Journey into Woodturning #76: Mortar & Pestle for a Witch or Wizard

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Blog entry by MovingChips posted 10-12-2021 02:14 PM 423 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 75: Peppermill Part 76 of Journey into Woodturning series no next part

This project is part of my month of Oct Halloween adventures. I thought a mortar & pestle would be a great gift for any potion maker, be it witch or wizard. For this project I found in my pile a 4×4x12 and a 3×3x12 Sapele. The 4×4 will be the mortar and the 3×3 the pestle.

The Mortar started out fine by making it round and placing a tenon on one end and splitting it in the middle. However, it was discovered I made my tenon too large for my four-jaw chuck. I remounted it, turned the tenon down small enough and got it in the chuck.

Now that it was in the chuck, I had to re-establish round. Then I could move on to the design phase. Interestingly enough, a small bead type rings appeared in a couple areas as I was re-rounding and gave me the idea for the shape. I coved out three sections between the base and the lid creating two sharp points or beads. I had to trim the shape slightly and reform the pointed bead to give the top of the mortar a wider lip then the narrower base. In other words, I tapered the wood top to bottom and maintained the shallow coves and pointy beads.

After making the mortise and polishing the outside of the mortar, I flipped it around and started to carve out the inside. I sent as deep as I could while leaving a heavy base to weigh down the mortar. Polished the inside as much as I did the outside to match.

Switching to the pestle, I mounted the 3×3, got it round, put a tenon on the end and split it two. Mounted on the chuck and began shaping the pestle. The main body of the pestle being a large tear drop on one end and a mushroom top for the other end as a handle. Coincidentally, the top or bottom of the pestle could be used for crushing.

After the initial shape of the pestle, I went straight to sanding. I stopped the lathe once I reach 600 grit and was wiping it down with denatured alcohol, when I noticed a huge internal crack. Apparently, the tree had split at some point in its life and grew around the crack, but never fully healed.

I could fill it with resin, but I wouldn’t have time for it to cure and complete before my Tuesday deadline for the video each week. So, part two of finishing the pestle might be a future update to the video. Otherwise, I think the project was a success.

Here’s this weeks video: Mortar & Pestle

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