Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Cake Boards For Stonegate
The pastry chef at Stonegate Conference & Banquet Centre asked me to build her some cake boards. These give the chef a solid, controlled surface to build the cake on and transport it out of the kitchen. She requested there be two sets of 5 boards. first set being round at a 16" diameter, and the second set square. 16"x16". 

I started the build with a 4x8 sheet of cabinet grade plywood. I asked the guy at home depot to make two cuts lengthwise at 17", then take the 17" wide pieces and cut those at 17" to make five separate boards 17"x17". In a perfect world a 4'x8' sheet will yield exactly eighteen 16" squares. However in our flawed world, we have to take in account for the 1/8th inch saw-blade width and distrust of "home depot guy's" measuring/cutting skills. So I had him cut them to 17 inch squares so I could precisely cut them with the table saw at home.

Cutting the circles:  Now that I had my ten 16" squares ready I cut five of them into circles using a router and a "circle guide." The circle guide is basically a compass for routers. this one allows circles to be made with variable measurements of every quarter inch from 7" - 51 3/4". On the first circle I set it at 16 inches, because I needed 16" circles. But the circle came out with small flat sides in the middle of the original 4 sides. This is because I didn't account for the width of the router bit. It wasnt a huge deal, but I wished I would have though about it. For the next 4 circles I set the guide at 15 3/4 instead and they came out about perfect.

Rounding the edges: Now that the circles are cut I took all ten of my boards(circles and squares) and rounded over the edges using a "round-over" Bit. the round-over bit will only do one side at a time so I had to flip each board over and do the other sides. Because of this, it is very important to make the height of the bit just right to ensure the cuts meet together in the center.  After rounding over all the edges of the boards I sanded down the roughness and each corner of the squares to make them less sharp. Then I used a much higher grit sand paper and made all the surfaces of the boards super smooth.

Making the stencil: I actually made some of these cake boards before. Unfortunately  the cleanup crew at Stonegate weren't getting the message to not throw them out, and eventually they were all gone. So I thought I would stencil out a message right on the boards themselves. Hopefully this will help, but who knows.To make the stencil I downloaded a "stencil" font and printed out in large text "STONEGATE DO NOT THROW AWAY". I then used an exacto knife and meticulously cut out each letter. The reason I used a stencil font was that it showed the pieces used to hold the insides of holes on letters. when I was finished I had a stencil ready to be sprayed onto the boards.

Using the stencil: I cut out a piece of brown paper large enough to cover the boards and then cut a small section out to place the stencil over. I used black spray paint to make the text. I did this for all the circles. After the first couple circles, my black spray paint was giving me issues, so for the squares I used blue. I wanted to originally use a wood-burning stencil to burn the text into the wood but I didn't want to buy them and also didn't have enough time to make them. I actually like the way the text turned out. I lookes like writing you would see on an old wooden crate or something.

Hope she likes them.
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