Home Page
PRR Chartiers Branch
The Layout
My Library
Site Map

Peter's Model Railroading | Articles | Tools | Cutting Stuff
Ultimation Slicer


In 2022 I learned of the existence of Ultimation, a Canadian company, and made plans to purchase their tools. The Slicer is my replacement for the NorthWest ShortLine "The Chopper II", as I have worn mine out, or, at least I am not happy with it. The arm won't stay up anymore, and I don't know how many times I have cut into my fingers with that tool because the arm doesn't go up high enough to clear my fingers for placing or removing the part that I am cutting. The Slicer is a much better design, but, of course, it costs much more. However, this is a one-time purchase kind of tool. The photo shows the box it arrives in.
(external link: Ultimation Slicer)

It comes with a package that contains the instruction manual...

..., the allen keys and set screws to make adjustments, one extra pad, and an extra box of spare blades.

These are the two parts that come in the box. This is a solidly-built unit and is relatively heavy. I noticed that when I place mine on a flat surface the front and back bottom bases aren't quite even with each other so it rocks ever so slightly. However, you cannot just lift the handle by itself anyway; something has to hold the base down, so I will be attaching mine to a board or even a miter table of sorts down the road. Of course, you can bolt or clamp the unit to your workbench. The extra part on the right that comes with the unit is the adjustable stop for making repeatable cuts, for up to about 10". The company's web site has a video that shows how to install that.

I did not realize that the unit comes with a package of extra blades, but at $5 each, I decided to add three more to my order. So, now I am set for a good number of years. These blades are special, in that they are flat on one side and chamfered on the other.

After using the Slicer and the Sander for a little while, I learned two things. One, the Slicer is quite heavy, but it cannot be operated stand-alone. Its "legs" make it too unstable to use all by itself, meaning, you need three hands. Needless to say, the "legs" of this unit can be clamped to the workbench, but I opted to instead build a more permanent base for both it and the Sander. The base is made out of a piece of left-over 3/4" sheet of plywood that measures 24" long and about 8-1/2" wide. Both the Slicer and the Sander come with a number of spare parts, tools, and I also bought the Repeater (for the Sander), so I made space for those on the base itself. That way everything I need to use either tool is handy. The dividers were made out of strips of 1/8" wood. If I ever need them to be taller, I can easily add more layers, but in my regular use of these tools, the board is kept horizontal at all times. I just need the "accessories" to not slide off of the board and stay put. I use both tools together when I do work that involves either of them, so having them together on a more permanent basis works for me. The board, itself, of course, can be clamped to the workbench as needed, and moved away when not needed. Since these tools are both quite heavy, this board is definitely a two-hander. One concern I had with the design and layout of the components of this base was the maximum length of material that I can cut with the Slicer. The Slicer makes a perfectly square cut on the left side of the blade, but not on the right side of the blade. This means that the piece that you want to use in the model has to always be on the left side of the blade. The distance between the blade and the base of the Sander on the left is right at about 18". This covers most strip styrene and strip wood. Plastruct sells some of their ABS strips in 24-inch lengths, so those would present a problem. However, if I need to cut a number of those, I can simply unbolt the Sander from board, and do what I need to do. I suspect that is going to be very rare.

This is a close-up photo of one of the two bolts I installed into the 3/4" plywood base to attach the Slicer to the base. To do this, I first determined where on the board I wanted the Slicer, and put a mark at the center of each of the two mounting holes that are in the Slicer's base. I then used an awl to poke the center hole, and then drilled a pilot hole at those locations. Next, I used a Forstner bit to drill out a large hole in the bottom of the plywood base just deep enough to match the bolt's head and a flat washer. With that done, I drilled a 1/4" hole using the pilot hole for the bolt I used. It was then just a matter of attaching the Slicer to the base with a washer at the top and the matching nut. I tightened them up enough to keep them from coming loose, but not overly tight. Because of the overall weight of this base, I was able to use the Slicer without even needing to clamp it to the workbench. This base resolves all of the stability issues that this tool has.