Wood turning tools used for the Salt and Pepper Mills

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by Bob Simmons posted 08-10-2010 09:47 PM 3744 reads 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch

This is in response to a viewer, Helluvawreck who had questions concerning what turning tools were used during the video of the Salt and Pepper Mills.

1. Turning salt and pepper mills is essentially spindle turning.
2. Due to the length of your wood lathe you may need to bore out on your larger lathe, the drill press, or carefully by hand. However, you may be very well able to bore out on your Jet lathe.
3. You can start out with this wood project and you will do fine. Suggestion…practice on scrap before you select your best wood. Work out any bugs. Do your best for accuracy. When you get dialed in then commit to your selected wood for turning and go for it.
4. Check to see what size your spindle is on your Jet lathe. My guess is that it is 1”. Check the specs to make sure. You will need to know this info if you need to purchase.
5. Check the necessary morse taper for your specific wood turning lathe. (you should be able to look that info up on the web.)
6. My grinder is 8” at 1725 rpm.
7. Tried and True oil varnish is a food-safe finish that was used for the salt and pepper mills.
8. Books or Magazines…check out your local library.

These are the basic turning tools used in the wood turning of the Salt and Pepper Mills. Spindle gouge…parting tool…roughing gouge…smaller spindle gouge. Note: The spindle gouges both have fingernail grinds.

Pictured above are the mechanisms for the Salt and Pepper Mills. These were purchased through Craft Supply. Included with the set is a diagram with necessary dimensions for height and also dimensions for the wood boring.

This is a sketch that was used for the layout when when the walnut blanks were turned to cylinders. (When laying out remember to include 1” in length for the top’s tenon. Also, pay attention to the tenon’s diameter.)

Pictured above are an assortment of the lathe tools used for the Salt and Pepper Mills. The “cone” is referred to as a “live center.” Make sure when purchasing that you match your specific lathe specs.

Hopefully, this posting has answered some of your concerns. Good luck with your turnings!


…................Learn more, Experience more!

-- Bob Simmons, Las Vegas, NV,

1 comment so far

View helluvawreck's profile


31654 posts in 2916 days

#1 posted 08-11-2010 01:59 PM

Bob, I certainly do appreciate all the trouble that you have gone through to answer my questions. As I have said, most of my woodworking projects have just not required lathe work and so my experience has just been limited to spindles, legs, and handles for various projects. However, when I saw your video thought to myself that this would be a good hobby for me to help me to relax and take my mind off things and I could still pursue my other interests in woodworking. If I can find my copies I believe that I have a couple of good books on lathes and turning. I suppose that would be the first thing, then practice spindle work a little, and then take this on. If you post a tutorial on your site about this I will definitely participate in it and there is know doubt that I will be visiting your site often to see what else you have. Thanks

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics