Using piano wire to cut chocolate

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This is at the northeast corner of Kinzie and Des Plaines. The aroma of chocolate as you walk past is absolutely intoxicating! I don't know the history of this factory, but I know it's been here for more than a few years. I'm not sure about the one you're referring to.
Incidentally, I made the trip today. I'm riding the train home with the bar at my side as I type this. It was $39.80 for the 10# bar - a bit cheaper than last year, if I recall correctly. If all goes according to plan, I will probably be on a sugar and caffeine high for the next week or so ...if I can figure out a way to cut this d*mn thing! ;-)
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote in wrote:

guillotine. 8-)
Or you could put it in a double boiler,melt and RECAST the thing in smaller bars!
The news has been saying that chocolate prices are going to increase sharply this year.
(I'd try the nichrome wire/train transformer method;experiment on smaller bars)
--
Jim Yanik
jyanik
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I think the wire idea is not too good as a thick slab of chocolate does not lend itself to being severed by a blunt wire. The hot wire would be messy and stinky as well as potentially a shock hazard.
I would suggest buying a saw to use for chocolate. You can get a thin bladed saw, and just wash it after severing the chocolate. You will get some chocolate dust, but that can just be tossed in a coup of coffee.
--

Roger Shoaf

About the time I had mastered getting the toothpaste back in the tube, then
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That's why I'm looking for a 'safe' way to do it. How do the pros deal with this problem? I assume there are some who cut chocolate bars.

This is really, really good chocolate. The kind that turns into something that resembles stale chewing gum when the temp gets much above 98.6. So the coffee idea wouldn't work.
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On 2 Apr 2007 15:24:12 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Ask EMERIL? He's on the in-ner-net. -- Oren
"If things get any worse, I'll have to ask you to stop helping me."
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On 2 Apr 2007 15:24:12 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Contact a pro and ask. Track down the company that makes or distributes your chocolate, or something similar, and call and ask to speak to the production manager. Be reticent and obsequious and say thanks a lot, and be as nice as you can, and have your questions narrowed down in advance, and ask. Remember you're not going to buy the fancy expensive thing they may use, but they'll know about something else.
When I was in college, I had no experience but I wanted to repair the grand piano at the fraternity where I lived, and I had only one simple question, and I found a major piano company downdown, and I called and asked what floor the repairs were done on, and I went downtown, and I asked my question nice, and the guy ended up taking me to the first guy in the repair line who told me what he did, gave me a few spare parts and took me to the second guy, who took me to the third and I think the fourth. They each gave me a small sample of wood parts, or felt, and a couple hammers. The first tour took about 15 minutes.
I had to come back a second time with the size of my piano harp (there's a letter on it) and then another guy gave me 20 feet of the right diameter of piano wire. I used about 7 to replace one pair of broken strings ,and I've been saving the other 13 feet for 40 years, in case I need it.
One of them gave me an oversized tuning pin, and taught me to support the soundboard so it wouldn't break while I pounded in the pin. (The original wouldn't stay tight anymore.)
Also the guy in charge gave me the address of the piano repair supply house, a mile or two awaqy, and his name so that I could get 50% off everything I bought. I think all I needed by then was a tuning wrench, but it was good for everything.
And he told me where to get repair ivories for the keys, and spare black keys too, from another company that refurbished keyboards and saved all the stuff they removed. There were about 8 keys which were damaged on this grand piano, some black keys missing and some ivories missing or cigarette damaged. I fixed them all. (I just called them on the phone to find out where they were, and they volunteered to mail be a 9x12 manila envelope with lots of each, including some ivories that had there own burns. I can't find this bag anymore, and that bothers me, but I do know where the piano wire is.
I had the movement under my bed for 3 weeks while I glued evewrything together with Elmers and rubber bands, and it was fine for years afterwards.
Of course it helps to be young and clearly "poor", but being nice is the most important thing.
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not
messy
Sure the chocolate dust in the coffee would work. It would impart chocolate into the coffee. Heck if you think about what chocolate is, cocoa butter, cocoa butter, sugar and cocoa liquor and perhaps some vanilla, all of that would be tasty in a cup of coffee.
I had assumed that it was good chocolate that is why I was not suggesting that you waste any even the little bits that come shaving off the blade. I would bet that it melts at less than body temperature as the good stuff melts in your hand and your mouth.
From a culinary perspective a hot wire would probably have negative effects on the chocolate just as it does if you were to overheat chocolate when melting it in a double boiler. If you set the heat of the wire lower to prevent the chocolate from becoming overheated, then the large thermal mass of the block would cool the chocolate right behind the point you just melted it.
The saw would take a minimal amount away from the block, and you probably would not have to cut more than 1/3 of the way before you could snap it, but it would give you a reasonably defined chunk.
Of course another solution to your dilemma would be to just buy two 10 pound bars.
--

Roger Shoaf

About the time I had mastered getting the toothpaste back in the tube, then
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Would the chocolate re-fuse itself as it cools fast? (Like cutting plexiglass with a sabersaw)
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You may have a problem with the phenomenon of regelation. It's like a block of ice. You can sit it on a wire, and the block of ice will eventually go around the wire, but it refreezes once the wire passes. Chocolate may do the same thing if it is a thick piece.
Let us know how this idea works.
Or not.
Steve
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On 2 Apr 2007 13:45:07 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

USe either nichrome wire, which is designed for such heating, or a wire-saw.
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On Apr 2, 3:45 pm, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Chainsaw? :)
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Get a Weller gun-type soldering iron and remove the tip. Insert bare 16 or 18 gauge solid wire in a loop as big as you need, but not too big (probably 6" long with 1" between the wires would be good). Re-secure the ends. (This would make sense if you were looking at one). Pull the trigger, wait a bit for it to heat up & burn stuff off the wire, and cut. Pull the gun slowly, let the heat melt the chocolate before you move the gun.
Works great for styrofoam and other similar things.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Electric carving knife. We use one to cut foam rubber and styrefoam.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Use a froe and mallet.
http://thelibrary.springfield.missouri.org/lochist/periodicals/bittersweet/9i1p24a.jpg
Material is relatively brittle, edge is relatively sharp - impact > manageable chunks. Stuff would scoot about, but that's just containment and not a major issue.
R
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That's essentially what I've been doing for years. I use a nice, sharp French knife and smack the back of the blade with a mallet. The resulting mess is what I'm trying to avoid. After I'm done with a ten lb bar, I have about one lb of crumbs on the board, and maybe another 1/2 lb on the floor.
A few have suggested a 'score and snap' method, kind of like cutting glass or wallboard. Depending on how deeply I would need to score it, this sounds like it has a good potential to solve, or at least reduce my problem. That sounds like my next likely approach.
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On 3 Apr 2007 09:10:30 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

If a break a snickers bar in half, it crumbles some. If I freeze it first, it snaps clean at the break. Score one block, and try chilling it and then break the score. -- Oren
"If things get any worse, I'll have to ask you to stop helping me."
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Been along time since I used my axe...<g> -- Oren
"If things get any worse, I'll have to ask you to stop helping me."
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On Mon, 2 Apr 2007 19:55:43 -0400, "badgolferman"

Have you tried Kinjo Karate?
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Get some nichrome wire from a hobby shop. that's what we use to cut styrofoam wing cores for model airplanes. Hook a 6 or 9v power to it. 12v if you're in a hurry.
--
Steve Barker

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12v
This is not going to work so well on a block of chocolate. Chocolate being a blend of solids, fat and sugar and can have 6 different kinds of fat crystals in the mix. Each one of the crystal structures has a different melting point and great lengths are gone to by chocolate makers to see that the one that forms is the crystal that melts just below body temperature.
The hot wire works good on foam as it melts the shell of the cells that make up the foam and the melted bits recede from the heat. The chocolate would flow back and melt together. The melted part may also suffer from a loss of its desired crystalline structure if overheated.
Better to score and snap it.
--

Roger Shoaf

About the time I had mastered getting the toothpaste back in the tube, then
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