Simmons Slicer Status, February 2011

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

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32 Responses to Simmons Slicer Status, February 2011

  1. 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.

  2. 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.



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

  4. Dede Leupold says:

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

    • clsdesigns says:

      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.

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

  6. jan montarsi says:

    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

  7. clsdesigns says:

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

  8. Mary B says:

    Hi, Carol – any news on the slicer?

    • clsdesigns says:

      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.

  9. robbin says:

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

    • clsdesigns says:

      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.

  10. Tif B says:

    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

  11. Tia Wu says:

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


  12. Patti McElhiney says:

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

  13. Marcie says:

    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.

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