Who has the best price for molds? Or should I build my own?

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gigisiguenza

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Any suggestions on the best place to find molds at an affordable price? I've seen some of the prices on some sites and they are way too much.

I've got a little extra cash coming to me this week and I'm thinking of investing in a good mold. I like slabs, because they allow me to do more in the way of patterns, but I'm game to get a loaf mold and try that too.

If I knew how to cut acrylic I would make my own, but I think the cost of the materials and tools might negate any savings from making it myself.

TIA :)
 

tbeck3579

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When Joann's or Michael's has a coupon for 50% off one regular priced item you can get silicone molds really cheap. They are one of the few things that aren't perpetually on sale which makes a "regular price" coupon invalid. You can probably get one of those coupons now by visiting their web site.
 

commoncenz

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Kind of depends on what you are looking for. I bought my first mold from Candles and Woodcrafts and I'm pretty happy with it. The price was right, but because of the low price and the fact that they were just getting back to making molds, I had a fair wait til it got to me. It's possible that they have caught up with orders by now. And as I said, I'm pretty happy with the mold. One thing they could offer is dividers for their slabs. But, I've heard that all dividers warp after awhile.

Now, if low price and dividers is something you want in a slab, there is a lady who runs a Facebook page who offers them at very reasonable prices. I'm unsure about providing links in threads that aren't in the "shopping recommendations" part of the forum, so if you want links to either or both of these places, PM me.
 

not_ally

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If you have/have access to a saw/tools and are willing to line, making a wood mold is a good idea if you are a DIY adept. Anything else (silicone, acrylic, whatever) absolutely is cheaper and easier to buy from the folks who actually do those things, believe me. I have buttloads of materials that I bought thinking that I would be the mold making maven, and it is so not worth it. At some point I will probably force my local and crafty smf friends to help me to use them (sea, jen, I am talking about you:), but really, it is kind of a pain.

Silicone molds are *so * much easier, it might be best to wait to buy those, although I know the wood purists will differ.
 

commoncenz

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I didn't know I was a wood purist until I bought my first wood mold. Now, when it's time to soap I look at the silicone molds and square tupperware container I used to use and go ... *Pfffffffffft* ... LOL
 

not_ally

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Patrick, do you really prefer wood to silicone? I always wish that I could (I am not even sure why, guess I just want to be a hard core traditonalist soaper) but the latter is so much easier. I would be interested in hearing from one of the mavens on this, though, there must be a reason it is worth it to line.

Insulation, other things?
 
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commoncenz

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I do prefer wood to silicone. First reason is that it makes me slow down. Can't just run some mineral oil around the mold and go. And I'm still so slow with lining the thing that it makes me slow down and think about what I want to try to accomplish with my soap that day or go over the "plan" in my head again while I'm lining. Second reason is that it just seems easier to control gelling or not gelling than my silicone mold. With the recipe I've been using recently, all I have to do is throw a heating pad under the mold for about 1/2 an hour and a towel over the top and I'm gonna get a nice gel. With the Silicone, I had to take so many steps to keep it insulated that my batter sometimes overheated.

Now, the final reason is that it just gives me a greater sense of satisfaction using the wood mold. That's a big part of why I soap ... that feeling of satisfaction knowing I made "this" with "my own hands". And if something adds to that feeling, I'm going to keep doing it. Lining the mold, smelling the wood when I'm lining it, undoing the pegs and lowering the hinges when I unmold, cleaning the mold even ... it all just adds to that feeling of "craftsmanship" and satisfaction I get when soaping. I hope I've explained that adequately ... for some reason, I feel that I haven't.
 

OliveOil2

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I used to wonder why everyone liked wood, I did everything possible to avoid cutting a loaf, now that I have used wood I understand the reason. But I do not line my molds, I use silicone liners, my first ones were very inexpensive from Bramble Berry, the 5lb size was $15, they are a little floppy, but work great. I used them for 2 years and gave them to my friend who has been using them for a year.
If I made soap that didn't gel, then I would be looking at something other than wood, the beauty of wood is how it holds the heat in.
 

KristaY

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My very first molds are wood that hubby built for me. They aren't fancy or pretty like many others I've seen for sale but they work just dandy for me. Also, they didn't cost me anything because I was able to use scrap pieces of wood we had lying about. Yes, I have to line them with freezer paper but I don't really mind doing it. They hold 5lbs of soap batter as opposed to the 3lb silicone molds I have so size is a consideration. Also, if you're going to build your own, you can make the dimensions any size you like so you end up with a tall, skinny bar, square bar or wide and short. It can hold 2lbs or 10lbs of batter (or anything in between). Basically when you build your own, you get to decide exactly what you want from it so there's a lot of satisfaction in that. :)
 

cmzaha

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I happen to love my hdpe log molds, I might have to line them, but they are sturdy and I can easily wash them. I wash all my molds after un-molding my soaps and will take the time to line 10 of them at once, so I always have lined molds. No, they are not "no line" as advertised...
 

rainycityjen

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I've purchased 2 wood loaf molds from Etsy; they're nice solid wood and came in the big 3.5" x 4" size I like. They insulate well. Pretty cost-effective too, although I wish they'd gone the extra effort to give it a little p/u coating or something, and I might have to do that myself. No matter how tight my liners, I still get soak-through.

Other than that all my molds are silicone and from various thrift stores, with the exception of one cavity mold I wanted from BB. I can't keep myself from bringing cheap silicone molds home, it's a disease. :)
 

Lynusann

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I agree that wood molds are far superior. I love the bars that come out of my wood molds far more than my silicone molds but I do have small silicone molds for running test batches and trying new techniques so if it goes sideways on me I didn't waste that much soap. My wood molds i built myself and they are huge. 12+ lbs each so I get a good 20-30 bars from them depending on how thick I cut. I also agree with not_ally that making your own silicone molds is not more cost effective. I made the mistake of buying a bunch of stuff too and my molds were complete rubbish. So i was out the money I spent on making it and I still had to go buy a mold...

By the way... My new favorite "slab" mold is a taped up pizza box. DH loves his domino's pizzas so when I asked him to buy pizza the other night he got ecstatic (I'm veg/vegan so he rarely gets to eat that stuff) and he just had to save me the box.
 

gigisiguenza

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So wood is good for insulating, which I knew, but it's also got the advantage of being durable, easily built in custom sizes, and affordable.

Silicone is readily available, not as cheap and not easily DIY, but if you're a non-gelled soaper, much easier to keep cool n prevent heating up.

Acrylic is pricey, not easily DIY either, but requires no lining and has more durable dividers.

And pizza boxes make great slab molds LOL.

You guys rock... I've got a lot to think about before investing in a mold... and I think I'm gonna get me some pizza boxes from the pizza place up the street hahaha.
 

navigator9

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I love a wood mold with a silicone liner. When Nurture Soaps has a sale, their silicone liners are a good bargain. I have no woodworking background at all, and managed to make my own wooden box for the liner I got there. If I can do it, anyone can! And if you make your own wooden box, then it makes silicone molds really affordable.
 

shunt2011

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I use wood lined with silicone. My husband made all my molds to fit the Brambleberry silicone liners. As stated they are flimsy but for 15.00 I just use binder clips to hold them to the sides. I've been using them for a long time now and when they stretch out too much just discard. I get many many uses out of them though.
 

Seawolfe

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I still prefer my wood mold with paper liner. I love the insulation and sturdiness of the wood, and how it seems to let the soap breathe. I love lining the mold with paper. And I love the nice clean sides with the paper. Plus when I unmold the soap I have a little paper work area for the soap.
 

kumudini

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I love my HDPE molds, they are so easy to work with. I recently bought a CC silicone mold. Both the batches I made in it, when unmolding, bits of soap on the bottom decided to stay back so I got a very uneven bottom surface despite super crisp sides.May be I rushed it, next time I could probably stick it in the fridge for few hours before unmolding, but I don't see my self reaching for it too often in the future.
In terms of cost, I found that a simple search on etsy will give you plenty of options to consider and once you narrow down your choice, you can always come back here for opinions. Hope you will end up with a mold you will love to use.
 
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Stacyspy

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I like to use my silicone log molds for my HP soaps. I like the finished look of them, and because the batter's already warm, I rarely have ungelled soap. I use a wooden slab mold for CP. DH made my molds with scrap wood we had laying around, so I only had to buy the hardware, which was about 7 bucks. I line mine with freezer paper also, it took a bit to figure out, but it really does give you extra time to go over things in your head.
 

Dahila

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We had a long thread about building our own, I can not find it. My husband build one for me it opens on every side so is very easy to use it. It was not cheap but it is oak and it will last forever:))
 

Obsidian

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I love my wood loaf molds for the reasons already mentioned. I love that I can go down in the basement and make one of any size I want with scrap wood. They are my favorite and if I had to choose just one mold, it would be my newest 3.5 lb tall & skinny I made recently.

I do want to invest in a nice sturdy tall & skinny silicone mold someday though. I have various individual silicone molds that I love and one small slab mold that is great too.
The one thing I don't like about my silicone is I often forget to set them on a cookie sheet before I fill them and then they are next to impossible to move since they are flexible.
If you ever plan to make salt bars, its worth it to invest in some kind of individual mold.
 

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