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Thread: Ipe Rolling pin

  1. #1
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    Ipe Rolling pin

    I have an order for some rolling pins. I have a piece of 4x4 Ipe that has just been sitting around. Has anyone ever made a rolling pin out of Ipe. When I get an order for a couple of items I usually make 4-5 as I can sell them later. Sometimes a customer will just by them all which is good for me.
    Thanks in advance, Kevin

  2. #2
    I haven't done one out of Ipe, at least not yet. Going to make a mortar and pestle from it soon. Can't see any reason not to use it, other than it is hard on your tools, and very difficult to sand because of all the oil in it...

    robo hippy

  3. #3
    Watch out for splinters and avoid sanding dust. Some people are allergic.

  4. #4
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    I haven't done it but I think Ipe should be fine for rolling pins (and mortar and pestle). I generally use Olivewood for these since I like the look but the properties between the two are not too much different. According to the Wood Database the average dried weight of Ipe and Olivewood are 69 and 62 lbs/cubic ft. These are a lot heavier then the hard maple commonly used for rolling pins, about 44 lbs/cubic ft. My wife says she prefers heavier wood for a rolling pin and the extra weight helps with a mortar and pestle..

    Ipe is harder to work but I don't think it's that difficult with sharp tools and good technique. Although I prefer Olive, Ipe is a lot cheaper!

    JKJ

  5. #5
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    That will be the heaviest rolling pin ever! Are you sure the Ipe is dry in the center? It must take a decade for a 4x4 to dry all the way through.

  6. #6
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    Blank dryness and rolling pin design

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Coers View Post
    ... Are you sure the Ipe is dry in the center? It must take a decade for a 4x4 to dry all the way through.
    That's a good point - if not quite dry it may go out-of-round as it continues to dry. If not in a big hurry weigh the blank with a gram scale and recheck the weight every periodically. When the weight quits changing the blank is dry.

    I do this with many blanks and some are indeed still changing after years. When the weight hits bottom for a month or so I mark it dry. I do get some seasonal variation even though my wood is in a heated/air conditioned shop. This frame from my "Logs to Blanks" video shows the weight tracking of a 3" cherry blank. It hit a low weight then went up and down a bit with the seasons. (Cherry dries very quickly compared so some more dense diffuse/semi-diffuse porous species such as dogwood, olive, lignum vitae...)

    weighing_blanks_for_drying.jpg

    My only experience incompletely dried IPE: I have a 6x6x12" block of IPE that was supposedly cut from beams ostensibly many years old. The arrived unsealed on the end grain and I assumed in error that they were at EMC. I bought two of them and both rapidly checked severely on both ends, certainly because they were still not dry on the inside. These had no significant checking/cracking when received:

    ipe_IMG_20161017_141700_214.jpg

    If turned while not completely dry, of course, the rolling pin may go out of round a bit. Fortunately, the T/R ratio IPE is fairly low, only 1.2 (according to the Wood Database), so depending on the current dryness it may not change enough to cause a problem. And depending on the rolling pin design, if it does warp too much perhaps it could even be put back on the lathe and trued up.

    Speaking of rolling pin design, I've made several types. My Lovely Bride, IMHO the best cook/baker in the South East, prefers a straight cylinder over the conventional pin with handles and even the "french" style. She uses it with both palms flat on the top side. She said she gets better control and can feel the evenness of the dough better. The latest one I made from Olivewood is now her favorite:

    Rolling_pin_olive_IMG_8137.jpg

    JKJ

  7. #7
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    +1 on the splinters. Ipe can be sanded very smooth, but tearout can be bad, and splinters from it can be nasty. Also as noted, it will be heavy, which will be a personal preference. Would these be French, or traditional with a rod running through? Drilling ipe is hard on tooling as you probably know. Personally I would choose something else, but they would be unique rolling pins. And I pity the poor man that has his wife beat him with that thing.

  8. #8
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    The guy is coming tonight to pick up the rolling pin, or hopefully rolling pins. He has bought at least six for family members and a niece just bought a house and she wants one. They are all over 20 inches long. Top to bottom Ash, Purpleheart, Ipe and Maple. The knot has been stabilized and should be fine.
    B5C709D2-76F4-4110-B9C7-5536820F709F.jpg
    Last edited by kevin nee; 01-28-2022 at 2:57 PM.

  9. #9
    After using lots of it, Ipe is the last thing I would ever put in contact with food.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reed Gray View Post
    I haven't done one out of Ipe, at least not yet. Going to make a mortar and pestle from it soon. Can't see any reason not to use it, other than it is hard on your tools, and very difficult to sand because of all the oil in it...

    I am a retired pharmacist The ideal material for a pestle and mortar is glass The rational is you are able to grind highly coloured substances and not stain the mortar. Stoneware mortars should ideally only be used for white powders Grinding coloured substances in a stoneware mortar is likely to stain both the pestle and mortar

    Other
    To mix a small amount of coloured powder with a lager amount of white powder the ideal method is to use a pallet knife and place both powders on a large piece of paper

    The small amount of colored powder is mixed with an equal amount of white powder then use geomatical progression ( mix increasing equal amounts) to create a homogenous mixture

    The pallet knife should be used in large sweeping strokes similar to spreading butter on a slice of bread and lifting the leading edge of the knife as you make the stroke

    The scientific rational behind this method is on a molecular scale you move the molecules in 3 planes over large distances and increase the chances of a particular molecule passing another
    This is particularly important when preparing medicines when you need to mix a small amount of active ingredient with a larger amount of other material Example preparing powders or capsules

    An application in woodturning would be mixing a highly coloured substance with another for filling cracks in bowls
    Last edited by John K Jordan; 01-29-2022 at 1:31 PM. Reason: fixed ending quote tag

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Deakin View Post
    I am a retired pharmacist The ideal material for a pestle and mortar is glass ...
    I use a glass mortar and pestle to pulverize all medications for livestock on the farm provided in tablet form. One horse needed nine large tablets twice a day! Turning those to powder was good exercise.

    For the kitchen I made this from Olivewood. We use it for dry herbs and such.

    Olive_mortar_and_pestle.jpg

    One reason I used Olive was the density and fine pores in the wood. Other reasons are I like the look of Olivewood and have a lot. It's a dream to turn.

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