BatterUpCake Posted 19 Jul 2013 , 4:48pm
post #1 of

After buying about 4 levelers that don't work, reading the Fat Daddio's was a waste of money and boo-hooing that I can't afford an Agbay I looked at my saws (I did woodworking before baking) and realized that tension on the blade was what was missing on the ones I have purchased so far. I sat down and drew up some fabricating plans on what I think will work very well. I went to lowes and home depot and they didn't have what I needed. So I went to Fastenal and picked out the stainless steel elements I needed. I was going to do all of the drilling myself using my drill press but was dreading it. One of the guys that worked there was going to do that part from his home garage and I was going to pay him. Well then he said he had a birthday for his daughter coming up "but he probably couldn't afford one of my cakes" WHAT?!?!?! a twenty-something year old man that realizes that cake has value!?!? SO  Iam doing his little girls birthday cake 1/2 price in exchange for his welding and drilling. I will let you all know how it works....and what it ends up costing me in the long run...In other news I was invited to a buffet at the culinary school yesterday. They have just started a Baking and Pastry specific degree which I will be starting in Sept. I had the best cheesecake I had ever tasted. Yum!!

115 replies
BatterUpCake Posted 20 Jul 2013 , 4:00pm
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I know everyone LOVES the Agbay...but please tell me what parts of the other brands you loved or hated? What problems you had with each brand? What you would like to see in cake leveler and what price point the serious hobbyist would be willing to pay? How many blades and what spacing would you like to have?  If this works as well as I hope it does I may apply for a patent. I am currently researching if there is a identical patent in existence or one pending.

DeliciousDesserts Posted 20 Jul 2013 , 4:11pm
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AFor me, the height must be adjustable.

Bottom or legs needs to slide easily.

Must be sturdy enough to stand in its own.

BatterUpCake Posted 20 Jul 2013 , 4:33pm
post #4 of

Do you currently use a leveler/torter? If so which one? I have gone back to doing it with just a knife for now...my biggest complaint is that the blades were too flexible. They would go into the cake straight and the layers would come out looking like a Wonka!

DeliciousDesserts Posted 20 Jul 2013 , 5:11pm
post #5 of

AAgbay. Worth Every penny

BatterUpCake Posted 20 Jul 2013 , 5:20pm
post #6 of

I am sure is for many.....but maybe not for those pinching pennies or the hobbyist who is only making a couple of cakes a year  for friends and family. If I could afford the Agbay I would not be looking to build a cheaper mousetrap

JWinslow Posted 20 Jul 2013 , 6:34pm
post #7 of

I have an Agbay now and I love it!    

 

I spent more TIME (which translate to money)  with  different methods like toothpicks, cake boards under the cake that is put back in the pan, different Wilton products (yuck) -  never had complete success and spent more time fixing my cakes.  I've heard of people using dental floss - never tried.

 

Will your blade be adjustable with  measurements so you can be sure your cutting level?  It will be interesting to see what your costs are.  Let us know how it all turns out. 

maybenot Posted 20 Jul 2013 , 10:25pm
post #8 of

The Agbay is a quality made product that does the job very well.  It isn't high priced for what it is and what it does. 

 

I would imagine that because it's not an item that has a really huge customer base, it's not profitable to have it made in the massive quantities on a production line so that it could be sold at a much lower price.

 

The new mouse traps that we use are actually more expensive than the old fashioned ones.....

DeliciousDesserts Posted 20 Jul 2013 , 10:48pm
post #9 of

A

Original message sent by BatterUpCake

I am sure is for many.....but maybe not for those pinching pennies or the hobbyist who is only making a couple of cakes a year  for friends and family. If I could afford the Agbay I would not be looking to build a cheaper mousetrap

You asked.

Believe me when I say I am watching every single dime. Besides the turmoil our family has endured the past 2 years, we've had a lot of start up costs. If I could find a less expensive unit with same quality, I would.

It was an excellent investment. I purchased it with the deposit of my first wedding cake as Delicious Desserts!

ApplegumPam Posted 20 Jul 2013 , 11:21pm

Firm believer in NOT re-inventing the wheel - honestly I think we all look for a bargain (in nearly everything we do) but the older you get the more you realise... sometimes we waste more time and money trying to get a bargain than if we just PAID somebody else that has already done the hard yards.

FACT is .... 

 

Agbay has 100% satisfaction rating !!   honestly have never heard a bad report from anybody that has actually purchased one and uses it

 

I am certain that they spent LOADS to prefect their design - probably lots of prototypes AND a few design changes along the way

 

Have seen other people TRY and copy their design without success - I remember a caker a few years back that had a butcher husband who thought he could whip one of those Agabys up in no time using his stainless steel band saw blades - some bolts/wing nuts and a timber frame.

Yep he did it ..... and a month later he purchased his wife the REAL DEAL   lol     - yep it was a dismal failure

 

I don't think Agbay is expensive when you factor in the TIME it saves AND the RESULTS it achieves.

Most of us in Australia that purchased them many years ago.... paid for them when our dollar was worth so much less.... about 80c to your dollar - AND we paid the shipping (over $100)  but it was STILL worth it.

As a bit of an exercise.... go through your stash of cake toys and add up how much money you have spent on things that either remain in their packaging (never used) OR things that have been used on a SINGLE project (never to be used again)  OR things that you purchased that you thought would save you so much time but they failed in EVERY respect (think Wilton cake leveller!!)  .... I can guarantee MOST of us would have enough dollars there to buy at least ONE Agbay....  some of that have been doing this for a lot longer could buy ... ummmmm....... a FEW more!  

DeliciousDesserts Posted 21 Jul 2013 , 12:24am

A

Original message sent by ApplegumPam

the older you get the more you realise... sometimes we waste more time and money trying to get a bargain than if we just PAID somebody else that has already done the hard yards.

The cheap comes out expensive!

JWinslow Posted 21 Jul 2013 , 1:15am
Quote:
Originally Posted by ApplegumPam

 

As a bit of an exercise.... go through your stash of cake toys and add up how much money you have spent on things that either remain in their packaging (never used) OR things that have been used on a SINGLE project (never to be used again)  OR things that you purchased that you thought would save you so much time but they failed in EVERY respect (think Wilton cake leveller!!)  .... I can guarantee MOST of us would have enough dollars there to buy at least ONE Agbay....  some of that have been doing this for a lot longer could buy ... ummmmm....... a FEW more!  

 

Well said!  I think we should all do this exercise occasionally.  People would be shocked how much money is sitting in the "useless toy box".  I know my toy box has stuff I will never use again.

ApplegumPam Posted 21 Jul 2013 , 1:55am

What I think is sad..... funny even???  - is that when I started cake decorating.... ummm  (said in a whisper)  30+ years ago....  the tools that I used to make some pretty amazing cakes (if I can blow my own trumpet) fitted in a small fishing tackle box - NOW I need 2 x  15foot x 9foot high cupboards  AND I am sure I have 6 different things I could use for the ONE purpose!     The cheaper things become the MORE we purchase!

I have made a concerted effort to RID myself of this excess and am trying to turn back time.... wish me LUCK! lol

To a time where out creativity was not stifled by a gazillion images found in a milli-second from all corners of the globe

To a time where we CREATED using quite often nothing more than a sharp knife and a toothpick

 

To a time where the local cake decorater was VALUED, reserved for important ocassions and where people knew they had to save, and spend the money to receive something SPECIAL

I've figured out the only thing I can do, in this saturated market is to stand out from the crowd - to offer something the bulk of my opposition can't.  To me -  it is making cakes with the bare minimum of 'tools'  - yep - my Agbay is staying LOL !!   but I think if we steer away from moulds, stencils, stamps, impressions, cutters etc etc  our cakes can be just that little bit more 'special'    and think of the money we will save!!  haha

 

I need to keep saying this to myself .....EVERY time I see something new on the market!! haha


 

AZCouture Posted 21 Jul 2013 , 2:33am

AI am sooooooo over tools. Cutters, molds, layons, etc.etc...nope. Not interested in anything that I can't do with a paintbrush, a frill stick, and my hands anymore.

ApplegumPam Posted 21 Jul 2013 , 2:40am
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZCouture 

I am sooooooo over tools. Cutters, molds, layons, etc.etc...nope. Not interested in anything that I can't do with a paintbrush, a frill stick, and my hands anymore.


Agreed !  

JWinslow Posted 21 Jul 2013 , 3:24am
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZCouture 

I am sooooooo over tools. Cutters, molds, layons, etc.etc...nope. Not interested in anything that I can't do with a paintbrush, a frill stick, and my hands anymore.


I still have some flower cutters that I enjoy using but have been trying to move (slowly) to a simpler approach that can have that wow factor; 

I follow your work (everywhere)  because I so admire your artistic visions.  I learn so much every time you post a cake.

AZCouture Posted 21 Jul 2013 , 4:15am

AThank you, and I'm not knocking cakes with that stuff either, I use plenty of that stuff, but I just don't buy anymore and I try to come up with designs sans cut out stuff.

thelittlecakery Posted 21 Jul 2013 , 11:22am

A

Original message sent by BatterUpCake

I am sure is for many.....but maybe not for those pinching pennies or the hobbyist who is only making a couple of cakes a year  for friends and family.

Being that I've only been decorating semi-seriously for about a year now, I'm still learning whose tools are better quality. I have the wilton ultimate kit, which was bought as a gift and I have no problems with anything. A lot of what did not come in the kit is wilton as well, bc thats what my local hobby store has. That being said, I still level and torte my cakes with a knife. I saw the price of the agbay and nearly sh%t myself. I know that good tools are expensive and you get what you pay for, but right now, I can't afford that either. Maybe one day...

jenmat Posted 21 Jul 2013 , 12:07pm

I'm not a satisfied agbay customer. It came apart about a year ago and I can't get the darn thing back together. It was too much work anyway. I like my knife, I don't have to adjust it, unscrew and screw parts, and I have way more control. Which is pretty much how I like everything in life....in my control :)

 

I've been trying over the past year to not be a sucker for cake toys anymore. Mostly I've succeeded. I did just by the damask layon though. Haven't spent any time with it yet. 

 

To answer your question, something lightweight, easily adjustable, and maybe casters on the bottom to help it slide back and forth. I dunno, that might get dangerous :)

BatterUpCake Posted 21 Jul 2013 , 12:24pm

AI never said I was trying to copy the Agabay at all. There are several levelers on the market and they are all different. My post was intended to see what everyone uses and what they like or don't like about the product. This is called market research. I have built a couple of prototypes from wood. Just because there is a Cadillac and a Kia on the market doesn't mean there isn't room for a Honda. They all serve the same purpose but have different aspects to them.

BatterUpCake Posted 21 Jul 2013 , 12:38pm

AYes...12 different heights 1/2" each

BatterUpCake Posted 21 Jul 2013 , 12:46pm

A

Original message sent by AZCouture

I am sooooooo over tools. Cutters, molds, layons, etc.etc...nope. Not interested in anything that I can't do with a paintbrush, a frill stick, and my hands anymore.

[quote name="jenmat" url="/t/761238/new-cake-leveler-torter-very-excited#post_7419127"]I'm not a satisfied agbay customer. It came apart about a year ago and I can't get the darn thing back together.

I am bettering if you write the company they would help you.

DeliciousDesserts Posted 21 Jul 2013 , 12:51pm

APlease know that I really respect that you are trying to build something yourself. I really don't mean to poo poo anyone's enthusiasm. I really was just trying to answer your question & offer some opinions.

For me, 1/2" increments won't work. For some it will. In general, I cut at 1" & 2". Heavy cakes are on a thicker board & I have to adjust the blade a bit. In order to adjust correctly, I would have to use a second board or something to get the right height. If it was Significantly priced lower that hassle may be worth it.

BatterUpCake Posted 21 Jul 2013 , 1:30pm

AYou could set blades at any level in 1/2 increments. But this kind of feedback will be helpful when tweaking the second prototype

DeliciousDesserts Posted 21 Jul 2013 , 3:21pm

ADid I tea correctly that you used to do woodworking? I know lots on here, including me, are in the market for some stands. I can never seem to find exactly what I want!

BatterUpCake Posted 21 Jul 2013 , 3:54pm

I did...I switched to cakes because of health issues but can still dabble in simple designs...no more building bars or stools or horse barns :-(

BatterUpCake Posted 21 Jul 2013 , 4:05pm

Send me a pic of what you are talking about please

AZCouture Posted 21 Jul 2013 , 4:54pm

A

Original message sent by BatterUpCake

I did...I switched to cakes because of health issues but can still dabble in simple designs...no more building bars or stools or horse barns :-(

Now cake stands and pedestals would definitely pique people's interest.

AZCouture Posted 21 Jul 2013 , 4:55pm

AGoogle Sarah's Stands, see if that's something you could do. Not outright copy her, but maybe something similar.

BatterUpCake Posted 21 Jul 2013 , 5:23pm

I could possibly do that and sell from my website but that won't stop me from doing my level even if I am the only person that uses it. Once I get something like this is my head I can't NOT do it! I will look those up though and if they look fun to make I will try it. AT this point in my life if I don't enjoy it I don't do it. lol If you can find a way to make money doing what you love then you will never work another day in your life.

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