21 March 2012

how to build a soap mould / mold

So as I wrote the title of this post, I was stumped on the mold v.s. mould spelling. I guess it's just another British vs American thing. I really thought the fuzzy stuff on your fruit was spelled one way and the thing I'm referring to is spelled the other way. Or is it?? 

So I just googled soap mould, and they insisted on changing my spelling to mold. Is that because Google is American? or because I'm wrong? Whatever.

Wood makes the best soap mould, because it insulates the soap, allowing the saponification process to finish slowly, and completely. They are usually lined with parchment paper, to make it easier to remove the soap once it's hardened. That's also the reason I wanted to make removable sides.

So here's what you need to build a 2lb soap mould, with inside dimensions 7" long x 4" wide x 3.5" high:
  • 1x6
  • 1x4
  • 4x dowel screws (small, to fit in the end of the 1x4)
  • 4x wingnuts (to fit the dowel screws)
  • 4x washers
  • saw
  • sandpaper
  • wood glue
  • finishing nails
  • cordless drill
  • drill bit the same size as the screw
  • drill bit slightly larger than the screw


Cut 2 - 7" pieces of 1x4, 2 - 7" pieces of 1x6, and 2 - 5.5" pieces of 1x6.

Sand the rough edges.

A 7" piece of 1x6 will be the bottom of the box. Use wood glue and finishing nails to attatch the 2 -7" 1x4s as sides.

While the glue is still wet and the sides are still a bit flexible, hold the 5.5" end piece in place, and drill holes with the smaller bit, where you want your dowel screws to be, through, into the end of the 1x4. Try to make it as rectangular as possible. I know mine's not all that perfectly rectangular, but what's it really matter? It's soap.

Use the larger drill bit to enlarge the holes in the 5.5" piece.

Screw the wingnut onto the bolt end of the dowel screw.

Remove the drill bit from your drill, and put the dowel screw into the drill. Drill the screws into the ends of both of the 1x4s.

Remove the wingnuts, place the 5.5" 1x6 on the box, on the screws, and close the side with the washers and wingnuts.

Repeat for the other side.

The other 7" 1x6 makes a simple lid, to keep the soap insulated. Once you've made your soap, you're going to have to slice it. This is also a reason for having a mould with removable sides. If you remove one of the sides, then you can use the mould as a sort of mitre box, using a drywall finishing knife to cut.

Easy peasy, step one of soapmaking done. If only I can manage to get it away from the kids who are using it as a castle dungeon for dolls. :)

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