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Better Bagel Slicer

Make your morning breakfast routine easier!

This bagel slicer is inexpensive and so easy to build! You can do it yourself on a Saturday morning, just in time for breakfast!

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This bagel slicer is as easy to build as it is to use. Making it requires only a few simple tools, two dowels and a scrap of hardwood. When your stomach growls, drop the bagel in the cage, squeeze the dowel tops so the side dowels bend and pinch the bagel, then slice away. It keeps your fingers out of harm’s way (and the crumbs and knife blade off your counter).

Dowel diameters vary slightly. To ensure you get a good fit, drill a sample hole with your 3/16-in. brad point bit and take that scrap with you to test-fit the 3/16-in. dowels you buy.

Use mineral oil (available at drug stores) to finish your bagel slicer. It’s nontoxic dry or wet. (If you decide to use a different finish, be sure it’s nontoxic when dry.)

Build the bagel slicer

Cut the dowels and hardwood base to the dimensions in the Cutting list below. 

Lay out the holes in the base (Figure A, also below). Make a drill guide by cutting a 5-degree angle on the end of a piece of scrap wood, then use it to guide your bit as you drill (Photo with step q). Use a 2-in.-high guide and let the bit protrude 2-3/8 in. beyond the chuck. With this setup, when the chuck meets the top of the guide you’ll get uniform 3/8-in.-deep holes.

Lay out the holes in the handles. Hold each in a vise or clamp while drilling the holes. Wrap a piece of masking tape 3/8 in. from the tip of your bit to act as a depth guide.

Glue and tap the uprights into the handles. Be careful not to damage the ends of the uprights that fit into the base. Then glue and tap the uprights into the base (Photo with step 2).

Let the glue dry, ease all the sharp edges with sandpaper, then apply a coat of mineral oil for the finish (Photo with step 3). Let the finish dry overnight and you’re ready for breakfast.

Prepare the Base

bagel slicer

Drill the angled holes in the base. Guide the bit against the end of a 2-in.-wide piece of scrap wood with a 5-degree angle cut on the end. Set the bit in the chuck at a depth so that when the chuck hits the guide block, the hole is 3/8 in. deep.

Assemble the Sides

bagel slicer

Tap the preassembled dowel sides into the base using a rubber mallet. Start by inserting one of the end dowels, then work your way down to the other end. Glue all joints.


bagel slicer

Wipe on a coat of mineral oil to finish the wood.

Project Information

Figure A:

Shopping List:

  • 3/4’’ x 3’’ x 5-1/2’’ birch

  • 5/8’’ dia. x 12’’ hardwood dowel

  • 3/16’’ dia. x 36’’ hardwood dowel

  • Small bottle of mineral oil

Cutting List:

Key | Pcs. |  Size & description

A     |    1   |    3/4’’ x 3’’ x 5-1/2’’ birch (base)

B     |    2   |    5/8’’ dia. x 5-1/2’’ hardwood dowel (handles)

C     |    6   |    3/16’’ dia. x 5-1/2’’ hardwood dowel (uprights)