Layered Soap with annatto for yellow

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Gerry

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There was some talk here about botanical colorants, and it reminded me to use up some of my annatto infused olive oil yesterday. So I did, but to make it interesting than plain yellow soap I decided to layer it with some ultramarine blue. All contain some TD to get a more pastel opaque look.

A couple photos below show some of my DIY stuff - wire soap cutter made from odds and ends I found in the garage, along with a broken hacksaw outfitted with a broken guitar string attached with an old door hinge. The molds are just 1x4 + 1x5 cheap pine with a few nails holding it together. They each hold about 2 kg of oils @ 30% lye concentration. After spending about $25 on wood, I think I have enough left over to build another 4 molds. Soap planer was made from old wood pieces long forgotten in the basement, along with a 4" wood planer blade I picked up for a few dollars. Total cost for 2 molds with wood left over, large cutter, and soap planer: About $33

In molds.jpg


Ready to cut.jpg


All cut.jpg
 
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cmzaha

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Your layers are perfect and I really like the colors I never get mine that perfect. I do not use annato often but I love Tumeric eo for yellow
 

Gerry

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Hacksaw re-purposed is genius! ... Off the the shed for a treasure hunt! :)
Haha, you can tell I'm the type of person who has difficulty throwing broken stuff away. The little piece that holds the far end of blade broke off years ago, but the tightening side was still fine and worked with the wire perfectly.
 

toxikon

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Beautiful lines. How the heck do you get them so straight?
 

Gerry

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Beautiful lines. How the heck do you get them so straight?
Just gravity. A couple days ago I thought of something that I wrote about in the "What soapy thing have you done today?" thread. I soaped at just above room temperature and split off each layer from my main batch that was just at emulsion (not tracing), colored and added EO, then poured at very very light trace so the top would be completely smooth. I then put the mold into the oven for about 5 minutes, and by the time it cooled down at bit a couple minutes later it was hard enough to support another layer that was still hardly tracing. The next layers hardened up even faster after being poured because the mold and soap inside were already warm; much warmer than the room temperature main batch I was splitting it from.

When pouring very thin soap batter onto a layer, it's really important to pour at a low height (a long spouted pitcher helps) against your spatula that's held barely above the already poured soap beneath it. My technique seemed to thicken the layers quicker after being poured so that I didn't have to wait as long, thus allowing me to keep a thinner batter throughout the process so gravity would do its thing.
 
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toxikon

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Just gravity. A couple days ago I thought of something that I wrote about in the "What soapy thing have you done today?" thread. I soaped at just above room temperature and split off each layer from my main batch that was just at emulsion (not tracing), colored and added EO, then poured at very very light trace so the top would be completely smooth. I then put the mold into the oven for about 5 minutes, and by the time it cooled down at bit a couple minutes later it was hard enough to support another layer that was still hardly tracing. The next layers hardened up even faster after being poured because the mold and soap inside were already warm; much warmer than the room temperature main batch I was splitting it from.

When pouring very thin soap batter onto a layer, it's really important to pour at a low height (a long spouted pitcher helps) against your spatula that's held barely above the already poured soap beneath it. My technique seemed to thicken the layers quicker after being poured so that I didn't have to wait as long, thus allowing me to keep a thinner batter throughout the process so gravity would do its thing.
Ah, smart! I didn't think of heating each layer to harden it up. I was thinking of trying a two-tone soap with a mica pencil line and I'll definitely give this technique a go. Thanks!
 

CTAnton

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I love the pearlescent quality to the top of your soap...and jealous you're crafty AND handy!
 

Gerry

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Ah, smart! I didn't think of heating each layer to harden it up. I was thinking of trying a two-tone soap with a mica pencil line and I'll definitely give this technique a go. Thanks!
I should add that I did preheat the mold for a couple minutes in the oven before pouring the first layer. I would have saved more time if I had preheated it longer. Also I decided to go for a hard to trace, slow recipe so my main batch would stay liquid while I did my layers. I used 15% CO, 5% Caster, and 40% of each lard and OO. I suppose I could have left out the caster oil if I wanted it even slower...
 

HowieRoll

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Wow, it is all fabulous, from the soap to the molds to the cutting/planing tools! That is what I call a true DIYer!

Question: do you feel the nails in your mold hold well? I make my molds (only 5 so far), too, and have used screws. However, there may or may not be a couple broken drill bits inside one or more of the molds, left for all eternity. I think nails *might* be better to work with but I've always been afraid they wouldn't hold as well. But yours look just fine. Thoughts?
 

Gerry

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The nails have held up perfectly, and even after dozen's of stints in the oven doing CPOP, and banging them upside-down on concrete when I had a soap leak under the freezer paper making it get stuck! Nails typically work best in soft wood (they put together studs to frame house walls with nails), so cheap pine or spruce is best. My deck outside is put together using nails, so cedar would work too if you want to spend more money and you want it to look nice while sitting around. Haha!
 

mx6inpenn

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Just gravity. A couple days ago I thought of something that I wrote about in the "What soapy thing have you done today?" thread. I soaped at just above room temperature and split off each layer from my main batch that was just at emulsion (not tracing), colored and added EO, then poured at very very light trace so the top would be completely smooth. I then put the mold into the oven for about 5 minutes, and by the time it cooled down at bit a couple minutes later it was hard enough to support another layer that was still hardly tracing. The next layers hardened up even faster after being poured because the mold and soap inside were already warm; much warmer than the room temperature main batch I was splitting it from.

When pouring very thin soap batter onto a layer, it's really important to pour at a low height (a long spouted pitcher helps) against your spatula that's held barely above the already poured soap beneath it. My technique seemed to thicken the layers quicker after being poured so that I didn't have to wait as long, thus allowing me to keep a thinner batter throughout the process so gravity would do its thing.
Geesh, couldn't have had and posted this thought *before* I did my challenge entry??? It never occurred to me to heat or cool between layers, instead of just at the end.
 

HowieRoll

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The nails have held up perfectly, and even after dozen's of stints in the oven doing CPOP, and banging them upside-down on concrete when I had a soap leak under the freezer paper making it get stuck! Nails typically work best in soft wood (they put together studs to frame house walls with nails), so cheap pine or spruce is best. My deck outside is put together using nails, so cedar would work too if you want to spend more money and you want it to look nice while sitting around. Haha!
I appreciate the additional information, and I think nails will be used next time I build a mold, if, for nothing else, to avoid having to explain to my husband why all of his drill bits are disappearing. Thanks!
 

Gerry

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I appreciate the additional information, and I think nails will be used next time I build a mold, if, for nothing else, to avoid having to explain to my husband why all of his drill bits are disappearing. Thanks!
OMG... I would have divorced you already! Haha *kidding*

By the way, your soap for your challenge entry is amazing. Those angles are really perfect, especially considering you had to repeat it exactly the same for everything to fit together. But to do a graduation in color shades too, wow! Very impressive and creative.
 

HowieRoll

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OMG... I would have divorced you already! Haha *kidding*

By the way, your soap for your challenge entry is amazing. Those angles are really perfect, especially considering you had to repeat it exactly the same for everything to fit together. But to do a graduation in color shades too, wow! Very impressive and creative.
Yes, I owe him a box of 3/16" drill bits (I think that was the size?). The sides of the molds are pine but the base is oak, and that was the drill-busting culprit... (Home Depot was out of the size I needed in pine, and I wasn't thinking about wood strength when subbing for oak!).

Thanks for your kind words on my challenge entry! It was a painstaking process, and while the final soap is not without its warts and things I would do differently next time, I was pretty happy with the outcome.
 

Susie

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The soaps are gorgeous, but how much do you charge for that size mold and a planer?
 

Gerry

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The soaps are gorgeous, but how much do you charge for that size mold and a planer?
I don't sell molds or planers. I made these for my own use because they're so simple and easy to make, plus I'm so cheap! :mrgreen:


Haha. This thread is making me want to splurge on a power saw of somekind and start making molds.
I didn't even bother using my power saw to make my molds. I just used my cheap "Stanley Deluxe" miter box & saw kit that Home Depot now sells for $15. Soft 1" pine is so easy to cut, and you make less mess if you cut it by hand. Including measuring, doing the 5 cuts, and nailing a mold together takes about 20 minutes total. Done!
 

kchaystack

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I didn't even bother using my power saw to make my molds. I just used my cheap "Stanley Deluxe" miter box & saw kit that Home Depot now sells for $15. Soft 1" pine is so easy to cut, and you make less mess if you cut it by hand. Including measuring, doing the 5 cuts, and nailing a mold together takes about 20 minutes total. Done!
Yeah I have one of those. it is a disaster to use. Haha.
 

HowieRoll

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I *think* some hardware stores will go ahead and cut the wood for you as long as you had the measurements ready to go. We recently had big sheets of plywood cut down to size at Home Depot, and I'm fairly certain our local True Value would also make simple cuts. The thing is that some places use a saw with thick blades, so when they are cutting you don't want them to cut ON the line, they should be just next to it to get even cuts true to what length you wanted. It's not like cutting a fine line with a pair of scissors, it's more like gouging out a wide cut through wood. I hope that makes sense - I am an amateur woodworker in the most amateur-y amateurish way there can be!
 
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