Simmons Slicer Status, February 2011

by admin on 02/16/2011 · 32 comments

Many of you have been asking about the status of the Simmons Slicer.  The slicer is now “Patent Pending”. I had hoped to have all the final information before posting another update, but that isn’t the case. On a positive note, the reason I don’t is that the manufacturer (Craig Brodahl) and I are both perfectionists. We are still looking at some parts that might be less expensive and/or better quality than those we are using. I don’t call it a “cane” slicer any more because it has proved just as useful for slicing mokume gane billets.

Although some details haven’t been finalized, I can show you what it looks like and give you a quick overview of its operation:

Simmons Slicer (Patent Pending)

To use the slicer you place a block of clay on the Table and press it firmly against both the Backstop and the Table to hold it in place. (The picture shows the Table in the forward-most position. The remainder of a mokume gane billet is on the Backstop where the back end of the block would be.)

Begin by turning the Table Advance Knob to the left (i.e. the reverse direction) to back the table away from the Slicing Blade. Stop when the block of clay is entirely behind the path of the Slicing Blade. Now, turn the knob to the right (the forward direction) until the front of the block is just below the slicing blade.

Lowering the slicing blade on the Simmons Slicer (Patent Pending)

Press downward on the handles to trim the front end of the block. Now you are ready to take off slices of predetermined thicknesses.

The Table Advance Knob is marked off in 1/64 inch increments (eight marks). One complete rotation is 1/16 of an inch. Rotate the knob until the desired thickness has been measured off then press down evenly on the handles to slide the Slicing Blade through the clay. The slice will peel off from the rest of the block.

The slicer will take slices as thin as a playing card off of a cane with a cross-section as large as 5 x 5 inches.

A slice off of Julie’s cane on the Simmons Slicer (Patent Pending)

The picture to the right shows Julie Eakes‘ latest cane in the process of being sliced. (Julie has an earlier prototype of the slicer with a white table.)

We have not quite settled on the price of the slicer, but it will be somewhere around $700. (As of November 2013 the price is $850 plus shipping.) This is not a profit making venture for us. Craig is building these by hand in his home shop. Nearly the entire cost reflects his time plus the cost of materials.  He is planning on making no more than 24 of these. We hope that when he gets to that point everyone who wants one will have one or we’ll have found a manufacturer.

November 2013 update on the Simmons Slicer

{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

Jenny Patterson February 16, 2011 at 4:25 pm

Oh I would love one of these! But I don’t think it will fit in my budget at $700. I will say though if you get a manufacturer, and can reduce the price I will seriously consider getting one.


clsdesigns February 16, 2011 at 6:11 pm

Think about buying with other people; especially guilds. It is so fast you won’t need it most of the time.


Jenny Patterson February 16, 2011 at 6:39 pm

LOL, the nearest guild to me is 350 miles away! No If I bought it, it would be for me. When I am generating inventory I will slice 6 dozen each from a number canes. All day long for days on end!


clsdesigns February 18, 2011 at 12:40 pm

You really need one then. How lare are your largest canes (in cross section?)


clsdesigns February 18, 2011 at 12:41 pm

I mean “large”


Jenny Patterson February 18, 2011 at 1:13 pm

The largest is usually about 2″ across. Of course they START larger! LOL


clsdesigns February 28, 2011 at 12:30 pm

You might be interested in buying my Grove and Grove slicer. It cuts canes up to 2 1/2 inches. I bought it for $800 and I’m selling it for $400. It works great!


Jenny Patterson February 28, 2011 at 12:36 pm

Hmm Carol, could you send me a picture? I will have to think on it.


clsdesigns February 28, 2011 at 12:56 pm



Seth Savarick February 16, 2011 at 6:29 pm

I would like to put in an order right now. Please put my name on the top of the list. I Will send you a deposit if you would like to hold one for me.




clsdesigns February 18, 2011 at 12:42 pm

I’ve got you on the list. Don’t send a deposit.


Michelle Hayward February 16, 2011 at 7:20 pm

I am not put off by the price. Please let me know when you are ready to ship. M.


clsdesigns February 18, 2011 at 12:42 pm

Will do.


Dede Leupold February 17, 2011 at 2:30 am

Wow! what a cool slicing tool that is. What kind of blades does it use?


clsdesigns February 18, 2011 at 12:37 pm

It uses modified floor scraper blades. They seem to hold up really well, they can be resharpened at a knife shop, and we include one extra with the sliced.


Alice Stroppel February 17, 2011 at 4:13 am

I’m interested for sure. Great job. And !ulie’s work is fabulous too :)


clsdesigns February 18, 2011 at 12:36 pm

Isn’t it! I put you on my list.


jan montarsi February 28, 2011 at 1:45 am

Thanks again for for your workshops at the Buckeye Bash!
Your cane slicer is as amazing as you are. Having the opportunity to use it paralelled
with your teaching and tireless coaching has been one of the most fun and rewarding
experiances, and i’m sure I have increased my own expertise ten fold, and look forward to many many hours exploring what you taught!
jan montarsi


clsdesigns April 12, 2011 at 10:48 am

Thank you, Jan. I’ve enjoyed our correspondence. It was great to get to know you in person!


Mary B April 24, 2011 at 9:58 pm

Hi, Carol – any news on the slicer?


clsdesigns April 25, 2011 at 9:46 am

We’ve been tweaking it a bit based on our tests with large groups (many different people using one slicer). We hope it will be ready soon.


robbin May 29, 2011 at 3:43 pm

any chance you would consider doing a color workshop in tucson when the gem shows are on??


clsdesigns May 29, 2011 at 5:07 pm

I hadn’t thought about it, but I’d love an excuse to go again. I don’t know if you noticed, but I’m doing a 6-day workshop in Bisbee next May.


Tif B June 5, 2011 at 5:52 pm

Hi, Carol! Well, I have to say, I have interest in the slicer, but it’s out of my league. Time to find out where my nearest poly guilds are & get joining up! Then get them to get one so I can use it, too :-)
Tif B


clsdesigns June 5, 2011 at 6:10 pm

Good plan. I hope you succeed.


Tia Wu July 19, 2011 at 4:14 am

Hi Carol,
Your design is genius. I would like to order one. Please also put me on your list. Thank you so much.



clsdesigns July 19, 2011 at 6:44 am

Done. (Warning: The list has gotten quite long.)


Patti McElhiney November 14, 2011 at 9:22 pm

I would like to order one. Are you still putting names on the list?
Patti McElhiney


clsdesigns November 15, 2011 at 9:46 am

Patti, I put you on the list but it is very long and I’m not sure we’ll make that many.


Patti McElhiney November 22, 2011 at 11:19 am



Marcie November 16, 2011 at 8:41 am

I hope that you do well enough with this that you can find a manufacturer that can get the price point down. I probably have $200 in various slicing methods, and don’t like any of them.


clsdesigns November 16, 2011 at 6:28 pm

Marcie, That’s our dream!


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