Full Chisel Blog

December 6, 2012

Traditional Molinillo / Chocolate Pot Stirring Stick

I got an order from the Tinsmith over at Hot Dip Tin for a couple of chocolate pot stirring sticks or molinillos for his chocolate pots.  I looked at many designs mostly from Mexico but did see a few European style from which I took the pattern and created my own version.

While looking around for a piece of maple to make them from, I came across some maple balusters I have been packing around for several years and immediately saw that I could get a stick from each one.

Probably would have been easier to chuck it up and re-turn the top handle, but I chose to shape it with a drawknife, spokeshaves to get the rough shape.  I sawed off the ends and used chisels to carve the round bottom part, both a V chisel and flat chisel to form the reeds.  I used carving gouges to shape the fluted transition to the round handle.  I also used my tombstone scrapers for the final shaping.

I raised the grain and lightly sanded the finished stir stick and applied a coat of Hemp Seed Oil for the finish.  Yes hemp seed oil is a drying oil like linseed oil, walnut oil, and poppy seed oil.

Now to make the other one.



  1. I’ve seen the mexican ones with the moving bits, but not really these. It’s interesting the tools used in the creation of all that chocolate goodness; I just use a good whisk, a pot, and lots of cocoa and cream. Is he going to invite you over for a pot of chocolate when you’re done (purely in the the name of testing the finished item)?

    Comment by anastasia — December 11, 2012 @ 10:29 pm

  2. I’m interested in your experience with hemp seed oil as compared to linseed oil. I use linseed (food grade flaxseed) oil to finish my carved bowls. I discuss the benefits of using linseed as opposed to mineral oil on my website in the use and care section.

    I discoved your website today after starting to read your book “Shellac, Linseed Oil, & Paint.” I must tell you that even though I have only read the chapter on linseed oil in full, it is most eye-opening and empowering book on finishing that I have ever come across. Absolutely fantastic. Thank you for sharing your experience and knowlede. I look forward to reading more and exploring the website.

    Comment by David Fisher — December 25, 2012 @ 8:34 pm

  3. anastasia,
    I am going to trade for one of his chocolate pots, so I can do some testing on my own.

    Thank you for your kind words about my latest book. As for hemp seed oil v linseed oil, it is not as heavy duty, takes longer to build up but is an excellent oil for finishing. Some of the hemp seed oil has a bit of a green tinge to it and can have some particles that settle out. I decant off the clear oil and use what is left to make putty [with calcium carbonate {whiting}].


    Comment by Stephen Shepherd — December 26, 2012 @ 9:31 am

  4. Dear Stephen,

    I am in search of a narrow molinillo. The opening in our demonstration chocolate pot is 1 3/4″ in diameter. Would you be willing to make one for Valley Forge National Historical Park and how much would it be. Thanks, Dona

    Comment by Dona McDermott — April 25, 2013 @ 1:21 pm

  5. Dona,
    I sent you an email.

    Comment by Stephen Shepherd — April 25, 2013 @ 1:40 pm

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