I need some basic info on tools

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Orinda

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Will either of these scales work? I need the scales to have 1GM sensitivity.



Stick blender: How long does the stainless steel tube part have to be for soapmaking, and how powerful the motor?

Is a thermometer really necessary?

Guess that is all the major/pricey equipment. The odds'n'ends I can probably track down on my own. Thanks for any tips.
 

slspencer

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Both of the scales are accurate to 1g but the second one can hold up to 15 pounds so if you plan on doing a lot of soap later that would be the better choice.

A thermometer is absolutely necessary.

As far as the stick blender goes royalty soaps has some really good options. If you watch her videos on YouTube, she just put out some new ones for beginners and what tools and stuff that she recommends.

The Royal Creative Academy 👈Here are some of her basics videos.

I personally use the stick blender from brambleberry.com but it has a little bit too much power for me I've been thinking about changing it.
 
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Orinda

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Both of the scales are accurate to 1g but the second one can hold up to 15 pounds so if you plan on doing a lot of soap later that would be the better choice.

A thermometer is absolutely necessary.

As far as the stick blender goes royalty soaps has some really good options. If you watch her videos on YouTube, she just put out some new ones for beginners and what tools and stuff that she recommends.

The Royal Creative Academy 👈Here are some of her basics videos.

I personally use the stick blender from brambleberry.com but it has a little bit too much power for me I've been thinking about changing it.
Thanks for the tips. I expect five pound batch would do it for me....ten pounds would be overkill. I'll look over the videos. How long should the stainless steel 'stem' be on a stick blender? And will tin-plated steel candle molds work in soap-making? I ask because I'm looking for an octagonal tube mold about four inches diameter, and candle molds seem to be all that is turning up.
 

Todd Ziegler

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Using an IR thermometer gun is the best option. It gives you a very accurate reading and good one is not expensive. I will post a couple of links.
 

jcandleattic

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A thermometer is absolutely necessary.
I do not agree with this. I haven't used a thermometer in the 17+ years I've been soaping. A lot of people use them because they believe that the oils and lye have to be within 10 degrees of each other (which is another myth).
IF you want to soap on the warmer side and not go the RT route, you can invest in an inexpensive IR thermometer, and it will give you the temps of the soap and you can continue to check until it gets to the temp you want.

When I soaped warm I would just feel the bowls with the palm of my hands and as long as the SS bowl they were in were not HOT to the touch but warm, it was good enough for me and I'd start soaping.
 

Todd Ziegler

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I do not agree with this. I haven't used a thermometer in the 17+ years I've been soaping. A lot of people use them because they believe that the oils and lye have to be within 10 degrees of each other (which is another myth).
IF you want to soap on the warmer side and not go the RT route, you can invest in an inexpensive IR thermometer, and it will give you the temps of the soap and you can continue to check until it gets to the temp you want.

When I soaped warm I would just feel the bowls with the palm of my hands and as long as the SS bowl they were in were not HOT to the touch but warm, it was good enough for me and I'd start soaping.
I agree it is not absolutely necessary but I think it is a good idea, especially if you are just starting out. As you you become more confident, then you might not need it but I like to know what is going on but now I only use the thermometer to see how close to room temperature I am before mixing and to check my temperature when gelling, to make sure the soap isn't getting to hot.

Here are 2 links but the thermometer is not available for some reason but it gives you an idea of what you need.
I have never had a problem with this stick blender.



Will either of these scales work? I need the scales to have 1GM sensitivity.



Stick blender: How long does the stainless steel tube part have to be for soapmaking, and how powerful the motor?

Is a thermometer really necessary?

Guess that is all the major/pricey equipment. The odds'n'ends I can probably track down on my own. Thanks for any tips.
I don't know about the other scale but the My Weigh is very popular among serious bakers. We like it for its accuracy and the fact that it holds a lot more than most scales. My scales max out at something between 5 and 7 lbs (forget off the top of my head) and the My Weigh is like 15 lbs I think.

I don't have one because I had already bought TWO other scales before I heard of it, LOL!

I agree it is not absolutely necessary but I think it is a good idea, especially if you are just starting out. As you you become more confident, then you might not need it but I like to know what is going on but now I only use the thermometer to see how close to room temperature I am before mixing and to check my temperature when gelling, to make sure the soap isn't getting to hot.

What if you're only doing cold process?
 

Marsi

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the stick blender needs to be longer than your batch is deep
pour water into your mixing bowl and measure the depth to gauge the minimum size needed for your stick blender shaft
a cheap short stick blender is enough to start with and a longer more powerful stick blender is good for bigger batches

being a cake baker i am used to checking temperatures by hand
IMHO an IR thermometer is a nice but unecessary tool
an oven thermometer is useful for checking the temperature of your oven if you CPOP

the KD7000 and KD8000 scales have had positive reviews from experienced soapers on this forum
an additional recommendation for these scales is to get the optional plug in pack
direct power means you can set the scale to stay powered when measuring multiple ingredients
 

cmzaha

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I am in the camp of a thermometer is not necessary for soap. I only use one for lotions. I use a My Weight scale.
 

Todd Ziegler

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What if you're only doing cold process?
It's not necessary but I think having one is a good idea. I use mine to see how cool my oil is getting and to make sure my lye water is not to hot before I add sodium lactate.
 

atiz

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Those are good scales (I have the KD-7000, it's sturdy and easy to clean, and make sure you get the version that has a plug so it doesn't auto-switch-off which is the most annoying thing ever).

I'm in the "thermometer-not-necessary" camp. I used one in my very first batch and never since; I can by and large tell the temp by touching the container. If it is too hot to touch, the oils/lye are too hot.... It's not rocket-science.
(That said, if a thermometer makes you more comfortable, then go for it.)
 

dibbles

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When I was new to soap making I always took temps because I learned the 'oils and lye within 10 degrees, soap between 110-120' is the best. I still don't necessarily disagree with that advice for the first batch or two (although I would try to stay around 110). From that, I learned what the outside of the bowl felt like at that temperature. Now that I soap much cooler almost all of the time, I want my oils to be above 85 and have a more accurate idea of my lye temperature so I can have a decent idea of what my combined starting temperature is. It's hard to tell by touch if the oils are 80 or 88, and for me that can make a difference depending on what I am hoping to do.

So, absolutely necessary - no. A tool I use - yes, sometimes.
 

Todd Ziegler

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When I was new to soap making I always took temps because I learned the 'oils and lye within 10 degrees, soap between 110-120' is the best. I still don't necessarily disagree with that advice for the first batch or two (although I would try to stay around 110). From that, I learned what the outside of the bowl felt like at that temperature. Now that I soap much cooler almost all of the time, I want my oils to be above 85 and have a more accurate idea of my lye temperature so I can have a decent idea of what my combined starting temperature is. It's hard to tell by touch if the oils are 80 or 88, and for me that can make a difference depending on what I am hoping to do.

So, absolutely necessary - no. A tool I use - yes, sometimes.
Your comment is what I have been trying to say but couldn't get the words right.

It makes me feel comfortable with my soap making.

For now I also record the starting temperature for both oil & lye for my records. That way I can look back if I have a problem or if something went right, then I can repeat it.

I am also still in the process of creating standard recipes and since many of my batches are new recipes like milks, salt etc the temperature information can be helpful.
 

shunt2011

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I highly recommend the KD-7000 or 8000. I use it for soap and for baking (had my own business for cakes/cookies). I had a 7000 and upgraded to the 8000. I have an IR thermometer but couldn't tell you the last time I used it. It's been years and years. My lye is always room temperature and my oils are warm to the touch. May be helpful as a beginner but I think I only used it a handful of times before I got the great info from others.
 

slspencer

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Thanks for the tips. I expect five pound batch would do it for me....ten pounds would be overkill. I'll look over the videos. How long should the stainless steel 'stem' be on a stick blender? And will tin-plated steel candle molds work in soap-making? I ask because I'm looking for an octagonal tube mold about four inches diameter, and candle molds seem to be all that is turning up.
I don't think the stem has to be very long but the stem on mine is about 3 1/2 inches. (I put a picture up)
I am not too sure on the tin mold, I would try to see if you can find it in silicone or you could always find a round one and the cut the soap to be octagonal (it is a little more work) but if you did that you could save the scraps and shred them up to use in a confetti soap.
 

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Catscankim

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I use a digital instant read meat thermometer. I was looking for the IR one, and at the time i couldnt find one. I was all set to start my first batch, but couldnt bc i didnt have a thermometer. I have a candy thermometer, but its bulky and i imagine hard to read, plus its an expensive pampered chef one that i didnt want to ruin lol.

So i went to the supermarket and found one for $5 and have been using it ever since.
 

msunnerstood

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And will tin-plated steel candle molds work in soap-making? I ask because I'm looking for an octagonal tube mold about four inches diameter, and candle molds seem to be all that is turning up.
No, any metal except stainless steel will react with the lye.
 

TheGecko

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Guess that is all the major/pricey equipment. The odds'n'ends I can probably track down on my own. Thanks for any tips.
Etekcity Digital Thermometer from Amazon $16.00. I mainly use it when I’m mixing my goat milk and lye solution.

Ozeri Digital Scale from Amazon $14.00. Weighs up to about 12 lbs and to 1/100 of an ounce; runs on a 9volt battery.

Bella Immersion Blender. I paid $17.00 on Amazon, no longer available. I’ve had it over a year, don’t use it as much as I did I the beginning...I tend to whisk and stir more.

All my mixing bowls, measuring cups, spatulas, measuring spoons, dish tubs (large batches and soap dishes), storage boxes for hard oils and butters, containers for additives...all from the Dollar Store. I just picked up 2 1-gallon buckets, a 5-bucket and a 1-gallon jug for master batching.

Molds are tricky. If you’re handy or know someone who is handy you can make your own and line with freezer paper or get silicone inserts , and then they are fairly inexpensive. I’ve been lucky and have been able to purchase on sale or from other soapers, but I do consider them to be an investment in my business and so I look for quality and durability. I do recommend that you have a couple of 1lb molds for testing new recipes, scents and colorants.

And set a budget. It’s way too easy to fall down the rabbit and then you have a ton of 2 oz bottle of fragrances and seven shades of pink.
 

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