The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

dough sheeter

MANNA's picture

Manual crank dough sheeter

September 19, 2012 - 12:26pm -- MANNA

I make 24 croissants every sat morning along with 48 bagels. Its all done by hand and I laminate my dough in between making the breads on friday night. I need to get a dough sheeter to make the croissants. The results are to unpredictable and take alot of my time. I have a good idea how to construct my own. As my project progresses over the next year or so I will keep everyone up to date. If it works I will be more than happy to construct and sell them. I want conveyers on this also not just an overglorified pasta machine. Wish me luck!

Faith in Virginia's picture
Faith in Virginia

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?



Kathy D's picture
Kathy D

Help! I'm overwhelmed and overworked with trying to roll out my dog biscuit dough by hand. My new, home-based business is growing faster than I anticipated and I need to get ahead of the orders. It's incredibly time consuming and hard on the arms to roll it out by hand and need to make that next step and have a machine do it for me! But what machine? I've been looking at used equipment but unsure of the direction to go in. I have a rotary cookie cutter so  I was hoping it could be rolled out long instead of round. Any help is most appreciated and thanks!

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