Has Anyone Used The Smith Creek Cutter?

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commoncenz

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Found this cutter on Etsy when looking for a multi-purpose type cutter (log/loaf splitter and cutter). It seems to be a really nice cutter and I like the measurements on the board. Wondering if anyone has used this cutter or knows of anyone who has. If so, what are your thoughts. Heck, even if you haven't, what are your thoughts. Feeling things out before I purchase.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/211008766/soap-cutter?ref=favs_view_2

[ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xF0LuLjFcXQ&feature=youtu.be"]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xF0LuLjFcXQ&feature=youtu.be[/ame]
 

not_ally

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Cenz, I like the way it works as a cutter (big slabs into loafs and individual bars.) I wish they demonstrated how it works as a splitter, though (I guess you would just lay the loaf on its side and bring the handle down? For someone like me, that would not be good, I need a support to make sure that the angles are not crooked.)

Otherwise, I guess I would say that it is a bit expensive as a single bar cutter, almost as much as the tried and true multi bar ones (the Bud cutter and the like.) Are you looking at this as a hobbyist, or as someone who wants the option of selling/cutting multiple bars in the future?

I am the former, so I am hard pressed to spend that much on a cutter, though Lord knows, if I could control my FO addiction I might be able to do it :) Also, since time is not an issue I like the process of cutting each bar and looking at the individual differences.
 
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commoncenz

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Very good list of things to think about not_ally. At this point, I'm looking at it as a hobbyist. Even though I have people trying to get me to sell right now as there are no soapers in my area (not even at craft fairs/flea markets), "I" know that I'm at the very least months and months away from being ready to sell. It is expensive for a single bar cutter, but I think that I can justify the cost (at least in my mind) based upon the fact that it allows versatility in cutting slabs down to loafs and loafs into bars. That way I don't need two cutters or to worry about if my free hand cutting is up to par (it's not ... lol).

And, being a hobbyist at this time, I still find wonder in slicing each single bar.
 

not_ally

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I think you should hold off for a bit, given what you have said you might end up selling and need to be able to cut more quickly. In the meantime, you are good at making stuff, right? I have links for design plans for a cutter/splitter by a woman named Delsie that people used to like very much (she passed away, so it is no longer available for purchase).

I am dying for someone that has a table saw - I don't, plus I have dexterity issues so am likely to cut a finger off - to make one. I'll pay you to do it, I wouldn't want or expect you to put time into a project like this gratis because then I wouldn't be comfortable asking, are you up for it? I really have been pining over it, I think it is a v. good design for hobbyists/small scale sellers, and can't do it myself.
 
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jenneelk

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Personally it looks nice and I've seen similar in action before and ooh'd and ahh'd about them, but unless you need a log cutter it's pricey. I've been selling a while and make soap often but still haven't found the need to make one scent so big that I have multiple loaves. I just use my longest loaf which does around 22 bars and I'm set. :)
Buy a regular cutter and by the time you're ready to make multi loaf slabs you will be wanting to buy something new anyways. LOL
 

TeresaT

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That's a neat cutter. However, what I cannot understand is why she is only cutting the bars one at a time. After splitting the slab into loaves, she should have lined them back up and cut all four loaves at once. Therefore, she'd spend much less time cutting individual bars since she would be cutting four bars at once. The platform is obviously large enough to hold all of the soap at once.
 

commoncenz

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I think you should hold off for a bit, given what you have said you might end up selling and need to be able to cut more quickly. In the meantime, you are good at making stuff, right? I have links for design plans for a cutter/splitter by a woman named Delsie that people used to like very much (she passed away, so it is no longer available for purchase).

I am dying for someone that has a table saw - I don't, plus I have dexterity issues so am likely to cut a finger off - to make one. I'll pay you to do it, I wouldn't want or expect you to put time into a project like this gratis because then I wouldn't be comfortable asking, are you up for it? I really have been pining over it, I think it is a v. good design for hobbyists/small scale sellers, and can't do it myself.
I wish I had a table saw. I used to have access to my BIL's, but he and sis just moved about 700 miles away. So, I'm left with my personal circular saw, skil saw, reciprocating saw ... all the handy man tools and none of the "fun" ones. Plus, while I can lay a sub floor lickety-split, I've never been good at the intricate art of building tables, chairs, .... well "woodworking". lol. LBussy, that's the person you want to contact to have your design brought to life.
 

commoncenz

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I have a loaf mold that gives me about 14 bars per batch. The issue is that I've also just lucked across a bunch of cabinet drawers that make the perfect slab molds and some smaller drawers that are about 7" wide. About double the width of of my loaf mold; so somewhere between a slab and a loaf ... a "sloaf"? ... so whittling these down to loaf size would be an issue. Of course, I could just "not" use them .... but, hey, I'm a guy ... I wanna experiment ... "whaaaa"! lol. So, I'll look around and see if there is a combination of things that can provide me with what I need for cheaper.
 

not_ally

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You don't know, cenz, reading your list of things you can do/use makes me so jealous. I am really bad at at all of that stuff, and so, so want to be good at it. I'm not kidding, it is one of those recurring things that I read about and makes me sad that I cannot do it. I have talked to Lee about molds, I think he has his plate full trying to figure out the one mold that will rule them all, poor guy ...
 

commoncenz

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You don't know, cenz, reading your list of things you can do/use makes me so jealous. I am really bad at at all of that stuff, and so, so want to be good at it. I'm not kidding, it is one of those recurring things that I read about and makes me sad that I cannot do it. I have talked to Lee about molds, I think he has his plate full trying to figure out the one mold that will rule them all, poor guy ...
Trial and error not_ally. Trial and error. It's actually a good thing that there are so many of the drawer/molds ... I will mess a few up before I get one the way I want. I will also leave at least one of each pretty much exactly as is because they are better than just functional as they are.

Poor Lee, I wonder if he ever built that drying rack that he drew up. And yes, I knew he was working on the "Super Fabulous, Convertible, Collapsible, Autobot, Chimera Mold". I'll bet that IS taking up a lot of his time.
 

not_ally

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Lee is v. thoughtful and smart, I am really interested to see what he comes up with, if he does end up thinking it is worth it to try and combine some of the goals that people have. I have done the trial and error thing, but part of the problem for me is just physical logistics. My hands are pretty shaky and wimpy (carpal tunnel and who knows what else).

I can't really even hold a drill for very long, so trying to make a mold is tough. I am a happy singleton, but I do envy the posters who are like "my DH/partner made the perfect mold yesterday." My doggies are the perfect companions, but neither Freddie or Patsy is good with a saw, unfortunately :)
 

DeeAnna

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That "sliding table" is similar to a gadget I made for my table saw to cut out multiple parts. A sliding table works really, really well, and this one looks very well made. There are a couple of things to keep in mind when using something like this whether for soap or for wood.

For cutting the logs, about half or more of the sliding table to be laying on the fixed support table. You don't want to pull the sliding table back too far out into open space. This means your soap slab has to be sized appropriately -- not too big. The slab they're cutting is about the biggest I'd want to put on that particular sliding table. Since that slab looks plenty big to me, I don't see that as a detriment at all. I'm just sayin' you don't want to pull the sliding table any much more than what they're doing in the video. The sliding table will get unstable if you do -- it can rock back and dump your soap on the floor if you let go or aren't paying attention to what you're doing.

Also, the accuracy suffers if you pull the the runners fastened underneath the sliding table out too far. They need to be firmly buried in the grooves in which they slide for accuracy.

When cutting bars, I'd also want to clamp a small block of wood -- a "stop" -- to the right side of the fence that is the right distance away from the wire to make the perfect thickness of bar. That means you can slide the log over until it touches the stop rather than have to eyeball the bar thickness every time. That's inefficient and creates a chance for mistakes. But the fix is easy to do.

Teresa is also right that cutting more than one log at a time is a better use of time. If you have a large, stable table to lay out the logs, why not use it?
 

commoncenz

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Lee is v. thoughtful and smart, I am really interested to see what he comes up with, if he does end up thinking it is worth it to try and combine some of the goals that people have. I have done the trial and error thing, but part of the problem for me is just physical logistics. My hands are pretty shaky and wimpy (carpal tunnel and who knows what else).

I can't really even hold a drill for very long, so trying to make a mold is tough. I am a happy singleton, but I do envy the posters who are like "my DH/partner made the perfect mold yesterday." My doggies are the perfect companions, but neither Freddie or Patsy is good with a saw, unfortunately :)
Ahh, I see. So, a little "ingenuity" is called for. If you find someone who is getting rid of a small cabinet/dresser with smaller (in width) drawers, you have found perfect slab molds. The only problem is that with the face of the drawer having an "overhang" past the bottom of the drawer itself, you won't be doing many spin swirls.

Then you just measure the inside dimensions, go to Lowes buy a piece of plywood and have them cut it to your dimensions for a cover. Or better yet, ask to look at their wood waste bin and see if you can find a piece close to your dimensions as they often give these waste pieces away for free or little cost.
 

boyago

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When cutting bars, I'd also want to clamp a small block of wood -- a "stop" -- to the right side of the fence that is the right distance away from the wire to make the perfect thickness of bar. That means you can slide the log over until it touches the stop rather than have to eyeball the bar thickness every time. That's inefficient and creates a chance for mistakes. But the fix is easy to do.

Teresa is also right that cutting more than one log at a time is a better use of time. If you have a large, stable table to lay out the logs, why not use it?
That is exactly what I was thinking when I watched the video. It wouldn't be hard to mount a channel in that foot that the length of the soap that pushes the loaf with a T bolt that mounts a stop.
As far as the multiple loafs for multiple bar cutting with a single push I think it would be problematic unless you had something the was square to the fence that could push uniformly or stop the loafs uniformly. Otherwise I think the loafs would stick to each other and make it a pain to get them lined back once any of them slipped.
 

OliveOil2

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The spliter part of the cutter reminds me of the one from 'For Crafts Sake' and it looks much easier than other types that have a wire mounted, and you have to pull the slab through the wire. I love the design, but really can't see that I would be need to be making enough soap to be cutting slabs.
 

DeeAnna

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"...As far as the multiple loafs for multiple bar cutting with a single push I think it would be problematic unless you had something the was square to the fence that could push uniformly or stop the loafs uniformly. Otherwise I think the loafs would stick to each other and make it a pain to get them lined back once any of them slipped. ..."

I'd be willing to figure out that problem, especially if I was a commercial soap maker. The nice thing about fresh soap compared with wood is that it tends to stick to itself a bit, even after being cut, so that would work to keep the logs square and aligned once they were set up properly. But I agree you'd want to make a "push block" to ensure they stayed aligned.
 

commoncenz

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Maybe it's the male in me (see something "cool" and want to try it out). Maybe it's the only child ("I want it NOW"). But, I couldn't get this cutter off my mind. So, I ordered it. I'll let you know if I'm happy with it.
 

not_ally

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Yay, cenz, I am happy for you! It will be *so* exciting to get it, I bet you can't wait. Please post w/thoughts and pics when you get it.
 

OliveOil2

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I bet you will love it, the cost of a splitter and a single wire cutter on Etsy is about the same. For me getting a wire cutter made a Hugh difference in the look of my soap, I could never cut close to straight.
 

commoncenz

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I bet you will love it, the cost of a splitter and a single wire cutter on Etsy is about the same. For me getting a wire cutter made a Hugh difference in the look of my soap, I could never cut close to straight.
That's what ended up making the decision for me. No matter where I looked, I was going to end up paying close to the same price to buy a splitter and a single wire cutter. Buying two pieces of equipment when I could get both in a more versatile cutter just didn't make "common sense" (waits for thrown rotten tomatoes). And right now, as a hobbyist, I couldn't justify the cost of a real good multi-wire like The Bud.

Edit: So, now while I'm waiting for it to arrive, I'll have to figure out how to add an adjustable "stop" on the right side so that I can just cut a bar and slide the loaf over to the stop and then cut another bar as DeeAnna originally suggested

Edit 2: And your right Olive, it will be a god send to not have to rely on my horrible cutting skills to try to get straight cuts anymore. lol
 
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