The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

What would you do for a sheeter?

  • Pin It
Faith in Virginia's picture
Faith in Virginia

What would you do for a sheeter?

I have always been a tool kind of person,  a female version of "Tim the Tool Man".  So I got it in my head that I wanted a sheeter.  Now keep in mind I did not say I needed a sheeter just wanted one.   I started to shop for sheeters and was stunned by the pricing. I could buy a new car for the price they want for a simple sheeter.  Used sheeters were not cheep either.  Used and abused sheeters run around three to four THOUSAND dollars.  That's price of a good used car.   So much for that idea.

Well one day I was on E-bay and stumbled on a sheeter that was no reserve and $200 an ACME 8.  This thing was ugly.  Looked like he was making mud pies with this machine.  Even as ugly as it was it still sparked my interest.  I started to do some research and found a complete parts list, operating instructions and places to purchase replacement parts.  I started to think, okay this could be good deal.  

The sheeter was located in Utah and I'm in Virginia.  That is only 2,000 miles away.  Shipping quotes were running from $800 to $1,200 then someone else bid on the sheeter and now I need $300 to win the bid.  Great, now this good deal was being trashed by shipping costs.  Fine,  I'll just drive to Utah, pick it, up drive back ,and...4,000 miles later and $1,200 or more in fuel...Yikes that dosen't work either.  Now what?

How in the world am I going to get this sheeter from Utah to Virginia and not spend a fortune?

Well...I found some very nice people that lived in Sacramento, CA.  They were having the same shipping issues that I was having.  They needed to ship a Dodge pickup truck from Sacramento to South Carolina.  I offered to fly to California and drive the truck to South Carolina for the cost of air fair and fuel.  I explained the stop in Utah and asked for permission to pick up the sheeter.  We made the deal and it was win, win for both of us.  I could now get this sheeter for $3oo and the only cost for shipping was some driving time.

Deal done and now I have this sheeter sitting in my kitchen.  Now the work begins.

I can't believe someone was using this to make food that was sold to the public.  I assume the mouse droppings were from the storage unit but the old crusted dough on everything was nasty.

This is the rollers.

This is the roller scrapers.  This was so gross.  Not long ago this machine was being used to make whole sale bread for a MAJOR national food store. Yes that's mold.   I'll never eat out again!!!

So with more time on my hands  I dismantled this machine down to "parade rest". The only parts that were not disassembled were the ones welded together.  I scrubbed and disinfected everything piece by piece.  I replaced parts that needed replacing and a few more just for good measure.  I replaced all the roller bearings, drive chain, drive belt and conveyor belt.  I used after market parts so that kept the cost down.  Then I put it all back together.

Now the kitchen table has shifted once again for this big hunk of stainless steel.   I need a bigger kitchen!

The picture at the top of the page is my first attempt at croissants using the sheeter and the first time using "Classic croissants by Jeffrey Hamelman" and first time baking them in my wood fired oven.  So I have a lot of tweaking to do.

Looking back I would do it all again for my $300 sheeter.  It also makes me think how many other people would have taken this adventure?   To what ends would you go for something you wanted but didn't need?

 

 

Comments

proth5's picture
proth5

Faith,

So cool - I'm so envious.

Parts cost, in my recent experience, can run pretty high - but aftermarket parts - good thought. 

My beloved Diamant has a similar provenence - a hotly contested bidding war on eBay where I got the thing for way less than anyone would expect.   One rarely sees Diamants on eBay - I always claim it was "meant to be." I didn't have quite the transport drama, but I did spend a long time cleaning the thing up just to have it at that cost.

My sincere congratulations.  I am not able to devote too much time to such a project.  Or am I????

Hmmmmm

Pat

lazybaker's picture
lazybaker

Nice croissants. I take it that there will be a lot of lamination of doughs in the future to make up for all that time and expense. :)

Wow. That's a lot of dedication. The shipping and all that cleaning. No way would I ever clean that sheeter. It does look brand new.

dwcoleman's picture
dwcoleman

I rented a truck and drove 300 miles for my very own arcade cabinet for my basement!

PastryPaul's picture
PastryPaul

Considering I just picked one up for $7500 (new), I think your efforts were well worthwhile.

Congrats

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

even want to clean my home oven and it does it automaticall !  It's great your bakery has a WFO too.  Bread just doesn't taste the same otherwise.

If you decide you don't need it and want a car - now you can sell it to buy one !

What a great project.

Faith in Virginia's picture
Faith in Virginia

Thanks for the nice comments.  I don't have a bakery yet.  I'm kicking the tires on one but I'm so unsure of myself and the cost of starting one that I find myself sitting on my hands and doing nothing.  

I love my WFO but it's only a 42 inch but I did build it for bread.  Even with 7.5 inches of thermal mass it drops temperature fast with every bake.  If you figure the oven fits 12 - 1.5 lb loaves that's almost a gallon of water going in with the dough.  To get that nice crust you need heat.  So I can get 2 or 3 bakes then the temp is to low for proper crust.   Then I need to re-fire and 2 hours later do it again.   I need to learn better oven management or supplement with a different oven for a bakery.

I looked at ovens today.  Not going to happen... either they are mortgage my house price or 3 phase power...that's too much baking just to pay off the oven.  I would rather build a new WFO that I have in mind that has an external fire box.  A cross between a white and black oven....a hybread oven ;-)  then the bakery would be all WFO.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

With that mixer, sheeter and WFO at home!!!....I would just call it a bakery and live upstairs to guard it :-)  The sheeter alone would take up my whole kitchen.  Now I see what you mean the wanting and needing.  They say that the best way to get what you want is to give up wanting it so much.... and do the things it takes to get it instead.  That's how you got the sheeter and I'm guessing the bakery doesn't have a chance and won't be far behind.

Bake On

tn gabe's picture
tn gabe

I just called the power company today to come out and let me know what it's going to cost to get 440v 3 phase 200 amp service in our housery (ya know, house/bakery.....)

You're nuts! And I mean that as a sincere compliment. Hope you stocked up on real food, skipped the drivethrus and saw some sights along the way. How long did you take for the drive? & How many more to clean? You did an incredible job of getting the sheeter sparkling.

varda's picture
varda

I was going to call you nuts too of course in a good way.   What an adventure.  Congratulations on your good-as-new sheeter.  -Varda

Syd's picture
Syd

What a transformation!  A woman after my own heart!  I just love projects like that and you have done superbly well.  That sheeter is as good as new and what a bargain.  Your croissants don't look to shabby, either.  Looking forward to future posts.  

All the best,

Syd

Faith in Virginia's picture
Faith in Virginia

The mixer is another story...not so interesting but it's a 30 qt Univex , American, made  in Massachusetts and I can get parts.  I got a good deal on that as well. I drove to Indianapolis Indiana for that.  500miles each way all in the same day.

Now the California trip was a trip  2700 miles one way.  I picked up this 2012 Dodge 4x4 pick up truck with 2000 miles on it.  The owner was a service man that bought this expensive truck took it home to visit Mom and Dad and crashed it.  The insurance company paid over 25 thousand to fix the truck.  25 K was not enough to total it.  So I took the truck to where he was stationed in SC once it was repaired.

By the time I picked up this truck it was night time.  I own Chevy's so it took a while to learn where the headlights switch was hiding.   I don't get very far down the road and I hit this nasty snow storm and then I find Truckee.  Truckee is a nasty mountain road just before Reno NV.  They have this road shut down unless you have chains or 4x4.  Police are checking you out at the check point and all that fun stuff.   So here I am in a new truck that has been crashed once hoping I don't crash it again in this snow storm.  The truck was a champ  and held the road fine but I'm still a Chevy girl.

No, it was a whirl win trip.  I drove half way 1350 miles stopping only for coffee and fuel.  Grabbed a 6" Subway took a 4 hour nap in the front of the truck, then drove the other 1350 miles.  You know your getting old when you need that 4 hour nap.

LindyD's picture
LindyD

How sad to see a piece of equipment so neglected - and how wonderful to see it restored.  It's beautiful, Faith.  You have my deepest respect and admiration for doing such an awesome job.  You must have a pretty good sized kitchen!

I think the craziest one-day trip I made was driving 300 miles to Detroit to check out a Loree oboe that was for sale, then turning around and driving home.  That was when the speed limit was 55 on the freeway.    Doesn't even come close to your escapade.

Gads, if you can drive that distance with just a four-hour nap, running a bakery should be a snap!

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

Others have already commented that you must be crazy so no sense in my mentioning how I fully understand and agree with your entire undertaking.  Really nice job on the clean up and repair.  I do have larger commmercial equipment in my home kitchen and view it as perfectly normal.  In fact I wonder how I ever managed without it.  But having a sheeter in the kitchen .....................I like your style,

Jeff

Faith in Virginia's picture
Faith in Virginia

Calling me nuts is actually a complement so thank you all very much.   Unfortunately, I felt the need to do it again and did.  I feel like I'm going to come home one day and find all my family and friends sitting around with a physiologist and pull an intervention on me.  They will all have letters prepared and tell me how much they all love me and we can have a good cry.  Then they will get stern and tell me I don't have any more room in the kitchen so I need to stop.  Then everyone will glom down some fresh croissants and complain that  there is no longer enough room around the kitchen table.

Well before that happens I need to pick up my Dutchess divider/ rounder.  This thing is old but so cool and will look sharp when I get done with it.  

I don't drink, smoke or do drugs so I will accept this as my one vice.

varda's picture
varda

I think you know we are kidding but just in case -

Nuts =  forceful, energetic, determined, won't take no for an answer, resourceful, damn the torpedoes full speed ahead, nuts (quoting General McAuliffe) and so on.   Hopefully now it's perfectly clear.  -Varda

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

Calling me nuts is actually a complement

And it was intended that way.  I do not have any normal friends, what ever that is.

Jeff

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

are croissants like those not a drug?  For me, do a few of them,  hooked and too many I'm dead :-)

bobdrob's picture
bobdrob

Ballparking a cost for parts & "paying" yourself let's say $10/hr serf labor rate, what's yer estimated cost for this project to make product #1, aka world's most expensive baked good?  FWIW I raise "gold plated" tomatoes in my home garden.

Faith in Virginia's picture
Faith in Virginia

Surf labor rate?  I'm the boss, the owner, the queen of my kitchen.  I don't wake up in the morning for under $45 an hour... EL  (Evil Laugh) 

So at this point my baked goods are plated with unobtanium.  I know for a fact that unobtanium is more valuable then gold.

Just think of the costs if I built a bakery and filled it with all the new equipment...Yikes

We all need a hobby, a vice, an escape from reality, an insanity...this one is mine.

bobdrob's picture
bobdrob

glad you have the means to support this vice.  I know what the cost of a new sheeter is as I can't afford one for my public school baking program.  When faced with the choice between funding most of my academic year vs. buying a sheeter ( new or refurb'ed) I have to go with more educational supplies ( ie. groceries, texts, smallwares, papergoods etc.) I'd really like to have another tool to advance my curriculum and increase our bakeshop production ( which means a better revenue trickle back into our program.) I'd just like to know your ballpark estimate to DIY refurb a sheeter; maybe I/we could afford to upgrade with some of my unreimbursed donation & from our community support.   Just askin'... 

Faith in Virginia's picture
Faith in Virginia

I guess I misunderstood the intent of your question with the gold plated tomatoes in your garden.  I really don't have a good answer for you.  It all depends on the sheeter you can buy and what needs fixing.  I did some serious shopping for aftermarket parts also.  This sheeter has 13 bearings and the parts place wanted to charge me almost $15 each so $195 just for the bearings. But I did some shopping and found the same bearing for $2.44 each so I paid $31.72 for the bearings. That was a $163.28 savings there. The conveyor belt was the most expensive part. Acme wanted over $1000 just for the conveyor belt.  I found one for $425 that was one of the things that did not necessarily needed replacing.  I could have cleaned it and sanitized  it and it would have worked fine.

Being in a school system I would think you would have a better chance of getting good deals with people.  I'll bet you could find someone willing to make a donation to your school of used equipment. It's a great tax deduction and something they can brag about to their paying customers.  I don't know what country you live in but if your in the USA like I am it would make it easier  for me to help you out.

Ask Floyd if he would put out a donation can on  TFL to help out the kids.  Help  educate the next generation of TFL members.

Put your budget out there and I will keep an eye out for a sheeter that is a good deal.  Do you have 3 phase power available for the sheeter?   Beware of E-bay for sheeters some are only good for parts yet they are trying to get top dollar for them and saying they are in working order.

Good luck let me know if I can help.

koloatree's picture
koloatree

To me your normal. Crazy is not doing anything. All great things start someplace.

How do you like the sheeter? I also purchased one at auction and haven't had time to clean it. It seems to be a single pass sheeter. All croissant making videos I have seen on youtube, bakers seem to be using a double pass sheeter. Do you have to continually drop the dough through the small opening for each pass? Can you sheet the dough thin enough?

 

Thanks

btw,

Another option for powering 3 phase electric equipment is obtaining a transformer/phase converter.

Faith in Virginia's picture
Faith in Virginia

Yes I do love my sheeter.  It will take a bit to get accustomed to using it.  Yes, it can go more then thin enough yes I need to keep feeding it but not into a small hole.  The Acme 8 has two feeding places and the second one is just as wide as the conveyor belt.

What kind of sheeter did you pick up?   I have three phase power that runs in front of the house I should call and get a quote 75' to the pole.  I know transformers arn't cheap either.

My next project is a Dutchess RR-36 Divider/Rounder.  I hope my floor will hold it.  I found out it weighs about 900 lbs.

Thaichef's picture
Thaichef

Good Morning Faith:

Oh. Wow! You have my deepest respect for the above project!  Mine, mine, mine!  I have to show it to my husband(who is away in FL.) of what a female could do!  Your croissants look great too!  Perhaps, I have to make a trip from Moneta to Floyd sometime soon just to see your sheeter! 

When you are at it(e-bay search) , have you ever seen a portable two or three burners wok cooking stove? I teach Thai cooking and had dragged my "poor shabby" 18 years old camp stove with me up and down the mountains to teach. It is time for a new portable one but I can't seem to find one yet.

mantana

   

Faith in Virginia's picture
Faith in Virginia

No, I have not seen one but then again I wasen't looking.  I will put that on my list and let you know if I see anything.

Sounds like fun.  If you feel the need to take a trip just let me know.  I just picked up a new project so I don't know what my schedule will be like but weekends are good most of the time. 

I would love to learn Thai cooking  let me know where you will be teaching and I will sign up for a class. 

 P.S. I sent you a message.

 

tn gabe's picture
tn gabe

Are you planning in making, anyhow?

Thaichef's picture
Thaichef

Good Morning Faith:

Per your request Faith, I sent you class schedule for May via a message. Since we are International cooking school, we also offered the Mediterranean classes on the 2nd week. Please let me know.

mantana