Slab molds

Soapmaking Forum - Soap & Candle Forums

Help Support Soapmaking Forum - Soap & Candle Forums:

Joined
Apr 19, 2019
Messages
4,154
Reaction score
9,901
Location
Virginia
I’ve been on a bit of a slab mold journey over the last three years and learned a few things along the way that I detailed below in case anyone else is thinking about buying a slab mold. Early on I was always looking for small slab molds because I typically don’t make soap with more than 1000 g of oils. Over time, I developed a preference for bars that are 2,5”x3.5” in size and I want minimal cutting waste. Many slab molds won’t tick all three of these boxes.

The first slab mold to join my collection was a cardboard candy box, which is a great way to go if you’re new to soap making. Then I added my trusty 6”x6” silicone mold. These are easy to find and made of very durable silicone. I’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of that little mold, love that it doesn’t have to be lined and still use it to make four 3” square or six 2”x3” bars. Next up was the bottom tray for a slatted wooden bread cutting board that I found at a thrift store for about 99 cents. It works well, but is shallow and I have to line it with freezer paper.

8B2DD55B-D58E-473F-91F3-8350B8C8D27A.jpeg

Next I bought the blue silicone loaf mold in the photo below. It was relatively inexpensive and works well for slab-like single layer wall pours along the long wall. The interior dimensions are close to 5”x 10+”, which yields eight bars that are close to 2.5”x3.5”. On the downside, the mold is a bit floppy, which makes it tricky to tilt and to move. There’s also not a lot of working room for a design like a cosmic swirl and it’s not a good shape for a spin swirl. The soft sides don’t distort for a single layer soap, but they bow out when the loaf is filled to the top (2.5” depth). I’ve used a lego crate to cradle this mold, but a wood box would be even better and making one is still on my to-do list. The divided wood mold was a Christmas present last year. Honestly, I only used it once and without the dividers, partly because I do not like lining molds. At 1.5” depth, it’s a bit shallow to tilt, which is something I like to do to get the soap to move across the mold when I’m doing a wall pour in a slab mold. I personally wouldn‘t try to use it for a spin switl because I can be messy. Using the dividers would yield nine bars that are a hair over 2”x3”. They are a bit wonky looking, but might stay straight in a full mold. I made eight 2.5”x3.5” bars and some smaller pieces by following the black marks I put on the sides.

1F4E3F3C-49CE-4C63-8CD1-B14A803CC967.jpeg

Next(?) I bought a pricey acrylic mold (5”x7” by 3+” deep) with a silicone liner. It works really well for making four or eight 2.5”x3.5” bars and is easy to tilt. I love that I can see through the side of the mold to get an idea how the colors and layering are playing out below the surface. The liner is flexible but sturdy and it’s easy to get the soap out even when I make eight bars. It’s one of my favorite molds overall. On the downside, the combo of smallish interior dimensions and reasonable height of the mold makes it very challenging to pour close to the surface of the soap when I’m making four bars. I bought the relatively inexpensive 10+” square silicone mold to make column pour soaps for a recent SMF Challenge. It’s a bit flimsy due to size, but a cutting board takes care of that problem. I wouldn’t try to use it for a spin swirl since it’s only 1.5” deep, but I expect it will be really easy to work a design close to the soap surface in this mold and it’s a great size for the pipe divider swirl. It makes twelve bars that are close to 2.5”x3.5”. It’s not a mold I will use regularly due to the size, but it’s good to have on hand.

D316C6E3-2AC1-4300-99AD-1834E20C56DC.jpeg

Last but not least, here’s my newest mold. With the dividers it yields nine 2.5”x3.5” bars that can be up to 2.5” tall. I plan to fill it to 1.5” depth to leave some room for planing the soap tops. With interior dimensions just under 8”x11”, it should give me the room I need for pouring close to the soap and it will also be easy to tilt. It’s also plenty high enough to do a spin swirl without sloshing soap out of the mold. A consideration with dividers is the resultant smear pattern on the side of each soap, but I also have the option of not using the dividers. I‘m hoping that I won’t have an issue separating the soap from the dividers based on the amount of hard oils and butters in my recipes. I may give this mold a trial run tomorrow. Please keep your fingers crossed that I don’t lose my mind and add an accelerating FO Into the mix!

681CC219-2F88-4075-A734-DAE5E662515C.jpeg EF910E95-EAFB-42F3-8439-0BCB08A858C2.jpeg
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jan 4, 2015
Messages
688
Reaction score
927
Location
NW Pennsylvania
Last but not least, here’s my newest mold. With the dividers it yields nine 2.5”x3.5” bars that can be up to 2.5” tall. I plan to fill it to 1.5” depth to leave some room for planing the soap tops. With interior dimensions just under 8”x11”, it should give me the room I need for pouring close to the soap and it will also be easy to tilt. It’s also plenty high enough to do a spin swirl without sloshing soap out of the mold. A consideration with dividers is the resultant smear pattern on the side of each soap, but I also have the option of not using the dividers. I‘m hoping that I won’t have an issue separating the soap from the dividers based on the amount of hard oils and butters in my recipes. I may give this mold a trial run tomorrow. Please keep yor fingers crossed that I don’t lose my mind and add an accelerating FO Into the mix
Please share your experience! I've been looking at one of their molds and would love to see some feedback!
 
Joined
Nov 16, 2018
Messages
4,836
Reaction score
11,948
Location
Hamilton, New Zealand
I’ve been on a bit of a slab mold journey over the last three years and learned a few things along the way that I detailed below in case anyone else is thinking about buying a slab mold. Early on I was always looking for small slab molds because I typically don’t make soap with more than 1000 g of oils. Over time, I developed a preference for bars that are 2,5”x3.5” in size and I want minimal cutting waste. Many slab molds won’t tick all three of these boxes.

The first slab mold to join my collection was a cardboard candy box, which is a great way to go if you’re new to soap making. Then I added my trusty 6”x6” silicone mold. These are easy to find and made of very durable silicone. I’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of that little mold, love that it doesn’t have to be lined and still use it to make four 3” square or six 2”x3” bars. Next up was the bottom tray for a slatted wooden bread cutting board that I found at a thrift store for about 99 cents. It works well, but is shallow and I have to line it with freezer paper.

View attachment 67640

Next I bought the blue silicone loaf mold in the photo below. It was relatively inexpensive and works well for slab-like single layer wall pours along the long wall. The interior dimensions are close to 5”x 10+”, which yields eight bars that are close to 2.5”x3.5”. On the downside, the mold is a bit floppy, which makes it tricky to tilt and to move. There’s also not a lot of working room for a design like a cosmic swirl and it’s not a good shape for a spin swirl. The soft sides don’t distort for a single layer soap, but they bow out when the loaf is filled to the top (2.5” depth). I’ve used a lego crate to cradle this mold, but a wood box would be even better and making one is still on my to-do list. The divided wood mold was a Christmas present last year. Honestly, I only used it once and without the dividers, partly because I do not like lining molds. At 1.5” depth, it’s a bit shallow to tilt, which is something I like to do to get the soap to move across the mold when I’m doing a wall pour in a slab mold. I personally wouldn‘t try to use it for a spin switl because I can be messy. Using the dividers would yield nine bars that are a hair over 2”x3”. They are a bit wonky looking, but might stay straight in a full mold. I made eight 2.5”x3.5” bars and some smaller pieces by following the black marks I put on the sides.

View attachment 67645

Next(?) I bought a pricey acrylic mold (5”x7” by 3+” deep) with a silicone liner. It works really well for making four or eight 2.5”x3.5” bars and is easy to tilt. I love that I can see through the side of the mold to get an idea how the colors and layering are playing out below the surface. The liner is flexible but sturdy and it’s easy to get the soap out even when I make eight bars. It’s one of my favorite molds overall. On the downside, the combo of smallish interior dimensions and reasonable height of the mold makes it very challenging to pour close to the surface of the soap when I’m making four bars. I bought the relatively inexpensive 10+” square silicone mold to make column pour soaps for a recent SMF Challenge. It’s a bit flimsy due to size, but a cutting board takes care of that problem. I wouldn’t try to use it for a spin swirl since it’s only 1.5” deep, but I expect it will be really easy to work a design close to the soap surface in this mold and it’s a great size for the pipe divider swirl. It makes twelve bars that are close to 2.5”x3.5”. It’s not a mold I will use regularly due to the size, but it’s good to have on hand.

View attachment 67647

Last but not least, here’s my newest mold. With the dividers it yields nine 2.5”x3.5” bars that can be up to 2.5” tall. I plan to fill it to 1.5” depth to leave some room for planing the soap tops. With interior dimensions just under 8”x11”, it should give me the room I need for pouring close to the soap and it will also be easy to tilt. It’s also plenty high enough to do a spin swirl without sloshing soap out of the mold. A consideration with dividers is the resultant smear pattern on the side of each soap, but I also have the option of not using the dividers. I‘m hoping that I won’t have an issue separating the soap from the dividers based on the amount of hard oils and butters in my recipes. I may give this mold a trial run tomorrow. Please keep yor fingers crossed that I don’t lose my mind and add an accelerating FO Into the mix!

View attachment 67650 View attachment 67649
Wow! That last one is a bit flash.
 
Joined
Apr 19, 2019
Messages
4,154
Reaction score
9,901
Location
Virginia
Please share your experience! I've been looking at one of their molds and would love to see some feedback!
I’ve seen good reviews for this company’s molds in various threads so I’m expecting it to work well. The quality seems excellent. I went for the upgrade to an oil finish and also bought the top. I’m sure hoping this is the one.
Wow! That last one is a bit flash.
✨
 
Joined
Sep 1, 2021
Messages
28
Reaction score
55
Location
Los Angeles, CA
I’ve seen good reviews for this company’s molds in various threads so I’m expecting it to work well. The quality seems excellent. I went for the upgrade to an oil finish and also bought the top. I’m sure hoping this is the one.

✨
I have that mold, and love it. Just be sure to wipe a thin layer of Vaseline on the dividers so the soap is easier to remove. I forgot once and had to take a wire between the divider and the soap to get it out. 🙁
 
Joined
Apr 19, 2019
Messages
4,154
Reaction score
9,901
Location
Virginia
The slab mold has soap in it! I managed to slop a little over the edges, but otherwise all went well and with 35% palm no less. I was nervous about messing up a lot of soap, but also really wanted to use up the palm that’s been sitting around. The trace wasn’t thin enough to do a fine peacock swirl, so I did one with wider spacing and then added a DNA/helix swirl.

D1A49DCF-9368-426C-99D3-FC94417C8488.jpeg
 
Joined
Apr 19, 2019
Messages
4,154
Reaction score
9,901
Location
Virginia
Here are the bars out of the mold. The bars were fairly easy to remove from the dividers even though I didn’t use mineral oil. For context, the recipe is 30% stearic + palmitic, I used 40% lye concentration, soap gelled and I unmolded at around 18-20 hours. I did a very quick pass to clean up the edges and overall ended up with very little waste. 95% of the original batter weight is in the bars and an additional 3% is in trimmings and the little soaps in the photo below. The bars weigh between 5.5 and 6 oz. each. The heaviest one was from the center of the mold.

6F91DC3A-FC94-4EB2-A6A2-6DBFBDBFBB4C.jpeg
627E502A-B6B5-49AE-B366-8ADFDDD28657.jpeg
 
Joined
Apr 19, 2019
Messages
4,154
Reaction score
9,901
Location
Virginia
Those bars are just gorgeous! You have a fairly impressive slab collection, too. Is the Workshop Heritage your favorite now?
Thank you! After weeks of playing around with botanical colorants and clays I was missing the micas. This mold is fun because there’s plenty of surface area to design, but I’m still attached to most of the others for various totally defensible reasons 😂.
 

TheGecko

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2019
Messages
3,253
Reaction score
6,167
Location
Oregon
This mold is fun because there’s plenty of surface area to design, but I’m still attached to most of the others for various totally defensible reasons 😂.
Sounds like my old loom collection. I used to loom knit, not to be confused with a weaving loom, and as much as I enjoyed it...if you like to make a lot of different things, you had to buy a lot of different looms because each one was a fixed medium. I got into needle knitting and sold/gave away the majority of my loom.
 

Latest posts

Top