Has anyone used wooden dowel rods? If so how do I cut them down to place underneath a stacked cake?
you saw them with a steak knife and tehn you just snap them I think, but I've always just used bolt cutters because it's a thousand times easier and faster, although I don't recomend you try it.
I have done it a couple of ways. First, I take a thin bamboo skewer, flat end down, and insert it into the cake at all of the spots I want a dowel. This way I can make sure I have a level cake to work with. Cut this off at the mark (a pair of rose clippers can work for this).
To cut the dowels, measure from the clipped bamboo skewer, so you have something to start measuring with (I suppose you could do it all with your dowels, but I never seem to get them all even in this way, for some reason). Mark each dowel to be cut. I stand mine up on a flat surface, next to the cut bamboo measure.
Then, I have used a flat rose clipper (not the ratchet-type or the type with both blades curved) to do this (and this was the ONLY thing those clippers were used for!). The second way is with a serrated-edge knife, but I found that this rolled around too much for accuracy.
My preferred way is with a good, sharp utility knife that I use only for cutting my dowels. I mark the length and put the dowel on its side on a flat cutting surface that I use just for this purpose. I then place the utility kinfe blade on the mark and carefully roll the dowel under the blade, making a very shallow indent all the way around the dowel. That way, I know if I'm cutting straight. If the ends don't match up, adjust the position of the blade and try again. Then continue to cut this way around, using much more pressure as you roll the dowel. Eventually (maybe 20 seconds total) you will cut through the dowel.
I will check it and make sure it doesn't "dome" up in the center of the cut end, and if it does, it is simple to slice off that dome.
I have found that wooden dowels are great for tiers 6"-7"-8"-9". After that, I tend to use the hollow plastic dowels and use much the same method for cutting, although I mark these all the way around first so that I am straight. I still use wood ones with a sharpened end to "skewer" through my tiers to keep everything from shifting once the cake is set up.
Hope this helps you out. Good luck!
I use gardening sheers, or whatever you call them. They are great.
Don't use a serated edge knife!! The cut end never gets level & has alot of splinters in it! On my practice wedding cake I did that & the cakes weren't level. Not to mention that it killed my hands & fingers trying to cut the dowel!
I would use gardening sheers like cakeconfections & aobedessa said.
Anther thing.. I put one dowel rod in the center of the cake & then I measure the other dowels with that one. That works great!
Do a practice cake & see how it turns out~
Do you cut the dowel rods so that they are slightly peeking out or do you cut them so that they aren't showing?
Well I have heard of it both ways. Most of the time you would cut the rods so they are even with the cake so they can not be seen. I heard of one someone who will make them 1/16 of an inche above the cake. Just enough so that it slightly floats above, but can be hidden with a border of icing. She does this to avoid the icing sticking and then does not have to put crumbs on the layer below.
i used a new pair of dog nail clippers. It was so easy it was like cutting paper. a friend of mine said that is what she uses so we went out and bought some. works great.
I also use gardening shears (a new pair, bought and used only for dowels).
You can also use a nail file to smooth out the ends if they are rough or uneven, then give the ends a very quick rinse with water or wipe off on a wet cloth to get the dust off, not too much water though, or the rod will absorb the water.
Thanks guys! With all the advice I'm ready to stack my cake tonight.
I like to use the larger hollow plastic dowel for my cakes so I went and bought a miter box and saw that is for cakes only and use it to cut strait even dowels every time works for wood dowels also.
My husband bought me a small hand saw at the hardware store...Works wonders and I get clean cuts...You don't have to put much effort into it