King of the Mill

So, put a little more pepper into it!

SHOP OWNER: Aurčle Delaurier
LOCATION: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

    This is my second peppermill submission to Shop Shots – see Shop Shot 530 for the first. For this one, I wanted to make an oversized peppermill but again not in the traditional style. Taller, traditional-style peppermills are very slender and topple over easily. So I decided on a chess King, which provided a wider, much more stable base. It is from basswood and measures 24” tall with a 6” wide base.
King of the Mill

    The challenge would be to successfully drill a 1” diameter hole through the entire length of the 6” x 6” x 24” wood blank. I purchased a 1” diameter auger bit that was 18” long. I also made and added an extension to the bit that extended its length to about 26” long. This wasn’t an inexpensive drill bit, but I knew that if I used a cheaper spade bit it wouldn’t produce a straight hole. The extra money was worth it because the hole came out straight. I purchased a 36” 8 TPI (threads per inch) all-thread rod that was also 1” in diameter. Coincidentally, the driveshaft of my lathe is also 1” x 8 TPI. This photo shows a 1” coupler that joins the all-thread rod to the driveshaft.
King of the Mill

    I drilled a small hole in the other end of the all-thread where the live-centre of the lathe held it securely. A second coupler held the blank firmly in place.
King of the Mill

    Although the hole was straight and true, it was not parallel to the wood blank. This produced some wobble until the blank was turned round as in this photo.
King of the Mill

    The King’s base is starting to take shape.
King of the Mill

    ‘Off with the head’ or rather, on with the head. The final shape is complete – now for some sanding.
King of the Mill

    Basswood is not that hard, so the polyurethane soaked up rather quickly. In all, I applied four coats of clear gloss. The top has been removed in this photo.
King of the Mill

    I purchased an inexpensive chess board to serve as a base. The top knob was turned from a separate block of basswood and is shown here.
King of the Mill

    "Checkmate – the King is dead". Here’s the underside of the King as well as the king that came with the chess set to give an appreciation of scale and how the peppermill mechanism was mounted. The materials (excluding the drill bit) cost $150 CDN. The King took a total of 10 hours to make.

. . . Aurčle Delaurier



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