Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Pepper mill questions - carbide forstner bit

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Wallingford, Vermont
    Posts
    15

    Pepper mill questions - carbide forstner bit

    Hi folks:

    I have been turning bowls now for two years and just now took the plunge into spindle turning some pepper mills for Christmas presents.

    TEMPLATES FOR SHAPE?
    It was a gas and a half. The first one turned out well, but rather chunky and thick and the proportions were not elegant. (I was afraid to get the walls too thin). If anyone has some shape templates for 8"-10" pepper mills and are willing to share I would be dearly grateful.

    CARBIDE FORSTNER ROUGH FINISH
    I bought some carbide forstner bits and while the boring process went off without a hitch, the interior bore was quite rough and had some long strands of wood fibers remaining. I am wondering if my boring rpm was too low. (150). Any suggestions to improve the cleanliness of the cut. The blanks are dry, soft maple.

    After reviewing relevant threads here I bought some Crushgrind mechanisms. I also noticed some threads mentioning that epoxy sometimes failed so I bought the Sorby Crushgrind grooving tool. The tool performed as advertised and the mechanism snapped into place seamlessly.

    The friction fit of the shaft to the mill head crushgrind fixture seems pretty loose. Is this normal?

    Thanks for the advice.

    DOC

  2. #2
    I don't have a dimensioned template, but this is a pattern I use frequently. I just turned junk wood (aspen) blanks until I found a profile I liked and then took dimensions from it. I spent a lot of time looking at designs on Google images; it seemed like most were either too "traditional" (lots of beads) or too modern for my taste. I tried to split the difference with these. But of course it's all personal preference.

    Best,

    Dave

    Capture.JPG

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Wallingford, Vermont
    Posts
    15
    Thanks for the advice, Dave.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Lummi Island, WA
    Posts
    509
    David - on profiles, Chris West has a great book on salt/pepper mills. Lots of profiles from traditional to more contemporary. Worth a look for inspiration.
    Also, for crush grind mechanisms, The Woodcut mill drill is great if you’re making a lot of them. One shot and the step drilling is done. Worth it if you’re doing production. Still need to do the initial through drill though.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Lakewood, CO
    Posts
    662
    What brand of carbide bit do you have? Just because it's carbide doesn't mean it will cut a smooth hole. I made the mistake of buying a cheap $7 carbide bit because I thought it was a good deal. It's carbide, it's got to work! Yeah, it cuts but not very well. Now I use $50 carbide bits that work much better, but even they won't give a smooth-as-glass sidewall every time. Cutting into end grain is tough, and carbide helps a lot. Some woods cut cleaner than others so maybe it's not you or the bit. I cut around 500 rpm give or take (450-550), so you might try upping your speed and see if that helps.

    As for shape, Chris West's book is good. Search the internet for shapes and you'll get all kinds of ideas. Make a full size sketch on paper of a shape you like, and don't forget to draw the center hole for reference. Erase lines, redraw lines, make it pleasing to look at. Now grab a scrap piece of wood, mount it on the lathe but don't worry about drilling any holes or cutting it apart to separate the head and body. Keep it one solid piece of wood and try to replicate the shape and dimensions your drew on paper. If you like it on paper, do you still like it in 3D? Does it feel good in the hands or would it be better if this spot was smaller, a curve was tighter, etc? If you're happy with it, now you have a full size drawing that you can take dimensions off of.

    You were afraid of getting the walls too thin, but you'd be surprised. If you have a 1" hole through the middle and make the outside diameter 1-3/8", that means your walls are 3/16" thick. Just try and squeeze the mill enough to collapse the walls. Betcha can't.

    When making peppermills, shape is first and foremost. When I give peppermill demos I have a book of "peppermill fails" that I pass around. This is a collection of mills that I've seen on the internet that are the ugliest I've ever seen. You can tell the turner had no idea of design and started practicing making beads and coves, or went out there to "see what the wood wanted to be". Baloney. You have the sharp gouge in your hand that cuts wood, so cut it into a pleasing shape!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Wallingford, Vermont
    Posts
    15
    Pat and Jeff:

    Thanks for the outstanding advice! I'll look into purchasing the book by Chris West and I'll start sketching designs on graph paper.

    This really is more fun than a barrel full of monkeys! Now, if the weather would just moderate a bit! My shop is unheated in a drafty barn. When it is 40 degrees, it's not too bad to turn on the lathe....below 30, not so much! Have to get going on the CHristmas presents.

    DOC

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •