I love this clay slicer. Its real name is the LC Slicer. I don’t have the skills to slice canes exactly straight up and down and the same width. Maybe with years of practice I could, but with this slicer, I can do it now.
Before I bought this, my husband made the cane slicer below for me using a clear acrylic display stand I bought online. It works, but even though the slots he cut are very narrow, the blade wobbles. It also needs a way to keep the sliding base from moving when you don’t want it to.
I bought another cane slicer on the market, but the blade also wobbled too much. I was beginning to think I’d never cut good cane slices, so I decided to spend the money and buy the LC Slicer. It was a big relief. It’s precise, well-engineered and solid.
The maximum size cane you can cut is either 5-1/4″ X 3-1/4″ or 4-3/8″ X 4-1/4″. The opening has rounded corners, thus the two different measurements.
The blade will cut to within 9/16″ of the backstop, so you either need to add scrap clay to the end of your cane to make up the difference or buy the Angle Base. The Angle Base is also designed so you can stick a stack of mokume gane to it and slice it at an angle.
It seems to me that there are three issues with slicing canes:
- Cutting straight slices
- Cutting many slices the same thickness
- Preventing distortion of the cane by the blade
This slicer addresses the first two quite well. I can cut slices 1mm thick or even paper thin. Building canes can be a lot of work. This allows them to go further. I also use it to cut blocks of clay precisely.
I’ve tried different methods to use the measurement scales to make consistent slices. Peering at them with one eye closed was one. I’ve also tried putting my chin on the top of the slicer so I’d see the scales the exact same way every time.
I’ve found that two twists of the wrist make a 1mm slice. (It’s a muscle memory thing.) I also hover the blade right over the top of the cane before I cut so I can judge if it’s the right width. So far, those two methods combined work best for me to get consistent cane slices. If anyone has figured out a better way, please tell me.
It has a very sharp blade, so distortion is reduced, but not eliminated. A square or rectangular cane will still need to be rotated, pushed back into shape and/or put in the refrigerator to harden. Cindy Lietz has a good idea for reducing distortion on cylindrical canes.
Because the blade is sharpened on only one side, slices peel away from the cane as they’re cut. This is a nice thing. It also means clay must be placed behind it, rather than in front, or the slices will be curved. I freaked out when I cut clay from the front because it was curved and I thought my slicer was broken.
The blade should be wiped off regularly during use because clay will accumulate on it. I forget to do this and get tiny ridges in my slices. The blade also drags if it’s not clean.
I think the LC Slicer is worth every penny. Good tools allow me to do better work and enjoy the process.
P.S. I bought all these products myself and received nothing from the manufacturers.