I have a hard time cutting wooden dowels, is there anything that cuts them flat??? Also what do you use to cut the plastic dowels with??? thanks.
My friend says she uses a knife, but one thing I use that i found that works the best but not perfect is garden pruners. i found a pair at the dollar spot at target for 1 dollar....Maybe a more expensive one would cut it better?
I just use pruning shears. Not all pruning shears are the same, though...the ones with two metal blades work better than the ones with one metal edge and one plastic.
Lately I've been using drinking straws or those wilton plastic dowels. Drinking straws are super easy to cut and the plastic dowels cut easily with a serrated knife.
I use plastic drinking straws also, but I use the larger Wilton plastic dowels for stacking more than 2 cakes just to be sure there's enough support. I've read on here before that someone uses the plastic straws for bubble tea since they are thicker and more durable, but I have no idea where to get them.
The best thing ever for cutting wooden dowels is a dogs toenail clipper (unused of course). Gives a nice, sharp cut without any splinters or shredding. I use these when adding dowels to a tiered cake. I cut the dowels, slip them into straws, (so that the wood is not touching the cake) & then tier. Hope this helps.
p.s. this tip came from my master cake decorator instructor.
Now, that is an awesome idea. So, you cut the dowels then the straws to go overtop? Are the straws exact same size as the dowels?
thanks for all the replies. I will get some pruning sheers. And thanks for the tip on the straws with the wooden dowels.
There is a woodworking item called a doweling jig which I think cuts dowels. I just use a small craft hacksaw and a chopping board.
I saw the note about where to get bubble tea straws. I ordered some last weekend from importfood.com. They were very cheap.
I watched Sugarshacks stacking dvd and she says thats all she uses. She cuts them with scissors.
I use a set of PVC cutters. You can get them at Lowe's or Home Depot for between $10-25, depending on which ones you want. I have the heavy-duty orange metal ones, and I can cut dowels and PVC/plastic with them. They make a VERY smooth, flat cut, but do require just a bit of muscle. And I wouldn't use them for anything over 1/2". I had them already for another hobby I do, but found that they work perfectly for doweling cakes, as well.
I use SPS and don't have to cut anything. I bake to the height of the pre-cut legs. Works perfect because they come all the same height from the factory.
re the question about the dowels & straws. Yes, the straws are cut the same height as the dowels & then you slip the dowels inside the straws. I have found that McDonalds straws are the best. They are the same width as the wooden dowels.
Leahs....where can we get the SPS?
I use a pair of Fiskars pruning shears (purchased at Wal-Mart). Be sure to get the kind with the blades that are straight. Don't get the ones with the curved blades. These work like a dream for cutting dowels and were less than $10.00.
You can purchases SPS from Oasis, Global Sugar Arts and if you can buy wholesale, directly from BakeryCrafts.
My husband has a woodshop and uses some tool out there to sharpen them when I have to bang them thru a cake but when he is gone and I need one cut, I use this funky little loop tool that you put your finger in and spin - there is a small razor and it works its way thru the dowel. Easier then the pruners, IMHO, but only because I have zero upper body strength! I think it was made to cut TV cable and he got it at the hardware store for about $7.
Just a little shout-out for the SPS. I took Leah's advice and ordered the whole thing from GSA and it worked like a charm this past weekend. That puppy is awesome - the little nib held the upper tier in place and was very sturdy to transport a stacked cake. I still had to dowel thru the top 3 layers of cake (weird design that wouldn't work with the SPS) but it held up great.
I also use the SPS and typically my tiers are a little taller than 4", so I do have to cut the legs, but they are so easy to cut since they have "indentions." I have a small handsaw with tiny serrations that DH bought at a hardware store and it works great!
All I use anymore is the bubble straws. I buy them at asian market stores locally so I don't have to wait for shipping... they are wonderful!! I also saw Duff using them on last week ends show.......
Bubble straws? Are they just wider and stronger?
What is sps? I went to that website and it was cake plates? Is that what you are talking about?