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New cut soap and biting off more than I can chew!

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mandy318

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This is just my 3rd batch and I thought I could make a "simple" two colored layered soap. Lol--simple it was not! At least not for a noob like myself. :)

So while it didn't do what I intended, I like it. I'll stick to no color or one color for awhile while I learn.

I do need to figure out how to cut somewhat more uniform bars without spending $$ on professional supplies. My first loaf I cut with a knife and it really marred the cut surface. This loaf I used upholstery thread and it cut nice and clean, but I feel like it's hard to keep the cut straight.

How did you cut your bars when you were starting out?

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KristaMarie

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I think it looks pretty cool! Before I bought my multi-bar cutter, I used a wire cheese cutter. I drew measurements on the board and it worked it, but it's kinda hard to keep the loaf still
 

mandy318

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Yep...I'm finding especially towards the end of the loaf it gets hard to hold still.
 

gigisiguenza

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I got a $5 plastic miter box at home depot and I use a $5 wire cake leveler I got at the craft store. The miter box holds the soap in place and has measurements already marked on it, and the wire cake cutter leaves no streaks.
 

mandy318

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I think it looks pretty cool! Before I bought my multi-bar cutter, I used a wire cheese cutter. I drew measurements on the board and it worked it, but it's kinda hard to keep the loaf still
Yep...I'm finding especially towards the end of the loaf it gets hard to hold still.
 

Relle

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I marked mine with the edge of the knife both sides of the loaf and then used a ham knife because it's thin and cut straight down. I didn't have any problems, they all came out the same, only it took me 30 mins to cut as I took my time to get them all square.

I now have a handmade cutter, but I still cut them one a time, but only takes me 10 minutes.
http://i1082.photobucket.com/albums/j376/Relle22/IMG_1228_zps13660262.jpg
 

Stacyspy

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I also use a plastic mitre box, but I use a long, thin stainless knife. It works well for me.
 

Seawolfe

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The soap looks like blocks of jade! So cool!

My wooden soap molds all have a 1 inch slot at the end. Even if I put the loaf next to, rather than back inside, at least it keeps the knife straight.
 

IrishLass

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Looks awesome! It reminds me of the inside of a geode!

I marked mine with the edge of the knife both sides of the loaf and then used a ham knife because it's thin and cut straight down. I didn't have any problems, they all came out the same, only it took me 30 mins to cut as I took my time to get them all square.
I pretty do the same as what Relle used to do.

Basically, I measure and make tick marks all along the top surface of the soap loaf (on both the near and far sides) and also all the way down and along the side of the loaf that's facing me, to act as guides so that my knife cut is straight all the way down to the bottom (just follow the dotted lines, lol).

My cutting implement is my long French chef knife made by Cutco (one of the best wedding presents I ever got). It works great- nice smooth cuts.

I've been doing it this way since day 1 of soaping and have gotten really proficient with it. My batches are fairly small (mostly 2.7 lbs) and it only takes me about 5 minutes or so to cut.

Beveling, however is another story. lol


IrishLass :)
 

commoncenz

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That is some very nice looking soap. And, I'll tell you what, your cuts are waaaaay straighter than the ones I made when I was starting out. Way straighter than the ones I'd make if I wasn't able to use my cutter too!

But, before I got my cutter, I was getting pretty straight cuts using a miter box and a bow saw with a guitar string strung across it. I saw in a video a woman who used a hacksaw with a guitar string and I thought the bow saw would work a little better as it was deeper from top to bottom than a hacksaw. It was a clumsy setup, but I got some pretty straight cuts.
 

Susie

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Plastic mitre boxes are cheap and can be run through a dishwasher or cleaned up easily in a sink. I love mine. I use either a metal bench scraper, or my wavy potato cutter with mine. Just keep it pulled to the side closest to you to keep the log straight while cutting. I put marks right on the bottom in Sharpie for my measurements.
 

Obsidian

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I think your soap is pretty and really, the only way to learn swirling is to practice. My first swirls basically turned out to be layers:)
 

TwystedPryncess

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I have been at it almost a year. My layers are still gloppy. I am teaching myself pencils like, this month. Swirls are still hit and miss. So many techniques I'm clumsy with! And I am so, so proficient at making soap on a stick, or real close to it. But, I always make soap. So I am happy! Tickled! And some actually comes out the way I want it to. I can pipe well though. Moral of the story? You will learn your strengths and weaknesses and will go back and iron them all out.... Eventually. My first swirls set up too fast and became layers. But dern, it smelled amazing and made awesome soap! And yours looks fine! Just take notes always. (I like lard soaps for playing, now. In fact, I like lard soaps for everything.)
 
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