Wood Turning Blog

Crush/Grind Salt & Pepper Set


This is a Crush/Grind Set. Made of Cherry. Finish is Tung Oil and Antique Paste Varnish. Includes a Pepper Grinder and a Salt Crusher.

Have you ever tried to make a Salt Crusher using the most resent Crusher mechanism?

The instruction set that comes with the Crusher mechanism spells out the use of Fractional or English drill bit sizes but this unit comes from Europe. Guess what? It's all in Metric measurements and it will not fit in the holes the instructions tell you to drill. Oh,  they say to Epoxy it into the holes. What a bloody mess this is.

My first try was really bad….  So I bit the bullet, bought a set of Metric Forstner drill bits and gave it one more go. Below is my modified instructions.

With the instruction sheet in hand this is what we do.

  • Tools you will need
  1. 22mm Forstner Drill bit
  2. 38mm  Forstner Drill bit
  3. 42mm Forstner Drill bit
  4. A tool for cutting the grove for the Locks to snap into on both the top and body section. I prefer  the one made by Crown tools sold also by Craft Supply USA.   Do not cut the tabs off the mill!
  • Selecting the blank
  1. Select a 2 3/4" square blank that is 1" longer than the mechanism you want to create. I like to go a bit larger for tall units.
  • Mounting the Blank
  1. Mount the blank between centers and round.
  2. Depending on what you have for a chuck and jaws determine how you will hold the blank for drilling, we are going to drill on the lathe.
  3. Do whats required.
  4. Determine the size of the body and top you have in mind.
  5. Part off the top.
  • Drilling the Mill Head
  1. Mount the top in your chuck and true up the end.
  2. The top part of the Crush Mech. is going to be pressed into the top so the hole we drill needs to provide a tight fit.
  3. Mount a 22mm Forstner Drill bit in your Tail Stock Drill chuck and drill in 1.25" or 32mm
  4. Cut the grove for the locks to snap into
  5. Remove the top and set a side.
  • Drilling the Mill Body
  1. Mount the body in your chuck and square up the end. I like to sand it too at this point in time.
  2. Mount a 42mm drill in your tail stock and drill in 5/8 or 16mm
  3. Change drill bits to 38mm and go in 1.5" or 39mm
  4. Now the remaining hole is for salt storage so make it as large as you like as long as it fits with your design  but the last 1/2" needs to accommodate the plastic part that fits in the top of the mill. I like it to fit reasonable tight so I use a 25mm drill for the last little bit.
  5. Cut the grove for the locks to snap into
  6. Remove the body from the chuck.
  • Finish turning your Salt Crusher 
  1. Everybody has their own way of creating their own shape for their mills and you can do it one piece at a time or you can try my method. I like to put the top and body back together so I can gets the lines nice along the whole mill.
  2. Make a dowel that will fit between the top and body. In other words, the dowel needs to be 22mm on one end and 25mm on the other. Make it reasonably tight and put the top and body back together.
  3. Turn your total mill to your favorite shape, sand and finish.
  • Assemble your mill
  1. Take the top section and press in the white plastic part till is snaps in. You want to be careful here so you don't mark up the top. I use my Drill Press with several layers of ridged foam on the table.
  2.  Press in the mill assembly into the body. Again I use my Drill Press and I find a socket out of my socket set that fits the mill nice and push in the mill. Again it should snap in. I hope you didn't cut off the clips on the mill.
  3. Cut the shaft to the required length 

What do you think of your First Crush/Grind Mill?

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