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Guitar cutter: Sourcing, Using, Maintaining


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135 replies to this topic

#31 Rhubarb

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Posted 03 January 2007 - 01:05 PM

OK, I recently splurged on a guitar cutter, thinking I would suddenly reap tons of free time and decrease my stress levels. It has worked very nicely. But sometimes I'd rather be using a hot knife and a ruler again. Right now I'm replacing strings like crazy and I don't really know why. There's some variance in the firmness/thickness of my ganaches but I know none of them are out-of-the-ordinary. I'm using the "economy" plastic base model (http://www.chefrubbe... Single Guitars), and have found the tightening bolts difficult to loosen initially, and difficult to use in general. (You have to sort of guess how much slack to feed in while the bolt's screwed down in to the frame, then screw it up and out to tighten.) The loops that hook on the other end are also outside my skill set. I end up fiddling with pliers and looking for band aids when I should be filling orders. I haven't had the benefit of regular use of a guitar at a previous job, and I'm kind of at a loss in terms of upkeep/maintenance. Any advice?
Also, anyone have a reasonable source foor food-safe stainless steel wire? Chef Rubber must be fleecing me big time on that 30" length...

#32 alanamoana

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Posted 03 January 2007 - 02:44 PM

sounds to me like you're tightening your wires a bit too much. also, when cutting through something that's relatively firm, go slowly and gently. i used to cut a pretty firm cookie dough, ganache and pates de fruit on a frequent basis and only popped one or two wires every few months.

then again, it could be the design of the guitar you are using. maybe the wires are thinner? then again, based on the information on chefrubber's site, it doesn't look too different from the german model i was using.

#33 escry

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Posted 03 January 2007 - 06:16 PM

I went through a stage of doing this. My problem: it was winter, the chocolate room was cool in the morning, and the ganache sheets were too cold (say 14 degrees Celsius). I warmed them up a few degrees to soften the ganache and not more problems.

#34 stscam

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Posted 04 January 2007 - 02:22 PM

My great frustration with our guitar cutter is the difficulty in hooking up a new wire. During replacement I often punched the new wire into my finger tips. Ouch. And I was never able to wrap the wire around the post as well as the factory. We ended up taking already wrapped wires off our 1-1/2" frame (which we rarely ever use). Not the best solution, but it saved a lot of time, fingers and burning the eardrums of staff who had to put up with my screaming at the guitar.


Cheers,

Steve
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Glacier Country

#35 Rhubarb

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Posted 04 January 2007 - 02:51 PM

Heh heh; yes, I've already cannibalized my largest frame for strings, though I'm getting handier with the pliers. Most of the strings are looser now than when I got the cutter, but I'm hesitant to tighten them much more. And I don't know what this portends, but I noticed yesterday that as soon as the strings hit the ganache it gets curly, crumbly edges along the cut, which is a pain. Escry, I think you may be right and the ganache is too cold. Suggestions on gentle warming? I have a hair dryer; that might not get the center. Don't want it so soft that the pieces rejoin after cutting. I made the poor choice of warming the strings before cutting recently and found the pieces had melted together by the time I took them off the base.

#36 Aria

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Posted 08 February 2007 - 07:48 PM

Hello all!
I'm so in awe of David J and Lloydchoc who are making or have made their own guitar cutters but I'm sure I couldn't and don't know anyone who could help me with one so...does any one have a simpler alternative to buying a guitar cutter? How about some large wire thing attached to a rounded handle or a large version of a cheese cutter? Thanks a lot!

#37 Gruzia

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Posted 08 February 2007 - 09:57 PM

I'm not sure how thick or thin the wire on guitar cutters is, but reading your post, the idea that popped into my head is that you could get one of those little bead looms from a craft store and string it with wire rather than thread.

#38 David J.

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 09:26 AM

Hello all!
I'm so in awe of David J and Lloydchoc who are making or have made their own guitar cutters but I'm sure I couldn't and don't know anyone who could help me with one so...does any one have a simpler alternative to buying a guitar cutter? How about some large wire thing attached to a rounded handle or a large version of a cheese cutter? Thanks a lot!

View Post



Don't assume you can't make your own! I'm specifically designing my cutter to be able to be built by just about anyone with no expensive tooling (well, so far I've resigned myself to requiring access to a table or radial arm saw for cutting the slots for the wires).

When I finish I'll write up a detailed construction manual and possibly even edit a video for anyone who wants to try their hand at it. Like the efforts to get laptops in the hands of every kid in the third world, I want to make it possible for every confectioner to have a guitar cutter.

David

#39 Aria

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 10:46 AM

I might be way off base here but could this be made to work?
http://cgi.ebay.ca/M...1QQcmdZViewItem

#40 tammylc

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 12:41 PM

I might be way off base here but could this be made to work?
http://cgi.ebay.ca/M...1QQcmdZViewItem

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Good question... it's still not nearly as efficient as a guitar cutter, because you could only do one piece at a time, and you'd still have to measure by hand. Not sure if it would be any better than just using a chef's knife.

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#41 Mr. Delicious

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 07:11 PM

I use a Lincoln Redco Cheese blocker to cut my cheesecakes, the best damn invention ever.

http://shopping.nets...1&it=A&id=10531

Expensive, but well worth the price to me.

#42 jcho

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Posted 23 October 2007 - 07:29 PM

I bought a double guitar about a year ago, and am just getting ready to use it (I know, but don't kick me; I planned badly and I've been way too busy.) I've only used guitars in class, and we always used a fairly thin layer of ganache, perhaps 3/8". My question is whether I will be able to cut a thicker layer, as I'm hoping to make dessert-size chocolates with less labor than the hand-rolled truffles we now make.

I know I could experiment, and I'm hoping some of you out there will be willing to share your experiences and perhaps give me some tips?

Thanks!
Jennifer

#43 gap

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Posted 23 October 2007 - 08:59 PM

I've used a guitar to cut a 15mm (sorry, don't know inches) high slab of fairly solid ganache.

#44 readingrilke

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Posted 24 October 2007 - 09:23 PM

I bought a double guitar about a year ago, and am just getting ready to use it (I know, but don't kick me; I planned badly and I've been way too busy.)  I've only used guitars in class, and we always used a fairly thin layer of ganache, perhaps 3/8".  My question is whether I will be able to cut a thicker layer, as I'm hoping to make dessert-size chocolates with less labor than the hand-rolled truffles we now make. 

I know I could experiment, and I'm hoping some of you out there will be willing to share your experiences and perhaps give me some tips?

Thanks!
Jennifer

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It's not really thickness so much as hardness. Don't cut with your 'bottom' on top, i.e. the side with your chocolate pre-coat. Another major thing is that the excess chocolate from your pre-coating should be removed from the edges of your slab, because this is what is more likely to break your strings, than the ganache itself.

As for height, 15mm, which is slightly over .5 inches high is a good height, doing more than that I think it kind of pointless and perhaps hard to eat....don't want people to have to have their mouths gapping to eat a piece of chocolate.

#45 jcho

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Posted 27 October 2007 - 05:53 AM

gap and readingrilke, 15mm would work for me, that is what I was seeking. I'll try it out this week and let you know how it goes--maybe it won't be a waste after all. Thank you again
Jennifer

#46 Kerry Beal

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Posted 27 October 2007 - 06:02 AM

Don't try to cut caramel with it.

The only center I had trouble with and feared for the strings was the Greweling sesame centers that had a bottom made with dark chocolate mixed with a sesame krokant. I know the rules say never lift the strings while cutting, but I did so as not to break them. The strings were making an unpleasant noise when I decided to back them up.

I would never abuse anyone for taking a year to get to a new piece of equipment - as I trip over my sausage stuffer (8 months), my flake mill (5 months) ...

#47 renam

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Posted 16 November 2007 - 02:23 PM

Hi Everyone,
I'm going to be purchasing a Confectionary slicer or Guitar after the holidays. Pastrychef.com has 2 models. One for $1999.99 and the other for $1899.99. Does anyone have one and if you do where did you buy yours? Is it worth the money? Was is difficult to operate? Sorry for all the questions. I just want to make sure I'm buying something that I won't regret later. I've been lucky with my Little Dipper. It's works great!
Any thoughts are much appreciated!
Thanks and have a Happy Thanksgiving!!

Rena :smile:

#48 ChristopherMichael

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Posted 16 November 2007 - 03:40 PM

Whatever you do, DO NOT buy one from www.dr.ca . The guitar they make is very poor quality for the price and their customer service is really bad. I believe that pastry chef sells the same one as www.dr.ca does. If I were you, I would spend a few dollars more and buy one from Tomric. I forgot to add, the www.dr.ca one does NOT cut firmer centers at all. I can cut the same center on the Tomric one, but not on the www.dr.ca one. My advice is stay away from their guitar and if your going to spend two thousand dollars on something, you probably want the best, you will not be getting the best from www.dr.ca or Pastry Chef (same one as dr.ca), As a matter of fact, it's not worth a thousand dollars or ever a couple hundred. Spend a little more and get something you would feel better about, buy from Tomric.

#49 renam

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Posted 16 November 2007 - 04:21 PM

Thanks I will check out Tomric. I did like the one on Pastrychef. I looks like it built well but if you have one and it's not working that great than I will take you word.
Thanks again and thank you Gfron1 for the merged topic.

Rena

#50 Kerry Beal

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Posted 16 November 2007 - 05:09 PM

I'm disappointed to hear that the Design and Realization guitar hasn't worked out. I wonder if tuning up the wires would help. Is the wire as heavy as the wire on Tomric one? Which Tomric guitar have you got - does it have the plastic base?

Posted Image

Mine is a Dedy from Germany - it's the same one that we used in the class with Wybauw. I had someone in Germany send it to me. Tomric carries it too. The plasic based Martenello at Tomric didn't appeal to me, the sample they had showed a chip in the plastic on the side of one of the slots and I could picture the strings getting broken.

You don't need the double - it really is a very simple matter to turn the slab of ganache or what ever you are cutting.

Here is a link to a description of how the guitar was used in the class.

#51 ChristopherMichael

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Posted 16 November 2007 - 05:58 PM

I'm disappointed to hear that the Design and Realization guitar hasn't worked out.  I wonder if tuning up the wires would help.  Is the wire as heavy as the wire on Tomric one?  Which Tomric guitar have you got - does it have the plastic base?


Mine is a Dedy from Germany - it's the same one that we used in the class with Wybauw.  I had someone in Germany send it to me.  Tomric carries it too.  The plasic based Martenello at Tomric didn't appeal to me, the sample they had showed a chip in the plastic on the side of one of the slots and I could picture the strings getting broken. 

You don't need the double - it really is a very simple matter to turn the slab of ganache or what ever you are cutting. 

Here is a link to a description of how the guitar was used in the class.

View Post


I don't have the plastic based one, I have been using the one you have and it's just works very well. The one from DR doesn't cut well because when you go to cut, the wires are almost parallel with the base, so you don't get the vertical angle that allows you to cut firmer pralines. Plus, it looks very cheap and garage made compared to Tomric's and yours. If I'm not mistaken, I believe the one Tomric has is the same as the Savy one as well. I'm sure some people are happy with the one they got from DR, but I just wasn't and I'm very picky about what I spend my money on. Plus, I didn't like how they resolved the issue as well. I don't mean to be negative, but I must voice my dissatisfaction with a product.

Edited by ChristopherMichael, 16 November 2007 - 06:03 PM.


#52 Kerry Beal

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Posted 16 November 2007 - 06:06 PM

I don't have the plastic based one, I have been using the one you have and it's just works very well. The one from DR doesn't cut well because when you go to cut, the wires are almost parallel with the base, so you don't get the vertical angle that allows you to cut firmer pralines. Plus, it looks very cheap and garage made compared to Tomric's and yours. If I'm not mistaken, I believe the one Tomric has is the same as the Savy one as well. I'm sure some people are happy with the one they got from DR, but I just wasn't and I'm very picky about what I spend my money on. Plus, I didn't like how they resolved the issue as well. I don't mean to be negative, but I must voice my dissatisfaction with a product.

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That's good to know. I haven't seen the actual DR guitar in several years, before I was interested in having one. They make their own single now and it's clear from the pictures of their single and double that the designs are different.

Were you able to send the guitar back?

#53 ChristopherMichael

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Posted 16 November 2007 - 06:17 PM


I don't have the plastic based one, I have been using the one you have and it's just works very well. The one from DR doesn't cut well because when you go to cut, the wires are almost parallel with the base, so you don't get the vertical angle that allows you to cut firmer pralines. Plus, it looks very cheap and garage made compared to Tomric's and yours. If I'm not mistaken, I believe the one Tomric has is the same as the Savy one as well. I'm sure some people are happy with the one they got from DR, but I just wasn't and I'm very picky about what I spend my money on. Plus, I didn't like how they resolved the issue as well. I don't mean to be negative, but I must voice my dissatisfaction with a product.

View Post

That's good to know. I haven't seen the actual DR guitar in several years, before I was interested in having one. They make their own single now and it's clear from the pictures of their single and double that the designs are different.

Were you able to send the guitar back?

View Post


After many calls and emails, they did agree to take it back, but at a loss to me. Just put it this way, I have learned my lesson (and lighter in the wallet) that you should always buy from a well established company like Tomric, JB Price, ChefRubber and so on.. The reason why they're well known and established is because they sell quality products and take care of their customers.

#54 sote23

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Posted 23 November 2007 - 01:12 AM

I simply wouldn't skimp on it. I recently was offered a guitar at a pretty good price, but it had a plastic base, and in my opinion it's not worth buying. Yes a quality one will cost more but in the end it's worth it. I'm going the same route as Kerry and will get the best which is the Dedy.

Luis

#55 John DePaula

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Posted 23 November 2007 - 03:08 PM

I simply wouldn't skimp on it. I recently was offered a guitar at a pretty good price, but it had a plastic base, and in my opinion it's not worth buying. Yes a quality one will cost more but in the end it's worth it. I'm going the same route as Kerry and will get the best which is the Dedy.

Luis

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Luis,

From where are you purchasing the Dedy? Kerry, I believe, had a friend bring it back from Germany.
John DePaula
DePaula Confections
Hand-crafted artisanal chocolates & gourmet confections - …Because Pleasure Matters…
--------------------
When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

#56 Kerry Beal

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Posted 23 November 2007 - 03:50 PM

I simply wouldn't skimp on it. I recently was offered a guitar at a pretty good price, but it had a plastic base, and in my opinion it's not worth buying. Yes a quality one will cost more but in the end it's worth it. I'm going the same route as Kerry and will get the best which is the Dedy.

Luis

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Luis,

From where are you purchasing the Dedy? Kerry, I believe, had a friend bring it back from Germany.

View Post

Tomric imports them.

#57 sote23

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Posted 24 November 2007 - 02:13 PM

I simply wouldn't skimp on it. I recently was offered a guitar at a pretty good price, but it had a plastic base, and in my opinion it's not worth buying. Yes a quality one will cost more but in the end it's worth it. I'm going the same route as Kerry and will get the best which is the Dedy.

Luis

View Post

Luis,

From where are you purchasing the Dedy? Kerry, I believe, had a friend bring it back from Germany.

View Post



tomric imports them. Make sure you call, as they only seem to get 1 at a time. Jbprince may carry it as well, it looks like a Dedy, but when I called to confirm, they couldn't tell me who the manufacture is.

Luis

#58 stscam

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Posted 25 November 2007 - 09:14 AM

I simply wouldn't skimp on it. I recently was offered a guitar at a pretty good price, but it had a plastic base, and in my opinion it's not worth buying. Yes a quality one will cost more but in the end it's worth it. I'm going the same route as Kerry and will get the best which is the Dedy.


I've had a plastic base guitar for 4 years and have no complaints. The plastic is strong and rugged. Indeed, the guitar base alone probably weighs 20 pounds. All the plastic pieces are securely aligned with bolts. It is in no way flimsy or cheaply built.
Cheers,

Steve
Steve Smith
Glacier Country

#59 Kerry Beal

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Posted 25 November 2007 - 10:06 AM

I've had a plastic base guitar for 4 years and have no complaints. The plastic is strong and rugged. Indeed, the guitar base alone probably weighs 20 pounds. All the plastic pieces are securely aligned with bolts. It is in no way flimsy or cheaply built.
Cheers,

Steve

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Steve,

It wasn't the weight or strength of the plastic base that bothered me. They did look nice and substantial. When I went to Tomric and had a look at the Martello (?sp) they had, there were a couple of slices into the plastic right beside the area where the strings would come down into the slots. I was concerned that if this were a frequent problem that the strings would get caught on this piece of plastic and break. I'm sure if this happened you could file the piece off to prevent the strings from getting broken. The other issue I had with the plastic one was that the metal spatula that came with it was much thicker that the one that came with the Dedy - obviously something that could be replaced with a thinner spatula and you'd still be miles ahead on the cost.

#60 John DePaula

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Posted 04 November 2008 - 08:09 PM

Does anyone have any current suggestions on buying a guitar candy cutter?
John DePaula
DePaula Confections
Hand-crafted artisanal chocolates & gourmet confections - …Because Pleasure Matters…
--------------------
When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”