How to Make a Salt Cellar (No Lathe & No hardware!)

My first time visiting Rockler, I was like a kid in a candy store. Aside from all the cool gadgets and fancy equipment, I was really impressed with their collection of hardwoods, both domestic and exotic. I bought a Morado turning blank on major clearance that I had planned to use to make a propagation station. But when I brought it home, I had a nagging idea to try something different. I didn’t know what that was yet, so the piece just sat in the shop for weeks (months).

I remember coming across a video for how to make a salt cellar and immediately thinking that’s what I wanted to make. But all the tutorials were for ones that were pretty basic in design, so I wanted to make something that had a more organic feel. And that is how I got this guy:

The funny thing about this is that I initially made this as a mini jewelry box. We don’t use salt cellars, and instead, we just pour a tiny bit of salt from the original container into our hands and take a pinch like the savages that we are. Anyway when I posted this Reel highlighting how I made it, it got a lot of positive feedback, so I decided to make a few more with some Olivewood that I scored.

What makes this design unique is that each one I make is slightly different. I inspect the grain of each piece and let the grain dictate what kind of pattern I’ll carve into the top. Another thing is that the “hardware” that allows the top to swivel open is just a wood dowel. So it’s a simple and straightforward concept that doesn’t require a ton of precision and calculations.

We brought these to a maker market we had in the city and these were the first products to sell out. I’m hoping to crank more out in the coming weeks, because they’re really fun to make and I love that while they may be similar, no two are identical. If you want to get your hands on one of these, follow along on our Instagram page to see what markets and events we have coming up! Or sign up for our newsletter to be the first to be notified when we list new products to the site. And if you want to learn how I made these, I recorded a more detailed YouTube video that highlights all the steps with links to all the tools and burrs I used for these pieces.


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