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Salt and Pepper Cruet Set

Monday 9 July 2018

Cruet sets were popular in the early to mid 20th century. Fashions come and go, however. Perhaps it's time for them to come back into vogue? This is a simply designed cruet set which is an adaptation of one I recently saw that was made of 5mm (3/16in) chrome plated rod which had a base that allowed for a vinegar bottle and a dish for sachets of sauces. I decided we could do without the sachet of sauces! It can be easily adapted in both shape and materials used.

After sketching the design, I saw a potential problem with the strength of the support. It may look thick enough, given that the shakers won't weigh a lot even when full; however, I had my doubts and decided to make this with a lamination which would also add to its attractiveness.

As you will see, there is no turning involved in the support, and I've made the assumption that you do not have access to a planer/thicknesser. However, if you do have access to one, it makes things a lot easier.

Tools used: 3mm (1/8in) parting tool, 1.5mm (1/16in) parting tool, 25mm (1in) spindle roughing gouge, 25mm (1in) square-ended scraper, 5mm (3/16in) fluted parting tool, 12mm (1/2in) skew chisel, 6mm (1/4in) spindle gouge, 10mm (3/8in) beading/parting tool, 10mm (3/8in) spindle gouge and 12mm (1/2in) spindle gouge

Making the support

Step 1

I would have liked to have used a piece of sheet copper between the two pieces of bubinga (Guibourtia demeusei) but given the price of copper on the world market I decided against it, however nice it would have looked. I didn't have any veneers, so after further searching I found a piece of 1mm thick black HIP – high impact polystyrene – which had been given to me to use as an ice scraper

Step 2

Start by roughing the surfaces of the black HIP with 80 grit sandpaper, then glue with contact adhesive and clamp between two pieces of flat 4.7mm (3/16in) thick bubinga

Step 3

Start by roughing the surfaces of the black HIP with 80 grit sandpaper, then glue with contact adhesive and clamp between two pieces of flat 4.7mm (3/16in) thick bubinga

Step 4

Next, roughly shape the support on the bandsaw before sanding the convex curves on a disc sander

Step 5

You then need to sand the support's concave curves on the belt sander. Seal and spray the support with several coats of acrylic gloss lacquer, de-nibbing between coats using white Webrax, and finally buff and wax. Each component part needs to be finished this way

Making the base

Step 6

You need to mark the centres on both sides whilst the blank is still square. On the side you choose to be the top, drill a 25mm (1in) spigot hole, 9mm (11/32in) deep to fit expansion jaws or a suitable jam chuck. At this time, also remove the corners from the blank

Step 7

Mount on the lathe using this hole and bring up the tailstock for support whilst rough turning the edge of the blank using a 10mm (3/8in) spindle gouge. True up the bottom of the base using a 25mm (1in) square-ended scraper and finish with a 25mm (1in) skew chisel used in negative-rake mode

Step 8

Use a 12mm (1/2in) skew chisel to form a recess for holding dovetail expansion jaws, as shown in the line drawing. Cover the base with masking tape and with a soft pencil draw a 4in (101mm) diameter circle to mark out the circumference for the three feet. Mark the individual positions for the feet and centre pop ready for drilling. Remove the masking tape, sand to 400 grit and seal

Step 9

Remount, holding the bottom of the base in expansion jaws. Reduce the thickness of the base to 22mm (7/8in) using either of the tools used before. Refer to the line drawing for suggested radii for decorative 'V' grooves. Turn these using a 12mm (1/2in) skew chisel. Finally, open up the 25mm (1in) spigot hole to 27mm (1 1/16in), 12mm (1/2in) deep

Step 10

The outer edge is now turned using a freshly sharpened 12mm (1/2in) gouge and a 3mm (1/8in) parting tool. Sand to 400 grit and seal

Step 11

On removal from the lathe, drill the holes for the feet using a 6mm (1/4in) engineering drill. Turn the feet as shown and glue in place

Making the uprights

Step 12

The blank will make both uprights. Between centres, rough out both, and part to the lengths shown. Hold the bottom end of what will become the bottom upright in compression jaws and clean up the top face. Ensure it is running true and drill a 10mm (3/8in) hole, 20mm (3/4n) deep. Turn the top bead to 30mm (1 1/8in) x 6mm (1/4in)

Step 13

Next, before shaping the upright turn a 10mm (3/8in) jam chuck to help support the upright between centres in readiness for shaping

Step 14

Reverse, holding the top in compression jaws. When running true, face off to 88mm (3 15/32in) and turn the 27mm (1 1/16in) x 12mm (1/2in) spigot using a beading and parting tool. Keep offering up the base for a good fit as you turn the spigot. Turn the bottom bead to 36mm (1 7/16in) x 6mm (1/4in)

Step 15

Remove from the lathe and hold between the jam chuck and tailstock. Measure and mark the length and shape. Finish as in step 5

Making the top upright

Step 16

Hold the top end in compression jaws. When it is running true, clean up the face and drill a 10mm (3/8in) hole, 20mm (3/4in) deep. Reverse the upright and repeat after measuring for the correct length. Turn the bottom bead to 36mm (1 7/16in) x 6mm (1/4in). Supporting the spindle between the jam chuck and the tailstock, start by shaping the top with a 10mm (3/8in) spindle gouge to a point where it is still supported by the tailstock. Sand to 400 grit

Step 17

Remove the tailstock and very carefully turn away the waste. The upright should be supported by your hand for these final cuts. If you are unsure about doing this, the top curve can be finished by hand off the lathe

Making the shakers

Step 18

Mount the blank between centres, rough turn and form at what will be the base of the shaker, the spigot or dovetail to fit your compression jaws. Hold the blank in compression jaws and face off the top before drilling a 25mm (1in) hole, 51mm (2in) deep to hold the plastic condiment holder. Mark the position of the bead. Turn the top curve using a 10mm (3/8in) spindle gouge. Sand to 400 grit

Step 19

Turn the bead using the 6mm (1/4in) spindle gouge

Step 20

Use either expansion jaws or a 25mm (1in) jam chuck, to secure the shaker with the tailstock initially in place. The base of the shaker is now turned using both a gouge to form the point at the base. Ensure that the diameter below the bead is correct to allow it to sit easily in the 44mm (1 3/4in) hole in the support. Sand and seal. The condiment container is held in the shaker with a smearing of silicone. The salt and pepper shakers cruet set is now complete and ready for use