To get started, I cut a piece of pine about 4″ long to use as the roller, and marked the centre on each end:
The blank is turned round on the lathe, making sure that it is as close to a true cylinder as possible. I find that it’s helpful to eyeball the surface with the edge of the tool rest to get it close.
Another way is to cut a block that fits between the work and the bed of the lathe to check that they are parallel.
Sanding it with a flat sanding pad is an effective way to true it while it’s still on the lathe:
A straightedge is used to check it. No gaps means it’s good.
With the roller off the lathe, pilot holes are drilled in each end for #8 wood screws:
The arms of the roller frame are made from 1/4″ thick plywood, and the end is rounded. I used a 1/2″ washer to draw the arc.
A piece of solid hardwood is cut to the same width as the arms, and just slightly longer than the roller:
These are assembled with glue and pin nails. Screws will be added after the glue sets.
Next, a simple handle is turned from hardwood:
The handle is then glued and screwed to the frame:
The roller is installed in the frame with screws and washers. The screws are not fully driven, allowing the roller to turn:
Finished and ready to use.
I made this one for larger glue-ups, but a smaller version would be handy to have as well. With a longer handle and a stronger frame, it could be used to roll out veneer or plastic laminate.