I mentioned this project in another thread. However, since I was unable to find anything, via Google, on how to make a French rolling pin, I thought I would post my experiences here.
Before finding any dimensions, I employed the finnagle factor and decided on a 16" long pin for my nine year old grandson. Later, I found two advertised at 18" and one at 20". Having made a different style once for my wife, I believe 20" is too long and would be unwieldy for anyone.
But, it took quite a bit of searching to find the diameter. The center is recommended to be 1 1/2" dia. One source said the ends should be 1 1/8". That is what I am going with.
BTW, one article said this style was deliberately designed so the cooks hand would actually come into contact with the dough and give a better feel for consistency. Conventional, handled, pins do not allow this personal touch.
The wood I am using is Arkansas maple. I don't know what kind of maple it is. I have been told we have only soft maple. I would challenge anyone to turn this stuff and tell me it is 'soft'. BTW, this hunk looks like it has some very pretty figure in it. That will be a bonus. Pictured is an example of a French pin and a shot of my pin at beginning stage of turning. Probably won't get finished until after the 19th of this month as I have three other projects underway and we are going on a trip. This isn't going to make FW project of the year, but some might find it interesting. I'll update as I go.