There is a workaround although you have to be very careful and pay attention to what you're doing. If you new to using a slicer, I wouldn't try this until you're comfortable using one.
You can line up the bacon with the back against the product tray and the front is perhaps 30-45deg to the product tray parallel to the slicing blade. Lower the piece thru the slicer blade while spinning until its on the tray, then use the gravity feeder and run it safely thru the blade. You can get longer slices as you're starting your cut diagonally relative to the product tray. You must only START THE CUT diagonally. Once down on the product tray, run it normally thru the slicer. I've managed to get 8-10" slices with my 7.5" blade on my present slicer. That slicer only has a 6" product tray.
An 8" slice isn't bad by any stretch as that almost is the width of a standard sheet of paper (8.5"). Please note that once you're past a certain thickness on your product, this method no longer works and it becomes dangerous to use any other product orientation except the normal one. Two words here: Common Sense.
You'll should be able to get that 8" slice with normal operation with the Avantco. I just found out that my slicer shipped today and should be here tomorrow as the store is in Lancaster, PA. I will keep you posted.
Edited by Cman55 - 4/9/13 at 3:51pm