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Thread: layered peppermills how to

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    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.

    Last edited by Steve Schlumpf; 12-15-2008 at 2:11 PM.

  2. #2
    Excellent tutorial - and BEAUTIFUL mills!

    Spinning is good on a lathe, not good in a Miata.

  3. #3
    Fantanstic.. really really nice... What brand kits do you use, If I may ask.. do you order them? and if so, from whom?..
    "Goverment is not the solution to our problems. Goverment IS the problem" - Ronald Reagan

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Lewiston, Idaho
    Great tutorial and fantastic work! Thanks Bob. A lot of people will be stealing this idea!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Texas Hill Country, USA
    Learned something new today...very nice mills...thanks for sharing your technique.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Thanks guys, I get my mechenisms at They make the for csusa and woodcraft and lee valley. there the stainless ones.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Northeast of Baltimore, MD
    Thanks for sharing. They are beautiful.
    Any day I wake up is a good day.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Goodland, Kansas
    Bob those are beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

    Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow.

    To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funnybone.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Camas, Washington
    Those are gorgeous... I especially like the contrasting wood on the right! Awesome work!!!
    Isaiah 55:6-7

  10. #10
    Great tutorial Bob and beautiful work on those mills. Thanks for posting.
    Success is the sum of Failure and Learning

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Boone County, Kentucky
    great job on the explanation and photos.

    the finished mills are really nice.

    well done!
    best regards,

    jeffrey fusaro

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Harvey, Michigan
    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!

    “You never know what you got til it's gone!”
    Please don’t let that happen!
    Become a financial Contributor today!

  13. #13
    Thanks for the mini tutorial.
    Mike Vickery

  14. #14
    thanks Bob. very inspiring and helps clarify a few questions I had. I look forward to trying to make one.

  15. #15
    Thanks for the great tutorial Bob...and those mills are beautiful!
    Working for a living is really starting to interfere with my hobbies!

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