Bubble Straws, As Good As Dowels?

Decorating By jayne1873 Updated 24 May 2010 , 10:42pm by DebbyJG

jayne1873 Posted 21 May 2010 , 9:35pm
post #1 of 12

I use plastic dowels for tiered cakes but after reading on here and seeing ace of cakes use bubble straws hunted about a bit on net to find some in UK (of course they call them something else!) anyway just wanted to know if they were as good as support as plastic dowels as they would work out a huge amount cheaper.
Thanks

11 replies
pattigunter Posted 21 May 2010 , 9:45pm
post #2 of 12

Its all I use - never had a problem with them.

Loucinda Posted 21 May 2010 , 9:47pm
post #3 of 12

Same here. I buy them in bulk off of ebay. Love them!

DebbyJG Posted 21 May 2010 , 10:15pm
post #4 of 12

Do you use them for three tiered or higher as well? I regularly use them for two tier cakes, but when I did my first four tier this weekend, I was a little afraid of the bubble tea straws bending, so I did both straws AND dowels, with a long dowel through all tiers. Probably overkill, but until I take the time and money to invest in SPS, I didn't want that sucker to move. icon_smile.gif
BTW, I'm not asking about cakes I have to move -- I'm just asking if the straws would support a 3 or 4 stacked once it's in place. (I don't trust my cake holder / dear husband to hold a cake bigger than two tiers for transport.) icon_wink.gif

mamawrobin Posted 22 May 2010 , 3:19am
post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by DebbyJG

Do you use them for three tiered or higher as well? I regularly use them for two tier cakes, but when I did my first four tier this weekend, I was a little afraid of the bubble tea straws bending, so I did both straws AND dowels, with a long dowel through all tiers. Probably overkill, but until I take the time and money to invest in SPS, I didn't want that sucker to move. icon_smile.gif
BTW, I'm not asking about cakes I have to move -- I'm just asking if the straws would support a 3 or 4 stacked once it's in place. (I don't trust my cake holder / dear husband to hold a cake bigger than two tiers for transport.) icon_wink.gif




I use the straws in my three and four tier cakes. I look at it this way. Straws fill up with cake so the cake and the added support is there. Dowe;s displace cake and have a better chance of slipping. I've never had any problems using straws. I use milk shake straws because I couldn't find bubble tea straws locally.

jemchina Posted 22 May 2010 , 3:29am
post #6 of 12

I buy them in my local asian supermarket called "lucky mart" a pack of 40 for 1.99. They are used for an asian drink called bubble tea.

tesso Posted 22 May 2010 , 3:35am
post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by jemchina

I buy them in my local asian supermarket called "lucky mart" a pack of 40 for 1.99. They are used for an asian drink called bubble tea.




didnt think of that, I will have to check out some supermarkets in a neighboring town. thanks.

mbark Posted 22 May 2010 , 3:37am
post #8 of 12
Quote:
Quote:



I use the straws in my three and four tier cakes. I look at it this way. Straws fill up with cake so the cake and the added support is there. Dowe;s displace cake and have a better chance of slipping. I've never had any problems using straws. I use milk shake straws because I couldn't find bubble tea straws locally.




wow that's a great way to look at it! thumbs_up.gif
I love boba straws too & use them all the time

DebbyJG Posted 24 May 2010 , 9:52pm
post #9 of 12

But they really do support the WEIGHT of two or three tiers above it? I totally agree about them being better for cake displacement, but I haven't ventured to use them alone for more than two tiers just because I think, these cakes are HEAVY and even those wide straws bend a lot easier than wooden sticks! I would love to use them and them alone, though, if you've shown that they do support the weight above it. One of the parts of dowels that I hate is trying to cut them to size without splintering them all up. I'd be happy to never have to use them again...

artscallion Posted 24 May 2010 , 10:31pm
post #10 of 12

It's not about bending. They only bend if you have a force coming from the center side as well as the top. And that just doesn't happen in a cake. It's an architecture/structural/physics thing. Structurally, a straw this wide is actually stronger than a dowel.

Take a 4" length of bubble tea straw, place a thumb over each end and push. You get a real feel for just how strong they are, how bending is the last thing they'd do, and how the hollow circular structure acts to pull each point against its opposite so the whole circle supports itself and the weight is born straight down the length at all points. Because of the physics of it, they might as well be steel.

Of course, just like dowels, they need to be perfectly vertical for this dynamic to occur. Or just like dowels, they can slip sideways. Fortunately, the width of the straws gives them a much wider base, making them twice as unlikely to tilt as dowels.

leah_s Posted 24 May 2010 , 10:34pm
post #11 of 12

Of course best of all is a system where the legs are actually attached to the support plate like the floor joists and subfloor in your house. I'll bet you can figure out what I'm talking about.

DebbyJG Posted 24 May 2010 , 10:42pm
post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by leah_s

Of course best of all is a system where the legs are actually attached to the support plate like the floor joists and subfloor in your house. I'll bet you can figure out what I'm talking about.




Hmmmm....could it be....nah.....let me guess...
icon_wink.gif

Thanks for the physics lesson. I never got to Physics in school because of my math phobia, so I learned something today. icon_smile.gif

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