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.

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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.

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    11 Discussions


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Could you please give a few more details about that plexiglass piece? I can't figure it out and would like some kind of slice spacer. Thank you . . .I'm encouraged to get making bread again!

    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    I like to keep things simple, it is nothing more than a piece of 1/4" [6.4mm] thick Plexi that is bent into an "L" shape. I drilled two holes in the bottom flange to secure it with wood screws. I suppose if one slotted it, an adjustable width stop could be had using the same idea too.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    I really like this design because it looks simple to make. I need one of these for baking bread. I agree with you wife about uniformity but at this point a one slot slicer will probably have to do if my hubby makes one. Thanks for sharing and do have a nice week.



    4 years ago

    This is a practical way to remember your dad. I love seeing things like this.

    3 replies

    Thanks, dad had a colorful career with the Air Force, shot down in both WWII and Korea. The family jibe was if it happened a third time the government is likely to charge him with "being wasteful of aircraft". ☺


    Reply 4 years ago

    Good to see you got that instructable made- and a cool one at that! I'm making one as soon as I have time, I hate crooked bread...

    It was your request that actually got me to make this project bubble up to the top of the job list, hope it does what you want.


    4 years ago

    Great bread slicer,too lazy to make one . I love challenge of slicing bread.
    Might make a smaller version of your idea for my wife to cut her home made soap.
    Thanks for sharing.

    1 reply

    I didn't mind the freehand slicing, but the wife likes uniformity and predictability, 'specially those thick ends for her cheeseburgers. ☺