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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've been making creative pepper mills lately and my latest idea is to make one that looks like an ice cream cone. I've got a nice big chunk of holly to make the top (vanilla ice cream) and a piece of basswood to make the base (cone).

Problem is that the heavy holly top will make the thing tend to fall over because the basswood is not only tapered, but also so much lighter. To make matters worse, the bottom part is hollowed to accept the mechanism whereas the top only gets a 1/4" hole drilled through it.

Any ideas on how to add weight to the bottom? Naturally lead isn't an option.

I don't think I've ever posted a problem here where someone hasn't come up with a clever idea, so let's have 'em!


Here's a drawing...
 

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Super Moderator
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I don't think that adding weight to the bottom will solve the problem.
the bottom footprint is way too small for the large mass at the top.
either live with constant falling over or make a larger bottom.
other people have had similar problems.

funny-leaning-tower-of-pisa-photos-7.jpg

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Village Idiot
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Stick a magnet in the bottom

On a more serious note, no reason you couldnt find a way to load the bottom with stainless steel. If its good enough for surgical equipment, it probably wont kill you
 

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Any reason one can not hollow a good deal of weight out of the top?

Seems like one could hollow out the Holly and glue in a plug to close off the hollowed portion. The plug would become your spigot and from that point one would turn it just the same as if it was solid rather than hollow.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
See, That's why I turn to you guys for solutions. I had thought of hollowing the top and filling it with a lighter wood, but I never thought of just hollowing it and using a plug for the spigot. A little stainless steel in the bottom and I should hopefully shift the weight making for a well balanced mill.
 

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Dave has a good idea about hollowing out the top. How about also finding a heavier wood for the bottom. Maple might be a bit light in color but, you could stain or dye it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The ideal wood for the bottom for both color and weight is beech, but darned if I can find a decent size chunk. I'm up for other suggestions.
 

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The Nut in the Cellar
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I've been adding weight to things for over a decade by filling voids with #7 shot and pour able epoxy. I started this method to make hollow plastic knobs that tool manufacturers put on tools these days more durable. My shop built lathe has many of the parts filled with this mixture and weighs in at 120 pounds, even though a lot of the pieces started out as plastic or aluminum castings. The lower rails are aluminum channels filled with the mix. I fill a void to within 1/8" with the shot and then pour in the epoxy from one end or corner. The slow setting epoxy flows down and across the void expelling air as it goes. Once cured, the piece has nearly the weight of steel or cast iron and a lot of vibration resistance.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
In order to equalize the balance between the top and the bottom, I think I'm going to drill out the core of the holly top and replace the removed wood with the lighter basswood and drill out the core of the basswood bottom and replace the removed wood with heavier hard maple.

Do I need to be at all concerned about the woads expanding at different rates and causing cracking?
 
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