Salt and pepper mills in the making (part 1)...

30 August 2019, Woodturning in practice, Would you like to leave a comment?

Hand, made, wooden, salt, pepper, mills

Here I have an assortment of blanks, all destined to become salt and pepper mills - I thought I’d post some images of these being made, as there are so many processes involved! These versions are in elm and yew, with a range of distinctive markings.

The top image shows the basic blanks, with ten pairs ready to be made. These have been pre hollowed to even out their drying and the lids are re attached to ensure the correct grain alignment. The wood I use has to be super dry, so that no part of the mechanism binds. My first job is to finish the insides and bases and then pre turn the shape of each lid…

Next, the bases are shaped, paying careful attention to the profile. The finished mills sit within a custom designed presentation box, so they all need to be the same size. Here's the first ten completed, the rest will be finished soon...

The base fits 30 mm into the lid, which is an unusually large overlap - this is my variation on the standard design and allows for a super smooth, rattle free movement. I’ll be back in the workshop tomorrow and will be posting ‘part 2’ soon…

Jonathan Leech

Written by Jonathan Leech

Jonathan Leech is a woodturner working and living in Cumbria. He specialises in making bowls, dishes and platters from local sustainably sourced timber. Read more or about Jonathan or see a selection of his work.

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  • Hi Chris,
    It's great you've got some yew coming in - as you can probably…
    - Jonathan Leech