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Bars Keep Cracking When Cut

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soapythekid

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Hi all, I am having a problem on a consistent basis and I can't figure out what's causing it. When I cut my bars, they fracture and crack. Usually the bottom corner breaks off but sometimes it's a bigger chunk of the bottom half. Please see attached photos. The middle of the bars have all these little fracture lines through them and then the bottom just breaks off.

This is happening regardless of recipe, I have this happening with almost all my recipes. It happens when I cut the next day and it happens when I cut a week after creation. Maybe it's because the loaf is too wet... or too dry? Or it might be my cutting tool... I have a butcher's knife. It seemed like a good solution but I'm not sure... it might be a bit wider blade than what other people use for soap cutting? Any advice and feedback is welcome! Thank you :)
 

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Misschief

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And how are you cutting them? What cutting tool are you using? (Oops, missed that you're using a butcher's knife)
 
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earlene

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It's the butchers knife. The wedge shape of the blade is great for cutting raw meat, but not for cutting soap.

Try one of these:

Or one of these: WoodRiver - Cheese Slicer Kit Chrome, Large
 

Obsidian

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Could be a combo of waiting too long to cut and the butcher knife. The thick spine of the knife acts as a wedge, causing cracking at the bottom of the bar.
Try a really thin knife or even better, a wire cheese cutter
 

soapythekid

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Usually that means you waited too long. On the "cheese scale" how soft was it? Cream cheese, mild cheddar, sharp cheddar, parmesan?
How long do you usually wait to cut your bars? (I'm doing CP, by the way)
Cheese scale... I'd say it was sharp cheddar/parmesan.

It's the butchers knife. The wedge shape of the blade is great for cutting raw meat, but not for cutting soap.

Try one of these:

Or one of these: WoodRiver - Cheese Slicer Kit Chrome, Large
I am ordering one of these right now! Thank you :)

Could be a combo of waiting too long to cut and the butcher knife. The thick spine of the knife acts as a wedge, causing cracking at the bottom of the bar.
Try a really thin knife or even better, a wire cheese cutter
I think you're right, now that I think about it. How long do you usually wait to cut your bars? (I'm doing CP, by the way, if that makes a difference?)
 

GemstonePony

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How long do you usually wait to cut your bars? (I'm doing CP, by the way)
Cheese scale... I'd say it was sharp cheddar/parmesan.
You want to cut around medium to sharp cheddar, where if you press your finger down on top it'll mark it a little but not leave an indent.
As far as when that happens, it really depends on the recipe, any accelerating additives or fragrances, the trace it was at when it was poured, and the amount of water used. 2 hours to 5 days, on average, since my soap experiments vary wildly.
 

TheGecko

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I think you're right, now that I think about it. How long do you usually wait to cut your bars? (I'm doing CP, by the way, if that makes a difference?)
During the spring/summer, I unmold at about 24 hours and then cut one I tidy up. During the fall/winter, because I saponify in the garage (cold) and live in the Pacific Northwest (lots of rain)...it's usually 2 to 3 days before I unmold and then another day or two before cutting. My recipe is 60% hard oils/butters...so what I look for is Medium Tillamook or Bandon Cheddar.
 

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