New type of mold - sealed on all sides - except for very small area to pour "batter" in

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RogueRose

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I'm wondering if anyone has tried this. imagine a kitchen drawer or desk drawer, it has a bottom and 4 sides. let's say the sides are 3.5" tall and the bottom is 24" x 18". What I want to do is place another 24" x 18" board on top and screw it onto the sides. Oh, everything inside where the soap touches will be coated with epoxy or resin - or MAYBE parchment/wax paper though I've never needed it with epoxied plywood or MDF.

The only change I would make is that I'd remove part of the front or back 18" x 3.5" wall, I'd cut 25-40% of it out to allow the batter to be poured in. Once the liquid soap is poured in, shake it, allow it to work any bubbles out, etc and fill it to the top. It will obviously have to cure standing up, with the hole facing up, but no big deal.

I'm wondering if this is going to cause problems with expansion or any other problems with curing. I remember using a floral (honey suckle) sent and it REALLY bulged in the middle, made a big crack down the middle but never had ANY other soap do this. The honey suckle also got much hotter than the rest of the soaps when curing.

Theworst thing I could think that could happen s that some soap would push up through the opening, but no big deal as I'm going to be cutting all this ASAP after it sets. This should cut so nicely with a thin wire cutter where if I tried this with coconut soap, there's a good chance of it snapping if it cuts at all.

So what do you think of this type of soap mold? If you still can't picture it, think of the largest USPS priority box that is like 24"x16"x2.5". Then stand it up with the 16" x 2.5" sitting on the table, then cut a square from the opposite 16" x 2.5" side at the top of the box, maybe 4-6" long and the whole 2.5" width, so basically the whole box is still in tact but only a rectangular opening where I can pour the soap in. Obviously all this would be done with wood in my case.

What do you think, is there any problem with all sides being sealed while it is curing? I prefer it being a little soft when I remove from the mold to make cutting easier and from there air drying is very easy.
 

Arky

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I have no idea on expansion, so I'll leave that question to others, but it is definitely intriguing.

Have you tried putting plastic wrap on the top of your soap to prevent air flow? That will help keep your soap soft. It's what I do when I want to make soap dough (and has worked so well that I just unmolded some dough from a silicone mold that was covered with plastic wrap and sat for two weeks while I was on vacation; it was still very soft).

I wonder if it would work to have a lid to your mold that would be pressed into the top of the soap when you are letting it set up, so it acts as another side, but which would be able to move upward if the soap did expand. This lid would be similar to what you describe, but would not be screwed on.
 

penelopejane

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So you are really trying to make a square (or rectangular) column mold?
It might take a little longer to cure than the same shape mold in a loaf mold with the top open but other than that it should work. You do need to allow a space at the top for it to overflow if necessary.
 

earlene

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Expansion and overheating would depend on your recipe and the temperature at which you soap, right?

Leaving the soap inside the mold during the entire cure seems a waste, though, unless you are only going to make soap every once in awhile.

Soapers who use large block molds don't leave the soap inside the mold to cure, as far as anything I've ever read.

Why not just use a regular large mold and cover it with a board? Removing the lid (the board) is easier if it isn't attached, making getting the soap out easier. Same result as far as the soap is concerned.
 
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Is your goal mainly to get a soap that is smooth on all of the perimeter edges? Is it important that it be a slab? I’ve considered buying a small column mold to make soap that has only one small area of exposed soap, but have wondered about the heating issue.
 

Marilyn Norgart

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but have wondered about the heating issue

I use a sewer pipe for a round mold so it has 3" exposed area. it does expand and sometimes I get a tiny bit of it cracking in the middle. I have not had any holes in the center from volcano-ing yet. I wrap a heating pad around mine so I get full gel.
as far as the original post I am wondering if its covered and there is a big area on the top that is covered would air get trapped in there
 
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I use a sewer pipe for a round mold so it has 3" exposed area. it does expand and sometimes I get a tiny bit of it cracking in the middle. I have not had any holes in the center from volcano-ing yet. I wrap a heating pad around mine so I get full gel.
as far as the original post I am wondering if its covered and there is a big area on the top that is covered would air get trapped in there
I hadn’t thought about the air bubble issue, but that’s a good point to consider.
 

Dawni

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I think the OP meant saponifying when she says curing..... Coz she did say leave it in the enclosed mold til cutting.

I don't CP much but the first question that crossed my mind is won't it overheat?
 

DeeAnna

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Some people use extremely large molds in all kinds of shapes to make soap without problems. Look at the tall, blocky molds Arianne Arsenault uses for her CP soap making for one example.

The partly covered top is the only uncommon aspect about what you propose, but I can't see how that is going to create a safety hazard any different than any another type of mold. I'd pay attention to temps and sugar content to minimize the chance of overheating and expansion, but that's advice any soaper should keep in mind regardless of the mold used.
 

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