My oil-finished peppermills are extremely easy to care for. Why is that? The simple answer is: because my oil finishes are IN–rather than ON–the wood. I soak every oil-finished peppermill body overnight in a bath of pure pharmaceutical-grade walnut oil. In the morning, I remove the piece from the oil bath, wipe it dry and set it aside in a warm area for a few days. This allows the oil to dry and harden into an extremely durable satin finish–a finish that loves to be handled! I’ve found that the more these oil-finished pieces are handled, the better they look. Like well-used leather, your oil-finished peppermill will, over time, develop a patina that will be appreciated for generations to come.
Adjusting the grind… holding the retaining nut in place, turn the adjusting wheel counterclockwise for a coarser grinder or clockwise for a finer grind as shown on “Figure 1” below. If the grinder starts to bind, the adjustment is probably too “fine;” simply back off the adjusting wheel until the grinder starts moving freely again.
But what if it gets dirty, gets food on it or ??? If your mill gets wet, simply remove any surface moisture with a clean towel then let it air dry. You can also buff it with a section of soft cotton cloth – an old T-shirt’s perfect – if you want. If the wood should become dried-out (as might happen if you live in an area with very low humidity), you can easily renew the finish by applying a very thin coating of high-quality paste wax polish like Johnson’s or – my favorite – Fiddes Supreme Wax Polish (either clear or “Rugger Brown.” ) Fiddes is available in the U.S. on-line through Amazon.com or eBay. My friends in the U.K. and other parts of the world can find a stockist by emailing [email protected] ). What’s most important is to let whichever wax you use dry for at least an hour (yes, I know the directions say 10 minutes or so, but trust me on this—you want the wax very dry) then buff with a soft cotton cloth. The more you buff the better the piece will look.
 Holding the retaining nut in place is important; otherwise the tension spring can go flying off into “Never Never Land.” You’re then left with a very expensive paperweight until you can either find it (not always easy)—or can get to the hardware store to buy another.