Making a rolling pin is a perfect woodturning project for those starting out in woodturning. Not only does it give you an opportunity to put the skew chisel into practise, but it is also a great first project for turning between centres. Watch our professional woodturning tutor Colwin Way and follow our simple steps to learn how to create an essential kitchen tool using your essential woodturning tools.
Setting up your wood blank safely in the lathe
Step 1 – Find and mark the centre
Using a pencil and rule find the centre point at each end of the blank. Then use a bradawl to make a point for the centres.
Step 2 – Mount the centres and blank to the lathe
Start by using a mallet to gently knock the drive centre into the bradawl hole. Fit the drive centre to the headstock, putting the blank into position and tighten the tailstock until firm.
Step 3 – Adjust the tool rest
The tool rest needs to sit just below halfway point of your blank. Making sure none of the corners of the blank are touching the tool rest.
Time to turn your rolling pin
Step 4 – Start roughing down the timber
Using a Roughing Gouge, carefully start to remove the corners from the blank to gain a cylinder form. Do this in sections, moving the tool rest each time and making sure to switch the lathe off when making adjustments.
We are using the ¾” (20mm) roughing gouge from the Axminster Woodturning Tool Set.
Step 5 – Sizing the length
Using a Parting Tool and calipers size the rolling pin diameter. Once you have your sizing marks skim down to diameter with a Roughing Gouge.
Step 6 – Clean the surface
Once you’ve roughed the blank down to the right size, use a Skew Chisel to clean the surface prior to sanding.
Step 7 – Creating the handles
Use a rule and pencil to mark the length of the handle.
Then using a Parting Tool and calipers, size the handle.
Use the Roughing Gouge to take down the handle length to your required diameter.
Allow space at each end of the rolling pin for waste materials, so that you are not left with holes from the centres.
Step 8 – Shaping the handles
Start by using the Bowl Gouge to create the curves.
Then swap to the smaller Spindle Gouge to add more detail.
Repeat this process on the other side.
Step 9 – Sanding
Starting with 100 grit abrasive, start working your way through to 150, 240 and 400 grit abrasive.
For safety reasons always remove the tool rest before sanding and remember to install efficient dust extraction.
Step 10 – Finishing
With the lathe switched off use a cloth to apply a food safe finish.
Once it’s had one coat applied all over switch the lathe to its slowest speed and rub in a final finishing coat.
Step 11 – Remove the ends
Remove the rolling pin from the lathe and take the excess material off the ends with a saw.
Then using a bit of abrasive hand sand the ends and apply oil using a cloth.
Don't forget your PPE!
As with all woodturning, it is essential you wear suitable Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). You need to ensure you wear eye protection not just for turning but also for sharpening. What’s more, you will need suitable Respiratory Protection Equipment (RPE) such as a respirator or dust mask.