Caring for laser-engraved rolling pin

I bought a laser-engraved rolling pin in anticipation of someday being able to make one. Now that I have one in hand, it raises several questions.

Mine has intricate designs. I can see that if I use sticky dough it’s just going to clog up the designs (yah, I know to use flour). Although the laser cuts seem to have minimal char, it is still bare/unfinished wood with the laser-cuts.

Should I seal or otherwise treat it in order to:

  1. protect my dough from any residue in the laser cut areas?
  2. facilitate sticky dough release?
  3. make it easier to clean?

And if so … with what - butcher block oil?

Does anyone own a laser-cut rolling pin? Am I making a big deal out of something trivial?

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Depends on who you ask.

Traditionally, mineral oil is what you use for anything coming into contact with food. Downside being you have to reapply it every few months. But more and more people are using very thinned out varnish for items that are meant for food with the idea that it seeps into the wood and stays within it versus just on the surface like a traditional finish. One such source. You can find others on Google.

As to what will make cleaning the pin easier/get stuff out of the crevices, I’d think hot water to break up the dough would do that, but I don’t know how much warping that might introduce to the pin.

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I’ve heard of people using mineral oil + a small amount of beeswax, which is what I think butcher block oil is actually.

Cleanup is pretty easy in hot water with perhaps a little dishwashing soap. Re-treatment is a function of frequency of use. The amount of oil is also dependent upon porosity of the wood. You would have to experiment to really know.

I’ve seen many cutting board submerged in mineral oil and left overnight to soak then put up to dry/absorb the oil.

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I use mineral oil on my kitchen Woodware (spoons and cutting boards mostly). The rule of thumb I learned for cutting boards was that you should oil them:

Daily for a week
Weekly for a month
Monthly forever

In practice, I oil them up whenever they start looking dry, which is probably not often enough.


I plan to shellac the handles. Any reason I couldn’t shellac the rolling pin itself?

It would seem disgustingly safe.

Shellac, derived from Indian lac bugs, is a common food - safe film finish and is highly water resistant.

  • Food-Safe Finishes
  • Pure tung oil. Extracted from the nut of the china wood tree. …
  • Raw linseed oil.
  • Mineral oil.
  • Walnut oil.
  • Beeswax
  • Carnauba wax
  • Shellac

What candy is made out of bugs?
The hard, shiny shells on candies are often made from shellac, a resin secreted by the lac bug . You may know shellac from its more famous work in varnishes and sealants, but it’s also a mainstay in pill coatings, candy , coffee beans, and even the waxy sheen on apples and other fruits and vegetables.

And if the above wasn’t enough …
Are there bugs in everything we eat?
A new study from an insect control company estimated that we eat , on average, 140,000 ‘bug bits’ every year. Mealworm, maggot, and roach pieces are found in everyday foods like chocolate, coffee, and wheat flour. It’s totally legal: The FDA allows small amounts of insect matter in our food.

Food safe finshes - HD


I plan to shellac the handles. Any reason I couldn’t shellac the rolling pin itself?

Actually, no. Shellac does rub off over time, which is true of any finish that’s on top of the wood, so a rolling pin may not be the best use for it but it’s easy to reapply if/when that becomes an issue and you shouldn’t need to worry about it cracking like you would on a cutting board (which is why it’s not recommended for such) so it’d probably work well in this situation.


I figure this is such a novelty item it’s likely to get used a few times at best and I think the shellac will make it easier to clean.

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