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Although I've now made a dozen or so peppermills, I'm still learning with each one. Recently, I discovered that one of my early mills had started to bind where the top enters the body. Apparently, the blank was wetter than I thought when I turned it and the onset of winter and lower indoor humidity caused it to go out of round a bit and made it bind. A little rasp work on the tenon fixed the problem, but it set me to thinking......

On the mills I've been making lately, I drill a 1-1/2" diameter recess in the mill body to accept the tenon that's in the top. I try for the snuggest fit that will let the top spin freely. I usually put a little way on both and when it's just been done, the fit has no slop and it almost feels like there are ball bearings in there. But, this problem mill has me running a little scared.

Just wondering; how much clearance to y'all allow when fitting the tenon?

If it matters, I'm using Crus/Grind shafted mechanisms
 

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Now we know why you are asking about how to take apart a Crush-Grind peppermill in an earlier thread. :laughing:

I try for loose but not sloppy fit. Easier said than done.

My first two peppermills where the Crush-Grind shaftless, so the mechanism held the middle piece in place. I did end up with the top of my first peppermill going from too tight so a light pass on the lathe - then sloppy. Crap. :thumbdown:

I ended up turning a narrow groove and inserting a small O ring. Worked well. On the second I decided to use this method.

The most recent peppermill I hand sanded the tenon until I got a nice smooth fit.

You could try a very slight taper on your problem mill.
 

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(Guess who's got an ever-so-slightly-sloppy peppermill that needs fixing ... :huh:)
Happy if my solution helps someone else.

I made the groove with the EWT detailer, just the tip. I measured the tenon and found the closest O ring to match. Needs to be a size which will be expanded just a little.

I use a 1/16in thick O ring. My local hardware store has a big selection so I was able to find the size I needed.

It actually looked like the original design. I did not tell the recipient. ;)
 

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I usually drill the top with a 1 1/2" bit. When I am turning my tenon I usually shoot for 1.47 to 1.48. This 20 to 30 thousands clearance. I have a large wrench (very thin) that is slightly larger than an inch and and a half. I turn until this wrench just fits over the tenon. Then I sneak up on the final size. This is not tight or sloppy and I sell several each month. I have only made the shaft type mills.
Tom
 

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My tenon is on the body, recess in the cap. Both are turned freehand with an occasional test fit when doing the cap. I usually leave about 1/16" side play in there. Top doesn't feel sloppy and turns freely even if it warps a little.
Mike Hawkins;)
 
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