Dick Veitch

DICK VEITCH – PROFILE                                                        GALLERY PHOTOS

The first woodturning lathe I met was much too high and the teacher expected me to do some spindle turning. I quickly, and painfully, learned about the invisible corners of the spinning blank and never touched that wood with a chisel. When the electricity reached our home I purchased a Wolf Cub drill with lathe attachment. I still use some of those small bowls for bits on my workbench.

After many years of an itinerant and seven-days-a-week-work lifestyle I married and settled down (or vice versa). A few years later my birthday present was a brand new lathe. It worked, but was poorly engineered, and it was not until I purchased a good quality lathe that I really began to enjoy turning wood.

My barber (nowadays called a hairdresser) introduced me to South Auckland Woodturners Guild. The woodturning club scene introduced me to a huge pool of knowledge. A library of books and videos. Demonstrations, and seminars. Tools, wood, and woodturning to study. Knowledge of avenues to make and purchase whatever I needed. Life started again. I then had the good fortune that my father left me a little money and that purchased an even better lathe and a big bandsaw. I have no doubt that good equipment allows the mind to concentrate much more on the end result than on a struggle with the work.

Today my woodturning is focussed on a number of competitive exhibitions each year. The rules of each exhibition dictate many of the forms that may be turned (such as bowl, box, hollow form, platter, vase) and may also include a sculptural or ornamental category which allows great freedom of expression. Rules are made to be stretched so the bowl, box, hollow form, platter, and vase may become stretched to artistic and functional limits.

I do like to see what different woods are like on the lathe, to test different tools, and to test other things which are proclaimed “wonderful” without the support of a real test. I also gain a lot of pleasure from participating in local, and more distant, woodturner gatherings. Training courses for our members are now well organised and structured and I assist with planning and tutoring. Our annual woodturning sale is a great event which I assist with and use to sell off my spare work. Then I contribute to this website and write a bit for Creative Wood, our national magazine for woodworkers.


I have achieved great satisfaction from my woodturning and associated activities, possibly to the detriment of my garden, house painting, and other activities. Friends, relatives, and purchasers of my work, also make satisfied sounds which, in turn, add to my sense of achievement.

The “associated activities” are helping to keep our clubrooms in good repair, organise woodturning exhibitions, demonstrations, photography of woodturning, training sessions, sales management, and building and maintaining databases of club membership and sales items.  These give a lot of pleasure to the woodturners involved and the public who visit.

I put my woodturning forward in competition areas such as the Royal Easter Show, National Woodskills Festival, and Franklin Arts. Over the years I have achieved prizes in all these exhibitions.

Turning Tomorrow's Treasures