I just saw that www.cakesafe.com is now making a hot box for sugar work! I haven't seen it in person yet, but I know the quality of the tool that Scott makes, and this will be something on my list now. Here is a link to check them out:
The price on this is very reasonable too. Check it out! Does anyone have one yet?
I don't have one, but i'll be putting on my wish list.
Same here. On my list! I like that it can be stored so compactly too.
I saw them at our cake show the other weekend, and they did look nice. If I decide to get a warming box, I will likely make my own. You can do it with PVC pipe, some vinyl and a heat lamp. one of my friends makes his own, and I'm sure he'd show me how.
I work with pulled sugar and isomalt frequently so just a few thoughts for anyone looking to purchase one of these warming boxes. Understand that these are just my observations after working with boxes made from Plexiglas and those made from Lexan.
If your going to purchase one of these or make your own, PLEASE stick with one made of Lexan. While Plexiglass is cheaper, it will have some issues from the high heat it will be subjected to if you work with pulled sugar or isomalt on a regular basis.
Lexan is is a polycarbonate sheet of plastic. It is durable, extremely heat resistant and is so impact resistant that some varieties of "bulletproof" glass are made from it. This means that after repeated long exposures to high heat (such as a warming lamp), it will retain it's impact resistant qualities and will not shatter if subjected to impacts such as dropping it or smacking it accidentally with tools in your work area.
Plexiglas is not a polycarbonate. It is made of acrylic. Plexiglas is scratch resistant as opposed to impact resistant. What I have found, while working with Plexiglas, is that after long periods of being subjected to high heat, it will tend to become more brittle. What this means is that your Plexiglas box will tend to have a higher chance of breaking, cracking or even shattering if dropped or impacted with a tool in your work area.
If you plan on working with a warming box for awhile, the Lexan will stand up to anything you can throw at it and it will have a longer working life than Plexiglas.
Another consideration on these boxes that they're offering is that they do not come with a face shield. On my box, I have a wooden face shield mounted at the top front of the box that extends down about 9 inches. Again, if you plan on working in front of this box for awhile, the heat from the lamp is going to be a bit much without something to block that heat from hitting you right in the face. It also helps to cut down on the heat lamp glare that will be shining into your face constantly.
The face shield protects your face from the heat but you can still see what your working on and allows you more time to comfortably work.
Again, just my observations and personal thoughts on the subject. I love working with pulled sugar and isomalt (especially isomalt) but I love it even more when I know that my equipment is going to last for a long time and I don't have a heat lamp trying to fry my retinas
Thanks for the insights CakeCop! You made me want to look into the details more. You made some really good points! So, I called Scott today and asked him about some of the stuff you brought up. His box does have a lexan bottom - but he said to keep it affordable for the home user, the whole box couldn't be made of lexan...so the sides and top are plexiglass, but the bottom work surface is lexan. (he said the price would at least double if entirely made of lexan) He also said the shielding from the light is a really good point, and he was going to look into that!
I know I have looked into making one myself, and just pricing out the cheapo materials (PVC, and vinyl with a heat lamp) and it was going to be over $80 -so IMO, the price on the sugar shack from Cakesafe.com is very reasonable. You get a high quality product that way too.
Thanks for the reply Loucinda
Scott is right about the cost! My box has a reinforced wooden top and face shield but the sides and bottom are Lexan....it cost me around $395 and that was just over cost. I can see his point about keeping the costs down for the typical home user. I use mine professionally so I guess I didn't focus on the person who wouldn't need to shell out the higher cost for a professional unit.
I'm glad that you brought up the face shield issue to Scott too. Sitting in front of a box for a few hours getting your face and eyes fried is no fun...lol
By the way, I didn't mean to imply that Scott's products aren't a high quality offering. I sincerely hope I didn't come off that way. It's obvious from the photos that his workmanship is top notch and that a lot of thought went into the boxes.
I was just offering some of my own personal observations from my time spent in front of a box and maybe hoping to help those new to the this field to make some wise decisions.
When folks look work together, sometimes something can be made really great! Thank you again for your insight, it is very much appreciated.