Bread Slicer Depot
ProductsMaple Slicer Elite
Hickory Slicer Elite
Maple Slicer Classic
Hickory Slicer Classic
InfoKnife Gap Sizing
How It's Made
Care and Cleaning
How to Season a Breadboard
Tips For Slicing Bread
Whole Wheat Bread Recipe
How We Make Your Bread Slicer
Character of the wood
Each individual bread board is it's own character. We sometimes throw away two thirds of our Hard Maple while looking for the right piece of wood. You see, even though we plead with our suppliers for the finest Hard Maple, that which is "free range" and "organically" grown, some of the wood, or some parts of the wood will have been in and out of jail, could have had a poor attendance record, or conversely, (what we want) could be in the honors program or better, a university graduate!
Since we cannot tell until we cut, we carefully look at each piece before we cut to try and weed out the miscreant and impostor Maple. Sometimes a piece which has obviously had a most privileged up-bringing and an excellent education will still have a slight blemish, a tattoo on your teenager if you will. Whether we use this or not is a subjective judgment call on our part. We throw it away when in doubt. It pains us to throw away good Maple but overall, we are proud to bring you the best looking, "no additives" added, "MSG free" Maple wood for your bread board that we can.
After checking the base wood, we start to make your slicer:
We start with planed and sanded Maple. After selecting a suitable part, we cut it with an 80 tooth minimum chop saw. We have a jig to ensure that the exact length of the bread board is obtained. We do not allow the blade to pass back up through the cut as it sometimes nicks the freshly cut edge, so once the blade is through (slowly) we stop the saw, and retrieve the wood.
We take this base, and check it for fit in another jig that again helps us get the exact size every time. We might sand the board on it's edge with an upright belt and disk sander until a proper fit is achieved. The sander has a guide that ensures that a right angle is maintained when sanding. We check the wood for any deficiencies again. Sometimes a long Maple plank will hide a devious history on the underside, so we check that.
Next we choose the side of the bread board that will be the top. The four sides are then passed through a router to mill the top edges down to the correct radius or curve. This is how the rounded top edge is achieved. After this we have to sand the edges with a fine sand paper.
At almost every step we do a little sanding. Passing our "valedictorian" Maple over equipment always leaves marks that need some loving attention with a fine grit sand paper.
We take the base and fit it into another jig that facilitates drilling all the holes. The jig allows each and every hole to be drilled in the same location for every board. For the Maple Key slicer we drill eight holes for the rails and four holes for the feet.
First we drill these using a small drill bit, then we take the board out of the jig and transfer it to a drill press where the eight rail holes are drilled out to a larger drill bit size.
Then we again transfer the base to another drill press where the eight rail holes are counter sunk.
For the rails, we try and cut all four rails from the same piece of wood to hopefully keep the grain of each rail similar in pattern and width to the others. We have found that the sanding process can result in different widths of this Maple. We therefore check that the rails are a match, especially in width.
For each set of rails, we turn to the router and will router three of the four sides to produce the finished top edges of the rails. The rails are then sanded to smooth the edges and to clean any equipment marks.
Before proceeding, the rails are laid out next to each other and paired off. We want the exact router finish on each set of opposing rails to match as well as the width and as much as possible, the grain.
We pick the metal guides and pair them up. These are cut by a water jet CNC machine and the holes are then counter sunk in a drill press. The finished guides are placed in a jig that positions two rails in the correct spot to keep the bottom and inner edges square with the inside edge of the stainless steel guide.
We use a special drill attachment that centers a small drill bit over the holes. Using this, we drill a small pilot hole in each of the four holes for each of the two sets of guide/rail pairs.
Leaving the stainless steel guide in the jig, the rails are moved one at a time to a drill press where the holes are then drilled to the proper depth. We always use a drill press because the holes must be drilled at exactly 90 degrees to the length of the rails. Any deviation and the rails will not line up true to the stainless steel guide holes, nor will the edge and bottom of the stainless steel guides line up with the inside edge and bottom of the Maple rail wood.
We take the "matched" rails back to the jig and mate the rails to the stainless steel guide that the holes were originally matched to. This is important because although the guides are milled by a computerized CNC system, the wood and guide will not match up every time, so they are now paired and properly drilled.
Four stainless steel screws secure the one stainless steel guide to the two rails.
This process is repeated for the second set of rails and stainless steel guide.
At this point we have the two sets of stainless steel guides mated to four Maple rails, and one Maple base bread slicer board. The task of mating these together is critical and so another jig is employed.
The jig will allow a precision lining up of the rails and guides with the board. The goal is to have the rails line up perfectly with the long edge of the board, to have the gap between the guides to be precise and exact on each side, and for the outside end of the rails to be perfectly distanced from the end of the board on all four corners.
The first step is to place the two sets of rails attached to guides into the jig upside down. These are secured in place with clamps (you should see how many clamps we use through the process!) and are shimmed to ensure the proper fit where needed. The base board is then placed into the jig and is also secured. The jig is built to position these pieces exactly as needed. Due to the imprecise nature of wood, a few shims are employed to properly position the the parts in relation to each other in the jig. Everything is secured. This jig is flipped over upright often, and so needs to hold everything tightly in place.
The next step is to drill the eight holes that secure the board to the rails further into the rails themselves. Previously, these eight holes were drilled through the base board only. Now we are ensuring that the existing base board holes are continued on into the rails.
Next, eight stainless steel screws are driven into the pre-drilled holes to secure the Rails and guides to the board. Four rubber feet are threaded onto shorter stainless steel screws and are fastened to the board.
The Slicer is inspected to check that the rails line up properly as the jig is designed to do. The board is sanded to remove any marks from the jigs and equipment.
The slicer is placed on a flat surface, perhaps glass to check it for any wobbles in the feet. The screws that secure the feet are adjusted to eliminate any wobble.
We inspect the slicer and if it passes, we package it for shipping.