Brownie Points with Mother in Law

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Project by Craig Havran posted 12-15-2013 04:53 PM 5288 views 13 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a rolling pin that I turned for my mother in law. This was an excellent project for me and learned some really good skills I’ll continue to use.

I used walnut and maple for the pin, and hard maple for the handles. There are 10 lines total on the handles to represent her 10 grandkids. Drilling this beast out was a comedy of errors. I figured that a 5/8” dowel would provide sufficient strength spanning from handle to handle so I went out and bought a 5/8” forstner bit and dowel rod. After turning my handle, I chucked up my 5/8” bit and drilled about 2-1/2” into the handle and realized that when I put the bit into my extension to go another inch, my extension is 3/4” in diameter. CRAP! So I go to the store to buy a 3/4” forstner bit and a new dowel rod. Get the handle redrilled with my new bit, put it into the extension to go the rest of the way and realize that my set screws stick out too much for it to clear the wood at 3/4”. CRAP! On my way to the store for a 7/8” dowel rod and new forster bit. Get it all drilled out and now the handles are done. At the thinnest part of the handle where the dowel is, the wood is thinner than 1/8” (that was close). With a dowel in there now, I don’t expect any issues. To do the pin itself, I found the center of the pin and roughed it down a bit between centers and then put a couple tenons on it. Got it chucked up and drilled a 3/4” hole with my extension halfway through and then expanded the hole to 7/8”. flipped it around and did the same thing. There was a little travel with my bit, but was easily able to compensate for it by sanding the dowel slightly. Now that I have two perfectly centered holes I was able to use my cone dead center and cone live center to keep it perfectly true from here on out. It is right at 2-1/2” in diameter. Once I got it finished with boiled walnut oil for the pin and butcher block oil for the handles, I glued in a handle, put it through the pin, and then cut the dowel to length and glued the other handle. There’s 1/16” play in case of any expansion.

Right before she opened the gift, she gave me a hard time for not making her a pen. She loved it, and I no longer owe her a pen. Given that she had been baking the entire day before, I didn’t make her use it for a pie for me, but she owes me.

Thanks for looking and will take any critiques you have. Thanks Jocks!


-- "There's plenty of time to read the instruction manual when you're laying in the hospital bed". - Dad

13 comments so far

View mike1950's profile


364 posts in 2764 days

#1 posted 12-15-2013 05:27 PM

NICE pin- Good save…....

-- "There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as if everything is."– Albert Einstein

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3832 days

#2 posted 12-15-2013 05:32 PM

It’s a very nice rolling pin and I’m sure that your Mother in Law loved it.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Dennis Zongker's profile

Dennis Zongker

2843 posts in 4558 days

#3 posted 12-15-2013 06:04 PM

Hi Craig,

That is a very nice Rolling Pin!!!! Also a great idea for each ring to equal the amount of grandchildren.

Those are some funny mistakes lol, I make mistakes like that everyday.

-- Dennis Zongker

View aussiedave's profile


3114 posts in 2790 days

#4 posted 12-16-2013 01:41 AM

Yep there is definitely some brownie points there Craig….Nicely turned and beautiful wood mix…Mom-in-law should be very happy with it.

-- Dave.......If at first you don’t succeed redefine success....

View danoaz's profile


223 posts in 3136 days

#5 posted 12-16-2013 04:12 AM

So you gave your MIL a weapon? Are you nuts?

Good job.

-- "Simplicity and repose are the qualities that measure the true value of any work of art." Frank LLoyd Wright

View Ivan's profile


16513 posts in 3833 days

#6 posted 12-16-2013 04:54 AM

Good point!

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View Picken5's profile


327 posts in 3657 days

#7 posted 12-16-2013 05:40 AM

Beautiful job on the rolling pin, Craig.

And I loved your story about drilling the hole and making trips to the store — been there, done that.

-- Howard - "Time spent making sawdust is not deducted from one's lifetime." - old Scottish proverb

View Craig Havran's profile

Craig Havran

346 posts in 3577 days

#8 posted 12-16-2013 02:35 PM

Thanks Jocks! I appreciate the kind words. I was pretty sure everybody would get a kick out of the drilling fiasco. I’m sure all of you have similar stories! A good lesson in planning ahead and knowing what you’re getting yourself into.

danoaz – I live 4 hours away from her so I’m not too worried. However, my father in law said, “What are you trying to do to me?!” I think he was thinking the same way you are.

-- "There's plenty of time to read the instruction manual when you're laying in the hospital bed". - Dad

View jdh122's profile


1213 posts in 3783 days

#9 posted 12-16-2013 02:59 PM

Nice job on the rolling pin. What happens if one of your siblings-in-laws (or you) give her another grandchild?

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

View Craig Havran's profile

Craig Havran

346 posts in 3577 days

#10 posted 12-16-2013 10:39 PM

Bite your tongue Jeremy!

-- "There's plenty of time to read the instruction manual when you're laying in the hospital bed". - Dad

View WeekendWoodworking's profile


71 posts in 3565 days

#11 posted 12-17-2013 02:41 AM

Very Cool! Excellent work!

-- Steve

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3596 posts in 4678 days

#12 posted 12-17-2013 06:45 AM


I’d take you for a son-in-law! That’s a real beauty! I have multiple sets of forstners; I can’t afford all those trips to the store (35 miles away) for all my miscalculations (which are frequent). ;-( Or was that just your plan for buying more tools? ;-) The wife certainly can’t complain when you’re using them for her mother!!


-- “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Benjamin Franklin -- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View Craig Havran's profile

Craig Havran

346 posts in 3577 days

#13 posted 08-18-2015 02:58 PM

Going through my old projects… Thought you all may like to know I had to cut the handles off and redo them… Wife and I gave her another grandkid :-) Now she has 1 handle with 5, and another with 6 lines!!!

-- "There's plenty of time to read the instruction manual when you're laying in the hospital bed". - Dad

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