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Doc Green’s Woodturning Site

Rolling Pin Stand


When you give someone a rolling pin, an extra touch of nice is to provide a stand for it just in case the recipient may want to show it off. Even nicer is to have the rolling pin vertical so it requires the least amount of counter space. This article shows how I make one version of such a stand.

This design is not without its disadvantages. First of all, it takes as long to make the stand as it takes for the rolling pin itself. Also, because of the length of a typical rolling pin, it may not fit conveniently between the countertop and the cabinets above. But if the height is not an issue and if you have time to spare, I think this is a winner.


Make the base.

The blank for the base should, ideally, be about 1” thick, but you can make it thinner. I find a base 6” in diameter is quite stable – not tippy at all.

Jam the blank against a flat surface with the bottom of the blank on the tailstock side. True up the edge and face as required. Cut a shallow inset tenon.

Reverse the blank by mounting it on a scroll chuck using the inset tenon. Clean up the exposed face, which will become the top of the base. Shape the edge profile and form the dimple at the center. Sand to completion.

Reverse the blank again in order to do the finish turning on the bottom of the base. I used Cole jaws to do this but you can do the same thing by jamming the blank against a flat (padded) surface or, if you have one, use an appropriate vacuum chuck.

Make the platform.

The big issue with the platform is making the hole in the middle. It can be drilled out with a large Forstner bit and a drill press, but if you don’t have a suitable bit you will have to do it on the lathe. Or, there may be other possibilities: a hole saw?  Jig saw? I chose to do it on the lathe and will describe that method.

First, use a template or pattern to draw the outline on the blank. Locate the center of the hole. Leave sufficient wood around the outline for two screws that will hold the blank on a back plate. The back plate I used is a 1/2” disk of plywood with an attached tenon for mounting in a scroll chuck.

Use the point of your live center to center the blank on the back plate. Then use two screws to attach the blank. You can now move the tailstock back out of the way and proceed to forming the hole.

It is convenient to be able to reverse the blank on the back plate. This allows you to shape the hole from each side and it also avoids having to cut all the way through the blank (and probably into the back plate) from one side.

Drill a small hole through the center of the blank. Use this hole and the point of your live center to center the blank after it is flipped over. You can’t simply reverse the blank and put the screws back into the same holes.

After the hole is formed, cut the platform from the blank and sand the edge.

Turn the spindles.

Begin with spindle blanks cut to the exact, final length, including the tenon (5/16”) at each end. The length of my blanks were 5 1/4”, which gave a separation between the base and the bottom of the platform of 4 5/8”.

The drive center I used was a Stebcenter very nearly 1” in diameter which got in the way of cutting the tenon on the headstock end while the blank was between centers. I remounted it between a 5/8” collet chuck and a live center.

If you do not have a collet chuck, you can use a scroll chuck with small jaws if you have one, or you can make a quick “collet chuck” along the lines of the lathe-mounted sanding pad holder described in the Miscellaneous section on this site.

Wrap it up.

At this point you have all the parts mostly complete. You may still have some sanding to do, and you still have to drill the holes in the base and platform for the tenons on the spindles.

Finally, put it together with wood glue or epoxy and apply the finish of your choice.

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