Simply earlier than Thanksgiving, I watched as my spouse set the desk for our visitors. She made the remark, “We don’t have any good salt and pepper shakers.” Nicely, she may as properly have stated, “When will you make me a set?” The order from the commander-in-chief was now on the books. I assumed I’d attempt to design a set that was easy sufficient that anybody may make them, however with a little bit of flare to the design. I made a decision on an off-center model that might be straightforward to show.
I designed the set on paper so I may simply decide how large the blanks must be and the way far off-center to mount the blanks for turning. Not being a pc particular person, I did my designing the old style approach, with a drafting board I obtained from my mother and father as a commencement present forty-six years in the past. It nonetheless works and I’ve by no means needed to reboot it or obtain any new software program.
Put together the Blanks
I begin with two blocks of contrasting wooden that I glue collectively right into a single turning clean. The underside block is a dice that’s 2-3/4″ (7cm) in every dimension. The highest block is 2-1/2″ (6cm) sq. and a pair of″ (5cm) lengthy. I minimize the blocks on the bandsaw after which use a disk sander to make one finish of every completely flat to make sure glue joint. I glued the blocks collectively in order that one facet aligns flush with the adjoining block’s face and is equally spaced on the opposite three sides. Epoxy offers the energy wanted for this endgrain-to-endgrain joint. Utilizing unique oily woods requires the additional step of wiping the glue face with naphtha and letting it dry simply earlier than gluing.
As soon as the adhesive cures, the small block is marked 5/8″ (16mm) in from the flush facet and centered on the block. The bigger backside piece is marked 1-5/8″ (41mm) from the flush facet and centered on the block.
Tough-turn the Exterior
I mount the clean between facilities and switch away a number of the off-center corners however resist the temptation to make the clean too small at this stage. A parting device makes fast work of the waste materials on the massive (backside) finish. I flip a tenon on the small finish for the two″ jaws on my Vicmarc chuck. As a result of the clean is off-center, the tenon might not be a uniformly spherical spigot, however so long as every jaw makes good contact, the clean will keep on the lathe. As a security measure, ensure the tenon has a sq. shoulder that may register in opposition to the highest of the chuck jaws.
With the highest of the clean mounted within the four-jaw chuck, I convey up the tailstock for assist and take away waste materials from the underside of the clean till solely a small tenon stays. Then I take away the tailstock and switch away the final of the tenon. I prefer to mark useless middle utilizing the toe of the skew to create a tiny recess, which helps the Forstner bit begin on middle.
Hole the Inside
Making inside house to fill the shakers entails a sequence of more and more smaller-diameter drill bits that may create a sequence of stepped holes. I mount a drill chuck within the tailstock and, utilizing a 1-1/2″ (38mm) bit, drill 1/4″- (6mm-) deep gap. Subsequent, I transfer to a 1″ (25mm) bit, drilling 1-1/4″ (32mm) deeper than the primary gap. Then I chuck a 3/4″ (19mm) bit and drill 1″ deeper. And eventually, I take advantage of a 1/2″ (13mm) bit and drill 1/2″ deeper. At this stage, I take advantage of a bowl gouge or spindle gouge to barely spherical over the sides of the 1-1/2″- and 1″-diameter holes.
The markings on my tailstock quill are helpful for measuring bit depth, however taping a ruler to the tailstock provides you with a work-around in case your quill just isn’t marked. Care should be taken when drilling these holes, notably within the ultimate steps, because the bit is pushing in opposition to endgrain and may break the highest.
A dwell middle with a big cone facilities and stabilizes the clean for the following step. When you shouldn’t have a cone middle, make one out of wooden to slot in or over your present dwell middle. I flip the bottom diameter to 2-1/4″ (6cm) and make a 1″-deep parting minimize 3-1/2″ (9cm) from the underside.
End Turning the Exterior
I flip a stairstep from the chuck all the way down to the 1″ parting minimize to make room for the next shaping cuts. I form the blanks to create a flowing curve, tapering from the 2-1/4″ base to the 1″ prime. I take advantage of a spindle-roughing gouge till I get near the ultimate form. Then I take advantage of a freshly sharpened 1/2″ spindle gouge to make the ultimate cuts. To differentiate the salt shaker from the pepper shaker, I kind a small V-groove close to the underside of 1 shaker and two V-grooves on the opposite shaker. Some have advised putting the darkish wooden on prime for one and on the underside for the opposite. No matter system you devise, you continue to have to recollect which is which and clarify your logic to your dinner visitors. At my age, I all the time seize the unsuitable one anyway. Pending befuddlement apart, the following step is to sand all the pieces, together with the underside.
Minimize on a Bias
The highest of every shaker is minimize at an angle and I resolve the angle must be parallel to the glue joint between the 2 species of wooden. To find out the place to put this minimize, I find the excessive spot the place the 2 species be a part of and mark the spot with a chunk of tape. Then I mark the low spot with one other piece of tape, adopted by one other piece marking the mid-point. I would like the glue joint between the 2 species to be roughly two-thirds of the whole top of the shaker. I measure the gap from the underside of the salt shaker to the center mark. I divide this dimension in half and set my calipers to this measurement. With my calipers, I switch this measurement to the shaker, referencing from the excessive and low tape marks. I put new tape at each of those factors and take away the primary tape strips. The 2 new factors point out my minimize line.
Earlier than making the minimize, I drill as near the underside tape mark as I can. I pull the tailstock away and measure rigorously simply shy of the underside line that signifies the angled noticed mark. I switch the outlet depth to a 1/2″ bit and drill as much as this mark. When you use a Forstner bit for this job, be sure you account for the size of the middle spur.
I rotate the turning so the 2 items of tape are seen, then align my minimize with the angle of the glue line. I take advantage of a small, finetooth noticed to make the parting minimize with the lathe off. The minimize proceeds slowly close to the tip to keep away from breaking the shaker or tearing a nook off the turning. I go away the tailstock with the drill bit loosely in place to assist the turning.
Drill the Shaker Tops
To create a neat association of holes for the salt and pepper shakers, I set a compass somewhat wider than 1/2″. I lay one leg of the compass alongside the shaker prime and drag the purpose across the outdoors of the piece so the pencil within the opposing leg will draw a circle on the highest that may be a little smaller than 1/2″ diameter. I add 4 marks on the circle at 12, 6, 9, and three o’clock, then divide these marks equally to offer a complete of eight uniformly spaced marks. A middle punch makes small indents on the marks to orient a drill bit.
I take advantage of a 3⁄32″ (2.4mm) bit mounted in a rotary device to drill the holes. The holes are best to begin with the bit held perpendicular to the slanted floor of the shaker. As soon as the outlet is (gently) began, I alter the bit parallel to the axis of the saltshaker and even tilted very barely towards the middle. With all eight holes drilled, the development is full.
I like to make use of a sturdy end for the skin similar to lacquer or wipe-on polyurethane. I don’t end the within. I take advantage of salt and pepper shaker bungs, generally obtainable from woodturning provide shops, to plug the outlet within the base.
That’s all there’s to it. Hope you’ve gotten enjoyable with this venture.
John Lucas, a retired photographer, has been working in wooden for greater than thirty-five years and likewise dabbles in metalworking. He enjoys modifying machines, making instruments, and sharing his data by means of written articles and movies. He has taught lessons at John C. Campbell Folks Faculty, Arrowmont, and The Appalachian Middle for Craft.