Large slab mold recommendations

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Hi all, I’m trying to increase my production (“bigulate” my business 😄) and am looking at larger slab molds. Right now I primarily use four sturdy silicone loaf molds from Essential Depot that serve me well, but I’m thinking about a large slab mold. I’ve been browsing WORKSHOP HERITAGE and soapequipment.com, and both look promising. The soap equipment.com slab molds have to be lined but they make a good argument against large silicone liners. It will be an investment either way. I’m also trying to figure out if I want to deal with cutting gigantic slabs, which will require more equipment. Soapequipment.com has an “artisan mold” that has removable dividers, so you can make a big slab and create loaves after pouring. But, it looks like the dividers have to be lined in advance, an extra step that seems like a pain. Thoughts? Experience? Keep using my trusty ED molds? TIA.
 

earlene

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As related to if you need a new cutter, @bookworm posted about this cutter that looks really versatile for multiple cutting purposes, not just for splitting slab molds into logs: "Caterpillar" soap cutting station (Coupon Code: TMSW5 saves you $11.50.)

I've seen the Artisan Mold at Soapcon in the past, and I don't believe you would have to line the stainless steel dividers. I'd probably rub a light coating of Vaseline or mineral oil on them perhaps just prior to inserting into the mold filled with batter, to streamline ease of removal.

ETA: I just watched some videos of demonstrations using some of the soapquipment.com cutters for those very large blocks, and I'd personally have a really hard time using them. Just thought I'd mention that in case you were to consider that at some point as you bigulate. So looking on youtube for videos that demonstrate using specific piece of equipment by any vendor can really be helpful in the decision making process.
 
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Cat&Oak

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If you go with workshopheritage.com they have bundles with slabs and cutters. I highly recommend WH, I love the tall skinny mold I have from them and I really like that their silicone liners are flexible and easy to pull off the loaves.
 

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I'm getting to the point where I have to make a decision about molds too. Right now I have 2-10" Loaf Molds from BB, 2-4" Square Molds from BB, 1-2lb Loaf Mold from BB, 2-RED Molds w/Baskets from ED. I like all of them, but they each produce different size bars of soap which makes packaging, labeling and pricing a challenge. I would much prefer to standardize my bars so I can get a price break when it comes to packaging and labeling in bulk and then I don't have to worry about pricing for my Regular and Goat Milk Soaps.

I really like the Slab Molds from Workshop Heritage...they have a nice deal on mold and cutter and then you can buy additional molds at a fairly reasonable price, but I'm not at a point where I need to make 30 to 60 bars of a single type of soap. So what I am thinking about is going with Nurture Soaps 5lb Basic Loaf Mold...it's only 2 bars shy of the Double Standard and I don't need a cutter.

If you choose to forgo a slab mold at this time, I would be happy to sell you the 2 RED Silicone Soap Mold w/Stackable Baskets for $50 each plus actual shipping; they are currently going for $62.98. They are in excellent shape and have been stored in my garage. Just send me a PM if you are interested.
 
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thanks all - that’s helpful. I need to watch the Soap Equipment videos, I was researching in bed when my husband was 😴. My single bar wire cutter is from WH and I like it. @TheGecko thank you for that offer! Those are the molds I have, and maybe if I had six it would be helpful. I’ll think about it. I think I really need a slab mold though.
I started looking at molds on Nurture today but it seemed like many are sold out.
 

dibbles

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I agree with the advice to standardize your bar size as much as possible. A slab mold in conjunction with the molds you have could work if you can cut your loafs from the slab to get the size you want without too much waste.

Awhile back I was trying to sell a large slab mold from Soap Equipment for a friend of mine. It is a nice mold, however I will caution you that the HDPE is not as smooth as silicone. I am admittedly bothered by this kind of thing, and personally would plane all the texture off, even though it is minimal. I can check with her to see if she still has it. I know she was planning to see if she could sell it on FB Marketplace or find someone who wanted it. It was this mold.

I'm pretty happy with my WH triple T&S mold, although I did have a liner rip. WH admitted to having some issues with the silicone supply around the time I purchased my mold and replaced it. Unfortunately, the silicone replacement was a bit thicker which made my dividers not fit. I was able to grind them down to make them work, but the fact that they didn't care left me not likely to purchase from them or recommend them again. YMMV, of course, and the mold is very nice.

I have the large NS slab. Hubby bought it as a gift when I first started making soap. I hardly ever use it because it is so big, and since I don't sell it just makes too much soap. I really only used it a few times for large donation batches to a local veteran's shelter. PM me if you are interested - I might be persuaded to part with it! Someone might as well put it to use.

Also, if you decide to go with a new slab mold and need a cutter for that I would hands down invest in the Caterpillar from Custom Craft Tools. The products this company makes are among the best soaping tools out there. It's expensive though and no, I don't have one 😢
 
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I agree with the advice to standardize your bar size as much as possible. A slab mold in conjunction with the molds you have could work if you can cut your loafs from the slab to get the size you want without too much waste.

Awhile back I was trying to sell a large slab mold from Soap Equipment for a friend of mine. It is a nice mold, however I will caution you that the HDPE is not as smooth as silicone. I am admittedly bothered by this kind of thing, and personally would plane all the texture off, even though it is minimal. I can check with her to see if she still has it. I know she was planning to see if she could sell it on FB Marketplace or find someone who wanted it. It was this mold.

I'm pretty happy with my WH triple T&S mold, although I did have a liner rip. WH admitted to having some issues with the silicone supply around the time I purchased my mold and replaced it. Unfortunately, the silicone replacement was a bit thicker which made my dividers not fit. I was able to grind them down to make them work, but the fact that they didn't care left me not likely to purchase from them or recommend them again. YMMV, of course, and the mold is very nice.

I have the large NS slab. Hubby bought it as a gift when I first started making soap. I hardly ever use it because it is so big, and since I don't sell it just makes too much soap. I really only used it a few times for large donation batches to a local veteran's shelter. PM me if you are interested - I might be persuaded to part with it! Someone might as well put it to use.

Also, if you decide to go with a new slab mold and need a cutter for that I would hands down invest in the Caterpillar from Custom Craft Tools. The products this company makes are among the best soaping tools out there. It's expensive though and no, I don't have one 😢
Oh the roughness would bug me too I think. Thanks for letting me know.

PMed you re your slab mold!
 
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Hi. Made a two loaf mold. Gives me 24 bars. I do have to line them. Can use for standard square or tall and skinny. Just cut with my splitter. Gonna be building more. If you are interested. They take 110 ounces of oil. @ 1.7:1 lye concentration.
20211005_140701.jpg
 

AAShillito

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I'm getting to the point where I have to make a decision about molds too. Right now I have 2-10" Loaf Molds from BB, 2-4" Square Molds from BB, 1-2lb Loaf Mold from BB, 2-RED Molds w/Baskets from ED. I like all of them, but they each produce different size bars of soap which makes packaging, labeling and pricing a challenge. I would much prefer to standardize my bars so I can get a price break when it comes to packaging and labeling in bulk and then I don't have to worry about pricing for my Regular and Goat Milk Soaps.

I really like the Slab Molds from Workshop Heritage...they have a nice deal on mold and cutter and then you can buy additional molds at a fairly reasonable price, but I'm not at a point where I need to make 30 to 60 bars of a single type of soap. So what I am thinking about is going with Nurture Soaps 5lb Basic Loaf Mold...it's only 2 bars shy of the Double Standard and I don't need a cutter.

If you choose to forgo a slab mold at this time, I would be happy to sell you the 2 RED Silicone Soap Mold w/Stackable Baskets for $50 each plus actual shipping; they are currently going for $62.98. They are in excellent shape and have been stored in my garage. Just send me a PM if you are interested.
I love my Nurture Soap 5 lb deluxe molds. I almost never use the sliding too though. But being able to pull the sides off so I can get 5 lbs out is so helpful. And if I have too the liners stand up well to the 30 minutes in the freezer and they just fall out of the silicone. I was considering buying 2 more liners but I'm trying so hard to save up for a cutter. And you can size up for Sezzle and spread your payments out
 
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TheGecko

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I love my Nurture Soap 5 lb deluxe molds. I almost never use the sliding too though. But being able to pull the sides off so I can get 5 lbs out is so helpful. And if I have too the liners stand up well to the 30 minutes in the freezer and they just fall out of the silicone. I was considering buying 2 more liners but I'm trying so hard to save up for a cutter. And you can size up for Sezzle and spread your payments out

I could see paying an extra $26 if I had fancy tops that could be damaged by flipping the mold over and pushing from the bottom, but isn't that what towels are for? LOL But I don't do fancy tops so I will just stick with the standard ones for now. And my hubby is pretty handy...he made the pseudo boxes for my 10" BB Molds, so I may just have him make me a bunch of boxes and then just buy the liners.
 

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I love my Nurture 7.5 mold but I didn't account for the big square bars when you fill it to the top. Personally not a fan of that.
 
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Hi, like the length of that mold. But went with 3x3 for myself. Bigger molds have there own learning curves. Larger size batches, "that sure is a BIG salad bowl". Having your fingers in the batch. Because it's deeper than the whisk is tall. More HEAT!. How big a freezer have you? Instead of 4 oz. butter per batch, 1.5 pounds??:rolleyes: people come in all shapes and sizes. Why not SOAP!
 

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About half the time I make a double batch filling two log molds (total oil weight 86 oz for both logs). I can manage that in one pot and can lift and pour ok. I work at my kitchen counter and could not lift the pot and pour accurately if it was heavier unless I changed my work surface to a lower table height. Definitely watch videos of equipment and decide whether you will have to make changes to where you work and your work surface.

I would encourage you to try a double batch just to see if you are comfortable with the pot size/weight. It might help you decide how large you want your new mold. The weakness of a double log pour is that it is hard to eyeball and get both logs filled to the same height and I need simpler soap designs.
 

earlene

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I have found that if I don't want soap to be as big (width-wise) with the ED molds, all I have to do is cut a portion from the side to decrease the width. Or I can cut them like a slab mold and then make square soaps (or pretty much any size I prefer). I know with some swirls that would alter the design, but with some it doesn't really impact the design all that much. And like, Vicki C says, they don't have to be filled completely either. However, I do like to fill them and vary the cutting pattern to get the size of soap I want. They are actually great for making guest size or travel size soap from the width reduction cuts.
 

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