Brilliant! I love hearing stories like this! As a long-time LS'er I have a few comments: Good question, toxikon! DILUTION: As a general rule of thumb, use 2-3 X the weight of oils (not paste) for the amount of water wt. for dilution. It varies with the oils used. This results in thin soap -- that's just the nature of the beast. LOL You can then thicken with a variety of thickeners if you want, but I like it just as it is. EXAMPLE: Here's what I do... Weigh the finished paste, then calculate the amount of water needed. For !00% Coconut oil, 40% soap wt. to 60% water wt. works well vs the other extreme of 100% Olive oil where one would use 15%-20% soap wt to 85% - 80% water weight. Olive Oil needs more water to get past the film that forms on top during dilution -- no worries -- it lathers up amazingly well at that ratio. NOTE: Since I use 50% Coconut or PKO and 50% liquid oils in most recipes, the dilution rate I like is 40% soap to 60% water. BUT it's strictly a matter of preference. Some like Susie & Carolyn prefer a higher concentration of soap, and that's their choice. It takes longer to rinse off hands, body, hair, clothes, appliances, etc. and a lot of actual soap gets wasted. JMHO. Ditto as mentioned above, #3 on SoapCalc >>> click water /lye ratio button and type in 3:1 -- that works most of the time, especially if you HP. However, it may take up to 45 minutes to trace. For CP, I use a 2:1 ratio to speed up trace which happens in 12 -15 minutes. I then cover it and wait 2 weeks before diluting it. During that time it turns a beautiful clear amber paste, fully cured and ready to dilute.