Made my own mold

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gdawgs

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I've got lots of sample scents that I'm working through. Each one is good for a 1 pound batch, so what I've been doing is making a 4 pound master batch, then splitting that into four, one pound batches. The problem is I don't have any good 1 pound molds. So I started looking at molds online. After seeing the prices I figured I'd just make my own. I looked at several plans and took the features I liked from a couple different designs. Here's what I ended up with. I made it modular so I can make varying sizes and numbers of batches. With all the divers in, it makes four, one pound batches. With them all removed, it should be just under 5 pounds. I've never used a wooden mold(I'm pretty new to all this), so hopefully it works ok.










 

lathered_up

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I'm impressed! That looks well made. Should last a long time too. As much as I love the silcone molds out there, you just can't beat a good old fashioned wooden mold. Great job!
 

kc1ble

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That is a great looking, versatile mold. I've made a few for myself, but nothing with dividers for test batches, thanks for the idea.
 

sudsy_kiwi

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I made one the same with just 1 centre divider. It works very well with just baking paper as a liner.

Haven't CPOPd with it yet, but I don't think that should present a problem.

I did have an idea about covering the inside faces with Cover Seal (waterproof self-adhesive schoolbook covering) and eliminating the need for the paper liner...but was worried about the heat of the soap melting it.
 

earlene

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Gdawgs, that is one beautiful mold you made there! I hope you have many happy soaping experiences with it.
 

TeresaT

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That's really nice! I'm regretting giving my table saw to my neighbor during the great purge. It sat collecting dust in my garage for a long time. Now that I'm needing large molds, and I've seen the prices of large molds, I though I can build them. But no saw. I guess I'll have to borrow my old saw. :oops:
 

gdawgs

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That's really nice! I'm regretting giving my table saw to my neighbor during the great purge. It sat collecting dust in my garage for a long time. Now that I'm needing large molds, and I've seen the prices of large molds, I though I can build them. But no saw. I guess I'll have to borrow my old saw. :oops:
I'm not much of a wood worker and don't have a lot for woodworking tools. I do have a miter saw that came in handy, but honestly, you could do this with a drill, a hand saw, and a $5 miter box. I purchased 1 x 4 poplar boards which is the perfect width for soap(3.5") so there really isn't much cutting involved.
 

TeresaT

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I'm not much of a wood worker and don't have a lot for woodworking tools. I do have a miter saw that came in handy, but honestly, you could do this with a drill, a hand saw, and a $5 miter box. I purchased 1 x 4 poplar boards which is the perfect width for soap(3.5") so there really isn't much cutting involved.
Thanks, GDAWGS! That's actually comforting. I've been toying with the idea of going to Lowe's and getting some of their pre-cut boards to do something like this, but didn't know how to accomplish it. This gives me a great starting place. I like how you screwed in one short side, but not the other. I'm sure I haven't got a drill bit that long, though. How'd you do the square holes for the lag bolts? :think: I must research this phenomenon. I saw on the Lowe's do-it-yourself videos that they have one for building a soap mold. I'll have to look at it again. I started to watch it and realized my lunch break was over but never got back to it.

Lowes and Home Depot will cut for you.
I remembered this when I read your comment. Thanks for the reminder. I have an Ace Hardware here on the mountain that I am constantly running into to pick things up and they don't cut wood. So I forgot all about the other stores that do.''


ETA: gdawgs, I don't know if you're planning on putting any kind of preservative on the wood or not, but I've just coated my new wooden cutter that I purchased from SMF with flax seed oil. I did that to my other wood cutter when I bought it last year. It gave a nice patina to the wood and so far there have been no problems with the cutter. It's hot and humid where I am. I certainly didn't want to put a polyurethane coating on it or any kind of chemical stain so I used the flax seed oil I soaped with. I did that to an expensive wooden mold I purchased, too. I'm sure this is old news to many, but I just wanted to remind you that flax seed oil is a really good wood protector. Unlike the linseed oil you get at the hardware stores, this isn't adulterated.

That's supposed to be SMR (soap making resources) not SMF.
 
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gdawgs

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Thanks, GDAWGS! That's actually comforting. I've been toying with the idea of going to Lowe's and getting some of their pre-cut boards to do something like this, but didn't know how to accomplish it. This gives me a great starting place. I like how you screwed in one short side, but not the other. I'm sure I haven't got a drill bit that long, though. How'd you do the square holes for the lag bolts? :think: I must research this phenomenon. I saw on the Lowe's do-it-yourself videos that they have one for building a soap mold. I'll have to look at it again. I started to watch it and realized my lunch break was over but never got back to it.

I remembered this when I read your comment. Thanks for the reminder. I have an Ace Hardware here on the mountain that I am constantly running into to pick things up and they don't cut wood. So I forgot all about the other stores that do.''


ETA: gdawgs, I don't know if you're planning on putting any kind of preservative on the wood or not, but I've just coated my new wooden cutter that I purchased from SMF with flax seed oil. I did that to my other wood cutter when I bought it last year. It gave a nice patina to the wood and so far there have been no problems with the cutter. It's hot and humid where I am. I certainly didn't want to put a polyurethane coating on it or any kind of chemical stain so I used the flax seed oil I soaped with. I did that to an expensive wooden mold I purchased, too. I'm sure this is old news to many, but I just wanted to remind you that flax seed oil is a really good wood protector. Unlike the linseed oil you get at the hardware stores, this isn't adulterated.
For the holes in the side pieces, I drilled those out before I assembled it. I took the two side pieces, laid them together and lined them up. I then clamped them together, and drilled through both boards at the same time. That way the holes are lined up correctly. Drilling out the divider pieces is the tougher part. To do that, I put them in the assembled mold, marked where the holes needed to be, then took them to work and used a drill press.
You could also get drill guides that are inexpensive. Something like this.
http://www.woodcraft.com/product/140876/drill-guide.aspx

FYI, I used 1/4" carriage bolts(6" long) for the clamp bolts. I used a 9/32 drill bit for the holes.

I have been thinking about putting something on the mold to protect it before I use it, but wasn't sure what was best to use. If you say flax oil is the way to go, that's what I'll do. I have some in the fridge. Thanks for that tip!

You can purchase pre-cut lumber. I bought four foot long boards then cut them in half. But they sell them in 2 foot lengths as well. If you buy three, two foot sections, the bottom and sides are already done!(I you're making one this size) The only thing you have to cut are the end pieces and dividers.
 

TeresaT

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Thanks! There's a Woodcraft store here in Chattanooga not too far from me. I'll have to go have a chat with those nice woodworker folks. BTW: I've decided I don't like soaping with flax seed oil, but it's great for all of my unfinished wood.
 

gdawgs

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Thanks! There's a Woodcraft store here in Chattanooga not too far from me. I'll have to go have a chat with those nice woodworker folks. BTW: I've decided I don't like soaping with flax seed oil, but it's great for all of my unfinished wood.
I'll trust you on that one and not try it. It's pretty expensive anyway. It is also good for seasoning cast iron pans.
 

Cindy2428

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gdawgs - thank-you again for this post. I bought some cheap 2# silicone molds for some new recipe trials. I like to live dangerously so I generally make multiple batches at once. This mold will be perfect. From cheap flimsy silicone to expensive-looking custom wooden mold. Brilliant!
 

TeresaT

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I'll trust you on that one and not try it. It's pretty expensive anyway. It is also good for seasoning cast iron pans.
It's the only soap I've made (so far) that has DOS. There are only a couple of spots on the bars, but still. And there wasn't even a high content in there. I'd have to check my notes, but it was definitely less than 25%.
 

gdawgs

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Well here's my first batch in the new mold. Don't judge my artistic abilities(I don't have any :() It started out ok, but this recipe I used this time setup MUCH quicker than what I'm used to. Since I was making four mini batches I was going to start when I hit a thin trace. Which I'm still trying to figure out, that whole trace thing. So I poured out my first batch and it was fine, although I was thinking it was getting thick pretty fast, so I picked up the pace. By the time I got to the 3rd and 4th ones, it was THICK. Not quite mashed potatoes, but not pourable. So those are pretty ugly looking.

Here's what I got into the mold. That first one is actually Winter Gardenia.



Here's another one as it's starting gel. I also tried smashing down the last two trying to work some air out of them. Maybe not the best idea, but oh well.
 

KristaY

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Very nice! Winter Gardenia is a personal favorite. Chances are the gardenia and honeysuckle accelerated trace too that probably didn't help matters. Newbie did a video not too long ago about recognizing emulsion which would probably be helpful for you. Let me see if I can find it....

Shoot, I can't find it. Let's hope newbie comes along to share it. :)
 
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