‘Read through an interesting old public domain book the other day called Handy Farm Devices, written back in 1912. Much of the information in it is obsolete, but a surprising amount of it is still pretty useful around a country place like ours. Here’s a tip from that source that I used yesterday, and thought someone else might find it handy:
We use our old bread machine a LOT, usually to make big 2-pound loaves of cinnamon raisin bread. ‘Love that stuff, and one slice makes me breakfast most days!
Anyway, slicing it consistently and evenly so our 1960 toaster ‘likes’ it has been an issue around here. Turns out a couple pieces of 3/8″ steel rod solved that problem. I just baked and sliced a loaf yesterday, and this little trick really works!
I centered and drilled a pair of 1/8″ holes through our cutting board, 6″ apart, then drilled them out to 3/8″ most – but not all – of the way through. Two pieces of steel rod (it can be most any diameter that doesn’t flex too much, I happened to have 3/8″ on hand) were cut to 9″ long, polished nicely, their ends ‘softened’, and inserted snugly into the holes.
The bread knife follows down one side of these rods nicely, and ensures bread of even thickness from top to bottom. The old book shows a thin piece of wood screwed to the cutting board as a thickness gauge, but it turns out you can get them very close just ‘by eye’. This will likely work for evenly slicing meat and other goodies, too, and we’ll have to try that.
Two wooden plugs the depth of the holes were cut from some 3/8″ dowel stock, and are kept in the board when not slicing bread. When it’s time to slice a loaf, a small finishing nail or 1/8″ pin punch pops the plugs out from underneath. Pretty neat!
Hope that’s helpful to you guys!
God bless you and yours,