Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Rolling Pins: Discussion and Photos-Pt. 1

Good Morning Everyone,

Let's talk about rolling pins.

I haven't made a rolling pin in a long while now and it's time to get back to my kitchen ware roots and make a couple for sale.

Rolling pins are not terrible difficult to make but the surface of the pin needs to be parallel or the pin won't roll correctly. You also need good quality straight grained wood. And you can either use solid wood or you can laminate a turning blank.

If you decide to use solid wood, go on line and look for baseball bat billets. That type of wood is kiln dried and absolutely straight grained. It's hand selected to be without defects and this is what you want in a solid-wood pin. I use maple or soft birch and I have some of this in stock.

As this is a multiple step project, I'm going to laminate a blank from some white oak and some thin walnut and Brazilian cherry stock that I've had for ages. Laminating has several advantages over solid wood, namely you can create a turning block that is close to the diameter that you plan to make you pin with so it cuts down on turning. It also is easier to make the resulting pin surfaces parallel. And they look really cool.

Here are today's photos:

I bought a stack of white oak cut offs this past weekend and this is going to be the primary wood for the pins and for several fruit platters a little later on. In this photo you can see the thicker white oak cut offs and the much thinner black walnut and Brazilian cherry stock (to the right of the photo) that I'm going to use.

You also need a lot of glue. It's important that you not try to economize by not using a lot of glue. You need a strong joint between all the pieces of wood that you plan to laminate:

I've cut all the wood down to size. I'm going to make a 15 inch pin and a 14 inch pin:

And here I've dry assembled them just to see what they will look like. This combination will produce a 2"x2"x14 or 15" long turning blank:

Here is a photo of the glue up. Note that I've got a solid layer of glue along the surface of the board. You don't want any gaps between the wooden planks-make sure the glue covers the entire surface of the wood. I also use a plastic trash can bag to protect the surface of my work table:

Here is what the turning block looks like after it's assembled. I am about to clamp it very tightly with a series of C-clamps. Make sure you really tighten the clamps as hard as you can. This will produce a fine cabinet maker's joint:

And here is the blank with C-clamps in place. I've set this aside and I'm going to let it dry over night:

Now tomorrow I'll trim the ends of the block and place it on the lathe and turn it down to a long cylinder shape.

See you tomorrow.


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