Mills this week

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Blanks cut to size
Turned to round and parted

This has been a week for salt and pepper mills.  My first fair is only a couple of months away, so getting a few of these made and ‘under my belt’ is long overdue.  The first picture is simply the blanks cut to length and the centres marked on each end. You may also note that they are no longer square (although that’s how they started). The first thing I would normally do is to mount them on a lathe and turn them to round.  However, when I do a large batch, I set up the bandsaw and take a few of the corners off before I start.  Not only does it save time, but it also saves a few bags of wood shavings and makes a bag of kindling in the process!

The second picture shows the same blanks turned to round and parted into two.  All the dark mills are Black Walnut, the lighter mills are a mixture of Ask and Sycamore.  I will be making others in different timbers, but this was the end of stock of kiln-dried timber (more about in my next post).

Holy Mills!
Our fierce dogs in my workshop

The third photo (of mills!) may look much the same as the second, but this is after a couple of days of drilling on the lathe.  This is the time-consuming part, with 5 different sized holes to be drilled in each mill.  But they now have holes in for the full length of the body and part length of the cap to receive the mechanisms.  Many thanks to the APC driver who braved our ‘fierce’ dogs (well, their barks are) when delivering them this week.

Making progress

The last picture shows progress at the end of the week – not as far as I would have liked, but I did have to take a couple of days out. Main turning is now finished – just have to finish the caps. The caps of the small mills (foreground) have yet to be turned to shape as with this particular style (my snowmen) the cap is turned separately from the body. The larger mills in the background will be swept top mills. I have finished turning these, but the caps need shaping on the bandsaw and on the belt sander.  Should complete these early next week.