Cut bars are splitting? Cracked during cutting

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aprice522

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So I dropped and skewered for the first time and my bars cracked and were splitting while I cut.

I used a big knife and cut the first bar at about 19 hrs and it was too soft, so I waited another 5 and finished cause they seemed harder....

This is the recipie.

75%lard
10% Cocoa Butter
15% CO

aloe juice full sub for water and 35% concentration

This is the first time I have used this recipe, just trying out a something new.

Any thoughts on what went wrong? Just so irritated because it was pretty and would have loved to have given for gifts.

(EOs--Cedarwood, Lavender, Peppermint)

IMG_2483 by Angie price, on Flickr
 

newbie

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I would bet the hardness for that recipe is very high and if you miss your window and it gets too hard, it will do just what you mentioned. I've had that happen before too. Also, a big knife has a wider blade and that is more likely to cause cracking that a very thin one.

If you just cut it, you can get those pieces damp/wet and put them back together. Make sure you put them someplace or with some supports so that they stay together. Let them sit for a day or two and they will be stuck back together. I did this for one of mine and after a few days, you can't tell they cracked through. I think over time, as the soap is fresh and it will be undergoing its crystalline changes, it will bind together really well. Mine aren't ready for heavy use but I did try a bar out, rolling it between my hands and rubbing it hard and I had no problems with it falling apart. Better to try than to toss!
 

aprice522

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Hopefully that works.

I did not even think about them all being hard oils.... :) Guess some castor or some other soft added would have been better. They are SO hard now at just shy of 48hrs.

I will have to remember that when I go all creative next time.... :)
 

ngian

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Well I think you missed the train of cutting at the right time along with the knife's blade that is also responsible for the cracking.

A wire cutters would help but as I had the same issue with my last batch without owning a wire cutter, I just put the remaining soap loaf in the oven at 80°C for 15min. Then the soap was softer and my knife was not cracking the remaining soap bars.
 

aprice522

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Wire cutter and good cheap ways to cut

Obviously I need a new cutting style/equipment.

What are some cheap ways to cut nicely?

I will never sell and haven't even purchased a real wood mold. My hubby made one out of wood scraps and hardware costing a few bucks.
I'm so cheap. :)

Any ways to diy something useful/efficient? I've been using a knife and miter box!
 

doriettefarm

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Since you already have a mitre box, why not one of these style cutters? You can pick regular or wavy . . . I actually found my wavy one at a restaurant supply store for $5!

 

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Or if your husband is handy, he may be abel to outfit a jigsaw frame with wire instead of a blade and then you can use that with your mitre box.
 

newbie

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Yes! Exactly that! Did you have any problems rigging that up?
 

doriettefarm

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I wish it was my idea but I stumbled across the pic when searching for wire cheese cutters of all things! Thought it was brilliant and would solve my problem with the cutter arm of the cheese cutter not being long enough. I definitely have a jigsaw frame around here somewhere that could be repurposed but don't have the mitre box.

Here's a link to how they made the one above:
https://thenovastudio.com/makeshift-wire-soap-cutter/
 
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aprice522

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Woohooo

I do have a handy hubby. I'm pretty sure that he has at least one extra hacksaw he could modify.

I still might have to watch my recipies that I just throw together--I don't think I like my bars quite so hard!!
 

doriettefarm

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Your recipe looks good to me . . . it would actually make my skin pretty happy. Only suggestion to combat the hardness would be add 10% castor (for bubble-age) so offset by removing 10% of your lard. And maybe try a 30% lye concentration instead of 35% next time . . . that might give you more wiggle room as far as cutting time.
 

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