December 15, 2006
Entry Details

# 448
Robert Way
Canton, MI
Dimensions (inches):  
  Width:   2 5/8
  Height:   6 1/2
  Depth:   2 5/8
Materials:   Zebrawood, Ebony, Holly veneer, black dyed veneer, 6" Woodcraft peppermil #126638

A pepper mill had been on my “wanna do” list for sometime.  I finally got around to doing one as a result of my youngest son giving me a 6” mechanism as a gift.  I am a segmented guy at heart and knew I would do one along those lines.  I sketched out a few different design ideas, selected this one, and settled on a stave construction with top and bottom caps for the body.  I’d be happy to share the full scale pdf drawing if anyone is interested in doing a similar one.

The blank was constructed of six Zebrawood staves with Holly and black dyed veneers between them.  There was a little extra math involved in figuring out the finished length of the blank.  Nothing complicated, but the thickness of the ebony pieces, and the machining of the tenons on them, were a couple of factors that needed to be taken into consideration to make sure the finished size of the turning would match up with the mechanism’s requirements.

I was very pleased with the joints of the blank, but I was concerned about have something in the center opening to help guide the forstner bits in order to minimize the risk of bouncing, wandering, or misalignment in drilling out the center.  I added a poplar dowel just to be sure.  When doing the top of the mill, the entire center was drilled out, and a dowel turned and glued in place to fill the center.  The ¼” hole would be drilled after the top blank and ebony cap had been turned for the tenon and glued together.

I used tenons to attach the ebony cap and bottom to the mill blank.  It is a construction I believe will hold up well as the mill is used.  Fortunately, it was one of those days in the shop when everything sailed along smoothly, and a nice secure fit was obtained.

As much fun as preparing the blank and turning the mill proved to be, there was as much satisfaction in giving it a successful test run.

Judges Comments
bob : Nice! Great contrast with the woods! I like it alot.
Mary : Beautiful mill! The construction is very nicely done. Love the contrast of woods.
nick : Great looking pepper mill. Good selection of materials, great glue-up and a great shape.

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