Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Spalted Tamarind Pepper (or Salt) Mill

This Spalted Tamarind grinder stands 10 ½" tall and is about 2 ¾" across at its widest point.  I turned it from a 12" x 3" x 3" block purchased locally.  Tamarind is a tropical tree, indigenous to Africa but which now grows all over the tropical areas of the globe, from Africa to SE Asia to Mexico.  It's fruit is used in numerous cuisines.  The spalted wood is quite vivid in appearance, with sharp lines and dark patches.  It turns very nicely.  In this mill, in contrast to the two in the previous post, I used a grinder mechanism with the traditional shaft that runs from the grinding mechanism to the top of the grinder (see last photo).  The ceramic "Crush Grind" mechanism itself is identical to the ones used in the apple wood mills.  

The usual practice in turning a mill such as this one is to turn a tenon on the top to fit into the grinder base.  On figured or spalted wood this results in a design gap: about a half-inch loss of pattern or figure between the top and the base.  Here I instead added an interior "sleeve" (of hard maple) to perform the same function.  This allowed me to retain the full pattern of the spalting (with only 1/16" missing, from the parting tool cut), which is virtually continuous from top to base, as it was in the original blank.