Rockin' Rolling Pin

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Rolling pins have been around for thousands of years. They’re used to flatten and shape dough in making cookies, pastas, pizzas, specialty breads, and pie crusts. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes and can be made of wood, metal, clay and glass. They can be long and skinny or short and fat, with and without handles. I have been turning rolling pins for more than 25 years. My father always referred to them as a HAT, or Husband Alignment Tool. Indeed, in early cartoons, rolling pins were shown as weapons wielded by angry housewives. I began making handled rolling pins when I started working with master turner Rude Osolnik. He made laminated pins with short round handles. While I served as his assistant in many demonstrations, he would frequently turn most of the pin and then ask me to duplicate the handle on the opposite end. Most of the time it worked out. There are two basic types of rolling pins: rod-style rolling pins, which are long, thin, and usually made of wood; then there is the roller style. These are shorter, fatter, and with thinner handles. In the next few pages, I’ll show you how to make the latter, employing a kit for the rolling mechanism and attaching the handles. (See “What You Need to Get Started” at right.) You’ll learn the basics for turning a perfect cylinder and duplicate handles.

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