Make a Potato Chip Spiralizer

Learn how to make a spiral slicer that can cut potatoes — as well as carrots, turnips and other vegetables.

| January/February 1982

After reading a recent article on making potato chips, I thought some of MOTHER EARTH NEWS' readers might be interested in a gadget I designed for cutting spuds into spiral slices. As anyone who's made potato chips knows, the secret of success is getting the meat of the vegetable evenly thin, so that it'll fry quickly (before it absorbs too much oil) but still hold together.

My hand-cranked gizmo is, admittedly, a bit complicated, but it's fun to use and works wonderfully. To make your own spiral chipper, you'll need a block of hardwood (I used birch) measuring 3/4-by-1-1/4-by-15-3/4 inches, a 3/4-inch birch dowel that's 10-1/2 inches in length, a 5/16-inch I.D. by 3/8-inch O.D. by 2-1/4-inch compression spring, a 12-1/4-inch-long piece of 5/16-18 threaded rod, a 1/4-by-2-7/16-inch hardwood dowel, a 7/16-by-2-5/8-inch scrap of (preferably) stainless steel that's 1/32 inch thick, a 1/8-by-1-inch steel dowel pin, a piece of flat metal measuring 1/8-by-1/2-by-3 inches, a 2-inch-long wooden crank handle, a 1/4-by-2-1/2-inch coarse-threaded machine bolt with a nut and flat washer, a 5/16-18 hex nut, a No. 6 by 1/2-inch roundhead wood screw and some assorted brads.

First, cut your block into three sections: one 11-1/4 inches, the second 3 inches and the third 1-1/2 inches long. Then trim a 1-1/2-inch piece from the threaded rod and divide the 3/4-inch dowel into three equal parts.

Next, drill three 3/4-inch holes through the 11-1/4-inch block (which will be the contraption's base) at the points shown in the illustration of this article's image gallery, and bore a 1/4-inch opening halfway between the two 3/4-inch cavities that are closest together. Finish up the base by center-boring a 7/16-inch hole, 3/8 inch deep, directly over the just-drilled quarter-incher.

Then take your 3-inch-long block and bore holes at each end-centered and 2-1/4 inches apart using the 3/4-inch bit. With that done, chisel a 5/16-inch-square channel longitudinally down the center of the same piece of wood, drill a 15/64-inch hole through the billet at the midpoint of this groove and remove 3/8-inch from each end of the chunk, cutting right across the holes and reducing its overall length to 2-1/4 inches.

Trim the third piece of hardwood to 3/4-by-3/4-by-1-1/2 inches, then cross-drill two 1/2-inch openings through the block, each centered and at a point 1-1/4 inches from one end. Then center-bore a 1/4-inch hole about 3/4 inches deep into the flat end of the pierced rectangle, thread it with a 5/16-18 tap, and lop off the cross-bored tip 1/4 inch from the end to create four wooden "fingers."

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