Pepper Mills of Distinction
About Collectible Pepper Mill Works of Art
What You Need To Know About Pepper Mills
•About Our Pepper Mills
•The Grinding Mechanism
•Care and Maintenance
Exotic Wood Varieties
About Our Pepper Mills
Each pepper mill you see is unique because the grain and color patterns can never be duplicated. The design patterns may be similar but the final result is truly “one of a kind.”
When creating a “designer” pepper mill the first step is to lay out the design pattern. Next the woods are selected and cut to size. They are then glued and clamped for 24 hours to create a wood “blank.” After the glue has cured the blank is then trimmed and the holes for the grinding mechanisms are drilled. The blank is then turned on a wood lathe to the desired shape. The top and body are made separately. Each pepper mill then undergoes a fifteen step sanding and polishing process to achieve a smooth glass-like finish.
The top and body of the pepper mill have been designed for ease and comfort when grinding the peppercorns. The simple “waist” design allows the pepper mill to stand alone as a work of art.
Occasionally you may feel a slight irregularity at the joints where the woods have been glued together. This occurs because wood will expand and contract under different conditions of temperature and humidity, almost as if it were breathing. Thus, your pepper mill may be considered a “living, breathing work of art.”
The Grinding Mechanism
The leading manufacturer of pepper mill mechanisms in the United States makes the grinding mechanism of the highest quality stainless steel. Each mechanism carries an unlimited lifetime warranty against defects. Should the mechanism fail during this time it will be replaced free of charge except for mailing and handling.
Care and Maintenance
Your pepper mill has been sealed and polished with six coats of cyanoacrylate. If there should be any loss of luster over the years, simply rub the pepper mill with a quality paste wax and buff it with a soft cloth to restore its sheen.
Our standard sizes are from 6″ to 12″. Larger sizes will be made on special request.
African Blackwood (Dalbergia Melanoxylon)
Color: Heartwood is dark purple-brown with dark black streaks and the sapwood is creamy white.
The Tree: The small tree is reported to often develop more than a single stem. It usually grows to a height of 15 to 20 feet, but may occasionally reach 50 feet (15 m). The bole is often short, fluted, and rarely cylindrical, with diameters that are seldom more than 12 inches.
The Wood: Very nice to work, but very hard. Takes an exceptional polish and is the “Turning wood of Kings” for nothing holds fine detail as well as African Blackwood.
Typical Uses: Musical instruments such as clarinets, oboes, etc. and turnery.
Source Region: Africa, from Sudan southward to Mozambique, westward to Angola and northward to Nigeria and Senegal. The tree is also reported to grow in western India.
African Paduak (Pterocarpus Soyauxii)
Color: Bright orange red, often with dark stripes.
The Tree: A straight, well-shaped tree. Reaches 100 feet with a buttressed trunk, which may be 48″ at breast height.
The Wood: When freshly cut the wood is bright orange red, becomes reddish brown. Moderately hard and heavy. Medium texture, but with large pores. Saws and planes easily to a very smooth surface.
Typical Uses: Furniture, flooring, turning, accessories.
Source Region: West Africa – Cameroon. Gabon, Nigeria, Gold Coast.
Bloodwood (Brosimum Paraense)
Color: Rich strawberry red sometimes with golden yellow stripes.
The Tree: Not available at this time.
The Wood: Also called Satine. Hard and heavy but not difficult to work. Takes a high lustrous finish.
Typical Uses: Furniture, cabinets, widely used for tourist novelties in Brazil.
Source Region: Venezuela, Peru, Panama, Brazil.
Bocote (Cordia Elaeagnoides)
Color: Greenish yellow to golden brown with dark stripes.
The Tree: Small to medium sized trees sometimes 100 feet tall.
The Wood: Often highly figured with “eyes.” Hard and heavy. Appears oily with a medium luster. Takes a natural polish. Not difficult to work. Finishes very smoothly.
Typical Uses: Novelties, accessories, turning.
Source Region: Mexico and Central America.
Bubinga (Guibourtia Tessmannii)
Color: Light red or violet with fairly evenly spaced purple stripes.
The Tree: A large tree reaching over 100 feet in height and trunk diameter of 36″ and clear for up to 60 feet.
The Wood: Fine-grained. Hard and heavy. Takes a high lustrous finish. The wood works without difficulty except for gum pockets. Some logs are figured with a wavy, roey grain.
Typical Uses: Furniture, turning, decorative items.
Source Region: Cameroon and Gabon, West Africa.
Chakte Kok (Sickingia Salvadorensis)
Color: Color varies from bright red to pink or violet with dark streaks.
The Tree: Small to medium, reaching up to 65 feet in height with a trunk diameter of 15-20″.
The Wood: The wood and bark will produce a red dye. This wood is so unique it is difficult to make a comparison. The vivid red color will darken when oil or lacquer finish is applied. Oxidizes to a golden tan if left unfinished.
Typical Uses: Turning, boxes, inlay, trim, and accessories.
Source Region: Central America, Eastern Coast of Mexico.
Chakte Viga (Caesalpinia Platyloba)
Color: Bright orange to deep russet.
The Tree: Small to medium, reaching up to 65 feet in height with a trunk diameter of 15-20″.
The Wood: Nice orange color that deepens with time. Moderately hard, easy to work and has a slight odor when working.
Typical Uses: Furniture, inlay, flooring.
Source Region: Central America.
Chechen (Metopium Browneii)
Color: Red golden-brown, lots of variation.
The Tree: Caries from a shrub to medium trees reaching up to 50 feet in height with a trunk diameter of 18-24″. Sap is said to be caustic and should be avoided, but the wood is not.
The Wood: Texture is fine and uniform, pores barely visible; grain often interlocked. The wood works with some difficulty due to its hardness and density, and sharp tools must be used. Easy to finish and takes an excellent polish.
Typical Uses: Furniture, flooring, turnery, accessories.
Source Region: Central America, Mexico, Yucatan.
Cocobolo (Dalbergia Retusa)
Color: Variegated orange, yellow dark red with irregular black stripes.
The Tree: A small to medium tree. Matures to heights over 45-60 feet. Trunks are 18-24″.
The Wood: Hard and heavy. Works and turns well. Finishes very smoothly. Oils in the wood produces a natural polish but may cause problems with lacquer or urethane finishes.
Typical Uses: Turning, handles, inlay, accessories.
Source Region: Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua.
Ebony, Gaboon (Diospyros Spp)
Color: Generally jet black but sometimes with lighter colored streaks.
The Tree: Grows to a height of 50-60 feet with a 24″ trunk diameter.
The Wood: Hard and heavy, fine textured with metallic luster. Finishes smoothly and produces a high polish. Very abrasive effect on cutting tools. Sharp tools are a must.
Typical Uses: Musical instruments, handles, inlay.
Source Region: Africa – Gold Coast, Nigeria, Cameroon, Zaire.
Ebony, Macassar (Diospyros Discolor (Celebica))
Color: Black with yellowish or reddish brown streaks.
The Tree: A small tree, reaches 50 feet in height with a trunk of 16″ — clear up to 15 feet.
The Wood: Very difficult to dry, but very stable after seasoning. Hard and heavy with a very fine texture. Takes a high glossy finish. Saw dust may irritate some people.
Typical Uses: Handles, inlay, accessories.
Source Region: East Indies, Philippines, Celebes Islands.
Hard Maple (Acer Saccharum)
Color: Cream white to reddish brown.
The Tree: Also called Hard Rock Maple or Sugar Maple. Produces sweet sap used to make maple syrup. Matures at heights of 90-120 feet with a trunk 24-36″.
The Wood: Known for its durability and strength. It has excellent turning properties, a fine, even texture, a natural luster. Somewhat difficult to work due to high surface hardness. Paints and finishes very well.
Typical Uses: Furniture, flooring, industrial parts.
Source Region: Northeastern USA & Canada.
Lacewood (Cardwellia Sublimis)
Color: Light pink to light reddish brown with a silvery sheen.
The Tree: Tall and straight reaching heights of 120 feet and trunk diameter up to 48″.
The Wood:> Flaky, speckled figure with dark flecks, varying from a small lacelike pattern to a larger “splashy” figure. Texture fairly coarse. Moderately hard. Works easy and takes a lustrous finish. Fairly scarce.
Typical Uses: Boxes, inlay, accessories.
Source Region: Australia.
Mesquite (Prosopis Juliflora)
Color: Rich dark brown heartwood with wavy darker lines.
The Tree: This is a small, twisted, short-trunked tree, 20 to 50 feet high, or a large shrub. It is very slow growing, ill-shaped and scrawny looking tree with an exceptionally deep tap root.
The Wood: This wood is hard, heavy, and tough. The grain fine, wavy, and close-grained. The texture is medium to coarse. Very stable, has a beautiful luster, finishes to a high polish with excellent results.
Typical Uses: Flooring, furniture, cabinet work, turning.
Source Region: North and South America.
Peroba Rosa (Aspidosperma Peroba)
Color: Rose red when freshly cut, sometimes streaked with yellow, orange or purple.
The Tree: A very large tree which can reach heights of 125 feet with a well-formed trunk up to 60″ in diameter.
The Wood: Becomes golden tan upon exposure. Fine uniform texture. Works and finishes nicely.
Typical Uses: Furniture, flooring, interior millwork.
Source Region: Southern Brazil, Paraguay
Purple Heart (Peltogyne Spp)
Color: Dull gray brown when freshly cut but soon oxidizing to a violet purple.
The Tree: A tall tree 120 feet or more, producing a long, straight trunk about 36 inches in diameter.
The Wood: Grain usually straight often with a fine curly figure. Fine texture. Moderately hard to work but takes a glossy, lustrous finish. Lacquer finish will best preserve the color.
Typical Uses: Industrial construction, flooring, tool handles, accessories, furniture.
Source Region: Mexico to Tropical South America.
Tulipwood (Dalbergia Variabilis)
Color: Irregular streaks of yellow, rose and red or violet on a cream to straw colored background.
The Tree: Small with an irregular trunk. Heartwood logs are 2-8″ in diameter.
The Wood: Fine texture, high luster, and takes a high polish. Hard and heavy. Somewhat difficult to work.
Typical Uses: Turning, inlay, fancy accessories.
Source Region: Tropical South America, especially Northeast Brazil.
Walnut (Juglans Nigra)
Color: Light to dark brown or chocolate brown.
The Tree: A moderate sized tree reaching about 100 feet and producing a trunk up to 60″ in diameter.
The Wood: Usually steamed to match sapwood and heartwood. Fine but open grain. Moderately coarse texture. Excellent to work including turning and carving.
Typical Uses: Furniture, cabinets, gun stock, musical instruments.
Source Region: Mid and Eastern United States and Canada.
Wenge (Millettia Laurentii)
Color: Dark brown to black with fine black veining.
The Tree: Ranges from 60-90 feet in height; bole usually straight and unbuttressed; trunk diameters about 36″.
The Wood: Texture is rather coarse; straight grain; hard and heavy. Works fairly well with machine tools but has a high blunting effect on cutting edges. Turns well. Difficult to glue if resinous.
Typical Uses: Furniture, cabinets, flooring, industrial, exterior.
Source Region: Tropical West Africa, Zaire, Cameroon, Gabon, Tanzania.
Zebrawood (Microberlinia Brazzavillensis)
Color: Golden brown with pronounced dark brown streaks.
The Tree: A tall tree to 150 feet; bole straight and cylindrical but relatively short, up to 50 feet; trunk diameters 48-60″ over low buttresses. The bark is up to 12″ thick.
The Wood: Medium to coarse texture; grain usually wavy or interlocked and produces alternating hard and soft material which creates working difficulties.
Typical Uses: Furniture, accessories, inlay.
Source Region: West Africa, especially Cameroon and Gabo.