Wood type for pepper/salt mills and bowls?

Discussion in 'Newbie' started by Glen Perye, Dec 4, 2012.

  1. Glen Perye

    Glen Perye

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    Ok with the number of exotic woods that are toxic to some extent or another. What are some good easy to work woods for a starting turning? Say for a pepper mill and a salt mill for a set.
     
  2. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    Maple is a good choice.

    Cherry works nicely too.
     
  3. Syd Sellers

    Syd Sellers

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    Toxic Woods

    Glen, I would be a bit careful with Cherry. If you know where it's from and what type it is and how dry it is you maybe ok. For example if it's an Amur/Black cherry and it's not <12 Moisture content, salt may pull that moisture out and be heavily laden with cyanide out of the cherry.

    If you have a Mother In Law you need to get rid of, this maybe a great method....:eek:

    All I can say is do your homework and keep a copy of this handy http://vet.vet.purdue.edu/toxic/navigate.htm
    Good Luck.
     
  4. Don O. Jr.

    Don O. Jr.

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    Many good suggestions so far Glen, and I agree with them. Most domestic hardwoods are good prospects for utilitarian items. Maple, Birch, Beech, Cherry, Ash, Sycamore, Walnut, Butternut, etc. I always coat the inside of my mills with shellac just in case though. Some think it is overkill, but I do it anyway.
     
  5. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Just don't use cedar (unless you like to flavor your food so that it is reminiscent of a blanket chest). :D
     
  6. Dale Miner

    Dale Miner

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    I've always heard from people with cattle that the leaves of the cherry tree can be a health issue for animals. The link you provided seems to point to the leaves as being the part of the tree with the highest risk. Many cooking utensils and bowls are made from cherry. I don't think there is any risk from using cherry for a pepper mill or for salad bowls.
     
  7. Syd Sellers

    Syd Sellers

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    Amur Cherry

    Dale, last spring a friend of mine cut down a Amur Cherry(part of the Black Cherry family) and gave me the logs out of it. I spent the next few days making lumber out of it in my closed shop. Damn near killed me. The cyanide is in the sap and seeing it was spring time it was flowing well. The cyanide is volatile and ended up in the air of my shop so I was breathing it in.

    This wood is now dry, but I sure won't be making Tooth Picks out of it!!!
    Syd
     
  8. Richard Avram

    Richard Avram

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    I got a couple of pickup loads of black cherry from a friend that cut down a tree this last spring. It's piled on my shop floor and I'm constantly walking around it but I have turned a few pieces out of it already. I haven't had any problems but I'm not doing very much at a time either. A couple of pieces I turned green and I roughed a few more to throw aside for a while but that is over the course of probably six months.
     

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