I'm making a candy castle cake for a friend's twin girls this weekend. I've done a stacked cake in course III, but that's about it. Instructor noted we needed a pencil sharpener to sharpen the dowels and something that I believe was a pipe cutter (kind of pricey) to cut the dowels. Do you all use these or is there another (maybe cheaper) way of doing this? THANKS!!!!
I use wooden dowels and a saw that I keep in the kitchen just for this purpose.
If I need to sharpen a dowel, I whittle it with a knife.
Do the dowels not get "splintery"? I'm a little worried about that. (?)
I have a small wooden cutting board that I cut the dowels on. If you ever watch any Norm Abrams, you'll note that you should cut thru a piece of wood into another piece of wood to avoid splintering. If it does splinter, you can sandpaper it smooth. Run it under water or wipe with a damp rag to get rid of the wood-dust.
Before leahs gets on here and tells you ...... check out the SPS system, too.
I use an electric sharpener for the dowels, they fit perfectly. I cut them with a pair of garden pruners that I keep for cake only. I have tried the plastic wilton ones, but not a big fan. I especially love hammering in the last wooden dowel from the top down, once I tried it, I was hooked! LOL!
I use bubble tea straws (they are wider than normal straws) and follow the method Sugarshack shows in her DVD, Successful Stacking. www.sugaredproductions.com
I used to use wooden dowels, but I had a lot of trouble getting them even, the tea straw are easier for me to cut and have them all the same length. Also a lot less expensive for me. If I was going to be doing a lot of cakes for a business, I would get the method SPS that indydebi suggested that leahs uses. For now tea straw are my choice when it comes to stacking cakes.
I use wooden dowels and an exacto handsaw (I lightly sand the cut ends). I don't need to sharpen my center dowel because I lower my tiers down over the center dowel, rather than driving it down through the stacked cake.