Unmolding from individual carved wood molds

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Ladka

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I'm going to have individual moulds made to feature folk motives on top. I plan to have several individual moulds in one piece of wood so I can make soaps with different motives in one batch. I have not yet seen it anywhere and am afraid it may turn out difficult to get the soaps out without losing any element of the pattern.

I hope oiling the moulds and perhaps freezing the moulds with soap in them might be a good solution. Any experience out there? I wouldn't like to spend money on carved moulds that would turn out badly.
 

artemis

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I'm going to have individual moulds made to feature folk motives on top. I plan to have several individual moulds in one piece of wood so I can make soaps with different motives in one batch. I have not yet seen it anywhere and am afraid it may turn out difficult to get the soaps out without losing any element of the pattern.

I hope oiling the moulds and perhaps freezing the moulds with soap in them might be a good solution. Any experience out there? I wouldn't like to spend money on carved moulds that would turn out badly.
That sounds like it would be really hard to get out. There are ways of making your own silicon molds. I know there are people here who have done it. Maybe that would be an alternative for you.
 

BattleGnome

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Lye will eventually eat away at the wood. If you’re lucky you just will have a messed up motif, if you’re unlucky you may eventually end up with splinters.

You’d need some sort of liner, which would ruin the purpose or use Artemis’s suggestion of silicone
 

Ladka

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Thank you for the advice, I haven't thought of silicone. Will have to examine its possibilities.
 

earlene

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You can go both routes, by having the wooden molds made and use them to create a thin silicone liner to make release easy.

The wood would support the thin silicone liner while you pour the soap into the mold, but then you can remove the soap via the silicone liner for easy release.

One of my wooden molds has a very thin silicone liner that cannot stand up on its own, but when inside the wood, is used as I described.

It might be a lot of work to create the liners, but if the motifs are important to you, it may be worth the work.
 

Ladka

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Yes, I believe a thin silicone liner might be the right solution. I really do want to have those motifs imprinted on my soaps.
 

shunt2011

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I would be concerned with the reaction of the soap with the wood and not being safe. A lining would be needed. Getting the soap out would be another issue
 

Ladka

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She is a skilled carver in wood, has an Art&Craft of Slovenia certificate and is willing to carve molds with folk motifs for me. I'm not sure she will be willing to carve my shapes from paraffin. Another problem for me is I do not know where to obtain it.
 

dixiedragon

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Parrafin is available at big box craft stores.
https://www.hobbylobby.com/Crafts-H.../Candle-Making/10-Pounds-Paraffin-Wax/p/29797
It's just candle wax. We say "parraffin" vs "wax" because there's also soy wax, palm wax, candilla wax, carbanuba wax, e-wax, etc.

I would think that paraffin would be easier than wood to carve. If she only wants to carve wood, you can spray the wood with a mold release, but I'm not sure how well it will work, if the silicone will stick to it despite the release spray, etc. I've never done it, I've just been reading about it.
 

TeresaGG

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You can go both routes, by having the wooden molds made and use them to create a thin silicone liner to make release easy.

The wood would support the thin silicone liner while you pour the soap into the mold, but then you can remove the soap via the silicone liner for easy release.

One of my wooden molds has a very thin silicone liner that cannot stand up on its own, but when inside the wood, is used as I described.

It might be a lot of work to create the liners, but if the motifs are important to you, it may be worth the work.
The only problem with the lining the carved molds would be you lose detail. You could have your friend carve a positive mold that you could use brush on mold maker to make a silicone liner. Be sure to use mold release or brush well with cornstarch. You can make a very thin silicone mold as long as you have a support for it. You can use paper or cloth to reinforce your silicon to make it rigid like in paper mache. You need to let your initial coat of silicon to dry first before you start reinforcing your mold. Brick in the yard mold Supply has a wonderful YouTube channel showing mold making techniques. The wonderful thing about having a carved positive as a master is you can make multiple molds and can pour larger batches and still have all of that wonderful detail.
 

earlene

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I was thinking of using the wooden carvings as the material in which to pour the positive cast, then using that to make the silicone liner with. But to start with a carving that is the positive in the first place, would save a step, certainly.
 

penelopejane

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If your friend can carve wood then they can carve plasticine far more easily. Use sulphur free plasticine and then make a silicone molds using the carved plasticine.
Look up the “brick” site listed above or just google mold making.

Wood is not the material to use.
 

TeresaGG

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What is plasticine?
It is and air drying modeling material. Think Play-Doh consistency except made out of different materials. It is smoother and won't dissolve once dry. I think it also may be less prone to cracking as it dries.
It might work for these purposes. Most likely molded to the general shape and then carved for the fine details.
However wood will work just fine. It will need to be finished. And sprayed with mold release before any silicone is put on it for the mold making.
 

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