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Reverse Engineering a Ravioli Rolling Pin

Have you ever noticed how much the most popular and consistently creative makers are driven by their curiosity? Spend any time watching people like Izzy Swan, Jimmy DiResta, Laura Kampf, John Edgar Park, and their ilk, and you’ll see them constantly trying out new tools and techniques, taking on projects slightly out of their depth just to see if they can figure them out, and generally letting their curiosity run the show.

A great example of this curiosity in action is Bob Clagett of I Like to Make Stuff. He recently saw a ravioli rolling pin for the first time and was surprised to discover how ravioli is actually made (me, too!). He decided to try and reverse engineer such a rolling pin in his shop and the result is this video.

To make the notched disks for his pin, he first glued blocks of cherry together to create some turning stock for his lathe. Before turning the glued-up block on the lathe to create a long cylinder from which to cut the disks for the rolling pin, he dado’d the grooves into the block where the horizontal pieces for the roller will go. He then cut these horizontal pieces out of some teak he had on hand. Once the cylinder was turned and then cut into the five disks, it was simply a matter of gluing everything up and finishing it. To finish his pin, he used a combination of bees wax and mineral oil.

pin

And it worked! Bob is more of a sweet than savory guy, so he was more interested in making dessert raviolis over pasta ravioli. Given this, a mistake that he made in the dimensions of the openings on the pin ended up making more elongated rectangular pieces, perfect for creating nice little fruit pie shapes. Yum.

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy man’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.

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