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I want my breakfast toast to be art inspired – what could go wrong?

I’ve been wanting to figure out how to toast art on a piece of bread for a while now. It didn’t seem like it would be too difficult to figure out but my eyes were bigger than my stomach.

  1. Toaster vs. Toaster Oven
  2. The First Toast Art Test
  3. Mask or Mass?
  4. The Perfect Toast Art
  5. Let’s Test Toast Again
  6. Making Our Own Toast Art Templates
  7. One Last Shot

1. Toaster vs. Toaster Oven

When it comes to switching out different art to toast, I didn’t think a traditional stand up bread toaster was the way to go. Instead, I used a toaster oven because it seemed like a much safer way to try this out. I used my powder coating oven instead of a kitchen toaster oven; since I wasn’t going to be eating any of the toast, it wouldn’t cause any food safety issues.

2. The First Toast Test

After some research I saw people try using aluminum foil to toast designs. I started by cutting out a quick diamond shape and set it like a mask over the bread. Trying it this way would just toast the missing piece rather than the whole piece of bread. While that was in the oven, I attempted using a blow torch on a different design to see how it would work. The blow torch used a lot more heat faster and it heated the aluminum foil underneath and went outside the art template. Blow Torch wasn’t really the way to go. 

The first aluminum foil in the toaster oven attempt was unsuccessful. But we noticed that the bottom portion of the bread toasted pretty well. With that, we put the art design on the underside to test. That time it definitely worked. 

3. Mask or Mass?

One thing I wanted to question was whether using a mask method or mass method would work best. Mask method would be laying the aluminum foil down with the image cut out to toast. Mass method would have the aluminum foil massed together to toast everything around that object. The mass method worked about as well as the mask method did – both not great but did the job.

4. The Perfect Toast

Over the holidays, I saw several different makers using a food safe laser to burn art designs on different food dishes. Even though I’m wanting to be able to do this with a toaster oven, I just want to see how perfect the laser can toast art on bread. It’s definitely not safe to eat but it looked perfect!

5. Let’s Test Toast Again

Next, I wanted to try a thicker piece of aluminum to try and get a cleaner toasted look. I also want to be able to replicate this multiple times on bread so having a thicker piece of aluminum will allow that to happen. I tested this using an offcut from my R2D2 build. The thicker piece of aluminum worked pretty well and there was a decent amount of detail. I want to try a thicker piece of material just to see if it alters the result at all. The non-toasted side of bread was still squishy while which made me believe that the thickest piece of aluminum was serving as an insulator rather than also conducting heat to toast some.

6. Making Our Own Toast Templates

With that in mind, we took the thinner piece of aluminum and Josh cut out some art designs on the CNC for us to toast. After 3 broken bits, we decided to take a turn and use the Wazer to cut the art designs. Much better. I also used the service called Send Cut Send and they cut a few templates for me to toast as well. 

We tested out the difference between the Water cut templates and the Send Cut Send Templates and both turned out similar – but I realized that the line art needs to be wider than what you really want since the toaster wasn’t able to burn the finer details of the design.

The next time around, I added weights to the template to see if that made a difference in the clarity of the toast. I wouldn’t suggest to do this at home at all. With the added weight, the bread stuck to the side of the template. Fail.

7. One Last Shot

I wanted to give this another chance with a larger and less complex design that would hopefully work. This time around, I also added butter to see if it helped in the browning of the bread. *note – use spreadable butter* I used both the positive and the negative aluminum cut out for the toast test. The art design wasn’t detailed ENOUGH this time – you couldn’t see the details in the lightening bolt at all. The butter made the bread sink down a bit and didn’t make any difference at all. 

This project would absolutely be considered a failure in my book. But it was fun to figure it out. Fun toast designs weren’t worth it but the laser burned a perfect design, except that we can’t eat it. This was a fun experiment, but just didn’t work out. Let em hear from you – what would have worked?

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