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Pepper mill: the inside story

2584 Views 6 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  rhford
I'm about to turn my first pepper mill. Do you put any kind of finish or sealant on the inside? I read one blog entry that suggested using lacquer. While I'm not interested in having any transfer from the wood to the pepper corns I also want to avoid any transfer from a finish or sealant.

What's the right way to proceed?

FYI … the wood I'm using is snakebean. I've never turned it before but do expect it to be somewhat hard and possibly brittle. Has anyone had experience with it?

If anyone has suggestions or tips in general with doing pepper mills please pass them along.

Thanks in advance … Cheers

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Do you put any kind of finish or sealant on the inside?
I didn't on mine. I turned a batch in 2013 (everybody got a salt shaker/pepper mill combo for Christmas that year). I used kiln-dried cherry, maple, and ash.

I did sand the inside lightly, but figured there was less chance of any transfer from the wood than if I had used any finish inside.
Thanks Gerry. Always appreciate your insight.
I use the same finish on the inside as the outside, General Finishes Salad Bowl Finish.
I don't seal the inside of mine, either.

If you are using the "crush grind" mechanism, keep a close watch on the diameter of the center hole and make sure the recess that captures the "fingers" is not rounded where the recess intersects the center hole.
I searched high and low for snakebean or snake bean wood and could not find anything about this wood. do you have another name for this wood?

Does your piece of wood look like this?

Or anything at this site;

I would be reluctant to use an exotic wood with food stuff, but admit never work with snake wood although have seen many pens turned with snake wood. I have made both salt & pepper shakers with closed grain domestic woods and never finished the insides.
I've turned a number of salt and pepper grinders from a variety of woods (sorry, but snakebean is a new one on me) and have never put s finish inside. I make sure all dust is out before using them, of course.

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