On top of being a sci-fi/fantasy geek who loves games of all type, I have a couple of more "hands on" hobbies. My father built hand made wooden furniture when I was a kid growing up in eastern Kentucky. Though I did not inherit his wood working skill, I do love building small project when ever I have the time to get out into the shop. This post is not intended to be a how to make XXX. There are many more talented wood worker out there who have created very informative how to videos or posts. I just want to share some of my experiences and hobbies and show you a little glimpse into my world.
I have slowly built my wood shop by searching Craigslist for good buys on used tools and equipment and when finances allowed buying some items from Woodcraft in Nashville, TN. One of my first large purchases was a 1968 Rockwell Delta wood lathe from a High School wood shop in North Alabama that was discontinuing its shop program and selling all of its equipment at auction.
I have spent a little bit of time getting the lathe back up to optimal shape. It is a sturdy piece of equipment and continues to impress me in how well it runs despite its age.
I am a frequent viewer of Marc Spagnuolo over at the Woood Whisperer:
His free videos re-ignited a passion in me for woodworking that I didn't know still existed. I started with his beginner videos and relearned the basic skills I had not used since I was a little kid in my dads shop. So I just want to thank Marc for his contribution to the woodworking corner of the internet and showing me I wasn't too old to get back into something that my father loved.
One of the first small project I decided to tackle was to make a Pepper Mill for my wife. I used to love turning project on the wood lather and thought this won't be too bad of a project and she will love the end result.
I did not have very much in the way of wood stock for my project since I had just started to put my shop together. Though in a stroke of fortune we had just had a recent storm come through and one of my friends had cut up a hickory tree and gave me a few pieces from his demo'd tree.
After watching a few how to videos, and ordering a Woodcraft pepper mill kit. I started my "little" project. My first lesson is that Hickory is a very hard wood and it took a lot of effort for me to keep my tools sharp and not have a large amount of tear out.
As you can see, I was met with a moderate amount of success.
I will say that some of the wood grain from the hickory turned out to give the wood a beautiful appearance and one that my wife fell in love with.
The final installation of the pepper mill kit took some fine tuning but all in all I was very proud of the end result and the two hickory pepper mills were a big success. The one on the left was a gift to my wife while the the taller one of the right was a welcome home gift to a friend of mine who had been deployed over seas with the U.S. Army.