Our Best-in-Show French tapered rolling pin is just as exotic and beautiful as collectable vintage guitars – some 50 to 100 years old!
Musicians love the sound of aged acoustic guitars, improved over many years by chemical changes inside the wood that generate vibrational energy and improved tones. Today’s guitar makers try to achieve the benefits of that natural aging process by using torrefied — or baked — hardwoods.
Our winning French tapered rolling pin at the New England Made Giftware and Specialty Food Show was made from torrefied maple. While we can’t claim the rolling pin “sounds” better, the golden, “aged” wood certainly looks beautiful, and the honey patina offers a smooth, soft feel. It would take many years for a rolling pin made in conventional hardwoods to develop these sought-after characteristics naturally.
Torrefaction is a thermo-curing process that dramatically speeds up the natural aging of wood. The process heats wood in an oxygen-free environment to remove oils, pitch, sugars, resins, and other vibration-damping volatiles. The treatment redistributes lignin (the glue that bonds cellulose fibers), resulting in wood that is measurably stiffer, weighs less, and vibrates more efficiently than un-torrefied wood. It is the stiffness and lighter-weight wood that creates amazing tone.
A torrefied piece can resemble wood recovered from a river bottom after centuries of submersion. Or even a wood artifact discovered in an ancient Egyptian tomb. The torrefied coloring effect is present throughout the entire thickness of the wood.
Torrefied wood is also much more resistant to potential damage from harsh weather conditions including heat, cold, and moisture, since the wood does not absorb water that would cause it to expand, contract, or warp. This makes a rolling pin more durable over time.
Increasingly popular, modern thermal modification technology has been around for about 15 years. But the Japanese have been performing a similar wood treatment method, known as yakisugi or shou sugi ban, for centuries to achieve the same properties of water and rot resistance. Their traditional method involves charring wood with fire and then coating it in natural oils. And the Vikings torrefied the wood used in building ships to enhance stability and durability.
Rolling pins made from torrefied wood offer several benefits over conventional hardwoods — vintage appearance, amber glow, soft feel, and enhanced durability. Contact us to discuss manufacturing your custom rolling pin with torrefied wood. Pricing is higher, of course, than using conventional hardwoods but using this material will make your product unique, differentiating your brand. We can use torrefied material to produce many pin formats in many styles – tapered, traditional with handles, straight dowel, or fixed height.