These pepper grinders were built in collaboration with Pat Lap from the “Le Picbois” channel! The blanks are made from 12 segmented rings with 24 pieces each and capped with some mahogany pieces. The wood used is all reclaimed – poplar pallet wood and mahogany deck balusters. Pat turned these on his lathe and added the pepper grinder kit.
Just a note about the song I used – it’s a very powerful song written about the Boston Marathon bombing. I thought it was the perfect fit for this cross borders teamwork/collaboration given the growing divide that seems to be forming in the world today. This is the reason behind the sort of tongue in cheek humor at the end of the video.
“Answer bombs with blooms
Violence with union
On spring what your seeds will be?
We need to keep running”
I start with a bucket of materials that I’ve milled up previously for another segmented turning. Lighter colored wood is oak, poplar, and maple pallet wood (I just used poplar). Darker colored wood is mahogany from some salvaged deck balusters.
For the segments, I use my wedgie sled which has already been setup at 7.5 degrees to cut 24 segments. With this sled, you pivot the fences and cut your segments alternating between the fences.
To set the length of the segments I measure out the first one and mark it on the piece. I then line this up on the sled and set the stop in that place so I can make repeated cuts at that length.
Because these are tiny segments, I make a little ramp to the side of the blade so all of the pieces will fall away from the blade after they’re cut.
Each of the fences is at the same angle so I alternate between the front and back fence cutting segments…
Lots of segments! 24 segments per ring x 12 rings x 2 grinders = 576 segments.
Each ring is a glue-up of 22 poplar segments and 2 mahogany segments that sit on opposite sides of the ring. I apply glue to both sides of the segments.
Then the ring is roughly formed on the bench.
I use a few rubber bands to hold the ring together while the glue dries. It takes 3 or 4 to apply enough pressure to keep the pieces tight.
After a few rings, I ended up just going with my blue tape technique instead because it seemed to pull them in tighter and was easier in the end.
Once the glue dries, I pull the rubber bands and tape off the segments. This is the first test for the pattern I’m planning to form with the blanks, pretty cool!
Each of the faces of the rings gets sanded flat on the belt sander.
Then it’s time for the 2nd glue-up. Glue is applied to each ring and spread to cover the whole surface.
I temporarily clamp them together with spring clamps in groups of 4.
Those sit for about 10 minutes which gives the glue enough time to start drying and it keeps the rings from sliding around when you clamp them. I pull the groups of 4 out of the spring clamps and glue and clamp them into the 2 blanks.
Once that glue-up has dried, I sand each side to make sure it is flat.
I want to cap each end with some pieces of mahogany, so I cut down some more pieces of the 1/2″ thick mahogany and glue and clamp it to the ends of each of the blanks.
When the 3rd and final glue-up has dried, I cut the mahogany caps down flush with the sides of the blanks.
These are the final blanks, ready to be turned by my friend. Now I just need to figure out how to get them to him…
He lives up in Canada, so I venture out to the Canadian border wall and toss them over to him. The US borders sure have gotten tight.
Duck and cover! Oh no, not the poutine!! 🙂
First step to prepare the blanks is to drill out the center with a forstner bit. He also uses other sized drill bits to bore out the top of the blanks for the grinder kit to inset that into the blank.
This center hole is perfect to mount it to the lathe. The chuck is tightened on the outer walls of the hole, then it’s finally time to turn!
He starts by using a bowl gouge to turn down the blanks to rough shape.
The skew chisel is used to bring it down close to it’s final shape.
The special beading chisel is used on both ends to form a bead in the mahogany to shape.
He then uses a smaller bowl gouge to fine tune the shape towards the ends and uses the skew to achieve the final shape.
After sanding through the grits, he applies the Hampshire sheen finish which is an abrasive paste. It is a blend of crystaline wax & oil.
Buff it out with a paper towel. The color is starting to look great!
Time to pull this off the lathe and make it so it can actually grind some pepper.
The grinder kit is inset into it’s pocket on top of the blanks and attached with a couple of screws and this thing is ready to season! Thanks for checking out this cross borders build, I hope you enjoyed it as much as we did!