pastry image by Aleksandr Ugorenkov from

Dough rollers perform much the same function as rolling pins; although they are used for working with smaller quantities of dough. While a rolling pin can measure more than a foot long -- a dough roller is usually about 6-inches wide. This is best utilized for rolling things like pastry or phyllo dough. They are commercially available in many styles, and are usually made of materials like plastic, marble and wood.

Mark the center of the diameter of the 3-inch dowel and clamp it on end, perpendicular to the 1 ¼-inch drill bit. Drill a hole completely through the dowel. This will be used as your roller.

Mark the circumference center of the one inch diameter dowel, ½ inch from each end. Clamp the dowel to the drill press horizontally -- and drill a 3/16-inch hole through each mark. Make certain that the holes are parallel to one another.

Mark the center of the diameter on one end of each of the 6-inch long, 1-inch dowels. Clamp them in place, one at a time, and countersink a 3/16ths-inch hole in the ends. Repeat the process on the opposite ends.

Measure and mark 1/2-inch from both ends of the second 8 ½-inch dowel. Clamp in place and drill a 3/16-inch hole on both ends. Again, make certain that the holes are parallel to one another.

Sand all the parts to a smooth finish. Lacquer all the pieces. Though optional, lacquer is highly recommended. Let the first coat of lacquer dry and apply a second coat.

Slide the 1-inch dowel through the center of the 3-inch dowel. Apply wood glue to the holes of the 1-inch dowel -- the end holes of the 6-inch dowels -- and two spiral grooved dowel pegs.

Align the holes on the 1-inch dowel with the countersunk holes in the 6-inch dowels. Firmly hammer the dowels into place, using the wooden mallet. Wipe off all of the excess glue.

Align the holes of the second 8 ½-inch dowel with the countersunk holes of the 6-inch dowels that are affixed to the 8 ½ inch dowel.

Apply wood glue to the holes and the two remaining spiral grooved dowel pegs; and hammer them into place through the top of the 8 ½-inch dowel.

Wipe off all excess glue, and allow your dough roller to dry completely.


Test the dowels before starting to assemble the dough roller, by partially inserting them into the holes. Usually, the dowels are slightly smaller than the size advertised. They should be snug, but with a few taps of the mallet, you should be able to tell if they will fit. If not, increase the size of the 3/16-inch holes to ¼-inch.

Though applying lacquer is optional it is recommended because it seals the wood grain. This helps its rolling ability. In addition, it is better for sanitation purposes because it prevents bacteria from becoming embedded in the wood.

About the Author

Chuck Ayers

Chuck Ayers began writing professionally in 1982, breathing life into obituaries, becoming a political and investigative reporter at a major East Coast metropolitan newspaper. He now freelances and is a California communications and political consultant. He graduated from American University, Washington, D.C., with degrees in political science and economics.