Making a rolling pin How To'sHow To's section icon

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.

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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.

Step 3 Adjust 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 4 Start roughing down the timber

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 5 Sizing the length

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 6 Clean the surface

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 9 Sanding

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 10 Finishing

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.

Step 11 Remove the ends

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.

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Discover more

If you’ve enjoyed reading this article, keep an eye out for more helpful woodturning How Tos, Projects, and Top Tips. Including How To Make A Bowl, another great woodturning starter project!

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