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FAQ - General Information about Soap Cutters and Soap Molds and Soap Mold Liners

AIr Soap Cutter and Mold

Air Soap Cutter™

Shown with Optional Stand and Model ACM1C Soap Mold

 

Professional Manual Soap Cutter

Manual Soap Cutter™

Shown with Loaf Grid

 

Large Soap Mold

Manual Soap Cutter™ Mold

Pro-Mold Release Paper

Pro-Mold Release Paper

and Cutter

 

Diagram of the

Layout of loaves, in one cell of the

Manual Soap Cutter™ Mold

Manual Soap Cutter-Cell Grid Loaves

Click Image to Enlarge

Diagram of the

Layout of bars, in one cell of the

Manual Soap Cutter™ Mold

Manual Soap Cutter-Cell Grid Bar

Click Image to Enlarge

Question:

A brief explanation of cutting procedures for all soap cutters:

Answer:

Our Soap Cutters are engineered & machined to precise requirements. The Soap Cutters provide ease of use, precision soap cutting & durability. Both the Air Soap Cutter™ & the Manual Soap Cutter™ are designed to produce bars using two frames, one for loaves & one for bars.

 

The loaf-cutting frame is used first. This cuts the soap block into precise loaves to the size of your bar in width & length (from the view of looking at the face of your bar). A cutting table is grooved to match the same grid pattern as the cutting frame. The block is placed upon this surface & positioned (note: on the Air Soap Cutter™ this is automatically positioned). The loaf-cutting frame is lowered down to the surface of the block & checked for correct position & the cut is made.

 

After removing the loaves of soap from the soap cutter, the loaf frame is removed as well as the loaf-cutting table. The bar-cutting table is then placed on the locating pins & the loaves are positioned on their side & stacked on the table for the optimum cut, side to side. You may stack the loaves several wide & as high as the cutting length will allow. The bar frame is then brought down to the soap surface & checked for position & then the cut is made. The soap is always removed first, & then the cutting frames then the cutting tables.

 

Specific molds are made for each cutter although the manual soap cutter mold can be used effectively with an Air Soap Cutter™, if this is purchased at a later date. Manual Soap Cutter™ molds are designed with two cells. Two pours, one to each side can be made. Overall mold dimensions are based on your choice of bar size & are optimized to give you the highest level of efficiency.

 

Air Soap Cutter™ molds are one cell only & use a grooved bottom, matching the loaf-cutting frame. This doubles as the mold bottom & the cutting table. Locating pins in the gliding table of the Air Soap Cutter™ position the mold bottom/cutting table when the entire mold is placed on the gliding table. The mold is then disassembled, sides & ends, removed. The gliding table is then pushed back under the raised loaf-cutting frame & locked in position. From here, the procedure is the same as the Manual Soap Cutter™.

Pro-Mold Release Paper

Pro-Mold Release Paper

and Cutter

Question:

Brief explanation on the use of Custom Soap Molds:

Answer:

All soap molds are 15 " (40 cm) high. (Pouring depth is no higher than 13 in or 34.29 cm) All use threaded rods & wing nuts to lock them together. Soap Mold components are grooved to fit precisely & nest together. All molds are constructed of " High Density Plastic. They are very durable & built to last. Even though the material is considered non-stick, with soap it is not. Below is our recommended method for release but do not let this prevent you from experimenting.

 

We highly recommend the use of our Special Release, Liner Paper to line the Soap Molds. You may also use a plastic coated freezer or parchment paper. Both are available at restaurant suppliers. A thin coating of shortening, using a plastic spackling knife - 4" to 6" (10-15 cm) - available at a local hardware store - to smooth out the paper works very well. You can pre-cut the bottom pieces; the sides & ends or you can cut the paper to wrap all the sides & ends in one piece. Simply roll it up; set it on the bottom & starting in one corner, work the paper around, tucking the paper tightly into the corners with the putty knife. Using a razor blade knife, trim off excess paper at the top & at the overlap (Note: our liner is already pre-cut to the right height). Just drop the pre-cut bottom in the mold & smooth out. The shortening can be added to several times, then scraped off after several uses & replaced.

 

You also use a paper on the bottom of the Air Soap Cutter™ molds, even though they are grooved for the wires. The paper simply depresses & allows the wire to pass the soap. This paper makes it much easier for the loaves to be removed.

AIr Soap Cutter and Mold

Air Soap Cutter™

Professional Manual Soap Cutter

Manual Soap Cutter™

Question:

Soap Cutter Capacities:

Answer:

Manual Soap Cutter™s, generally cut blocks around 35 to 40 lbs (15.8 kg to 18.1 kg). The size varies, due to the bar size and to the number of loaves but they average around 9 in x 9 in (23 cm x 23 cm), give or take an inch. The maximum block that can be cut is 12” x 12”. (30.48 cm x 30.48 cm). This is a very large block of soap and weighs about 60 lbs (27 kg). Since the cut is made manually, we recommend staying around a 35 lb to 40 lb, (15.8 kg to 18.1 kg) block weight. A major part of production efficiency is ease of use and of course, operable by anyone that may use the equipment.

 

Air Soap Cutter™s are capable of cutting more than 120 lbs (54.43 kg), using 600 lbs (272 kg) of cutting force. We try to stay with a design of 85 to 100 lbs (38.5 kg to 45.4 kg) as this makes for easier handling, therefore greater efficiency.

 

Our soap making equipment is customized to fit to your soap cutting needs & bar size. This soap making equipment is standardized in overall size & general design for the best dollar valve, but allows us to customize your bar size, cutting frame & mold capacities.

 

You may also purchase extra cutting frames for these soap cutters to produce for example; sample bars, hotel sizes, special customer sizes, etc. Remember! You may be able using the same grids used for your standard bar size to cut samples or different sizes by just shifting the soap on the tables to different positions.

Pro-Mold Release Paper

Pro-Mold Release Paper

and Cutter

Question:

I am intrigued with the silicone liners. It seems to me to be a great solution to the problem of fitting liners for each batch. What do you think about silicone liners for the larger production shops where you have provided the soapmaking equipment?

Answer:

The silicone seems to work okay for hobbyists and small batch production. We have not found that to be the case ourselves, but we do see people using this liner method. Silicone tears, degrades over time and, of course, is expensive. For a large block pour with a Manual Soap Cutter™ Mold, it is just too easy to line a soap mold, versus having to handle and wrangle around a 40 lb block of soap to remove the liner.

We have tried about everything out there. We were building professional soap cutters long before anyone else. If silicone was a viable solution for Large Batch SoapMaking, guaranteed we would have been the first to have perfected it. If you could take a poll of all the SoapMakers out there, you would find that 90% of the companies making large batches and pouring 500 lbs or more of soap per week are using paper liners.

 

Both of our Pro-Cutters are designed to load easily, either by sliding the block onto a Manual Soap Cutter™ Loaf Table or by setting onto the Air Soap Cutter™ Rolling Table, to cut right from the mold bottom itself. Silicone is too fragile to allow a 40 lb block of soap to be pushed around, while it is sitting on top of it (Manual Soap Cutter™). Having silicone rubber on the bottom of either types of Molds (Air Soap Cutter™ or Manual Soap Cutter™) would prevent the wires from passing through the block of soap into the grooves.

 

The reason things like lining, stirring, heating oils, mixing lye, etc. got put into the category of being a hassle by the Handcrafted SoapMaker, is probably because no one got fed up enough to step back and look at it another way and to find a more efficient way to do it. We just happen to be the first to do so. Take for example, weighing and heating oils; before we started supplying Oil Heaters, people were doing this one batch at a time. It would take hours just heating oils to mix a few batches. Now, all the oils are mixed and heated for a number of batches all at once. Not only are they heated more efficiently, with less energy but in much less time. The SoapMaker also saves time in measuring both, in and out, of the Oil Heater.

 

With liners, you would do the same thing, pre-cut lots of liners. It only takes two sizes, one for the bottom the other for the perimeter. The height of the liner is already pre-cut. With a template for the soap mold bottom and a simple mark on the table for the length of the perimeter liner, you can make a hundred sets in a few hours. It takes 30 seconds to line a soap mold if you take the time to get the procedure down-pat. You get excellent release both from the soap and from the mold. It makes a very tight corner, adheres tightly to the soap mold, it is wrinkle free, does not outgas, does not need to be washed and does not matter if you get a little tear in it.

 

Here is a list of what we have seen over the years on liners and soap mold materials, and our opinion of them. This is based on using in professional soap molds, under constant use.

 

Types of Soap Mold Liners...

 

Mylar: Releases nicely but can stick a little. Do not wrinkle it or it will remain there and is very difficult to flatten. Hard to get to stick to the mold if too thick and soap sometimes gets behind the plastic, ruining part of the batch.. Wires will not press down into it to allow a clean cut on the bottom.

 

Silicone: Releases very well and seems to stick to the mold side well. Works well for small soap molds or soap molds that allow you to remove the soap by flipping it over. Will degrade over time and use, tears easily, expensive initially and with replacement. It can shrink over time if not made correctly. It can outgas depending on the type of silicone. Needs to be cleaned between uses to remove carry over fragrance. Wires will not press down into it to allow a clean cut on the bottom.

 

Thin Plastic sheets: Does not release any easier than the plastic soap mold that it is already poured in. Don't see the point as once the mold is taken apart you still have to peal off the plastic and not bend it. Difficult to hold to the soap mold sides and soap sometimes gets behind the plastic, ruining part of the batch. Wires will not press down into it to allow a clean cut on the bottom.

 

Shower curtains: We understand they release well, are cheap and you can get nice floral patterns to look at while lining. We have not tested these. Most shower curtains are made in China, out of who knows what. Most are PVC, this outgases. Not sure if the wire will press into it to allow a good clean cut on the Loaf Table.

 

Teflon: Releases okay but is known to stick to some types of soap. Do not wrinkle it or it will remain there and is very difficult to flatten. Can tear easily if thin. Hard to get to stick to the mold if too thick and soap sometimes gets behind the plastic, ruining part of the batch.. Wires will not press down into it to allow a clean cut on the bottom.

 

Shortening or oil only: Some types of soap release well with just this. Sometimes just part of the soap mold can be coated, the rest lined. Inexpensive, fast and reliable but make sure you know it will release. You can in a pinch run a wide thin blade like a drywall knife between the plastic and soap and keep a good surface.

 

Freezer paper: Releases well, adheres to the soap mold well. The only real difficulty with it is that it is thick and does not make sharp corners without extra effort. It also wrinkles badly, so it may be best to have a thin waste cut.

 

Silicone paint or painted on release agents: These eventually break down and need to be recoated. Of course when they break down, where do they go? Into the soap.

 

Types of Soap Molds...

 

Acrylic plastic: You see people popping up every several years who make these and then they fade away. They really don't release any easier than HDPE but they look pretty. Eventually, under lots of use, they break down and start cracking from the oils used in making soap, specifically the essential and fragrance oils. It is a real disservice to the unaware SoapMaker who has spent good money purchasing these. We used to make them for ourselves and when we found out what would happen under constant use, went to HDPE. The fragrance and essential oils, eventually start degrading the plastic, gradually working into it until it starts cracking.

 

Wood: Has to have some sort of liner. Breaks down over time, warps, does not stand up to professional, repeated use and will eventually have to be replaced.

 

Stainless Steel: Next to HDPE, this is the best but it is expensive both in labor and material. It also has to be insulated very well to maintain an even saponification.

 

Willow Way, LLC - Home Office

Sales, Design & Engineering

Phone: 765-530-0307

Click Here to Contact us

Home Office & Shipping Address:

520 W. Main St.

Hagerstown, IN 47346

Willow Way LLC - Arkansas Office

Custom Large Production & Systems Sales

Phone: 870-429-8230

Click Here to Contact us

Willow Way LLC - Billing

This Address is for Billing Only:

12873 W E Oler Road

Hagerstown, IN 47346

Company Phone Listings

General Sales Questions and Ordering:

765-530-0307 ext.101

Custom Large Production & Systems Sales:

870-429-8230

Tech Support:

765-530-0307 ext.105

Shipping:

765-530-0307 ext.103

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