Contemporary Salt/Pepper Shaker Set
Start by deciding
on your design. Ours is very contemporary with a simple rounded top and
three small beads at the bottom. You may prefer something a bit more elaborate.
Turn one or a few sets at a time out of full 2” x 2” or glued-up
stock, as you prefer. Remember to leave glued-up stock clamped together
for at least 24 hours before turning.
Following your design, make a durable template to guide you during the
turning process. Set everything up so that you turn the Shakers with their
tops toward your Lathe’s Drive Spindle. We recommend that you size
your Shakers so that you can turn a 3/4" long by 1/2” diameter
tenon between each Shaker on your string.
These tenons will allow you to grip the Shaker strings with a
4-jaw Lathe Chuck during turning…and when drilling the cork
counterbores and holes for the salt/pepper reservoirs. More about this
First, place your stock between the Lathe
Drive Center and Live Center and turn the first 3/4" long by
1/2” diameter tenon on the left end of each Shaker string workpiece.
Once you’ve turned the tenons on the ends of all your workpieces,
replace the Lathe Drive Center with a Lathe Chuck…grip the turned
tenon on the first workpiece in your Chuck…and go to work, turning
each string of Shakers and remembering to turn a gripping tenon between
Before removing each string of Shakers from the Lathe, finish sand them
to the smoothness you desire. Once removed, use a hand-held razor saw…or
your Bandsaw or Scroll saw with a fine blade to separate the turned Shakers…remember…you
must leave a 3/4” long tenon attached to the TOP of each Shaker
when you separate them.
Turn your MARK V’s Speed Dial to Slow, then turn off the Lathe.
Replace your Lathe’s Dead or Live Center with the Shopsmith Tailstock
Chuck Arbor and attach your MARK V’s Drill Chuck to it.
Insert a piloted drill bit of the appropriate size for the cork counterbore
into your Drill Chuck (we used a 1-1/8” Forstner bit)...and align
the drill bit pilot with the Lathe Drive Center. Replace the Live Center
with your Lathe Chuck and mount the first separated Shaker into it (the
Chuck). Set the Drill Press Depth Stop for the appropriate depth cork
Turn on your MARK V and slowly advance the rotating Shaker into the stationary
Bit to drill the cork counterbore in the first Shaker. Repeat the process
for all remaining Shakers. Switch to the appropriate sized salt/pepper
reservoir drill bit (we used a 5/8” Brad Point Bit) and follow the
same process as you did when boring the cork counterbore holes. Repeat
the process for all Shakers.
Saw the tenons off the tops of all shakers, leaving about 1/32”
to 1/16” of the tenons proud of the top surfaces of each Shaker.
Use your Disc Sander to slowly and carefully sand the tenon tops flush
with the tops of the Shakers.
Use a 3/32” dia. drill bit in your Drill Press (or a hand-held portable
drill) to bore the shaker holes in the tops. Drill four holes for salt
and two or three holes for pepper.
Apply a non-toxic finish of your choice. We recommend a Salad
Suggested retail price: $10
to $20 a set, depending on size and wood used