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Gary

Guitar cutter: Sourcing, Using, Maintaining

168 posts in this topic

doing a little thread CPR here because I'm wondering if Gary modified Lloyd's design and managed to make a hinged guitar. ???

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Since chocolate making is a hobby for me, I won't be buying a guitar cutter anytime soon. Any ideas on the best way to cut ganaches into squares making them even without using a guitar cutter?

I am starting using a half sheet pan of ganache on a silplat about 1/2 cm thick. I started using a pastry scaper to cut them but they still weren't that even. I am in NYC so building something isn't too pratical.

Thanks,

Jeff

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I make ganache in 8" square pans, lined with parchment up both sides. When it's time to cut, unmold and measure out 1" sections along all 4 sides. Then I use a long knife to cut into 1" squares. I still get some wonky ones, but those end up in my tummy!!!

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Since chocolate making is a hobby for me, I won't be buying a guitar cutter anytime soon.  Any ideas on the best way to cut ganaches into squares making them even without using a guitar cutter?

I am starting using a half sheet pan of ganache on a silplat about 1/2 cm thick.  I started using a pastry scaper to cut them but they still weren't that even.  I am in NYC so building something isn't too pratical. 

Thanks,

Jeff

You can make a cutter that works like magic. You can make two and fasten them together so you make 2 parallel cuts at a time. It really works great with taffy and you can dial the temperature way down for cutting chocolate. Oh yeah, if you dial it up to high, it will even cut hard candy formed in sheets. You just need to put the stuff you are cutting on a base so the ends of the bow have room.

hot wire cutter

Translucent cutting mat - grid-marked

The one I used was a class project by the boys in a high school shop class. A friend had it made to cut slabs of taffy into squares so they could be dipped in chocolate.


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I have been looking at guitar cutters recently as well. I came across two types, the single, which has been discussed here, as well as a double, which seems to eliminate the need for rotating. I am looking at it for cutting nougat.

Any thoughts on the double vs. the single? Is the double worth the extra money (it seems like for an extra $200 I would save quite a bit of effort)? Is there anything the double will cause me trouble with?


"If the divine creator has taken pains to give us delicious and exquisite things to eat, the least we can do is prepare them well and serve them with ceremony."

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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.chefrubber.com/Shopping/shopdisplayproducts.asp?id=311&cat=Economy+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...

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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.

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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.

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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


Steve Smith

Glacier Country

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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

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I might be way off base here but could this be made to work?

http://cgi.ebay.ca/MARBLE-CHEESE-BOARD-AND...1QQcmdZViewItem

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

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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

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.

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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

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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) ...

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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:

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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.

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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

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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?

gallery_34671_2649_17536.jpg

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.

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