My Store:
Change Store
My Store:
Change Store
  • How to: Make Pepper Mills

How to: Make Pepper Mills

Andy Lucas is a wood hobbyist who also lends a hand and plenty of good advice at our Carbatec Brisbane store. Here Andy steps us through a project that's perfect for the beginning woodturner - an attractive and very functional 175mm pepper grinder. Note that you can also use these instructions for making a matching 175mm Salt grinders which is the same as the pepper grinder but uses a plastic grinding head instead of the metal one used in the pepper grinder.

Step 1:

  • Turn a suitable timber sample to 60mm diameter by approximately 230mm long

Step 2:

  • Use a parting tool to separate the top from the body at 140mm.
  • Leave 24mm diameter x 15mm long spigot on the end of the top...

  • ...and make a centre mark by bringing your live centre up to the body before drilling.

Step 3:

  • Drill a 24mm hole half-way through the body while it is still mounted in the chuck.


If using the ceramic pepper grinder kits (GRIND-7) you will need to drill a 28mm recess x 15mm deep at this stage of the process. This will allow the 'Ceramic' mill to into the base of the grinder.

Step 4:

  • Reverse the body in the chuck and prepare and drill a 40mm recess in the base of the body to a depth of 10mm...


  • ...then change back to the 24mm bit and complete drilling balance of centre of the body.

Step 5:

  • Remount the body on the dummy 40mm spigot in a four jaw chuck.
  • Bring up the live centre in the tail stock to align the body in preparation for final shaping and finishing...

  • ..then turn the body down to 57mm diameter.
  • This will also remove any jaw marks and indentations.

Step 6:

  • Mark your preferred pattern on the body
  • and turn and shape accordingly.

Step 7:

  • Sand and finish with your preferred material.
  • The project sample was sanded with 320 grit, 600 grit and 1200 grit papers.
  • First coat was finished with U-Beaut EEE and final coat was finished with U-Beaut Shellawax Cream.

Step 8:

  • Mount the top in the four jaw chuck with the 24mm spigot facing out.
  • Align with the live centre, then check-fit the spigot into the 24mm hole through the centre of the body.
  • Adjust the spigot accordingly until slightly loose fit achieved.
  • Turn the top to 57mm diameter in preparation for final shaping and sizing.
  • Drill 6mm hole through the centre of the top.

Step 9: Trial-fit grinder kit to body to ascertain final size required for the top. Allow for 8mm of thread to protrude from the top.

Also check that top and body match diameter where they join...

...then mark the top size as required, then turn waste end to approximately 40mm diameter in preparation for shaping top and finishing.

Step 10:

  • Mark preferred pattern and then shape and finish.
  • Part at nominated mark, check that all grinder kit parts fit as required.
  • Then reverse mount the top into the dummy block in the chuck with pre-drilled 24mm recess, make any necessary adjustments to length or fit and then give a final finish to the top.

Step 11:

  • Assemble the grinder.
  • Fit small plate to 24mm spigot on the top.
  • Use shaft provided to ensure plate is centred...

  • ...then assemble grinder parts and fit to the 40mm recess at the bottom of the body.
  • Pre-drill screw holes if using hardwood.

...and there you you have it, a beautifully made pepper grinder ready to use.

Click here to see our range of salt and pepper kits.