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Soap Making Forum > The Soap Making & Craft Forum > Lye-Based Soap Forum > Historical Soapmakers? (Ashes and Campfires?)
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Old 08-21-2017, 01:31 AM   #21
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I found it. It is one of the six recipes you must make in the Master class:

Recipe #6: Opaque Bar Soap from Self-Produced Lye

  • Produce a bar of opaque soap using either cold or hot process saponification dependent upon the method of self-produced lye.
  • Make lye solution from a natural material such as wood ashes or from the electrolysis of table salt or sodium bicarbonate.
  • Formulate recipe with at least three different oils, fats, fatty acids, and/or butters.
  • Soapmaker is to calculate his/her own lye discount and water content.
  • Do not add any fragrance, color, dried herbs, or detergents.
  • The bar should weigh 3.5 to 5.5 ounces net and be either individually molded or cut from a log or block.


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Old 08-21-2017, 03:55 AM   #22
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Sorry so late in answering. I believe Fannie is right. They added this new level of certification in the past +year; announced at Tampa conference


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Old 08-21-2017, 06:40 AM   #23
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You might try the "Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park" in KY- I believe they may do some soaping on site as they use a good amount of tallow.

I don't recall seeing that there, but in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, we did see a this for leaching lye off the ashes placed in the hopper:



It was off season at the time, so I am not really sure if they do demos, but I doubt it due to liability issues.
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Old 08-22-2017, 03:30 PM   #24
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Now my husband is interested in learning more about this, not with ash, he thinks that would be too boring and not much fun, but via the electrolysis route. It's the chemistry and the mechanics of it that interests him.

I was telling him about this thread and we were trying to recall other places where we had seen demos of old-time methods of making stuff. I tend to remember more about blacksmithing demos because my brother is a blacksmith, and those guys are generally so much fun to watch and listen. Anyway, I told him about the electrolysis of table salt or sodium bicarbonate methods for making lye, which I had read about but found of no interest to me, but is now mentioned in the Master Level certification for the HSCG. He perked right up with the thought of at least looking into the process. I don't think he is actually going to experiment with it, though.
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Old 08-22-2017, 05:52 PM   #25
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Just be careful -- electrolysis of water releases hydrogen gas.
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Old 08-22-2017, 06:26 PM   #26
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Just be careful -- electrolysis of water releases hydrogen gas.
Yep, lots and lots of ventilation. Doesn't take that high a concentration of hydrogen to go "Whooomph" at the slightest provocation.
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Old 08-24-2017, 12:08 AM   #27
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Just be careful -- electrolysis of water releases hydrogen gas.
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Yep, lots and lots of ventilation. Doesn't take that high a concentration of hydrogen to go "Whooomph" at the slightest provocation.
Not me! And I doubt very much he plans to actually DO it; just learn about it. I have no interest in such an experiment. But if he does more than show an interest in reading about it, I certainly will put the cabash on hydrogen gas in my home!
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Old 08-25-2017, 04:58 PM   #28
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More Ash Hoppers at the Lincoln's New Salem State Historic Site. And no, there are no demonstrations of how to use an Ash Hopper; I asked. The liability issues are prohibitive.


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