Today I released a video where I turned a rolling pin on the lathe. (You can find the video under the “YouTube Videos” tab on my website, or go to my Cross Cut Creations channel and find it there.) This project was a lot of fun and also wasn’t too difficult. This project did test my patience though.
I decided to turn a piece of Honduran mahogany (I might have accidentally said African mahogany in the video.) into a rolling pin for my wife. This was a hand-made Christmas gift that I knew I could be proud of and know that I made something that she would use in the kitchen. She loves to cook! She sets cooking goals each new year and sets out to accomplish them. Last year it was my wife’s goal to try 52 new recipes. This year, her goal is to try 52 new ingredients. (For those of you keeping score at home, that averages out to a new recipe and ingredient per week.) As a creature of habit and a picky eater myself, I struggle with NEW anything, so this has been an adventure that has been a lot of fun and my horizons have definitely been broadened… somewhat.
When I set out to make a rolling pin, I went to my local Woodcraft and I purchased a 12/4 piece of Honduran mahogany. I partially picked this species of wood because I like Honduran mahogany, but I also picked it because the selection was limited, as was my time because I procrastinate.
I took the 12/4 mahogany home and cut it to size, marked center on either end, and mounted it to the lathe. I forgot to cut the corners off on the table saw, so I spent a LOT of time getting the piece of wood round (commence patience testing). Once I got the piece round, I wasn’t too worried about the diameter of the body of the rolling pin or the handles as long as they were consistent. Once I got the piece round, I made that the diameter of the body. I marked for my handles and started turning the handles for the rolling pin. Again, I turned my handles down to an unknown diameter. The diameter was something that just felt right in the hand. I’m sure there could be some specific diameters that rolling pins are supposed to be, but I don’t know these dimensions and I was happy that I got the project round.
The length of the rolling pin was 18″ total. I made each handle 4″ (x2 handles = 8″) and the body of the rolling pin was approximately 10″. Once I got a shape I was happy with, I sanded through the grits: 60, 120, 220, 400, 1,000, and 2,000. This might have been a little excessive, but this project was incredibly smooth when finished. I opted to not put a finish on the rolling pin as I wasn’t sure which way I wanted to go, but could potentially finish the project with a food-safe finish such as mineral oil in the future.
If you have any questions, comments, or advice, please feel free to contact me!