What is the difference ?
and do you always get your plates back ? Do you have a whole lot of sets ?
And where can I find the explanation for sps that everyone raves about ?
Thank you in advance
Ack! HUGE difference...
First, Wilton's Hidden pillars are just large diameter, strong plastic "straws." They are very similar to Wilton's plastic dowels, but shorter, with decorative vertical lines on the sides, and about twice the diameter. They don't have any plates that go with them, and as far as I can tell, you're just supposed to sit the cake (with cardboard of course) on top of the pillars and hope nothing nudges the cake or it will easily fall!
Now, I've never used Wilton's Hidden pillars so I could be wrong, but I've seen them, so I know what they're like...
The Single Plate System is totally different. It consists of plastic plates and pillars. The pillars come in several styles (short, tall, multi-piece) and colors (white, ivory, clear), and are a VERY strong/hard plastic. They are quite difficult to cut, but it can be done so you can have pillars of any size. This system can be used to do both stacked construction cakes, AND cakes with pillars. The pillars snap into the plates, and it becomes VERY stable.
Here's a picture to help explain:
ETA: Oh, and the SPS does seem quite similar to Wilton's Push-in pillars, but there are several differences... one is that Wilton's push-in pillars are not designed to be used for stacked constuction cakes, only for pillared cakes. Anther is just that the SPS feels much more stable (IMO).
Wilton's hidden pillars are meant to be used with the plates. They're large enough diameter that the feet on the bottom of the plates sit down into them. They're intended to be used where you want a little separation between the tiers, like when putting flowers between tiers. I personally cut them down and use them to stack my tiers using the plates. I love 'em.
Hope that clears it up a little.....
I LOVE the hidden pillars - I have used them with & with out cutting them. I will not do a stacked cake with out them. I have used them with the separator plates & just card board. The package wedding cake in my photos is done with hidden pillars & card board on each layer. I did not have any issues with transporting this cake. The bottom two layers were transported stacked with the hidden pillars/cardboard only. The rest had hidden pillars in each layer but were stacked on site. It sat at the venue for several hours after delivery before the reception with no problems.
The cake with roses in between each layer in my photos was done with out cutting the hidden pillars. This was an outside wedding in KS in July with no problems - the bulge in the bottom layer was because the icing had started to slide because of the heat.
Illustrated common cake support systems:
More info on SPS:
(See leahs post.)
Illustrated level dowel cutting by indydebi:
(Just to complete my cake support system info....)