My mother-in-law had an issue with one of her tools that she used to level a cake. Looking at the design of the original, I decided that I could make something that would eliminate some of the problems. The problem was the flat blade was flimsy and the frame wasn't sturdy. Put those two problems together and you get a wavy cake top and an angry mother-in-law and nobody wants that.
Step 1: Parts and Tools
(1) piece of wood about 21" long, 1.5" wide, and about 2" tall.
(1) length of piano wire.
(4) 5/16 nuts or (2) 5/16 nuts and (2) washers
(2) 5/16 bolts 10" long
(2) 1/2 nuts(make sure that they go on the bolt easily by hand)
(2) 1/2 bolts 7" long
Wood Stain and a brush or cloth
Needle nose pliers
(2) 1/2 wrenches
Step 2: Getting Started
Find the right size drill bit for your bolts. The 1/2" bolts don't need to be snug at all but you don't want too much wobble either. Drill your 1/2 bolt hole about .5" from the side of the wood on the left and right side. Then drill your 5/16 bolt hole 1.5" from the side on the left and right side of your wood. After that you will need to make a hole on each end for your 1/2" nut. It needs to meet the bolt when it comes through and it doesn't need to be allowed to spin. I don't have the proper tools to accomplish the task so I just drilled a couple holes and then whittled it until it fit. Next, take a hacksaw and cut a groove into the end of each 5/16 bolt. The piano wire should fit when your done.
Step 3: Sand and Stain
Now it's time to sand your wood as much or as little as you want. I left some marks on the wood and it actually made it look more interesting to me. After your done with sanding make sure that you clean your wood off really well. I don't know much about staining wood but what I did was use a brush and brushed up to three coats(letting each coat dry in between). I have seen some people rub stain on with a cloth.
Step 4: Finish It!
Enough playing around with the stain. Now it's time to start adding those nuts and bolts. Start with the (2) 5/16 and (2) of their nuts(or just the washers if you bought those). Take your piano wire and bend a small hook in it. Circle it around one of the bolts and then hook the wire to itself. This will just be to hold the wire in place. After you've done that add the next nut to the same bolt that you have your piano wire hooked to. You will use your double nut configuration to pinch the wire together to hold it taut. If you bought the washers instead then you will have the piano wire hooked around the bolt between the washer and nut so that they pinch it. Make sure everything is tight. Run the piano wire up the bolt and through the groove that you made with the hacksaw. Pull it tight and make a 90 degree bend. This next part is optional. I used some vise grips to make little zig zags in the wire in order to make it cut easier. I don't make cakes or cut them so I don't know for a fact that it works.
Put both nuts(or washer and nut) down on the bolt that is on the opposite side. Tighten one bolt completely down and leave a small gap in between the two nuts so that you can insert your piano wire later. Now your ready to pull the piano wire taut and insert them in the grooves of your 5/16 bolts. After your piano wire is tight enough, pinch it in between the nuts(or nut and washer) and tighten it.
Take the (2) 1/2 nuts and insert them into the holes that were made for them earlier. Screw in the 1/2 bolts into your finished assembly and your done.
Step 5: All Done...time for Cake!
You can now adjust the 1/2 bolts to change the height to suit your needs.