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Tips on diagonal cuts?

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PieBorg

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I've been doing HP for a couple of decades, but I'd like to try CP again. The design I have in my head would require a diagonal cut. Does anyone have any tips for cutting a whole loaf on a 45 degree diagonal? I'd like to put half the diagonally-cut loaf back into the mold and pour another half in a different color, replacing the half that was cut away, if that makes sense.

I can see myself really flubbing this up. Should I stand the loaf on end and cut straight down, corner to corner? Any tricks for keeping the cut straight if I do it that way? My eye/hand coordination isn't good enough to get a straight cut like that with a knife. If I thought I would be doing a lot of diagonal designs, I would probably make some sort of rig for it, but this is just a test batch to see if CP is as much fun as you all make it sound, lol!

Thanks in advance for any help/suggestions/not laughing at me!
 

dibbles

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This is a good video about how to do what I think you want. Alternately, you can just put your mold on an angle and pour half in one color. Use a FO that accelerates some, but not crazy fast and add it to the batter just before you pour. That will help the batter set up. Then place your mold flat and add the FO to the other half of the batter and pour that. (And CP is as much fun as it sounds.)
 

jcandleattic

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Seems like it would be easier to pour in layers. I do a diagonal soap design where I pour the first layer with the mold sitting at a 45° angle, then I clean it up, and once it's solid enough to hold it's shape, I set it upright then pour the second layer. Not hard at all. Just takes patience
 

PieBorg

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@dibbles Yes, that's very similar to what I want to do. I see that in the video, she does indeed stand the loaf on end and cut corner to corner. Not sure why she cuts the loaf in half first, but maybe it's just easier to work with that way. If there were no straight lines involved, I could tip the mold and start pouring, but gotta get those lines straight.

I realize this may be an overly ambitious project for someone inexperienced with CP, but **** the torpedoes, full speed ahead, lol! I don't sell, so if it comes out all wonky, I'm sure my family will forgive me. Regardless of how it turns out, I'll have fun doing it.

Thanks for the replies!
 

moodymama

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You could make a wood jig, attach 2 pieces for a angle, attached to flat piece of wood to set the loaf in and slide it through one of those wire soap cutters. I plan to do that type of soap design too but will build my jigs first. There's a really primitive looks at what I'd make.
 

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amd

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There's also a Royalty Soap video (I think two years ago) that shows very nicely how it's done. Speaking from personal experience, it really doesn't matter if the cut is perfectly straight, as long as it's a level cut, it will still look like a clean diagonal line in the soap. Here's one I did two weeks ago, it was horribly wiggly, but once the bars were cut you couldn't tell at all.
upload_2020-3-6_13-8-36.png
I used a cake leveler and followed the Royalty Soap method (my leveler came with two strings across it so I removed one so it is a single string). It does work much better with smaller loaves, so if you can get them to 6-9" loaves that will help a lot. I tried it with a 12" and it didn't go as smoothly as the shorter blocks.
 

PieBorg

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@moodymama That's a great diagram! A jig like that would be really helpful and might become a necessity if I decide to do a lot of diagonal designs. I'll look around and see if I have enough scrap wood to build a jig like that.

@amd Love your soap! Thanks for explaining why the loaf was cut in two in the video. That's good to know. I think I'm going to try either a guitar string or fishing line to cut mine. By the way, that's beautiful beveling on your soap!
 

amd

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I think I'm going to try either a guitar string or fishing line to cut mine. By the way, that's beautiful beveling on your soap!
You will need to have either very steady hands to manage the guitar string/fishing line, or set it up in a device to cut it - such as a saw with the blade removed.
upload_2020-3-9_9-30-27.png
Speaking from experience, I could never get close to straight cuts using dental floss and hand holding. I did try my first diagonal cut with a knife and ended up with such a hacked up cut that it looked horribly wonky in the finished soap.

Bevels: vegetable peeler :D I usually bevel the day after cutting, but my soap is quite firm, so a softer soap might do better closer to a finished cure.
 

PieBorg

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My best bet is probably to go ahead and make a 45 degree jig. It could hold the mold at the correct angle for diagonal pouring and hold a loaf at that same angle for cutting. If I do it right, the top edges of the jig could be used as a cutting guide. Right at this moment, I think I could manage a nice, straight cut with guitar string, but if I'm wrong, it won't be the first time I thought I could do something that I actually can't, lol! I thought I could bevel my soaps with a vegetable peeler too, but I ended up being too aggressive with it and carving off waaaaaay too much soap. Not a nice look.
 
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