Styrofoam Wedges...how To Dowel

Decorating By melysa Updated 17 Jun 2008 , 4:13am by Dru329

melysa Posted 20 Jul 2007 , 6:02am
post #1 of 17

alrighty, i 'm preparing to do a crooked cake soon, not the stacked,carved tiers, but normal uncarved tiers, on a tilt and separated by styrofoam wedges. i have the colette peters book that shows internal structural support with dowels, but my questions are...

1. do you pre drill holes in the wedges?
2. how long should i give myself for set up?
3. how thick should the tall part of the wedge be to make a decent tilt without going overboard, but being obvious?
4. what size styrofoam for underneath the tiers? two inches smaller?

three tiers, 6,8,10 covered in imbc and satin ice fondant. wedges, doweled and fresh flowers. thanks for your help!

16 replies
missnnaction Posted 20 Jul 2007 , 6:52am
post #2 of 17

I'd also like to know..(to give you a bump)

JanH Posted 20 Jul 2007 , 8:38am
post #3 of 17

Only info I could find on "balancing act" by Ron Ben-Israel turned out to be classes he's giving in 2008(some of which are already sold out)!

http://caljavaonline.com/classes1.htm

There is a slide show...

melysa Posted 20 Jul 2007 , 8:55am
post #4 of 17

jan, thank you for that link. that slide show is awesome. and the class....gasp! how i would LOVE to go!!! so far away though....sigh.

ironically enough, it is a ron ben isreal cake that i am "duplicating" . it is for a bridal shower. originally the bride chose one of his cakes for her wedding, but then found another design she liked so we changed the plan, but she wants a smaller 3 tiered version of his cake for the shower.

i am honored, excited and impatient to do the cake, but at the same time...FREAKING OUT! i want it to be perfect!

ShirleyW Posted 20 Jul 2007 , 3:59pm
post #6 of 17

Jeeze, looking at the prices for those classes makes me see how much I am undercharging. I charge $85.00 for a 2 day gumpaste flower class and I supply all the gumpaste, tools etc. Now I know I am no Ron Ben-Israel but I must be worth more than this. icon_wink.gif

tnuty Posted 20 Jul 2007 , 4:57pm
post #7 of 17

shirleyW is wish you were closer I would take one of your classes for the fun of it.. My dream is to take one of Ron Ben's classes...

shkepa Posted 20 Jul 2007 , 7:47pm
post #8 of 17

i HAVE A CAKE TO DO LIKE THE SECOND POST IN OCT i AM SO ECITED i CANT WAIT. i THINK I MIGHT HAVE TO PRACICE A COUPLE TIMES.

LGL Posted 20 Jul 2007 , 8:18pm
post #9 of 17

Looking at the Ron Ben-Isreal cakes. . . . it seems that this one would just tear from the dowels since it is so sharply tilted.

Can you do this with cake? or would you have to use styrofoam for the 2nd from top tier?

Doug -- you are so good with engineering cakes! I've copied your diagram from the other forum for future use. Is there a maximum angle that cakes can be tilted?
LL

Doug Posted 20 Jul 2007 , 8:20pm
post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by LGL

Doug -- you are so good with engineering cakes! I've copied your diagram from the other forum for future use. Is there a maximum angle that cakes can be tilted?




i would think so -- but have no proof as to ::brawk, brawk:: chicken to try one like that yet.

it wouldn't surprise me at all if the second from the top -- the really tilted one is actually a dummy

melysa Posted 20 Jul 2007 , 9:54pm
post #11 of 17

doug, thanks for the link that had a long discussion about it..read through the whole thing and found a cc member (dailey) who actually posted a forum tutorial back in june of 2006.. finally found the thread and read it through.

http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopicp-4273753.html#4273753

extremely helpful.

shirley, YES your classes are a serious bargain, your work is very very good.

dailey Posted 22 Jul 2007 , 2:01pm
post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by melysa

alrighty, i 'm preparing to do a crooked cake soon, not the stacked,carved tiers, but normal uncarved tiers, on a tilt and separated by styrofoam wedges. i have the book that shows internal structural support with dowels, but my questions are...

1. do you pre drill holes in the wedges?
2. how long should i give myself for set up?
3. how thick should the tall part of the wedge be to make a decent tilt without going overboard, but being obvious?
4. what size styrofoam for underneath the tiers? two inches smaller?

three tiers, 6,8,10 covered in imbc and satin ice fondant. wedges, doweled and fresh flowers. thanks for your help!




hi melysa,
glad the instruction were helpful...most of time i'm not sure if i'm even making any sense when i try to explain something!

at any rate, no need to predrill holes. i used the green floral styrofoam from Hobby Lobby because it was on sale that day...however, the were only 2 inches high so i used 2 for each tier (glued together). i had no trouble at all with pounding in the dowells...just make sure they are very sharp.

the tall part of the styro tier was about 4 inches...i wanted it to look dramatic. the size of the styro for underneath the actual cake were about 2 inches smaller. lastly, it took me about 20 minutes or so to assemble the cake...that part was easy. the hard part is cutting all the dowels, covering them, sharpening them, etc, etc. i assembled the cake the night before the party and put it in my fridge to assure it was nice and firm for the ride.

i stressed *so* much over this cake and it turned out to be soooo easy! i find them to be much easier than the whimsy, carved cakes (those are so messy)! good luck and if you have any additional questions, just ask!

melysa Posted 22 Jul 2007 , 8:12pm
post #13 of 17

dailey, thank you!!!

this, is a link to the cake i'll be replicating. ron ben isreal is the original designer of the one in the link.

http://www.wedlok.com/uploads/weddingcake.jpg


i dont want to tilt them too dramatically, maybe 2-3" at the most. the wedges will be hidden by fresh flowers. i'm planning on covering them with fondant as well, unless its unecessary work.

i dont know if you've worked with fresh floral arrangements before (i havent really) so i also wonder, if i should use floral picks to insert the flowers at a slight angle. i want the flowers to look natural, not in clumps, but feel like i'm going to have to put a ton of the picks in to get the flowers spread out. between the zillion dowels and the flower picks, there's gonna be a lot of holes in this cake huh?

Ariginal Posted 22 Jul 2007 , 8:24pm
post #14 of 17

Well funny you should ask as last night fantastic cakes started here in nz and last night had collete peters doing exactly that... and she put a dowel right thru each time she put on a styrofoam wedge and a cake so in total i think she had 3 that went thru the whole cake and she hadnt predrilled them either... and the wedges appeared to be about 2 inches smaller. not sure on the angle of it though sorry. good luck look forward to seeinga pic.

melysa Posted 22 Jul 2007 , 8:35pm
post #15 of 17

thanks ! did she hide the wedges with any decoration? cover in fondant? did she happen to explain how she deterines the tilt? (math etc)

wow, all these questions. i feel so annoying icon_confused.gif thanks for helping out!

Ariginal Posted 22 Jul 2007 , 9:14pm
post #16 of 17

Hi again, she had covered the wedge with the fondant and when the cake was assembled she did have flowers etc covering them... sorry in regards to the math working out bit not that i noticed... i got the impression it depends on the affect you want to create. hope that helps.

Dru329 Posted 17 Jun 2008 , 4:13am
post #17 of 17

Yippee...glad I found this!!

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