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#### MELOC

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i'm still at the drawing board of my soap mold design, but i am picking up the tools once again and hope to get rolling really soon. i plan to build a log/loaf type of soap mold with detachable sides. i am focusing on sturdy and functional, yet simple and practical.

the latest question i am trying to answer is what is the optimal size for a bar of soap, or more to the point...what is the optimal size for the soap mold? i wish to base my design on kraft soap boxes so that the length and width of the mold allows soap to be made for those who wish to use kraft boxes.the boxes i have will hold a bar of soap that measures up to 2 5/8 inches high and 3 3/4 inches long...nearly 3 7/8 inches long.

i also wish to allow more space in the mold for the height of the bar as some folks like to "sculpt" the top, sometimes having a shape like a loaf of bread that is high in the middle. i wish to allow plenty of room on top so molds can be stacked or covered with a lid and not crush the soap.

since i am making wooden molds that will need to be lined, i plan to make them the same length as a roll of freezer paper. that should make lining them a bit easier. my roll of freezer paper is 18 inches long.

i am afraid that 18 inches may make the mold a bit too large for my 5 lb. target, so i am considering the width of the mold closely. my crude calculations estimate that a 18 inch by 3 1/2 inch mold filled to @ 2 1/2 inches will hold @ 5.3lbs.- 5.5lbs. at that fill level. i was thinking about making the inside of the mold even wider at 3 3/4 inches, but that would make the mold even bigger and require more soap to get a 2 1/2 inch height. that may not be so critical as my current soaps are 2 1/4 inches high and they seem perfect.

so i guess i am looking for input as to bar size, mold size and any info on the weight of uncured soap vs. volume to help me calculate the interior of my molds.

thanks.

#### samm

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hope this help, i found a sight that has a lye calculater, and also re sizes the recipie for your soap depending on the size of your mold...it is summerbeemeadow.com
is has been very helpful to me..... samm

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Length x width x height x .4 = the volume of oils needed to fill a mold. The actual amount will vary slightly depending on your water discount, but this will get you in the ballpark.

If you're making a mold to sell to hobby soapers, I would recommend keeping the length short enough that it will fit into a standard oven, for those who like to gel in the oven.

#### MELOC

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Length x width x height x .4 = the volume of oils needed to fill a mold. The actual amount will vary slightly depending on your water discount, but this will get you in the ballpark.

If you're making a mold to sell to hobby soapers, I would recommend keeping the length short enough that it will fit into a standard oven, for those who like to gel in the oven.
is that in pounds of oils?

#### MELOC

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ok...it must be ounces. i calculated 2.5 in. x 3.75in. x 18 in. to get 67.5

i divided by 16 and got 4.21

that's in the ballpark.

2 in. x 3.5 in. x 18 in. works out to 3.15

2.5 in. x 3.5 in. x 18 in. works out to 3.93

2 in. x 3.75 in. x 18 in. works out to 3.375

i think i will try making it 3.75 inches wide. with a minimum bar height of 2 inches, a person can make a batch as small as 3.4 lbs. or as large as 4.2 lbs. giving a bar height of @ 2.5 inches which will still fit in a kraft box.

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3.25 and 3.5 are pretty standard bar widths. One nice feature that my molds have, that you might want to repeat, is to make the position of the end pieces adjustable. That way, when adding confetti or chunks, you can adjust the mold to be longer, rather then change batch size.

Mine are (IIRC) 21" long, which makes a log up to 18" long, though I usually keep it set at 13.5".

Clear as mud?

#### MELOC

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i was planning on making the ends rigid and set firmly in place by using a dato blade on both the base and the end pieces, eventually joining them with glue and screws. i was planning on having both sides removable to aid in removing the soap. i usually don't have too many issues removing soap in a standard "shoebox" design if it is lined with freezer paper, but sometimes it does take some effort.

i thought about cutting some "blanks" that could be dropped in the ends to reduced the size. beyond taping them in place, i am still trying to decide how i could attach them when used. i doubt fixing them in place would be very critical, though.

thanks for the ideas, beaglady. i can see through mud.

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