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  1. #1
    Keepin it Wheel RubeRad's Avatar
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    Where to get hacksaw threaded tension pins in quantity?

    I want to make myself a super bread-slicer. I bake all of our family's sandwich bread, and it's a real pain to slice the loaves straight and even, and I'm not going to lay out thousands for an industrial mechanized bread slicer.

    My plan is to build a rectangular frame to hold 20 or so hacksaw blades, all spaced one desired-thickness apart (10-15mm?), so I can slice a whole loaf with perfect regularity all at once.

    For one end I can cut narrow slots and drill a hole to slide a pin to hold them all, or maybe just hold the holes with screw-in hooks, but to properly tension the other end, I need a whole pile of hacksaw tension pins. Probably have to replace wing-nuts with hex nuts because wing nuts would get in each others' way.

    Obviously I can buy hacksaw blades cheap in bulk, but where can I buy tension pins in bulk? I can't find anything online at like grainger or mcmaster-carr, but I don't really know my way around this space. Obviously I don't want to buy 20 hacksaws and throw away all the perfectly-good frames.

    Any ideas would be welcome, as well as design alternatives (it would be nice if the design had a thickness adjustment, I'm thinking flat metal bars with wingnut bolts holding the corners together, but the hacksaw blades need to be able to remain parallel as it is adjusted)

    Another idea comes to mind, maybe hooks with machine-screw ends, then the threaded parts could just feed through the frame and secure with nuts? Do they make hooks with machine-screw ends rather than wood-screw ends? But really hacksaw tension pins are the "right" tool for this job...
    Last edited by RubeRad; 04-17-15 at 02:31 PM.

  2. #2
    Nobody mconlonx's Avatar
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    Where a hacksaw works best cutting through metal with the blade under tension, I do wonder about the need for tensioning blades merely to cut through bread. I'd be more tempted to just cut slots in the other end, thin enough that the saw blades would be an interference fit, and cap it off with just a piece of wood so they don't come out. Also unsure about how good a cut you will get regarding cutting bread with a hacksaw...
    I know next to nothing. I am frequently wrong.

  3. #3
    Keepin it Wheel RubeRad's Avatar
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    Yes, maybe I should do some testing with a standard single-bladed hacksaw first. I think a blade with teeth on the larger/coarser end of the spectrum would be called for to cut bread.

    And now that you mention it, not just 1 blade but 20, maybe tension is not necessary, and maybe a full rectangular frame is not necessary either. One block holding blades on the near side, another block holding the other ends of all the blades, and nothing on the sides. Even though each individual blade is somewhat flexy, maybe the aggregation of all the blades would make it sufficiently stiff? It would be good to have nothing on the sides so you don't have to worry about spanning either end of a loaf of unknown length. Or maybe a stabilizing bar on just one side would do the trick?

    Also started looking at bread slicing guides online, those would help with evenness, but not with time.

    Maybe I should just make a thickness jig and use a bandsaw
    Last edited by RubeRad; 04-17-15 at 01:59 PM.

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    Would this work:
    The Bread Pal Slicer

  5. #5
    Keepin it Wheel RubeRad's Avatar
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    Yeah, that's a bread slicing Guide, not a bread slicer. There are lots of versions of that, for as low as $6-7 on eBay. That would solve my straightness/evenness problem, but still cutting one slice at a time. If I could slice through a whole loaf in one go, I would be awesome. Also, maybe do a kickstarter.

  6. #6
    derailleurs are overrated bigbenaugust's Avatar
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    Use laser beams.
    --Ben
    Carrboro Bike Coalition - putting the "bike" in "CARrboro" :)
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  7. #7
    Keepin it Wheel RubeRad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigbenaugust View Post
    Use laser beams.
    OK, problem solved. I forgot I have a house full of LaserCats, now I can use their powers for good, and not for destruction.

    BTW, when I was a teenager and had to mow the lawn regularly, I spent a lot of time designing in my mind a laser-based lawn-height maintenance system...
    Last edited by RubeRad; 04-17-15 at 02:34 PM.

  8. #8
    derailleurs are overrated bigbenaugust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
    OK, problem solved. I forgot I have a house full of LaserCats, now I can use their powers for good, and not for destruction.

    BTW, when I was a teenager and had to mow the lawn regularly, I spent a lot of time designing in my mind a laser-based lawn-height maintenance system...
    See, now you can repurpose parts of that design!
    --Ben
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  9. #9
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    Hack saw blades are not course enough if you ask me

  10. #10
    long time visiter Alfster's Avatar
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    Well, if your bread slice doesn't work, it would make for an awesome Zombie Apocalypse tool!

  11. #11
    Senior Member cradom's Avatar
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    Check out the second video, about the 5:15 mark. Shows the knives and how they're mounted. Could get an idea from this.
    Bakery Equipment » Bread Slicers » Mini-Supreme Bread Slicer 709
    Craig from Texas
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  12. #12
    Keepin it Wheel RubeRad's Avatar
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    Cool, I watched the first video too, love the porny music! That's exactly the kind of industrial product I can't afford, but if I found one in a dumpster...

    Also, I kind of wonder, probably grocery stores probably have mechanical bread slicers in the back of their bakery department. I wonder if I just asked them nicely, if I brought my homemade bread could they slice it for me? That service would certainly make me more likely to shop in that store (if for no other reason than to combine trips).

  13. #13
    Fax Transport Specialist black_box's Avatar
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    replacement blades for a bread slicer? or too spendy? $140 for 36 of them.
    Berkel "MB" Bread Slicer Blades 1 Set New | eBay

  14. #14
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    One, you haven't thought this through. You don't saw bread with a hacksaw blade for a number of reasons. The first is that it has a kerf (or blade width) which means that 3/32" per slice is sacrificed to the blade, making for a ton of crumbs, not to mention the waste. Also the blades will load up and/or shred the bread.

    You slice bread with a thin 0 kerf knife blade, which benefits from the flexibility of the bread to allow it so slide through. Usually bread blades have long gentle scallops on the edges to help start through the crust, but none have kerfs.

    Lastly, if you try to slice the entire loaf at once, how will you hold it? Mechanical slicers have cradles made of fingers which match the spacing and allow the blades to slide past which holding the bread steady.

    There are guided slicing knives that you can use to make fast uniform slices from a loaf in seconds. The one I linked is short at 8-1/2" but I have an old one with a 1 foot or so blade. (30cm).

    If you really want to make fast work of 20 slices, build a wooden miter box the length and width of your loaves. Make the required number of guide slots at the desired spacing. Then you can use a long bladed bread knife to make 20+ slices probably in under a minute. If you design and build it right you'll have a minimum amount of crumbs and can pour them out the end when finished.
    Last edited by FBinNY; 04-18-15 at 05:39 PM.
    FB
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  15. #15
    on by skijor's Avatar
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    Patience is a virtue.

  16. #16
    Senior Member CliffordK's Avatar
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    The bread slicers at Panera Bread / St. Louis Bread Co, are pretty sweet... just vibrating through the bread in a matter of seconds.

    If you do the hacksaw blades, you may be able to grind them down and sharpen like a knife blade.

    Another thought...
    Piano wire?

    Or, something similar... just using wire stretched tight as a bowstring rather than a blade, perhaps high tensile strength, with a little texture to it.

  17. #17
    Senior Member CliffordK's Avatar
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    Search for this on Google:
    Spare Tension Screw with Wing Nut for 12" Hacksaw Frame




    You'll get several links for India. Perhaps one will pan out.

    You can probably make something similar by squaring off and slotting a bolt in a home workshop, but it would be a pain to make over a dozen of them.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Homebrew01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    One, you haven't thought this through. You don't saw bread with a hacksaw blade for a number of reasons. The first is that it has a kerf (or blade width) which means that 3/32" per slice is sacrificed to the blade, making for a ton of crumbs, not to mention the waste. Also the blades will load up and/or shred the bread.

    You slice bread with a thin 0 kerf knife blade, which benefits from the flexibility of the bread to allow it so slide through. Usually bread blades have long gentle scallops on the edges to help start through the crust, but none have kerfs.

    Lastly, if you try to slice the entire loaf at once, how will you hold it? Mechanical slicers have cradles made of fingers which match the spacing and allow the blades to slide past which holding the bread steady.

    There are guided slicing knives that you can use to make fast uniform slices from a loaf in seconds. The one I linked is short at 8-1/2" but I have an old one with a 1 foot or so blade. (30cm).

    If you really want to make fast work of 20 slices, build a wooden miter box the length and width of your loaves. Make the required number of guide slots at the desired spacing. Then you can use a long bladed bread knife to make 20+ slices probably in under a minute. If you design and build it right you'll have a minimum amount of crumbs and can pour them out the end when finished.
    Similar thoughts, but you said it better.
    Bikes: Old steel race bikes, old Cannondale race bikes, less old Cannondale race bike, crappy old mtn bike

  19. #19
    Keepin it Wheel RubeRad's Avatar
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    FB, is there anything you don't know about?

    So you're saying that since hacksaw blades have a rectangular cross-section, they won't do the same job as a bread knife, which has a wedge-shaped cross-section? I guess this whole project is kaput then. I could switch to replacement bread slicer blades like black_box linked to, but the price is way too high.

    (As for holding, I didn't think that would be a problem; hold the bread from the bottom to get all the blades in, then just hold (squish?) the top to finish the job.)

    That victorinox guided slicing knife is pretty cool looking, apparently it's a higher-tech version of this, which also comes in adjustable form.

    I guess the plan is to just get a cheap plastic bread slicing guide, like this.

  20. #20
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    +1 the wooden miter box and a regular bread cutting knife worst you get some sawdust in the bread,

    Out ther in the market place, they have bread made with sawdust for Cheap additional Fiber, anyhow.

    Choose the wood wisely. There are some toxic species

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
    FB, is there anything you don't know about?....

    So you're saying that since hacksaw blades have a rectangular cross-section, they won't do the same job as a bread knife....


    That victorinox guided slicing knife is pretty cool looking, apparently it's a higher-tech version of this, which also comes in adjustable form.

    I guess the plan is to just get a cheap plastic bread slicing guide, like this.
    I certainly don't know everything, but bicycle stuff and bread fall within my knowledge sphere.

    I suggested making a wooded miter box, and the plastic gadget is basically that idea, and for $7.50 delivered is something you can't go wrong with. (or at least more than $7.50 wrong).

    One thing you might try as a learning experience is cutting a slice off a loaf of bread with a hacksaw.

    BTW- the bow knife you linked to is a beautifully made item, You can see how the maker thought about the design, and covered all the bases. Not that I need one, but it's one of the nicest, best executed gadgets I've seen in a long time.
    FB
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  22. #22
    Keepin it Wheel RubeRad's Avatar
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    I actually have I think exactly the plastic-based miter-saw pictured above by skijor (but not yellow handles), I definitely can give that a try (not quite a hacksaw though).

    I agree, the fiddle-bow knife is quite attractive; your endorsement raises it in my estimation as well, I'll add it to the "someday I'll treat myself" list.

    If the plastic bread guide ends up being insufficient somehow, I'll look into making a wooden version. My dad has a high-quality bandsaw that should make it easy.

    So FB, what's your experience with bread? Do you bake a lot? I am a one-trick pony, since I discovered Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day, I bake that once or twice a week. I only ever make the "master recipe" (I don't want to try to buy/store a variety of flours in bulk), but it has many applications. Small round loaves + a stick of butter for potlucks (or I can pump out 24 small round loaves in 24hr for bake sales), 9x5 pan loaves for sandwiches, can be rolled out for pizza, etc. One variation I recently discovered is beer/cheese/jalapeno bread, replace half the water with beer and toss in 1c each of grated cheese and jalapeno. Fantastic!

  23. #23
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post


    So FB, what's your experience with bread? Do you bake a lot? ...
    My experience with bread is mostly at the other end --- the eating. Years ago a friend sent me some sourdough starter from his family's ages old batch, and I baked once a week or so, but you have to stay with it, and in the end it wasn't worth the effort. I've also baked (or attempted) "pizza dough" loaves, and french bread, but not on any regular basis.

    I'm in New York and can get excellent fresh bread daily in almost infinite variety, and for me it's the variety that keeps it interesting. So baking myself isn't worth the effort.
    Last edited by FBinNY; 04-20-15 at 11:40 AM.
    FB
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  24. #24
    Disco Infiltrator Darth Lefty's Avatar
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    When some appliance company builds slicing into their bread machine...
    Genesis 49:17

  25. #25
    Keepin it Wheel RubeRad's Avatar
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    ...I might buy it?

    Actually I don't use a bread machine, I've never been impressed by bread machine bread, and the pan was a pain to clean. Maybe the one model I tried was not the best.

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