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  • How to drill inside salt and pepper shakers

    I have been sorta struggling with trying to make a salt/pepper shaker for some time. Find the precise center drilling to be the biggest most daunting obstacle. If someone could enlighten me on the interior drilling aspect, I would appreciate it. I have a 12" x 36" lathe and would like to try shakers without excessive startup expense.

    Or is it just done in the drill press, solving the whole thing?

    I see an abundance of linked info exists and in which one point illustrates what I was trying to understand. A FWW article uses a stepped drill that drills the lengthwise core at two or three diameters in one step - never occurred to me. Accuracy in repeated drilling at differing diameters really stumped me.

    Any comments on that sort of thing for drilling source etc; are all the same steps dia.? Are all the pepper mechanisms the same dimensions?

    I see in forum threads here, forumites are asking what kind of chuck is needed, ec. quality or features, replies say regret buying this or that? BUT, I notice they refer to four-jaw, threaded headstock chucks intended to hold the base of a bowl etc., not a drill bit (One way stronghold, etc.).

    To my understanding, drill bits would use a jocobs-chuck that would fit in a lathe's #2 morse taper tailstock.

    How do they advance the drill - just shove the tail stock forward, or do better lathes have some form of a rack and pinion quill shaft similar to a drill press? How is the body of the shaker held?

    Or as mentioned at top, is it just done in the drill press, solving the whole thing?

    Enlightenment would be most appreciated.

    TIA

    WW

  • #2

    Re: How to drill inside salt and pepper shakers

    Re: How to drill inside salt and pepper shakers

    The typical way for drilling is to hold the work in a scroll chuck and put a Jacobs chuck in the tailstock. The drill bit is placed in the Jacobs chuck. The workpiece, depending on the project, does not have to be held in a scroll chuck it can be mounted to a faceplate or if small even in another Jacobs chuck.

    Bring the drill point up to the turning workpiece and lock the tailstock. Now turn the handle on the rear of the tailstock which will push the drill into the work. Yes, the tailstock should have a mechanism to advance the quill - are you sure yours doesn't?

    If the hole is too deep for the tailstock quill travel then wind the drill back in and push the tailstock up to the workpiece and lock it. You can now drill the quill travel distance again but most likely you will run out of drill length unless you have an extension.

    It is possible to push the drill in by moving the tailstock but you may find the tailstock remains better aligned when locked down.

    A good trick is to blow compressed air in the hole while drilling. This will help blow out shavings and keep the drill bit cooler. Works best with Forstner style bits.

    Drilling deep holes that run true down the length of the work can be a challenge and one of the reasons is the wood-grain itself. If you have to put a top on the piece such as in the case of a pepper mill you want the hole to be centered at both ends. If the design doesn't permit any sort of a non-centered hole, you can drill the holes and then mount the piece with expanding spigot jaws on the drive end and a cone centre on the tailstock end and then finish turn the exterior. This will ensure the hole and the exterior are concentric.

    There is more than one way to skin the cat but this is what I do.

    billh

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    • #3

      Re: How to drill inside salt and pepper shakers

      Re: How to drill inside salt and pepper shakers

      Excellent answer Billh, that helps me as well. I was putting off trying the pepper mill becouse I wasn't sure how to drill or mount, which now I know.
      Darren in Oshawa

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      • #4

        Re: How to drill inside salt and pepper shakers

        Re: How to drill inside salt and pepper shakers

        If your lathe will accommodate the Jacobs chuck, then you are away. Mine does not. And my drill press will not accommodate the long shakers I wanted to make.

        So with a square blank I drilled the correct size holes in both ends, and finished the hole all the way through with an extension bar on a spade bit turned by a radial arm saw. Then I made little blanks to fits the holes in the end, and turned the shakers as spindles.

        It may not be elegant but it works.
        In an age when scientists are creating artificial intelligence, too many of our educational institutions seem to be creating artificial stupidity. - Thomas Sowell

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        • #5

          Re: How to drill inside salt and pepper shakers

          Re: How to drill inside salt and pepper shakers

          Using blanks to fit the holes in the end is a great way if you don't have some of the fancier jaws and tailstock centres.

          After turning for a while it becomes very obvious that how to hold things is a critical component of turning successfully.

          billh

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          • #6

            Re: How to drill inside salt and pepper shakers

            Re: How to drill inside salt and pepper shakers

            Thank you billh for your most informative reply, apologizing in my reply delay while I dug into this further. My thanks also to forumites Ron and Grant who have also been most generous in their additional PM comments.

            I found a most helpful article at / http://www.newwoodworker.com/turning/trnppml.html "Turning a Peppermill, " Tom Hintz; and http://www.newwoodworker.com/turning/instppmlmech.html on installing the mechanism.

            I learned they also offer a DVD - having discovered it, I'll order it and save you further work and value your time.

            My biggest issue is the length of travel, particularly on a potential 8" or 10" shaker - do either of the two pics attached of spindle supports help, one bought and one home made? I will make the home made one, woud appreciate any source for the rollers that anyone might have.

            Yes, the tailstock should have a mechanism to advance the quill - are you sure yours doesn't?
            I have a Sears 103. .. lathe, the Quill advances about 2" max. to allow pressing free spinning ball bearing point or 'X' into the workpiece. The head is 3/4" x 16 tpi and both have #1 or #2 morse taper, I need to reconfirm which.

            I can of course advance the entire tailstock with each progressive depth of drilling, presumably without loosing center-point accuracy. So thus, I apparently run the quill in the maximum 2 or 3 inches, retract it, advance the tail stock, and repeat once or twice and that should do it.

            Through all of this I will obtain a proper chuck and in response to my own initial question, you have enlightened me as to the variety of chucks available on another site. The spindle support in pics mentioned should maintain the position of the workpiece while advancing the tailstock,

            Aha - now I am getting the bigger picture.

            JACOBS CHUCK - Do you have any recommendations on buying a chuck with morse taper - I found endless listed such as on e-bay for example but with no certainty of the taper (1,2,...). I'm happy to pay store price rather than uncertainty of e-bay's peddlers.

            Again, my great appreciation and thanks to you, Grant, and Ron; maybe I will have a Xmas present (2010 ) or two made.

            WW
            Attached Files

            Comment


            • #7

              Re: How to drill inside salt and pepper shakers

              Re: How to drill inside salt and pepper shakers

              The 2-3" travel of your tailstock is typical. Either steady, the homemade one or the Oneway will work fine with the homemade being a lot cheaper. The wheels for homemade ones are typically in-line skate wheels and garage sales are a good place to find them but you can also see what they have lying around at a skate shop.

              You are likely to need a drill bit extension unless you have some very long bits of the correct size.

              If you get old grungy wheels you can mount them on a stick so they turn freely and then run them at an angle over a running belt sander. It will clean and true the wheels quite well.

              IMO, the best place to get a Jacob chuck is Busy Bee especially if they are on sale!

              Look at the B045 1/2" chuck for $11.99 regular price. It has a JT6 taper on the chuck so you need to get a JT6-MT2 (or MT1 if your lathe requires it) arbor. The JT6-MT2 arbor is $7.99 and will take a threaded drawbar. So for about $20 you can get a chuck that is more than adequate for wood turning work. BB does have a JT6-MT1 arbor B123 for $5.99 I believe. I don't think it is threaded though but don't know for sure.

              The advantage of a threaded arbor is that you can screw a threaded rod into it and then feed it through your headstock spindle and then put a nut or a threaded knob on it to keep it tight in the headstock and use it as a chuck for turning small pieces. If you don't have a drawbar the chuck will loosen in the spindle.

              You can get a JT6-MT2 arbor that has a flat tang on it for a cheaper price. They are intended for drill presses but will work fine in a tailstock.

              To assemble the arbor to the chuck you just put the JT6 end into the chuck and place a piece of scrap wood over the end and give it a sharp rap with a hammer and it should stay together.

              Not that various chucks can have different tapers so make sure that the arbor you buy will fit the chuck you select. BB also has 5/8" chucks for a reasonable price and one of them can be handy if you have some larger diameter bits.

              I have several chucks so I can just change the chuck with the correct drill already in place when making a project with some different size holes. I built up my collection by buying another chuck/arbor when they went on sale.

              Here are some MT sizes:
              Size Diameter Diameter Length
              (small end) (big end)
              #0 0.25" 0.37" 2-11/32"
              #1 0.37 0.47 2-9/16
              #2 0.57 0.70 3-1/8
              #3 0.78 0.94 3-7/8

              Easiest way is to measure the big end diameter.


              billh
              Last edited by billh; 11-15-2010, 03:22 PM. Reason: Added MT1 and bit extension info

              Comment


              • #8

                Re: How to drill inside salt and pepper shakers

                Re: How to drill inside salt and pepper shakers

                Well, Billh you are indeed a marvel repository of data, even going so far as generously supplying the MT specs. Many thanks. So, I tried to take your advice and go to my local Busy Bee and even spoke awhile back with one of the owners (DAMHIK) for some odd reason.

                Although your profile is empty, I gather from prior threads that you are in the Ottawa area. I tried to orient myself to find a local Busy Bee, and then discovered that my view of the water from home is not the St. Lawrence, but the Pacific Ocean, thus I haven't managed to find one. Anyway, I ordered one through Woodcraft - cost a little more but the time and labor factor matter more at the moment.

                I went looking for the wheels for the support and should have them soon. I found the lathe's manuf. parts list that came with it (yea, kept for 48 years) and it shows it as MT1. AGrees with your specs.

                I'll keep you posted on progress. Thanks for all the help.

                WW

                Comment


                • #9

                  Re: How to drill inside salt and pepper shakers

                  Re: How to drill inside salt and pepper shakers

                  Well, the info continues. At the WoodCraft site I discovered a Chas. Neil video in which he built a simple square box that rides over the lathe bed and holds the pepper mill blank, to allow hand pushing into the drill bit. This would also possibly avoid the need for the spindle support shown here again.

                  http://www.woodcraft.com/Product/200...ill-Chuck.aspx

                  On the subject of that support, I found skate board replacement wheels at the local skate board emporium just down the street, and also found rubber wheels at hobby-lobby.com for $3.50/pair.

                  Darren, thenew guy expressed interest in starting this so I hope he found your generous information to be as helpful as did I.

                  Your gracious sharing as well as that of two other forumites mentioned exemplifies the spirit and best standards of this forum and its members.

                  Regards,

                  WW
                  Attached Files

                  Comment


                  • #10

                    Re: How to drill inside salt and pepper shakers

                    Re: How to drill inside salt and pepper shakers

                    Steve: I looked at that video. You'll note that he is using the drill chuck in the headstock, while most of us here suggested putting it in the tailstock. I don't know how much difference it would make in terms of drilling, but if you are drilling for pepper grinders; that is, drilling deep, it will be much easier to use the tailstock.

                    Also, in the video, he is drilling with a lot of speed, it seems. If you look at the "shavings", there is also smoke. I would suggest that you keep the speed down, especially is you are using forstener bits. That guy in the video seems to be in one heck of a hurry.
                    Grant Wilkinson
                    Ottawa ON

                    Comment


                    • #11

                      Re: How to drill inside salt and pepper shakers

                      Re: How to drill inside salt and pepper shakers

                      I agree with gwilki about the speed and heating and I would also prefer to use the tailstock to avoid creating/storing another jig - the box in this case but like I said earlier there is more than one way to skin the cat.

                      Using the steady is not that critical when drilling since the forces are pushing the stock directly back to headstock, in other words, keeping it in/on the chuck or faceplate. The steady is more useful when you are pushing laterally against the workpiece, for example, turning the surface at the tailstock end. This force wants to push the work sideways and the force is multiplied by the length of the workpiece. The steady will resist that torque by shortening the effective length of the workpiece. Using the steady while drilling is extra insurance though.

                      billh

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                      • #12

                        Re: How to drill inside salt and pepper shakers

                        Re: How to drill inside salt and pepper shakers

                        I nave not done a pepper mill so just a thought .If drilling with the head stock and using bit extensions for extra depth would a retaining rod on the chuck arbor be a good idea .I noticed the woodcraft didn't mention a retaining rod and LV has one mentioned .
                        http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/pag...330,49238&ap=1
                        "Control, control , you must learn control ". Yoda

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                        • #13

                          Re: How to drill inside salt and pepper shakers

                          Re: How to drill inside salt and pepper shakers

                          Grant and Bill - I agree with your comments about head v. tailstock but tossed it out there, more in concept of the box jig as novel idea.

                          The real interest is in the DVD on order that accompanies the article using the steady.

                          I'll make and use the steady - but darn - I already bought the skate board rollers and had planned on a second future in skateboarding. I'll keep my day job.

                          WW

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                          • #14

                            Re: How to drill inside salt and pepper shakers

                            Re: How to drill inside salt and pepper shakers

                            As has been mentioned keep the speed low and also in a low range if you have multiple ranges on your lathe. I tried drilling mine in the high range on low speed which is about 700RPM and it didn't have enough torque and kept stalling. Put it in the low range around the same RPM and the problem was gone.
                            Jamie www.turneddesignsbyjamie.etsy.com

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                            • #15

                              Re: How to drill inside salt and pepper shakers

                              Re: How to drill inside salt and pepper shakers

                              I don't have the luxury of those options but that is very informative and I'll keep it in mind. Thx.

                              Comment

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