Monday, 25 February 2013
Tuesday, 19 February 2013
Monday, 18 February 2013
Last week I spoke about my soap cutter and how I need to improve it so I could cut bars more precisely and evenly every time.
This is good old faithful that I made 1 month after I had my back operation. Maybe that is why my back has never healed properly??!! Oops.
Anyway you can see that the cutter is held together by cable ties… the solution to most problems. It really didn’t look too good so I came up with something a little more pleasing to look at. A metal bar screwed into the top section holding it together nicely and looks good too.
The next problem was how to keep the log of soap in one place without having to hold it while you are cutting.
The picture above left shows what I had added previously but I could only cut a limited size bar because the slider would only move 2 cm. On the right I was paying with some thread bar and metal corner pieces. Once I thought I had it right I cut the thread bar and wood to the correct size. I attached the corner pieces as far from the cutting sections as I could, I then threaded the bar through the holes in the corner pieces to get the right height, marked the wood and epoxied/ glued the thread bar into the wood. I attached 2 wing nuts , one on either side of the corner piece so they hold each other in place and stop the block of wood moving. Now I can slide the wood where I want it, tighten the nuts and cut to my hearts content. Perfectly sized bars every time.
Monday, 11 February 2013
When I first started making soap I did not really have any idea how I was going to cut it into bars and didn’t think it would be so hard to get it even every time. How hard can it be right? So after trying to eyeball it I decided I needed some sort of a guide to help me so I made the initial soap cutter (above). It worked really well except for a few minor issues: The soap did not stay in place and moved slightly when I was cutting it., the cutter/ blade seemed to bend during cutting so the bars were not totally straight on the edge and I had no way of measuring the cut bars – there were no markings on the cutter.
When I got busier and I was spending a lot of time cutting soap I decided to get a little more fancy and save myself some time so we built this cutter. I do love this cutter but it seems to only be good for cutting blocks of soap into logs. So once I had the logs I was back to good old faithful but had to still cut the logs into bars. I have a plan in mind for my log cutter which should help me save time but I need the time to make the adjustments.
Old faithful takes so long to cut logs into bars as each one is individually cut. I decided at Christmas to make a cutter that would save me some time. It didn’t work out exactly as I had hoped as it too needs some more thought and a few adjustments. I am working on that but in the mean time I am back to old faithful with a few adjustments to make things easier.
I added a metal corner “thingies” to keep the cutter in place as the blade that cut the wood was quite thick and my cutter had too much room to move. The next thing I did was put a “stopper” on the end the hold the soap in place and prevent it moving whilst being cut. As I did not have a lot of room to play with at the end of the cutter I had to use a very thin piece of board with a metal slider. All good so far… sort of. The sider only had 2cm of “slide” in it so I could only cut my bars a certain size and no bigger. Not that great it I wanted to be a little flexible so I had to rethink the design. I used it like this for a long time while my brain put the problem to work in the background.
The next “problem” was stability. So I improvised until I could come up with a better plan. I used cable ties to hold it together. They worked really well but didn’t look too nice.
Next week I will show you what final adjustments I made to the cutter so it is as good as you can get for an individual bar cutter. The multi cutter is still in the pipeline but at the back of my brain while I work out the kinks.
Monday, 4 February 2013
For a technique that I originally did not like I am making quite a few batches using it.
I have tried this method a few times. You can see some tutorials and escapades using this technique here, here and here. This one was my favourite from an aesthetics point of view but I had the most fun making the batch with my Dad. I enjoyed it so much I tried to recreate it but sadly I needed my sidekick as I did not have enough hands. I am happy with the results but I think Dad’s one was prettier.