Block Ice for Block Shavers

This section will tell you the basics on how to make a good Hawaiian shave ice! Please feel free to ask questions you may have regarding local shave ice and shave ice in general.
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Posts: 97
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2009 11:46 am

Tue Feb 24, 2009 11:37 am

Important Informations for your Block Shavers

Tip #1
Recommended Block Size: 6" x 6" x 6" (cube)
It is true that bigger ice blocks can make more shave ice. It is also true that large ice blocks can damage your shavers due it the heavy force and pressure that your shavers have to produce. A large ice block puts a great deal of strain onto your shaver causing it to wear and tear much faster and sooner. It is strongly recommended to not use large ice blocks for block shavers!

Tip #2
Block ice has to be cut evenly before being set onto the ice shaving plate. Uneven ice can become dangerous for operators because it is harder to lock it in place with the spikes. Ice block will swirl out of place when it is not lock down properly.

Tip #3
Make sure both sides of the block are flat and the ice is tempered for roughly 5 minutes. An un-tempered ice block will get stuck onto the shaving plate making it impossible for the block to spin. Drier ice produces powdery and sticky ice, which can results in unmanageable molding of a shave ice. If any vibration occurs, stop the machine, remove the ice block and let it thaw for few more minutes.
K. Lee

Sat Mar 14, 2009 7:00 pm

I certainly do appreciate these tips! I learned alot of this the hard way last year.... being new and open only 8 weeks. I am thrilled to see the REASONS behind some of the things I experienced such as uneven blocks, big blocks, etc.
Posts: 98
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 4:05 pm

Mon Mar 16, 2009 9:58 am

Thanks for the pointer!

Thu Jul 19, 2012 9:50 am

How do you cut the ice to make it fit the machine?
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Joined: Sat Jun 16, 2012 4:25 pm

Thu Jul 19, 2012 8:39 pm

The large rectangular blocks ( 6x6x12) are the ones being referred to as needing split. You get a 6 point ice pick and score or etch a line across the block. Then you place the pick into the etch line and give it a sharp rap with a rubber mallet. If done properly the block will split evenly right along the etch line yielding 2 smaller blocks (6x6x6) for the upright machines like swan, fujimarca, and hatsuyuki. If you have round blocks that are uneven you just use the pick to chisel it to get it as even (Flat) as possible.
The girl in this video cuts a block fairly easily. ... 3FFE03F9D2

Hope this helps.

Sun Aug 26, 2018 5:15 am

Hey all, I'm in my second year with a food truck and have had the cube ice shaver that came with it (Hawaii's Finest ), which is not very soft and fluffy, but im thinking of going to a round block shaver ( Swan or Hatsuyuki) but had some questions;
Approximately how many 8 oz cups can you get with one round block of ice?
Do most of you keep a personal chest freezer at home or commissary filled for back ups?
Where do you buy molds besides the ones from shave ice business? Can you just use Tupperware? Ice cream buckets?
I have a portable shVe ice trailer so can I secure it down easily inside?
Is it a problem if you have a slow day and you serve with large gaps of time between customers? I'm thinking getting ice out then having to put it back in to stay cold, then take it back out and making sure it's the right temperature could be tricky?
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Posts: 95
Joined: Tue Mar 28, 2017 4:05 am

Mon Aug 27, 2018 7:41 am

Hey Maximus,

I currently use the swan shavers and absolutely love them, easy to use and give the softest fluffiest shave ice you can get in my opinion. The first year we used food grade 1 gallon buckets: ... gI50_D_BwE

Really depends how you shave to determine how many 8 oz cups you can get. We used 8oz squat cups and filled them way over the top and i think we get about 12-15, i don't really count though. My state requires a commissary to make ice and it sounds like yours might be the same. your looking at about 3-4 days to completely freeze a block in a standard freezer. You want to keep the freezer around 10-15deg to get a good block. Freeze to fast and your blocks will crack.

As far as downtime with the ice. we have our swan mounted to a drip tray and we just let it run into our grey water tank. I guess you could take them out and put them back in freezer but we choose not to do that.

If business starts getting really good like it did for us, check out my ice block thread with the ice machine we have now.

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