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Mini-molds: Slide Show

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Paul suggested that I post some pictures of my new mini-molds in use, so here's my slide show. :) I wonder if anybody else has looked at step-by-step pictures of soapmaking in books and websites, and also felt like they're some sort of voyeuristic sappo-sexual fantasy? :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: ;) Here's your sapporn fix for today! :D



I began by lining the mini-mold with freezer paper. That's the measured lye up in the corner, just 2.4 oz for this 18 oz batch. I felt illogically safe as I made soap barefooted, no shirt, with just latex gloves, my reading glasses and my superior soapmaking knowledge and experience as safety equipment. :shock: ;) ;) ;)




The palm oil has been melted and is now cooling down to the 120° that I prefer.




I've mixed the lye in my sink and it's also on its way down to 120°. This small quantity of lye cools more quickly than the usual larger amount.




Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble, the lye is in the fat! :lol:




Hit it with a stick!!! :D




More than a trace of a trace. Actually it's more than I prefer. I had wanted to get a good picture and the thin trace didn't photograph well.




I've poured the batter into the mini-mold.




And covered the top with plastic wrap. I doubt I would have had those bubbles if I had poured at light trace. :(




Now I've placed the top "squisher" piece (brown) on top of the plastic wrap. It's supposed to level the top and might even work if you pour the batter at light trace.




Time for the soap to go beddy-bye. I've placed the mold on a few folded bath towels on the floor of my junk room. That's my remote reading roasting thermometer probe on top, placed there so that I can a readout of the gel temperatures without disturbing the mold.




I've covered the mold with more bath towels and it's just 92° as saponification begins its peak activity.




Meanwhile, back at the sink, there really isn't much of a mess for a batch this small. I forgot to toss in the SB for the photo. The lye container is underneath the pan. Cleanup took only a couple minutes.




Now we're really gellin' a few hours later. I've never seen a gel temperature as high as 132°!!! I expect this may be a characteristic of palm oil.




Rise and shine! It's the next morning and I've removed the top piece.




After peeling off the plastic wrap and removing the screws, here's the soap!




The mold came off easily after I peeled up the tape. All that remains is to remove the freezer wrap.




Voilà, a 1 lb. logette! :)




And the palm bars after cutting. I don't know why I can't take a good photograph this morning. My good camera is broken and I'm shooting on my Sony shirtpocket camera. It's great for snapshots but not so good for critical photography. I'm hoping to get the new Canon XSi or maybe Canon 40D this summer. I bet with them even a know-nothing photographer can take good shots! :twisted:


By the way, the bars are already very hard, and have a SoapCalc hardness of 50. Palm is a great oil for adding hardness, conditioning and creamy lather to your soap recipes.


Here's a more color accurate image the palm bars, taken using my scanner. I had to Photoshop the color balance a bit and it's nearly right although not perfect, a kind of very pale, slightly yellowish color.





Well that's what it's like to make soap in mini-molds. These small molds are great for making small test batches, and particularly with the one-oil batches your soap is curing almost before you know it!

I intend to make one-oil soaps for all my favorite oils so I can see the color and feel the hardness of each, and also so I can experience the cleansing and lathering qualities for myself. I'm sure I'll have a much better understanding of oil characteristics when I'm done.
 

Lane

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Awesome! Those molds look VERY handy for testing one ounce samples of FO!
 
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Thanks! Yeah, in fact I used 18 oz of oils to allow for spillage but in fact the bars came out a little heavier than necessary (5.4 oz) so next time I'll make exactly 16 oz, which hits the ppo right on! :)

Don't you just love threads with pictures? :D
 

Lane

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Lovehound said:
Thanks! Yeah, in fact I used 18 oz of oils to allow for spillage but in fact the bars came out a little heavier than necessary (5.4 oz) so next time I'll make exactly 16 oz, which hits the ppo right on! :)

Don't you just love threads with pictures? :D
Is that 16 oz oils AND the water and Lye? Or 16 oz total weight? Might have to bribe you to send me one... :wink:

Yes! I've put tons of pictures in a bunch of threads today! Today feels like a picture day.,..
 
G

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I used 18 oz of palm oil with 2.4 oz lye and 5.7 oz of water. Next time I'll use 16 oz of oil.

That will work out nicely because whatever amount of EO/FO I add it will be that much ppo. :)
 

Laurie

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I really like the color of those PO bars. I tried a straight OO bar and it came out that same color. I made one bar with a cute little square box from Dollarama.

I love pictures too Greg. Thanks for doing the pictorial!!!
 
G

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You're welcome for the picts! :) It's my 15 minutes of fame. ;)

The PO bars came out just the lightest shade of cream with no yellow or green. My EVOO bars came out a light avocado color. Actually both are very attractive colors, except of course the EVOO would present some coloring challenges.

I've always tried to encourage forums to put more pictures in their posts, even if the post doesn't need a picture. I believe that the images add to the enjoyment of reading the forum.

Besides, my lips don't get as tired because they get to rest when I'm looking at the pretty pictures. :shock: :shock: :shock: :wink: :wink: :wink:
 

Lucy

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Very nice pictures and tutorial. I like your mold idea with standing up bolts.

Let me ask you how you cleaned up? Did you let that go down the drain? Much easier to let it become soap then clean up.
 
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I like to blow off the soap using very hot water and the sink's sprayer attachment, to get as much off as possible, and then wash with soap and water the next morning. Using the sprayer isn't much work and the smaller amount of soap remaining the next day is easier to clean up.
 

SoapyGal

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Wow! Great job Greg!! I loved the pics! And the soap came out looking lovely & creamy! You'll have to let us know what this PO-only-soap is like when you use it..... did you superfat?

Love that mold, too!!

A great tutorial for folks out there brand new to soaping!!

AAAhhhhhhhh...... Soap porn is good, clean fun :p
 
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SoapyGal said:
Wow! Great job Greg!! I loved the pics! And the soap came out looking lovely & creamy! You'll have to let us know what this PO-only-soap is like when you use it..... did you superfat?

Love that mold, too!!

A great tutorial for folks out there brand new to soaping!!

AAAhhhhhhhh...... Soap porn is good, clean fun :p
LOL @ SoapyGal :D

I didn't really intend it as a tutorial and in fact I'm a newbie having done my first batch little more than 3 weeks ago. I'm not working at present though, so I can progress fairly quickly, just did batch #12 yesterday.

At present I superfat all my recipes at 5%, and also use a constant 30% lye solution, so my results will all be standardized so that I can compare the only variable, that being the oil used. So far I've done EVOO, PO and CO. And wow you wouldn't believe how hard the PO and CO bars are! I think you could pound nails with the CO and probably the PO too. And that CO is such a beautiful white, just one shade darker than paper I kid you not!

Haha "soap porn." You get it! :D
 

Woodi

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Great work! looks like you're having fun too, which is what it's all about. I'm surprised that the final bars don't look more gelled, since you warmed up the mold so nicely with that ....thermal blanket is it?

I look forward to your report on usage.
 
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I'm using old towels as a thermal insulator. I got all new towels for my bathroom a few years ago and kept the old towels for miscellaneous uses, and they work well as soap mold insulation.
 

perfectsoap

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Nice mold!
I am guessing you run a bolt from the bottom through plywood? are the bolt heads recessed? Very cool!
Jeff
 
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Yeah. I used 10-32 flat head screws 2" long with wing nuts. I recessed the heads just enough to have them not touch whatever the mold is sitting on.
 

spotts71

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Very cool--- love the pics--- it was great info for a newbie like me-- I have only poured one time and hooked already-- spends hrs online looking for recipes for the ingredients that I have-- not completely understanding-- but am looking for small batch recipes. what superfatting and the percentages mean. and what ppo means but I think I'm following pretty close. would like the know the dimensions of our box mold (if your giving that out).

I have co and pko and not finding much that calls for pko. mainly just po. I used a recipe my friend gave me (5 lb and lots of diff oils) and she told me what to buy. It worked great but would like to try lots of other things too.

any advise would go a long way!!

Thanks
 
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