DIY Rival Food Slicer Adjustments and Enhancements
Rival food slicer is a great deal at $10 for a barely used unit.
I bought a Rival food slicer at a garage sale recently for $10. I’d been looking for another slicer so I could have a serious one at home and a not so serious one at my fishing hideaway where I’ve been known to make a salami recipe of my own invention. I knew what I paid for it was a great deal, and when I arrived home I check out online prices and they were about $80. I also checked out the reviews. There was a common complaint about the unit, it didn’t make uniform slices.
Okay, so there was apparently one issue to resolve. When I looked at the angle of the fence (the backstop for the food you’re slicing) and the angle of the blade, sure enough they weren’t parallel to one another, so uniform slices were out of the question. The top of the fence was tilted in much closer to the top of the blade than the bottom. For all I know, that might have been the very reason this unit was used perhaps once or twice and then interest was lost. At first glance, there isn’t an adjustment to be found…you have to invent it yourself.
And, I was just the guy for the job.
Both the blade armature and the fence adjusting mechanism are mounted to the frame using two screws that come up from underneath. It appeared easier to adjust the mounting for the fence because the two screws are aligned with one another along a plane that is parallel with the direction that one would slice food. That means the fence can be adjusted with consistency along the line of slicing, so a fence adjustment is what I focused on.
Here’s how I made the adjustment to the fence:
- Cut a small piece of aluminum foil to match the length of the mounting piece for the adjustable fence.
- Folded the aluminum foil to about an eight of an inch wide, and made several wraps around itself, each time pressing down firmly and smoothing out the foil on top of itself.
- Continued folding until I had roughly a tenth of an inch thickness, then I trimmed off the excess foil.
- Loosened the screws on the fence mount and carefully slid the aluminum foil shim under the edge of the mounting hardware closest to the fence. This would tilt the top of the fence back away from the blade.
- Held the mounted bracket in place on the shim while I snugged up the screws on the bottom.
- Checked for blade and fence alignment, noting that it was much improved, but I had over-corrected just a bit. Made the mounting screws “Tarzan tight” and that fixed my over-correction just right.
- Tested the new blade and fence alignment by slicing a few pieces of turnip and jicama. All was right with my food slicer…the blade and fence were perfectly aligned.
Being satisfied with my adjustment of the Rival food slicer fence, I started to think about how to solve the problem of the warped stand. Yes, the metal frame that the unit is mounted to doesn’t allow all four feet to touch the counter at the same time. As with the lack of uniform slices, I think the owner gave up on this item because of these “non-fatal” flaws. I think I have a fix for this warped base as well. I’ll share that in an upcoming post.
Clair Schwan isn’t afraid to attempt to fix what appears to be out of whack, even if there isn’t a built-in remedy for making adjustments. He’s done it before with a chop saw, and he’ll likely do it again with other products. It may take a bit of time to get it right, but largely he believes that we often have to balance between our time and our money. For the time being, he has more time than money, so a little effort seems very worthwhile.