14 Inch Cherry Pepper Mill

14 Inch Pepper Mill

14 Inch Pepper Mill

I’ve wanted to turn a pepper mill for some time.  I also wanted to make a large one, like the kind you see in fancy restaurants where the waiter comes to your table and grinds the pepper on your plate for you.

With our middle son in college, we are trying hard to not spend a lot of money.  Marisa’s birthday was approaching, so I decided I’d turn her a pepper mill.

I purchased a couple of CrushGrind Click-in Shaftless Mechanisms.  It is a shaft-less mechanism that allows you to create a mill of whatever length you’d like.

I started with a cherry 4×4 that I milled a while ago.  Same stuff I made the rolling pin from.

Pepper Mill Blank

Pepper Mill Blank

This blank is about 15 inches long.  I roughed it down to about 2 1/2 inches in diameter.

Pepper Mill Housing Blank

Pepper Mill Housing Blank

I then parted it off at 3 inches for the mill housing.

Drilled Mill Housing

Drilled Mill Housing

I then drilled it out, the first hole is 1 3/4″ in diameter, 5/8″ deep.  Then a 1 1/2″ hole is drilled the rest of the way through.

Turning Mill Housing

Turning Mill Housing

It was then mounted in a home-made drive tenon on the headstock end, and a cone live center on the tailstock end.  I made up my own shape as I went.

Sanded Mill Housing

Sanded Mill Housing

Then sanded and finished the mill housing.

Starting Drilling Mill Body

Starting Drilling Mill Body

I then chucked and drilled a 1 1/16″ hole through the mill body.

Drilling Mill Body With Bit Extension

Drilling Mill Body With Bit Extension

Since it’s about 12″ long, I needed a bit extension to drill the whole thing.

Finishing Drilling Mill Body

Finishing Drilling Mill Body

I learned that drilling a smaller diameter relief hole through the length made drilling with the forstner bit much easier.  I then drilled the remainder of the mill body.

Turned and Sanded Mill Body

Turned and Sanded Mill Body

This was also mounted with a turned drive tenon and cone center.  The end that connects to the mill housing has a 7/8″ long by 1 1/2″ tenon turned on it.  The rest is turned however you’d like.

Finished Mill Body

Finished Mill Body

I then sanded and finished it.  I applied two coats of Hut Crystal Coat.

Finished Pepper Mill

Finished Pepper Mill

A plug is turned for the top, with a 3/4″ tenon on it.  A groove is turned into the tenon and a rubber O ring is put on here to keep it in the top of the mill body.  The mechanism is pressed into the bottom of the mill housing, and the mill body is pressed into the top.

14 Inch Pepper Mill

14 Inch Pepper Mill

Overall, I think it turned out pretty well.

One issue I ran into in the use of the mill is that the mechanism slips in the body, thus no pepper is milled.  Two ways to fix this are to use a couple of drops of CA glue on the mechanism tabs before inserting into the body, or to carve some notches inside the tenon that the notches can catch on.


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