SMF July 2020 Challenge - Welded Soap

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glendam

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One thing that might help is to very tightly wrap each individual bar with kitchen plastic wrap (Saran Wrap or another brand) before you put it in the oven. That's what I did with mine and I believe that held the pieces together like a clamp does when one glues two pieces of wood together.

Dibbles, your soaps are gorgeous. If you don't have time to make new, maybe try the plastic wrap idea after re-wetting the weld sides, and put it in the oven again. All it will cost you is a little more time and some electricity or gas (depending on your oven.)

Glendam, I had not thought of the recipe making a huge difference in this method. Thank you for mentioning that. It would be helpful to know if others who large percentages of hard oils experience anything similar. My recipes tend to be on the lower end when it comes to hard oils. I'll give it a try with another recipe with more hard oils and see what happens.

I don't know if it's too late to try the plastic wrap idea for your soap, but perhaps you could test that out as well. By wrapping each bar very tightly in plastic wrap, less moisture loss will occur during the heating in the oven and it might still give you a better weld. IMO it's worth a try.
I had not thought about that, but I had wondered about a way to keep them pressed since I recently glued veneer to a kitchen cabinet and used a clamp. That could indeed work! Yesterday, I had put them in the oven again positioned differently so that the mold walls made some pressure; if I can I will give the plastic wrapping a try.
 

dibbles

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@earlene thanks for the idea. I tossed everything into a bag, so I'll have to sort through it to see if I can reconstruct the soap and try wrapping it. My soaping time is more limited than normal right now.
 

bookreader451

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I actually did wrap it in plastic to try to smoosh it. I did three that way and the one I left for about 40 minutes did stick. One out of three is better than I hoped.
 

artemis

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1. AMD - not sure how I feel about firing up the oven in this heat!
2. szaza - always wanted to try this!
3. MarnieSoapien _ This looks like fun!
4. dibbles - soap welding it is!
5. bookreader451 - 7 months in, can't chicken out now!
6. Anstarx - ooh I always wondered if this would work! I already have a design in mind!
7. glendam - sounds intriguing
8. TheGecko - Looks Easy Enough
9. Veggiebin - I’ve got a project I’ve been wanting to try :)
10. Artemis - I had a brainstorm!
 

MarnieSoapien

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Well, it looks like my first try will be my entry since the kiddos are home on summer break. I'm gonna plane the heck out of them and hope for the best :D
 

AliOop

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One thing that might help is to very tightly wrap each individual bar with kitchen plastic wrap (Saran Wrap or another brand) before you put it in the oven. That's what I did with mine and I believe that held the pieces together like a clamp does when one glues two pieces of wood together.
Doesn't the plastic wrap melt in the oven?

I didn't enter the contest (yet, maybe), but am giving it my one shot to see if I can make it tonight. The design is cute but gaps are still showing, despite jamming the two bars into my mold so that they are held together by the sides of the mold. It doesn't appear that the soap became at all squishy even after 20 minutes in the oven. I'm leaving it in there as the oven cools down from 200 to see if it will eventually soften up.

ETA: I'm wondering if it's because my recipe is 95% hard oils - lard and coconut.

ETA2: I am glad I only sacrificed three bars to create the two welded bars (one big, one small). 😄
 
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AliOop

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Here are my non-entry photos, and my observations :

1. As someone who can't cut straight bevels even with a wire cutter and a planner/beveler, this technique was very challenging for me. Without really straight and plumb sides, I couldn't get a snug fit to the pieces. The small size of my pieces didn't help; a design with larger pieces would probably have been much easier, since it would have allowed more surface area for better contact/gripping.

2. I had to use a LOT more water than what Grace used in the videos. My soap needed a very softened layer on the top before it would even sort of stick together. My recipe is mostly hard oils, and I'm guessing that had something to do with why it didn't stick as easily without gobs of water to soften up the fresh soap.

3. I crammed my bars into the bottom of my small loaf mold. This was a nice way to hold them together in the oven.

4. My soap didn't soften in the oven. I ended up doing 40 minutes on 200, and it was barely soft to the touch. My oven is spot-on for temperature, so my guess again is the hard oils were the culprit. If I were planning a new batch just for this challenge, I'd do a recipe with more soft oils, and leave out the SL, or any hardening ingredient that you might use in your regular recipe, such as beeswax.

5. My attempts at post-cook planing caused the rim to break in places, and further exposed the seam gaps. It also smeared some of the soap across the front, but I was hesitant to plane more and have more breakage.

6. The first two pics show the intended fronts, which were set face-up in the mold. The next two pics show the intended backs, which were face-down in the mold. That taught me that I should have put the soap with the front facing down, because the mold bottom served to flatten out the soap face and fill in the seams a bit. That's my theory as to why the back of the soap shows a much better fit than the front. Another possibility would be to wedge something flat on the top-facing part of the soap, like a piece of cardboard perhaps.

Just my observations; YMMV. I did like my concept of a rimmed, welded soap, and I liked the look of the bars I combined. But my bad planing skills + non-softening soap left me with less than stellar results. Still, I'm glad I tried it. Good luck everyone, and I can't wait to see your entries!

IMG_0948.JPGIMG_0946.JPGIMG_0947.JPGIMG_0945.JPG
 
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szaza

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I've been having a hard time motivating myself to make soap lately (not just for this challenge, I seem to have temporarily run out of soaping juice) but I promised myself to try this technique at least once so my 3 colors of soap are finally in the mold. I hope to cut and weld them tomorrow.
 

earlene

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The Entry window is now closed. The link to the voting at Survey Monkey and the password will be sent out to those who signed up within the next few minutes. Voting is open for the next 3 days and the winner will be announced at closing or when all have voted, if that occurs prior to Aug 1, 2020 at 3 am GMT (which is 10 pm CT on July 31st - sorry if I got that wrong previously - I hope I have it right now.)

The entry thread can be found at this link: Entry Thread for July 2020 SMF Challenge: Welded Soap

Good luck to all who entered. Lovely entries, everyone!


OOOPS! My mistake! I got the times mixed up! The entry window is NOT yet closed. PLEASE DISREGARD that voting link. I have disabled it!

Entries can still be submitted until approximately 1 am CT July 29th or 6 am GMT July 29th.
I am terrible with this time zone stuff! I am sorry for jumping the gun! I thought I was late, and here I am early. So sorry.

Please submit more entries, folks!
 
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Anstarx

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Oh no! I was just going to post my pic. Guess I missed the dealine again :eek: Curse my procrasination for not posting it yesterday. Ah well, guess I will just post it in the gallery then.
 

earlene

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Oh no! I was just going to post my pic. Guess I missed the dealine again :eek: Curse my procrasination for not posting it yesterday. Ah well, guess I will just post it in the gallery then.

I am so sorry for causing you distress, Anstarx! It is my fault, not yours. You can still post your entry.


To everyone:


OOOPS! My mistake! I got the times mixed up! The entry window is NOT yet closed. I have disabled the voting link I sent out!

Entries can still be submitted until approximately 1 am CT July 29th or 6 am GMT July 29th.
I am terrible with this time zone stuff! I am sorry for jumping the gun! I thought I was late, and here I am early. So sorry.

Please submit more entries, folks!
 

Anstarx

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I am so sorry for causing you distress, Anstarx! It is my fault, not yours. You can still post your entry.


To everyone:


OOOPS! My mistake! I got the times mixed up! The entry window is NOT yet closed. I have disabled the voting link I sent out!

Entries can still be submitted until approximately 1 am CT July 29th or 6 am GMT July 29th.
I am terrible with this time zone stuff! I am sorry for jumping the gun! I thought I was late, and here I am early. So sorry.

Please submit more entries, folks!
Ah it's okay. Timezone is pretty confusing lol. Thanks for clarifying. Guess i still have time to participate.
 

earlene

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Now the entry window is closed.

The link for voting and password has gone out to all participants.

Voting is open until Aug 1, 2020 at 3 am GMT (which is 10 pm CT on July 31st). The winners will be announced immediately thereafter unless all votes are in beforehand, in which case the winners may be announced sooner.

Thank you to all who participated and good luck to all who entered.
 

earlene

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And the winners are:

1st place: Szaza
2nd place: MarnieSopien
and tied for 3rd place:
bookreader451
and
Anstarx

Congratulations and thank you for participating!
 

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