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I just received a new french rolling pin as a gift. I washed it once in mild soap and water and made sure it dried quickly by wiping it down. It is now a little rougher than before washing.

  • Should I oil it? If so, what kind of oil?
  • Should I refrain from washing it ever, and just wipe it down with a 'damp' cloth?
  • Should I just chuck it and buy a new one of a higher quality that isn't rough at all?

These are my main questions after searching online and finding conflicting advice about washing and oiling. I thought to put it to you guys here on Seasoned Advice!

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2 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

You don't need to oil it. Don't wash it, just wipe it as you suggest, and the oils it absorbs from pastry etc will do the job for you.

Your current one may smooth out a bit once it's absorbed some oil. If not, grab a new one.

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Fantastic! Sounds so obvious when you put it like that, shucks... –  NOTjust -- user4304 Sep 5 '12 at 14:41
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The roughness you observed after a first washing is because the manufacturer neglected to do this themselves. All workers in fine wood know the last sanding leaves very tiny broken wood fibers behind. A quick dampening of the wood makes these fibers stand up and another light sanding with 600 grit or light rub down with "0000" steel wool will it smooth out. There is also the possibility the last sanding was when it was still spinning on the lathe which is cross-grain. Very common with production turnings. A final hand buff with "0000" steel wool going with the grain is what I always do on nice wood projects.

I do not recommend oiling a pin. I just had to toss one out that was ruined from oil that soaked in and became rancid. I put it back on my shop lathe and started removing layers of wood, thinking I will eventually get down to clean wood again. After turning the pin down to half it's original diameter, I gave up. The stench was still there. This was a very hard maple pin, which is even more surprising.

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So maybe I should just give it a rub down with the wool myself? –  NOTjust -- user4304 Sep 24 '13 at 2:11
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