Salt cellar

  • Advertise with us
Project by kennethw posted 12-01-2009 06:11 AM 3034 views 6 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a four-compartment salt cellar as a gift for my mom and step-dad. They have a collection of salts, and what better way to present your options than a spread in the middle of the table? The lid is not hinged, so that it is accessible from any angle, and is fit loosely so that it is not too fidgety to replace.

It was made entirely with hand tools, of 2 kinds of mahogany (Honduran and African, I believe!), and finished with General Finishes Salad Bowl Finish. The sides are quarter sawn. The handle is a long strip that is angled in slightly, so it is deceptively easy to grab.

11 comments so far

View kcrandy's profile


285 posts in 3996 days

#1 posted 12-01-2009 06:36 AM

This is really quite wonderful! I’d love to hear more details about how it was made. And without power tools. Do tell us.

-- Caulk and paint are a poor carpenter's best friends

View cbass28's profile


9 posts in 3665 days

#2 posted 12-01-2009 06:58 AM

This is a great idea! I’m going to show it to my son, the chef. I think he’d love it.

-- Carl from La Pine, Oregon

View a1Jim's profile


117793 posts in 4141 days

#3 posted 12-01-2009 05:54 PM

Interesting project and well done,I had no idea there is a variety of salts.

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4810 days

#4 posted 12-01-2009 06:12 PM

Very nice little build. I love the look of the mahogany, it would look nice on the table.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View sharad's profile


1118 posts in 4368 days

#5 posted 12-01-2009 06:28 PM

I love your idea of using only hand tools. It is a very good gift item neately done and well illustrated. Can you name a few of the salts?

-- “If someone feels that they had never made a mistake in their life, then it means they have never tried a new thing in their life”.-Albert Einstein

View OhValleyWoodandWool's profile


970 posts in 3684 days

#6 posted 12-01-2009 06:46 PM

Very nice

-- "All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then Success is sure." Mark Twain

View PineInTheAsh's profile


404 posts in 3832 days

#7 posted 12-01-2009 07:24 PM

Kenneth, this is simply lovely-perfect A beautiful presentation and a very thoughtful gift.

Reminds me of the long storage block we made eons ago from a single piece of 4×4 construction fir. We used a Forstner bit and cleaned up with chisels and tons of detailed sanding. Though not as nice ‘n’ clean as your compartments, one would be surprised how common construction fir can really pop — if you sand and oil it enough!

Though we like your better choice of woods and your craftsmanship-use of hand tools.

Down through the decades we’ve collected many things and our experiences as collectors would not be traded for the world. But, in all my life have never heard of “a collection of salts.”

Let’s see… we know of Kosher Salt, Sea Salt, regular refined table salt, and years ago we even put out Salt Blocks for the deer (until our beautiful deer decided our property was their exclusive salad bowl; costing a fortune in landscape plants and unique, specimen Hostas.)

Can you please tell us more of the salt collection?


View kennethw's profile


50 posts in 3871 days

#8 posted 12-01-2009 08:22 PM

Thanks everyone! I appreciate the comments. :) I am pretty green at this, and this was my first “box” so there was a lot of trial an error. It was definitely a labor of love.

It was way over-engineered for something that will support very little weight and abuse, but it was also a learning experience in box-making. The strips were from scrap pieces, planed and jointed with a jack. Cuts were done with a dozuki, and the miters were refined with my shooting board and a box miter jig. The grooves were cut with a plow plane, and the dados were cut with chisels.

On the salt front, you might be amazed at how many different kinds of salt are out there. Check out this short list of just basic categories. Beyond that, there are many specialty salts, some with other seasoning included in them, while some are different mostly due to texture.

Here is an article on some more specifics, which gets into mineral and actual sodium chloride content.

Peter, do you have any photos of your fir project?

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 3834 days

#9 posted 12-01-2009 08:27 PM

Awesome….great job…...and thanks for the info….like Jim and Sharad, I was unaware of the variety of different salts….leave it to the chefs….they must be alot like woodworkers…LOL

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View SPalm's profile


5334 posts in 4446 days

#10 posted 12-01-2009 08:29 PM

Sweet. Looks great!

The wife unit has been bugging me for a multi-bin-salt-pig for years. You have inspired me to go for it.

Thanks for sharing,

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View kennethw's profile


50 posts in 3871 days

#11 posted 12-12-2009 01:17 PM

Go for it Steve! Since she actively wants one, it sounds like a nice gift in the works. :)

Here’s a fun twist. My wife is in culinary school, and about 2 weeks after this project was completed she learned to make her own flavored/herbed salts. So this gift will come complete with several hand-crafted salts. Now I just have to make a cellar with more compartments for next year. :)

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics