Breadcrumb Comb for Cleaning an Industrial Bread Slicer (Oliver 732-N)




Introduction: Breadcrumb Comb for Cleaning an Industrial Bread Slicer (Oliver 732-N)

About: “There's always something.” - Violet Baudelaire:

This Ible is a ways off the beaten path. There is an Oliver 732-N Front Load Slicer (7/16” spacing) in the bakery where I work. When it slices, it makes fine breadcrumbs that collect on the cradle. A paintbrush is used to sweep off the front of the cradle but it doesn’t get between the tines. Although, the breadcrumbs do not come in contact with the fresh bread, I wondered just how long some of those breadcrumbs had been there. Kind of creepy.

The first thought is “just use compressed air to blow it off”. High pressure air runs into OSHA restrictions and would send fine crumbs everywhere. It would also require equipment we don’t have. A cake decorating airbrush compressor running at 0.8 cubic feet per minute just didn’t have enough force. It would probably take an airbrush compressor running at 1.5 to 2.0 cubic feet per minute to do the job. Also equipment we don’t have. Canned “air” (usually a hydrofluorocarbon, not air), if used judiciously, worked without causing too much of a mess. The real problem with these solutions is that there is no budget for them. None.

Since equipment was out, I started working on mechanical approaches. I brought fresh paintbrushes, one with bristles and one made of foam. Both of the paintbrushes had received “surgery” to “fit” between the tines. It was the right approach but it was a poor solution. The bristles were unruly and the foam was floppy.

I found some cable ties that were about the same width as the gap between the tines and started pushing the crumbs one slot at a time. This worked better. Then I cut off the pointed end of the cable tie and started pulling the crumbs. This worked well. If one cable tie worked well, then eight would be even better.

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: Bread Crumb Comb 01

I had an empty box with small corrugation that was headed for the trash, two cable ties, some 1-inch 3M mounting tape, a ruler and scissors.

The dimensions were pretty much seat-of-the-pants except there needed to be 1-1/2 inches of projection and 1/2 inch on center spacing. I made sure to align the corrugation with the cable tie teeth for strength.

I didn’t document the assembly because I was wrapped up I fiddling with making it. The parts photo was taken later when I had another empty box. The picture of the tool was also later. You can see oil from bread loaves on the masking tape I put on it to make it more “attractive.

Step 2: Bread Crumb Comb 01 - Results

Photo one is the tool in action. Photos two and three are the before and after.

The tool turned out to be very effective and easy to use. It was immediately accepted by my coworkers. It turns out that they had, for years, been “observing” that there was no good way to fully clean the slicer.

The tool was kept in the crumb tray of the slicer and, unfortunately, it was tossed out with the bread crumbs.

I built Bread Crumb Comb 02 with only two changes. It has an electrical box slug in it so it can be attached to a magnet on the outside of the slicer. It also has a body made from an asparagus spears shipping carton that was made of plastic with small corrugation. It too was headed for the trash. The plastic should be more durable than the paper.

I didn’t document this one because I was in a hurry to get it made.

Step 3: Bread Crumb Comb 03

1. Collect your parts and tools

Small corrugated panels (these are from an asparagus spears carton)

Cable ties (in this case they are 0.3 inches wide, if you have a narrower or wider slicer, you will need to size the cable ties accordingly. The projection remains the same)

1 inch mounting tape (I used 3M Scotch)

an iron slug or washer and magnet or a just magnet




2. Make a guide showing 1-1/2 inches of projection and the on center dimension (0.5 inches in this case).

3. Cut the panel and “teeth”. I added an extra 1/2 inch the panels to keep the existing holes so it can also hang on a hook. Remember to align the panel’s corrugation with the “teeth” when you lay it out.

4. Cut the mounting tape, including a cutout for the slug/magnet on one panel.

5. Adhere the “teeth” to the mounting tape on one panel. Mind the extension and centers.

6. Attach the other panel and press down to seal it up

Be the First to Share


    • Backyard Contest

      Backyard Contest
    • Silly Hats Speed Challenge

      Silly Hats Speed Challenge
    • Finish It Already Speed Challenge

      Finish It Already Speed Challenge

    4 Discussions

    Alex in NZ
    Alex in NZ

    2 years ago

    This is where brains are useful! Long term problem, noted by everyone, solved by you. Well done!

    It is (as you say) a bit of a specialised problem/solution, but it is so elegant and fit-for-purpose. Thank you for sharing :-)


    Reply 2 years ago

    Thank you for your kind words.


    2 years ago

    a very creative solution. Well done.


    Reply 2 years ago

    Thank you, I appreciate that.