Introduction: B17G Flying Fortress Bread Slicer

About: Was it you or I who stumbled first? It does not matter, the one of us who soonest finds the strength to rise must help the other. - Vera Nazarian, The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration

It might seem peculiar that a bread slicer is named after a WWII bomber, but designing a slicer guide isn't really all that difficult, yet finding the inspiration for the final form is. I chose the Fortress for two reasons: the cyma recta curvature looked functionally appealing to me and it also reminds me of my late father, who occupied a tail gunner's position on one. I made it out of solid maple wood and Plexiglas, and added a couple of features to enhance stability and ease of use. Brass screws and an oil finish made this project quick to knock out and since I had all parts on hand, cost was nil.

Step 1:

I found plenty of images on the web to inspire and begin my final design (first image). Then I simply located, scaled and transferred the appropriate tail section of the Fortress image to my workpiece by a conventional tracing method.

Step 2:

I ended up making the base platform about 6” [152mm] wide (inside) by 10” [254mm] long, specifically to hold loaves from my bread machines. Rubber feet resisted skidding about, and two pieces of angle with a felt pad attached acts as a padded bench hook to help immobilize the guide when cutting.

Step 3:

I heated and bent a Plexiglas stop panel to limit slices to about 5/8” [16mm] thick, after some trial and error, to get a perfect yield of 10 slices from a loaf.

Step 4:

The heels or end cuts of the bread are saved for cheeseburger nights, a favorite of the wife, making a very stout and satisfying meal. The rest are of course used for breakfast toast, sandwiches, etc. I keep my bread makers kitted with the slicer in a spare room, ready to set up for a making and baking session as needed. Having two machines actually cuts down on the production time, and are very cheap to find in thrift stores or internet sources. It took a bit of experimentation to arrive at a suitable recipe for my way of doing it, but I guess that is why they are so abundant in the used market, people must expect them to be plug and play, but in reality, they are just an aid to production, and like any other tool, one does have to bother to learn about using them for best results.