View Full Version : layered peppermills how to

Bob Hallowell
04-18-2007, 11:25 PM
A couple of weeks ago Ben Dahl asked me some question on how I made my pepper mills out of layers of wood I tried to explain but we felt it easier then next time I make some I would take some pics so here it is. I just made 2 new ones both wenge and zebra wood but the main wood is the opposite for each. I used pics from both mills for this so hopefully it's not confusing.


This is some wenge and zebra wood milled up to about 2 5/8 wide and 14" long. the thickness of each piece doesn't matter as long as it is symmetrical and is over 3" but I prefer 3 1/2".


start by cutting off a 3" piece and put it on the side it will be used for the top. Here is the wood already glued and on the lathe I come in 1 1/4" on each end but form the opposite side and turn it off center.


Here the wood is roughed down I put a tenon on it so I can mount it in a chuck and drill it.


Next I use my version of a steady rest and drill my holes. I start with a 1 5/8 and go in about 1/2". then a drill a hole 1 1/8 the whole way through. I was given a 10" twist bit I use but you could use a forstner and an extension.


Mount it on the lathe and make a shape. Here is a finished one on the lathe, I normally put a coat of shellac on and burnish it in to seal it.


Here is the top. I normally mount it cross grain to make the cut.


Here's the 2 I just made plus a cocobolo/curly maple one I made before just so it is easier to see the tilt. the zebra/wenge ones still need 5 coats of lacquer "hic" and buffed then I will assemble them. Hope this was ok and not to long. Any questions just ask!

So the finished pics have a glare I might try to take more tomorrow.


Bob Hovde
04-18-2007, 11:42 PM
Excellent tutorial - and BEAUTIFUL mills!


Kaptan J.W. Meek
04-18-2007, 11:56 PM
Fantanstic.. really really nice... What brand kits do you use, If I may ask.. do you order them? and if so, from whom?..

Ken Fitzgerald
04-19-2007, 12:14 AM
Great tutorial and fantastic work! Thanks Bob. A lot of people will be stealing this idea!

Robert McGowen
04-19-2007, 12:16 AM
Learned something new today...very nice mills...thanks for sharing your technique.

Bob Hallowell
04-19-2007, 12:18 AM
Thanks guys, I get my mechenisms at http://www.chefspecialties.com/. They make the for csusa and woodcraft and lee valley. there the stainless ones.


Roy McQuay
04-19-2007, 12:40 AM
Thanks for sharing. They are beautiful.

Bernie Weishapl
04-19-2007, 12:46 AM
Bob those are beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

Jonathon Spafford
04-19-2007, 2:26 AM
Those are gorgeous... I especially like the contrasting wood on the right! Awesome work!!!

Christopher K. Hartley
04-19-2007, 7:34 AM
Great tutorial Bob and beautiful work on those mills. Thanks for posting.:)

Jeffrey Fusaro
04-19-2007, 8:23 AM
great job on the explanation and photos.

the finished mills are really nice.

well done!

Steve Schlumpf
04-19-2007, 12:06 PM
Bob, thanks for putting together such an informative tutorial! Haven't turned a peppermill yet but after all the steps you walked us through - I don't see where there would be a problem. Thanks again!

Mike Vickery
04-19-2007, 12:22 PM
Thanks for the mini tutorial.

Benjamin Dahl
04-19-2007, 1:00 PM
thanks Bob. very inspiring and helps clarify a few questions I had. I look forward to trying to make one.

Ron Raymond
04-19-2007, 11:19 PM
Thanks for the great tutorial Bob...and those mills are beautiful!

Ed Scolforo
04-20-2007, 8:27 AM
Thanks for sharing, Bob. The mills are beautiful.

Eugene Malone
12-15-2008, 8:30 PM
Really nice pieces and great info. May try one soon thanks for the pictures it adds a lot and answers many questions. REgards Eugene.

Mac Cambra
12-18-2008, 12:26 AM
The mill kits call for 1 1/16" through hole, you mention using a 1 1/8" bit, was this a mistake or with the kits tolerate the 1/16" larger hole.

I have been using a forstner with an extension and would really prefer to use a twist bit.

I like making the mills but hate drilling them out.