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Caramel Tools: Rulers, Cutters & Transfer Sheets

Confections

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78 replies to this topic

#1 dmalouf

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Posted 05 September 2006 - 04:08 PM

I asked a friend of mine to build a guitar cutter for me. He is a professional fabricator and based his design on specs found on this website and other pictures I could find online.

It's a beautiful piece of equipment. The problem is that it doesn't cut through my caramels. I cook them to just below the hard ball stage then set them in a caramel ruler. When I try to cut them, the wires just don't make it all the way through, though it perforates enough where I can then follow the lines with a pizza roller.

So my question is this, am I having problems because the wires aren't right (I don't know enough to tell you what kind of wires they are) or do those of you with professional guitar cutters have the same problem??

Thank you
diana

#2 David J.

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Posted 05 September 2006 - 08:14 PM

How far down do the wires travel below the surface of the cutting board when there is no resistance? You have to take into account the fact that the wires will bend when there is resistance, the greater the resistance the greater the bend. I would guess for caramel it might take over an inch of extra travel.

I'm in the midst of building my cutter as in the drawings I posted and I'd be gratefull if you would post the design you used so I could possibly modify mine to take advantage of what you have done.

David

#3 stscam

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Posted 06 September 2006 - 12:47 PM

Commercial guitars allow the wires to drop a half-inch or so below the top surface. This gives you clean, all-the-way through cut.

Cheers,

Steve
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#4 BakingBee

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Posted 06 September 2006 - 07:42 PM

Hi dmalouf,

I would also like to build a guitar cutter coz the professional one is not affordable for me. If you don't mind, please share your design to all of us? A photo would also be helpful.

Thanks in advance!!!

#5 dmalouf

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 10:59 AM

sorry for my delayed response, my brother and his wife had a baby this weekend and I am now officially an aunt!!

I've posted some pictures below. I hope these photos are helpful.

I've decided to cut my caramels by hand for now since I can't figure out how to make this work.
If you have any suggestions for how I can use it to cut caramels, I'd be grateful.



Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

#6 xdrixn

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 11:10 AM

that's great! Now how about a cheap machine caramel wrapper.
www.adrianvasquez.net

#7 alanamoana

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 11:32 AM

dmalouf, that's a great guitar cutter. i think the problem might be that the cuts into the base are not deep enough for to account for the bend in the wires. if the cuts are deeper, you can then push the wires all the way through the caramels. in the commercially made guitars, the base is about three inches tall and the cuts go all the way to the bottom.

#8 stscam

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 11:48 AM

dmalouf,


Your guitar is a beautiful piece of craftsmanship. But I think I see what may be causing your problem. Unless the second photo is decieving, it appears as though the frame is not set low enough in the back.

On our commercial cutter the distance between the wire at rest and the top of the platform is 3/4". As you may have noted when using the guitar, the wires, even though they may be tight, deform during the cutting process, so you need that extra depth to get through your confection.

Perhaps your builder could shift the frame lower without too much difficulty.

Cheers,

Steve

p.s. - I'd have posted a photo of this, but I can't figure out how to post a photo!!! Help would be appreciated. It can't be that difficult. Can it? Yoicks!

Edited by stscam, 10 September 2006 - 11:49 AM.

Steve Smith
Glacier Country

#9 Pam R

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 03:38 PM

Photo help. Has a step-by-step on how to upload and post with ImageGullet. And you can ask any questions you may have in that topic.

#10 David J.

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Posted 11 September 2006 - 08:25 AM

Can you ask you friend about how he buit the wooden table? Specifically What is the thickness of the slats and spacers and did he have to use a planer to get it?

What is the spacing of the slots, 1/4"?

#11 stscam

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Posted 11 September 2006 - 04:07 PM

Hooray, I've put a photo up! Many thanks to Kerry and Pam!

Posted Image

Ok, so here we have a shot of our commercial guitar cutter showing the depth of the wires to be 3/4" below the top of the platform. DMALOUF, as I suggested earlier, your frame may not sit low enough to make a complete cut. Your builder should be able to rectify this.

Cheers,

Steve
Steve Smith
Glacier Country

#12 dmalouf

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Posted 13 September 2006 - 09:59 AM

Steve, thank you so much for the photo, this is very helpful.

David, I'm afraid I can't ask my friend any questions right now. He's having some personal problems. I'll try to respond when he becomes available again.

In the meantime I can take more pictures if that would help. Let me know what angles you'd like.

Thanks to all for your responses.

diana

#13 Desiderio

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Posted 13 September 2006 - 01:21 PM

Hooray, I've put a photo up! Many thanks to Kerry and Pam!

Posted Image

Ok, so here we have a shot of our commercial guitar cutter showing the depth of the wires to be 3/4" below the top of the platform. DMALOUF, as I suggested earlier, your frame may not sit low enough to make a complete cut. Your builder should be able to rectify this.

Cheers,

Steve

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Steve thank you for the pic, what material is the base?
Vanessa

#14 stscam

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Posted 13 September 2006 - 03:07 PM

Vanessa,

The guitar base is made of a tough plastic. The side panels (one is shown on the right) are about 1/2" thick. The thinner pieces, where the wires go through, are individual leaves that are through-bolted to the side panels.

Hope this helps.

Cheers,

Steve
Steve Smith
Glacier Country

#15 pastrybaker

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Posted 18 November 2006 - 10:25 PM

hello,

does anyone happen to know where i would be able to purchase those rulers used in making caramel's. i am located in toronto. if not an online source would be great.

thanks,

pastrybaker.

#16 Anna N

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Posted 19 November 2006 - 01:18 AM

hello,

does anyone happen to know where i would be able to purchase those rulers used in making caramel's. i am located in toronto. if not an online source would be great.

thanks,

pastrybaker.

View Post


If you go through this
Q&A for Kerry's course you will find information about caramel rulers and options for getting them made in the GTA.
Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

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#17 pagosselin

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 05:20 PM

Would anyone know a good source for some caramel rulers?
Also how long can I keep transfer sheets and should they be kept in fridge?
Thanks :smile:
Pat

#18 choux

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 05:32 PM

I don't really have any advice about the caramel rulers since I don't use them, but you can keep transfer sheets for a long time. I've had some for 3 years or so and they are fine. You don't need to refridgerate them unless you don't have anywhere cool to keep them. Room temp is fine.

#19 sote23

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 07:41 PM

Would anyone know a good source for some caramel rulers? 
Also how long can I keep transfer sheets and should they be kept in fridge?
Thanks  :smile:

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try tomric.com, although they are usually out of stock.

#20 Kerry Beal

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 07:59 PM

JB Prince has them, Bridge Kitchen ware has them. Or you can go to a metal store and have them cut some stainless bar and make your own.

Anna N has used metal picture frame, with some extra weight behind the pieces.

#21 Anna N

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Posted 07 February 2007 - 01:14 AM

JB Prince has them, Bridge Kitchen ware has them.  Or you can go to a metal store and have them cut some stainless bar and make your own. 

Anna N has used metal picture frame, with some extra weight behind the pieces.

View Post


I was going to post about this as soon as I had found an ingenious way to add some weight to the bars but life got in the way. They are not the perfect answer but do work. I will try to find a link to the kind we are discussing and add it later. For now I brace them with a couple of heavy pieces of brass and for me they do the job.

This is the basically what they look like:

link

They snap together to make a picture frame but you just need the aluminum bars not the assembly kit. It won't take a genius to figure out a way to add some weight into the grooves - I am just not being very brilliant these days. :raz:

Edited to add link and comments.

Edited by Anna N, 07 February 2007 - 01:27 AM.

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#22 pagosselin

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Posted 07 February 2007 - 02:02 PM

JB Prince has them, Bridge Kitchen ware has them.  Or you can go to a metal store and have them cut some stainless bar and make your own. 

Anna N has used metal picture frame, with some extra weight behind the pieces.

View Post


I was going to post about this as soon as I had found an ingenious way to add some weight to the bars but life got in the way. They are not the perfect answer but do work. I will try to find a link to the kind we are discussing and add it later. For now I brace them with a couple of heavy pieces of brass and for me they do the job.

This is the basically what they look like:

link

They snap together to make a picture frame but you just need the aluminum bars not the assembly kit. It won't take a genius to figure out a way to add some weight into the grooves - I am just not being very brilliant these days. :raz:

Edited to add link and comments.

View Post

Thanks to everyone. It looks like JB Prince has the best price so far. I will look into getting them from a metal shop before I go and order them. Boy some sites are verrrry pricey. I won't be using them enough to pay the higher prices. Do these rods attach in any way? It doesn't appear they do. Is it the weight that keeps them in place?
Pat

#23 Kerry Beal

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Posted 07 February 2007 - 03:10 PM

Thanks to everyone.  It looks like JB Prince has the best price so far.  I will look into getting them from a metal shop before I go and order them.  Boy some sites are verrrry pricey. I won't be using them enough to pay the higher prices.  Do these rods attach in any way? It doesn't appear they do. Is it the weight that keeps them in place?

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Yup, the weight keeps them in place. You just lay them out to make the size square you need.

#24 NickLam

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 07:14 AM

Do as Kerry suggested and save loads of money. I got caramel rulers cut out of 'hairline' stainless steel, really shiny, well polished steel bars that are the perfect size and weight. Can't live without those things.

Also, you could get a machine shop to weld up 4 bars for you to make a ganache frame, but make sure they have a sander large enough to be able to sand the whole assembly nice and flat, or you'll get wobbly frames that require shrinkwrapping on one side when spreading ganache. Guess how I know? :hmmm:

#25 pagosselin

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 09:10 AM

Do as Kerry suggested and save loads of money.  I got caramel rulers cut out of 'hairline' stainless steel, really shiny, well polished steel bars that are the perfect size and weight.  Can't live without those things.

Also, you could get a machine shop to weld up 4 bars for you to make a ganache frame, but make sure they have a sander large enough to be able to sand the whole assembly nice and flat, or you'll get wobbly frames that require shrinkwrapping on one side when spreading ganache.  Guess how I know?    :hmmm:

View Post


"Guess how I know?" I got a good chuckle from that. I would be willing to guess there would be, ah, one or two persons that have found things out the same way. I am looking thru the yellow pages to get some info. on steel shops. I have the hubby thinking about it also. :laugh:
Pat

#26 Kerry Beal

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 10:17 AM

Do as Kerry suggested and save loads of money.  I got caramel rulers cut out of 'hairline' stainless steel, really shiny, well polished steel bars that are the perfect size and weight.  Can't live without those things.

Also, you could get a machine shop to weld up 4 bars for you to make a ganache frame, but make sure they have a sander large enough to be able to sand the whole assembly nice and flat, or you'll get wobbly frames that require shrinkwrapping on one side when spreading ganache.  Guess how I know?    :hmmm:

View Post


"Guess how I know?" I got a good chuckle from that. I would be willing to guess there would be, ah, one or two persons that have found things out the same way. I am looking thru the yellow pages to get some info. on steel shops. I have the hubby thinking about it also. :laugh:

View Post

We have some places called the Metal Supermarket where you can get the stainless.

#27 tammylc

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Posted 10 March 2007 - 09:08 PM

What width should the stainless steel be for caramel rulers?

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#28 David J.

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Posted 10 March 2007 - 11:33 PM

What width should the stainless steel be for caramel rulers?

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I've seen widths advertised from 11/16" to 1" and thicknesses 1/8”, 3/16”, 3/8", 1/2" and 5/8".

To me the key would be to have the width enough greater than the height so it doesn't tip over when you scrape over it.

I found a Metal Supermarket quite near my house. In fact I pass by it to go to my fencing lesson, but that's on a Sunday and they would likely be closed. I'm thinking of getting a quote from them for stainless bars. If I do buy from them I'd be happy to shop for you as well if you want to wait until I get to Ann Arbor the next weekend.

#29 tammylc

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Posted 13 March 2007 - 12:21 PM

I found a Metal Supermarket quite near my house.  In fact I pass by it to go to my fencing lesson, but that's on a Sunday and they would likely be closed.  I'm thinking of getting a quote from them for stainless bars.  If I do buy from them I'd be happy to shop for you as well if you want to wait until I get to Ann Arbor the next weekend.

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If you do get a quote, please let me know - I'd definitely be interested. I just called a metal place near me, but he doesn't have what I need in stock, although it could be ordered. The price he gave me off the top of his head seemed quite high, though, so I'd be interested in seeing what you get quoted.

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#30 David J.

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Posted 15 March 2007 - 04:53 PM

What width should the stainless steel be for caramel rulers?


I've seen widths advertised from 11/16" to 1" and thicknesses 1/8”, 3/16”, 3/8", 1/2" and 5/8".

To me the key would be to have the width enough greater than the height so it doesn't tip over when you scrape over it.

I found a Metal Supermarket quite near my house. In fact I pass by it to go to my fencing lesson, but that's on a Sunday and they would likely be closed. I'm thinking of getting a quote from them for stainless bars. If I do buy from them I'd be happy to shop for you as well if you want to wait until I get to Ann Arbor the next weekend.



Ok, for 3/4 inch wide and 3/8 inch high rectangular stock:

Stainless T-304 is $8.77 for a foot from onlinemetals.com or $28.05 for a 4' length if you want to cut it yourself. The steel bar is 0.9686 pounds per foot.

If you want to go with 6061-T6 aluminum it drops to $1.81 for a foot or $5.77 for a 4' length. That's one third the weight at 0.3308 pounds per foot.

The Metal Supermarkert is probably a bit more due to lower volume, but you wouldn't have to add postage.

If you are willing to go with aluminum you could outfit yourself quite cheaply.





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