Home made wire soap cutter

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Techie Joe

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Hi,
Not sure if this has been described before, and apologies for the hacker nature of the idea.

Cutting blade can be made from a guitar string (a broken one will do), clamped into a Piercing saw.
(many types of saw will do, hacksaw, coping saw, etc. As long as there is a way to clamp/fix the wire)
If you don't have a saw, use something to hold the wire where its pulled tight, perhaps a springy rod or stick of some kind, or just holding it (wearing gloves).

Relatively straight cuts can be made using a cheap (or home made) Miter box as a guide.
Soap can be cut on an old bread board, by pressing downwards with the wire.
These things might be found in second-hand shops
 

Kamahido

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If you already have a miter box, this might be more your speed...

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Wax-Vegetable-Dough-Soap-Straight-Cutter-Slicer-Stainless-Steel-Hardwood-Handle/112486864509?_trkparms=aid=222007&algo=SIM.MBE&ao=1&asc=20160908110712&meid=4d05bf05aa344d6d9b2c82613c95ac38&pid=
100677&rk=8&rkt=30&sd=192189248415&itm=112486864509&_trksid=p2385738.c100677.m4598

Cheap and more durable than a wire cutter. That is unless you are performing an operation for which only a wire cutter will do.

Not knowing how mechanically inclined you are, a homemade wire cutter may be more labor intensive than it is worth. Here is a rather simple design... cheap too.

https://www.ebay.com/i/192189248415?chn=ps&dispItem=1
 
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earlene

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I seem to recall a thread or two where members talk about making their own cutters, and there are plenty of DIY tutorials and videos of how to make various types of wire cutters. Some have been mentioned and linked in various threads here. Guitar strings seems to be what folks often mention for the cutting wire, although not the only wire mentioned.

Maybe you might find a thread or two with more detail via the search here at SMF. Here's one of many:
https://www.soapmakingforum.com/threads/soap-cutter-plans-needed-help.64250/
 

shunt2011

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My husband made my first wire cutter with a guitar string and hack saw. It was nice but using a miter box and that still gave me wonky bars. I couldn't get them to cut straight with that or with the metal cutters. So, I had him make my first multi-bar wire cutter and what a god send it turned out to be. No more wonky bars. After 5 years with that I ordered a new one and it's a beast for sure. I got a Bud Cutter from ETSY and that thing is a work horse. Some of the best money I've spent. I also have his single bar cutter, which I got from a soaper quitting her business locally for a great price. That's been so handy for making half bars for weddings and baby showers. My husband just googled the soap cutters and then went from there.
 

Techie Joe

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My husband made my first wire cutter with a guitar string and hack saw. It was nice but using a miter box and that still gave me wonky bars. I couldn't get them to cut straight with that or with the metal cutters. So, I had him make my first multi-bar wire cutter and what a god send it turned out to be.
So it seems that the cut can still go pear-shaped without a ton of practice or a tried method.
Perhaps a decent knife is good at the beginning, and just cut carefully.

The idea of a wire over a knife blade is to reduce the friction between the steel face and the soap face, the more surface area you have sliding against each other, the harder it is to cut. That is why a cheese cutting knife has holes.

A cheese cutter is also an option, where there is a wooden "handle" on the wire end. It would do to make two handles if you didn't have an old hacksaw.
 

SaltedFig

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A meat cleaver works very well as a first cutting tool - large, flat, thin blade (so it will follow whatever miter you give it). Comes with a handle. Sturdy and cheap (and strong). This striped soap was cut with a cleaver, as was my soaps in the April 2018 Sous-Vide challenge thread. It will have a slight "suctioning" effect on a soft soap, but with practice you will learn to twist it (in the flat plane across the face) and slide the blade at the same time, to release the tension. A pushing motion, during a mitered cut, will have the same effect if there is enough vertical room for the blade to move below the soap (in a slot, or groove, cut into the base).

The bow saw picture (sorry Kamhido, the chinese one in your second link) doesn't have the necessary tension at the top of the "H" frame, and will fail when either tightening or adding pressure to the wire during the cut. They've based their visual interpretation of the tool on a traditional wooden frame saw (or bow saw). You don't need to go this fancy, a busted up frame saw will work just fine, if the tensioning works. Don't know how you would apply a guide (those things wobble in soft material - polystyrene is a good practice material).

Ordinary cheese cutter's tend to have fixed wires, and can cause a wobble cut as a result of wire stretch.

Every now and then, someone comes up with a "hot wire" system. I'll leave you with that thought (it would have the same wobble, but could make for some interesting effects :)).

A well made wire cutter is a dream to use. I have never (since he first brought to market) heard anything but rave reviews of Bud's cutters.

ItsForrest made a brilliant version last month and did a great pictorial on it :)
https://www.soapmakingforum.com/threads/the-home-made-g-string-soap-cutter.69614/
 

BrewerGeorge

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I'm still using the hack saw and piano wire. The important part is to stretch the wire very tightly, then use the tensioning screw on the saw to stretch it even tighter. Straight cuts are as easy as a slot cut in a board to guide the wire.
 

Techie Joe

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Another option, if you don't mind an angle-grinder rodeo, is using a hacksaw blade with the "teeth" ground off, so its just a straight piece of smooth steel.
That should be narrow enough to cut easily with no friction, without bending all over the place, and there would be no saw teeth to mark your soap.

Before you grind the teeth off, you might use the hacksaw to make a miter box with a slot of exactly the right width for the blade, lending to a tighter and more precise soap cut.

Obviously an angle grinder is quite a dangerous tool, and if you've never used one I suggest you get a local handyman to grind the blade.
 

SideDoorSoaps

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I have a hand made one my hubs made me like the H frame one but he put a tensioner on the side so I can tighten the wire as I go. I like cutting each bar of soap as I go.
 

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