piece held on the off centre chuck bite. Tthen Dick used a template he had cut to the diameter of the sphere that would become the box.

Dick Veitch

The sphere was turned on both sides of the ring, and then the top was parted off at the ring, using a very thin parting tool made from a hacksaw blade (or bandsaw blade), with a cutting edge ground on the end. The thin profile of the tool minimises the gap in the grain pattern of the top and bottom of the box.


Next the base was hollowed out, leaving a wall thickness of a couple of millimetres. This thickness is determined by the disc, cut when cutting the template, which was now used to test the inside of the box. A small hollowing tool was used.


Dick made it clear that he would not be sanding during the demo, concentrating rather on shape and techniques. The Saturn box does require a considerable amount of careful sanding for finishing.

With the base roughed out it was time for tea break.

Hot melt glue

With the base hollowed, Dick then glued the top back on using hot melt glue - a temporary fix that can be undone later. He actually did this with a pyrography machine that melted the glue, but a sharp knife could be used to make the separation.

Off centre turning

With the two parts reunited, the piece was remounted, this time using the "centre" axis and chuck bite. The top sphere was rounded off, and then Dick addressed himself to creating a thin finial.

Turning a finial

The finial is integral to the whole piece - possible because the grain is running vertically through the blank. On a zebrawood version (see below) an ebony finial was added as the grain was running horizontal for the swirling gas effect.

A pdf describing the various stages of the Saturn box project was provided by Dick.

New video presentation


Keith Hart provided additional views of the demonstration, using two iPhone cameras linked to a projector. One camera was positioned directly in front of the lathe, , the second above the lathe to give a plan view of proceedings.

This new coverage complemented the video we already have thanks to Brian Wrigglesworth's camera work.

Saturn box examples brought by Dick Veitch, and a new camera system by Keith Hart

Turned wooden Saturn box

Saturn box example 1

Saturn boxes

Saturn box examples

Turned wooden Saturn box

Saturn box example 2

Turned wooden Saturn box

Saturn box example 3

iPhone camera

iPhone camera 1

iPhone camera

iPhone camera 2