Specific Pepper Grinder Recommendations

Signed-In Members Don't See This Ad

Todd in PA

Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2021
Messages
363
Location
Port Matilda, PA
I think I’d like to try making some pepper grinders. So many kits out there. I want high quality grinders that I’d be proud to gift or sell. Can you let me know which ones you like the best. Thank you in advance.

Todd in PA
 
Signed-In Members Don't See This Ad

its_virgil

Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2004
Messages
7,758
Location
Wichita Falls, TX, USA.
This response is from John King over on Sawmill Creek. I have to agree about the crush grind mills.

It's CrushGrind@ all the way. Get a copy of Turning Salt & Pepper Shakers and Pepper Mills by Chris West. All you will ever need to know about turning pepper mills. - John

PS - CrushGrind@ mechanisms are a no adhesive install. Don't be mislead by some who recommend removing the lugs on the grinding mechanism and using an adhesive to secure the grinding mechanism in the mill body. - John


Do a good turn daily!
Don
 

ed4copies

Local Chapter Manager
Joined
Mar 25, 2005
Messages
24,284
Location
Racine, WI, USA.
I started using Chef Specialties grinders in about 2000. They won a world-wide contest held in Paris France to determine the best restaurant peppermills. Their peppermills were guaranteed for life in a restaurant use environment. They are 100% American made.

ExoticBlanks still sells these mechanisms (as well as many others). In the past few years, PSI has also added Chef Specialties to their offerings.
The length of the mill can be adjusted by simply cutting the quarter inch square shaft. (Perfect if you don't like to measure--like me) I sold dozens before we started ExoticBlanks, I have never had a complaint from a customer--then or since then.

FWIW,
Ed

Instructional tutorial attached, produced in 2011
 

Attachments

  • Peppermill tut-final 2011.pdf
    434.5 KB · Views: 66

civilwartalk

Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2020
Messages
94
Location
WV, USA
I've been making and selling the CrushGrind style of grinders for 3 years now, I really like the design, and I have even created several of their Mini mills.

There are three issues you'll run into, from my experience with CrushGrind...

1) While you can buy standard CrushGrind mechanisms on Amazon, and I believe they also still carry them at Woodcraft (you'll need to look at the bag, it's not sold under the CrushGrind name at WoodCraft), and that's ok for single kits. If you want to get the best price you need to order from the North American distributer in Canada. You also won't be able to find the Mini kit anywhere but at the distributer. I usually order at least a dozen kits to offset the shipping costs when I order from him.

2) You really need to use Metric drill bits for at least some of the boring. In my experience, the fit of the mechanism isn't the best using Imperial bits. Most grinders will need 4 bits to complete, and only one of the bits needs to be metric, so it's not such a big deal.

3) You really should cut a grove inside your mill for the snap fitting on the CrushGrind grinder mechanism, there are ways of doing the mill without the groove, I made my first grinder using the glue in method, but the grinder assembles better, and works better with the groove.

I've got nothing against the Chef's Specialty kits, in fact, I've been meaning to try them out, I actually think having the grinder adjustment knob at the top looks good with some grinder designs, but I still also like the CrushGrind mechanisms...

Do yourself a favor, whatever size grinder you make, get yourself a carbide forstner bit to bore out the main shaft of the mill, they just cut better and stay sharper for longer, and most importantly don't get as hot. Unless you like smoking up your shop :)

The other thing I'd recommend studying up on, is learn how to maintain the sharpness of your forstner bits, it will save you money and frustration!

I think learning to make Spice Mills has really made me a better woodturner overall, hope you have as much fun making them as I have!
 
Joined
Sep 24, 2006
Messages
8,024
Location
Tellico Plains, Tennessee, USA.
Another recommendation for the crush grind and buying from their direct distributor... I've been buying from Canada since I started making the mills and have always had good service... he used to include one extra mill set to offset the postage, but has stopped doing that. I normally buy at least 10 at a time.

On the drilling, I still use the imperial bits and only use 3 of the 4 bits that the instructions calls for... I use the 1 3/4, 1 9/16 and the 13/16 for the top... I drill all the way through with the 1 9/16 for the capacity it allows in the mill. I also use the groove in both the top piece and the body for the nubs on the grinder, but I also use epoxy around the rim of the grind for additional hold. I have bought the special tool for the groove from Woodcraft (right now I can't remember the name of the mfgr, but is prominent maker of turning tools from England -- all you younger turners will recall the name), but I started with the relief tool for thread chasing I already had on hand... just measured and marked where I needed to insert the tool.

I don't buy the mini mills as the price is close to the full sized mill set and I can cut the 10" shaft to what ever size I need. I have on a couple of occasions bought the 18" mill sets when I needed to make a taller mill for a restaurant order.

If you watch the amazon listing and they indicate the mills are by Ideal, those are the same as sold from Canada.... PSI also sells a crush grind, but I didn't think they were the same quality as the Ideal mills. I did buy 3 mills sets from PSI and used them but as said didn't like the quality quite as much as Ideal. It also helps that I can tell customers the grinder mechanism is made in Denmark and not in China.
 

civilwartalk

Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2020
Messages
94
Location
WV, USA
The only real advantage I've found to the Mini-mills, is I can start with a smaller blank, I think the smallest I've done was something like 2" square and still successfully bored and turned a mill with, the full sized mill just doesn't leave enough wood to make a mill that small.

Here are my conversion charts for CrushGrind mills that I use for reference, your mileage may vary....

Crushgrind Full Size:

Main Shaft - 28mm = 1.10" < 1-1/8"
Grinder Section 38mm = 1.496" - 1-1/2"
Base - 1-3/4"
Head - 22mm = 0.866" - 7/8"

1661343788522.png

Crushgrind Mini:

Main Shaft - 28mm = 1.10" < 1-1/8"
Grinder Section - 32.5mm = 1.28" > 1-1/4" ++
Base - 37.5mm = 1.47" < 1-1/2"
Head - 19mm = .74" ~ 3/4"
(Head Relief shows 23mm ~ 29/32")

1661344755861.png

I agree with Chuck about drilling the larger main shaft, the plan shows a small 1-1/8" main shaft, you'll have to decide if you want a larger main shaft, and adjust your plans accordingly.
 

MRDucks2

Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2017
Messages
2,967
Location
Washington, IN
The only real advantage I've found to the Mini-mills, is I can start with a smaller blank, I think the smallest I've done was something like 2" square and still successfully bored and turned a mill with, the full sized mill just doesn't leave enough wood…

Thanks, Mike - I had seen the listing for the mini and did not pick up on the diameter difference. Now it makes more sense.
 
Top Bottom