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LBussy

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I've been kicking around some ideas for some tooling for soapmaking (probably just for myself). I was hoping to get a discussion going about what folks like and don't like about the various versions they've tried. To keep it simple maybe we just talk about single-bar cutters?

Perhaps one of the prettiest, and by a Google search, most highly respected is Bud Haffner's cutter. A couple of places look to have copied his device in it's entirety so it is arguably a successful design. If any of you have one or have used one, was there anything about it you wish was different?

Anything that strikes you as a MUST have in any cutter?

How big a bar would anyone ever likely see/need to cut?

I'm sure I'll learn a lot by making a few versions, but no matter how long I do this I'll never catch up to the experience y'all have so ... if I can miss making a few mistakes that would be sorta awesome. :)
 

shunt2011

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My husband made a single bar cutter based on Bud's for someone and they love it. The biggest problem was getting the arm to be stable and not shift from left to right when cutting. He made mine a multi bar cutter which I've loved and used for 2 1/2 years. But I now own one of Bud's new cutters and it's a beast of a machine.
 

LBussy

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My husband made a single bar cutter based on Bud's for someone and they love it. The biggest problem was getting the arm to be stable and not shift from left to right when cutting. He made mine a multi bar cutter which I've loved and used for 2 1/2 years. But I now own one of Bud's new cutters and it's a beast of a machine.
I'd read some folks having issues with the arm stability with other cutters (not Bud's though). I'm pretty sure I know how to address that.

Does the arm clear all of your bars? It looks to me like it's a 12x12 arm (8x8 clearance on the inside). Would you ever need/want more clearance?

How about the cradle, does it support all of your mold lengths?
 

shunt2011

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My husband's was pretty darn stable too. I didn't see any need for more than 8 x 8 personally. I don't do fancy high tops though so not sure. I'm sure others will pipe in with their thoughts.
 

LBussy

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I just mocked up an 8x8 opening with a mold that was a little over 4". Seemed to work well. I also tested out a pretty good method of keeping it stable so I feel good about that.

The HDPE "bed" the soap sits on, is that 3/4" thick material?
 

shunt2011

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Yes the base is 3/4. You'll have to pay a photo when you're done.
 

kchaystack

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Where do you get those HDPE pieces? Not that I'll ever build a cutter, but I was just wondering
 

boyago

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Where do you get those HDPE pieces? Not that I'll ever build a cutter, but I was just wondering
Allot of bathroom stalls are made of 1" HDPE if you have a set of security hardware bits...
I believe you can also get it from Tap plastics. But that's far less exciting than sneaking out with a stall door. I used to work in signs and our plastic suppliers sold it by the sheet, I'm pretty sure most of them also sold to the public.
 

shunt2011

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I believe my husband ordered it on line. I would have to ask him for sure though.
 

LBussy

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LBussy

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A couple more questions to anyone that has an opinion:

How much room is "enough" for the wire underneath the soap? It appears that Bud's cutter for instance has an ~3/8" groove underneath. Does that seem good? Less? More?

Is there any reason anyone would want the arm going over the top? If you are cutting slices anyway, if it cleared the cut side by a few inches, wouldn't that be okay?

Sure is great to have folks around who have at least seen some of the mistakes I might make. :)
 
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