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Teach Soap • View topic - "The Tank" Vexing calling on all pros please

Teach Soap

Soap Making Recipes, Tips and Tutorials
It is currently Wed Sep 23, 2020 1:26 am

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2016 8:21 am 

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2016 7:52 am
Posts: 69
I know I have all ready asked this question but this has not been resolved by the maker or myself. I have a 12 wire cutter I bought off etsy by Ploughboy. My bars are weighing between 4.30 to 4.80, what a ridiculous rang! I placed an order just now with For Craft's Sake (8 weeks out at least) for the Tank and the owner is concerned that I will have the same problems with the tank and is wondering if it's my soap recipe. I'm not sure how that can be. She asked me if the wires are the same distance and they are. However I told her that when I tighten the wires they go slack immediately. I always have to go back and re-tighten at least three more times and than hurry and cut before they go slack again. Could this be the issue? Ploughboy said he would take back the cutter but than I'll be out of a cutter for 8 weeks. I never got good results cutting soap by hand as far as consistent weight goes. my recipe is:
32.36% olive oil
32.36 % coconut oil
11.97% palm
6.15 % shea butter
1.30% castor oil.
I never have a problem with saponifying, everything gels nicely and I get good soap. Irena, any thoughts?
If I HAD to cut by hand what can I rig up temporarily to cut my bars and what the heck is going on?
Here is the one I'm using now that's giving me issues.

Also, what do you think of the cutter from http://soapequipment.com/soaploafcutter/


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2016 4:44 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 09, 2014 6:14 pm
Posts: 68
Location: Charlotte, NC
It sounds like your wires may be too stretched out to be effective any longer. Do you untighten them after using it to cut soap, or leave them tight? Most wires used on soap cutters are basically the same as guitar wires. They get stretched out too much with repeated use, especially if you leave them tightened between uses. I have a similar cutter as the one in the picture, but from Bud Haffner. It's several years old, but still as good as ever. I've never replaced the wires, and have never had tension problems. You might want to try changing the wires on your cutter first, and see if that solves your problem.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2016 6:01 pm 

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2016 7:52 am
Posts: 69
Thanks Kelly but the one pictured IS Bud's and it's only 3 months old. Also I bought a second one after returning the one picutured by someone Bud recommended and it's only 1 month old and yes, I do release the tension. I can't wait 8 weeks for a 'tank' so I went ahead and ordered from Soap Equipment. The woman on the phone told me that the guitar setup type of cutters don't hold tension because they have the guitar turn key and they are meant to have flex in them. The type of "key" they use does not slip. When I tighten them IMMEDIATELY they slip. I go back through all twelve keys 3x to keep them tight. Like i said, I only just got this in the mail last month. These are great for folks who are not selling their soap, but not for me. Thank you for replying, I do appreciate it.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2016 11:07 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2008 11:14 pm
Posts: 24336
Location: Mistress Of Lather
I'm not familiar with this cutter. I have the true Tank from For Craft Sake. It gets used a lot. I have not had to tighten the wires after 5 years.

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Irena
Closed minds are like faulty parachutes; they refuse to open.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2016 6:41 am 

Joined: Thu May 16, 2013 2:57 pm
Posts: 238
I have 2 cutters made by Bud, and have never had any tension problems with the keys. They do have to be tightened one at a time, and since the frame is wood , it will flex a bit, allowing a tight key to appear loose. I crank a couple each starting at one end, then crank again starting from the other end. Works perfectly for a tiny fraction of the cost of the tank, and I use them every single day for the last 4 years. I have broken one string in that time.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2016 7:59 am 

Joined: Sat Aug 09, 2014 6:14 pm
Posts: 68
Location: Charlotte, NC
Just brainstorming a bit on what the issue might be, and thought I'd toss out some possibilities.

How long after you make soap are you waiting to cut it? I noticed you said you gelled, so maybe you are waiting too long?
Are you tightening the wires enough the first time? They should have a higher pitched sound when tightened and ready to cut
Are you applying even pressure on the cutter while cutting so the wires don't wiggle around?

You can use a wire cheese cutter to cut by hand, or a miter box and long drywall scraper. They both work, but I found that prefer the multi-wire cutters.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2016 8:25 am 
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Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2010 7:14 am
Posts: 6158
Location: Jefferson City, TN

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Linda
I know the voices in my head aren't real, but they sure have some great ideas!



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2016 8:21 am 

Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 6:09 pm
Posts: 34
Location: Midwest
My bars differ in weight either because of my cutting, because of the tops, the mold isn't completely level, the liner creates small folds, etc. are you 100 percent sure it is the cutter and not the soap that is causing the weight difference?


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