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Mobjack Bay

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For this month’s challenge I’m planning to try making an embed. Is there a limit to how much time I have to get it to successfully meld into the main soap? I will need to sculpt it a bit before I use it. I’m asking because I’m remembering, I think, that at some point soap no longer wants to stick to other soap. Should I be spraying it with alcohol or wetting it before I add batter around it? Thanks for any tips on using embeds!
 

shunt2011

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For this month’s challenge I’m planning to try making an embed. Is there a limit to how much time I have to get it to successfully meld into the main soap? I will need to sculpt it a bit before I use it. I’m asking because I’m remembering, I think, that at some point soap no longer wants to stick to other soap. Should I be spraying it with alcohol or wetting it before I add batter around it? Thanks for any tips on using embeds!
Are you putting the embeds inside the soap or on top? If putting it inside it shouldn't be a problem with sticking. If on top you'll want to place it wile the top layer is still somewhat loose. I've sprayed them with alcohol for inside the soap and it ended up with a slight ring around it for some reason. Mind you, I've not done a whole lot with embeds. I find them to fiddly.
 

amd

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It should work fine either way - you'll want to have the embed completely done before you make your soap. I've used embeds on top and inside that are 9+ months old and had no problems with staying together. My embeds were CP as well.
 

szaza

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I've wondered the same thing! So far never had problems with embeds, but I don't use them often. I think as long as there's soap all around it should be fine, but if you're worried you could try to force gel. I think I've read about someone who 'welded' pieces of soap together by pressure and heating. If that works, I'm expecting a gel phase should be enough to make an embed surrounded by fresh soap stick for sure. (I'm sorry can't find any info anymore on the soap welding technique.. anyone know what I'm talking about and where to find it? I should really bookmark more..)
 

jcandleattic

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I've used both M&P and CP that are several months-to-years old as embeds, and have never had a problem with the soap coming apart from the embed being old.
If putting it inside it shouldn't be a problem with sticking. If on top you'll want to place it wile the top layer is still somewhat loose.
I agree with @shunt2011 on this. You should not have to worry about it at all...
 

dibbles

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@szaza this is what you were thinking of maybe?

I don't do embeds much, but I've used older soap balls and column embeds a couple of times and it worked fine. I am sure you won't have a problem with embeds that are a week or two old.
 

Mobjack Bay

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I plan to put the embed inside the body of the soap. I was mostly worrying about a time limitation for sculpting the embed. Now I have one less thing to worry about for my "one shot at it" soap :). Thanks everyone!
 

amd

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Just keep in mind that if you use a wire cutter it may not cut a "well-aged" CP embed. (ask me how I know) So you might need to plan to cut it by hand.
 

earlene

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I've wondered the same thing! So far never had problems with embeds, but I don't use them often. I think as long as there's soap all around it should be fine, but if you're worried you could try to force gel. I think I've read about someone who 'welded' pieces of soap together by pressure and heating. If that works, I'm expecting a gel phase should be enough to make an embed surrounded by fresh soap stick for sure. (I'm sorry can't find any info anymore on the soap welding technique.. anyone know what I'm talking about and where to find it? I should really bookmark more..)
I tested the welding technique with soap that was several months old. Grace (From Grace to You) explains the technique in her ebook and I wanted to try it out. I used that soap while traveling the past month or two and the welds held with no hint of pending separation. The post I did about this little test is here. Grace's ebook is here. If you look at the picture in my linked post, you will see that the soap was 9 months old when I cut it and welded it, so the age didn't matter. For more information about Grace's welding technique, see chapter 10 in her ebook. On page 67, the photo shows a heart embed in the middle of the soap. If you click on the image of the soap, it takes you to a video of her making that soap. The welded soap I made was more along the lines of the soap on page 73 in chapter 10. But the Message soap has embeds, so I thought you might find it interesting.

In any case, I wouldn't worry about the embeds sticking in CP soap as long as you gel the end product.

I have purchased MP soap that was made in layers, that did fall apart with use. So I don't trust MP to stick together well with a simple alcohol spray. But my experience with CP is, that with the soap & water as the glue + heat, is that is lasts extremely well and the soap does not fall apart.

I know some people mix and match, using MP embeds in CP soap and vise-versa. I have not tried that myself, and have no personal experience how they withstand the test of use over the life of the soap.

Edit: I should clarify that although the soap was 9 months old, I had wrapped it entirely in plastic wrap to prevent it from completely drying out. My plan in doing that was to come back to it later to use it to create an intaglio soap, with it as the center and pouring the surface with new soap. Therefore, when I did the soap welding experiment, it was not with soap that had sat through a normal cure with air flow the entire 9 months.
 
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Mobjack Bay

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Next question! (Because I don’t have an engineering degree!)

I’m going to have a tallish embed and I want it to stay as close to perfectly vertical as possible in the soap. My embed will not be symmetrical and I’m afraid it will tip. Since I have no memories of visiting the Leaning Tower of Pisa in the summer or any other season, a tipped embed is not going to work in my design. Are there any tricks I can use to hold it in place? An option that does not make the batter do all of the work would be super because I have other things in mind for the batter as I build the soap. Ideally, I would like to work at stable emulsion or light trace. The only idea I have so far is to make a fence/cage of sorts using skewers that I can lift out once the chance of tipping is past. Totally wacky idea? I think it will help that the embed will be a little bottom heavy.
 

KristaY

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@Mobjack Bay I saw that in a you tube video at some point but can't remember who did it or what exactly they did! Yes, I'm overly helpful right now, lol. The person used something like wood skewers they taped to the mold to hold them in place, then used those to keep the embeds propped in place while they created the rest of the design. I think if you play around with various tools you have on hand you'll come up with a brilliant idea to keep things in their proper place!
 

Mobjack Bay

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@Mobjack Bay I saw that in a you tube video at some point but can't remember who did it or what exactly they did! Yes, I'm overly helpful right now, lol. The person used something like wood skewers they taped to the mold to hold them in place, then used those to keep the embeds propped in place while they created the rest of the design. I think if you play around with various tools you have on hand you'll come up with a brilliant idea to keep things in their proper place!
:lol: I will take pics!
 

szaza

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Thanks @dibbles and @earlene, that was indeed what I was thinking of[emoji3526]
When I was trying to find it on google all I got was welding supplies [emoji85]
 

earlene

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Depending on how tall your embeds and mold are, you could also place something on top of the embed to hold it in place. Sort of along the lines of the idea you already had, but placing the immobilizer above the area where the raw soap will sit. I once used t.p. tubes for a design pour, but of course they rose as the raw soap was poured, so I placed heavy objects on top and that held them in place.
 

Mobjack Bay

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Depending on how tall your embeds and mold are, you could also place something on top of the embed to hold it in place. Sort of along the lines of the idea you already had, but placing the immobilizer above the area where the raw soap will sit. I once used t.p. tubes for a design pour, but of course they rose as the raw soap was poured, so I placed heavy objects on top and that held them in place.
t.p. = toothpaste tubes? You should have taken a picture of that! :)
 

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