December 15, 2006
Entry Details

# 427
John H. Williams
New Hope, PA
Dimensions (inches):  
  Width:   3
  Height:   10-3/4
  Depth:   3
Materials:   White ash and sugar maple

     My daughter really like this one!  She asked me if I could make one with an apple on the top.  I said,"sure, but what would we call it?"  Then she realized the whimsy in the design of this peppermill.  Actually, it could be called a "pickled" peppermill, because the ash body is finished with a mix of white oil pigment and polyurethane oil rubbed into the pores of the ash, giving it a pickled appearence.

     The top (maple) is turned first then the pepper lobes are carved.  It is sort of like carving flutes, except each flute is a different size and shape.  The profile on the right side is the turned profile.  The carving blank also gets a slight "cup"shape at the top.  While on the lathe the large 1-1/2" diameter hole and the 1/4" diameter are drilled.

     To hold the piece while carving, I mount it on expanded #1 jaws of a OnewayTalon chuck.  The chuck is then mounted on a fully articulated carving fixture (sold By Trent Bosch) that clamps to the tool post on my lathe. I used power tools to do the general shaping and then lots of hand sanding to get the pepper smooth.

     The bottom of each lobe is curved and again, none are exactly the same...just like the real thing.  I like the way the bottom shapes contrast against the body.  Also, there is no urge to re-align the top to the bottom since there is no "out of line" position.
     The finshed carving is first painted with white gesso, the sanded again to 400 grit, then colors are airbrushed to achieve the smooth shiny finish similar to the flesh of a real pepper.


In this image, you can see the two wooden parts, with some of the grinding mechanism parts showing.  I bought the 10" Deluxe mechanism from Packard:-).  The body of the mill is a simple shape, but there are some features that should be noted.  There is a chamfer around the very bottom.  This helps avoid chipping at the edge and also follows the design lines of the two grooves that separate the the body into three sections.  The middle section is designed for easy but secure gripping of the mill.  The narrowest diameter is slightly above center of the middle section.  The base diameter is 3 inches which give the mill stability and makes it bottom heavy.  At the very top, note a slight 1/8" long straight section that is turned to fit into the 1-1/2" diameter in the bottom of the carved pepper.

Judges Comments
bob : I like this one. A pleasant surprise! Good proportions.
Mary : Love this peppermill! Neat idea for the gardener.
nick : Unique design. Very creative. I like the use of color.

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