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Steelforge
09-14-2006, 06:55 AM
Hi folks,

When I started wetshaving a few weeks ago, the first soap I bought was AOS Lavender in the beautiful (but useless) wooden bowl. Whilst I really like this soap, I don't often use it as it's messy as hell to work up a bit of lather on the top - even for transferring to a bowl.

Anyway I knocked the cake out of the wooden bowl and have been searching for something nice to put it in. I managed to buy this cool Old Spice 1960's shaving mug on Ebay yesterday for not much money.

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&ih=004&item=140028071369

Ideally when it arrives, I'd like to melt the AOS Lavender cake so it bonds and forms to the bottom of the mug. Can I just warm it in the microwave like with Mama-Bear soaps, or is it a vastly different formulation which will be damaged in my microwave?

If so, any other ways to melt it? I was wondering if placing the cake in the bowl and then floating the bowl in boiling/simmering water until the cake melts would do the trick?

Obviously I don't want to ruin a nice and expensive puck of soap! :eek:

Any ideas?

Thanks,

Iwan :smile:

ada8356
09-14-2006, 07:17 AM
I'm certainly no pro, but I don't believe you can melt milled soaps like you can the glycerin based soaps.

Jim
09-14-2006, 07:36 AM
Grate it with a cheese grater or mill first and to be safe use a double boiler and keep stirring -if its a milled soap the micro will burn it before it melts. The "magic" temp is 150-160 I have been told...YMMV

Steelforge
09-14-2006, 07:52 AM
Sorry, what's a double boiler? Could I just grate the cake up and then put the shavings in the mug, and stand the mug in a pan of water on the stove? I'm not sure if that would get it hot enough. Could I add something like sugar to the water to raise the boiling point of the water?

Jim
09-14-2006, 08:13 AM
Sorry, what's a double boiler? Could I just grate the cake up and then put the shavings in the mug, and stand the mug in a pan of water on the stove? I'm not sure if that would get it hot enough. Could I add something like sugar to the water to raise the boiling point of the water?

Thats a double boiler just dont put the mug on the bottom of the pan-use a couple of chopsticks or whatnot- DONT BOIL- 150-160 degrees or you will ruin it.
good luck

Steelforge
09-14-2006, 08:31 AM
Ah I see, I know this method as the "water bath" rather than "double boiler". Yes I've used this before for things and meant to say I'd stand the mug on some wooden spacers so there's no direct contact with the heat of the pan.

Will it melt/flow reliably this way, or is it still very hit and miss? The soap was expensive and I really don't want to spoil it! :eek:

Jim
09-14-2006, 08:54 AM
Ah I see, I know this method as the "water bath" rather than "double boiler". Yes I've used this before for things and meant to say I'd stand the mug on some wooden spacers so there's no direct contact with the heat of the pan.

Will it melt/flow reliably this way, or is it still very hit and miss? The soap was expensive and I really don't want to spoil it! :eek:

I have ruined more than a couple- why not wait for a couple of the Sues to weigh in or the other soapers.....

Austin
09-14-2006, 09:24 AM
It's not recommended that you melt hard milled soaps. Some of the qualities of the soap are compromised. Glycerin soaps are another story.

Steelforge
09-15-2006, 12:15 AM
Ok I went for the easy and safe option. I laid the AOS soap cake on the top of the Old Spice mug (which arrived this morning), so there was a line around the edge from the rim of the mug. Then I shaved off the excess so it would fit into the mug nice and snug. I dropped the shavings into the mug around the edges, to fill the small void created by the curved underside of the cake, then pressed the cake down until it was compacted into the bottom of the mug.

It actually worked quite well, the soap cake was a little soft so it formed into the bottom of the mug quite easily with a bit of kneeding around the edges. Its really easy to whip up a great lather on top of the soap cake now, as there's plenty of space. The mug came with a bakelite lid too, so it keeps the soap from drying out. :biggrin1:

mparker762
09-15-2006, 06:03 AM
When I started wetshaving a few weeks ago, the first soap I bought was AOS Lavender in the beautiful (but useless) wooden bowl. Whilst I really like this soap, I don't often use it as it's messy as hell to work up a bit of lather on the top - even for transferring to a bowl.

This is probably the biggest reason soap users prefer smaller brushes. I use a small Rooney style 1, and the small knot and short stiff bristles work very well in those bowls. The brush is small enough that I can run laps inside the bowl, and the short stiff bristles don't splay out and slop soap everywhere.

Steelforge
09-15-2006, 06:54 AM
Well when I bought the soap originally I bought a really small Edwin Jagger brush to use with it, it has quite stiff bristles too being just "Best Badger". Even with this it's hard to keep things from getting messy when using this soap, I dread to think what it would be like with my Vulfix 2234! :eek:

The Old Spice mug is perfect for this soap and a small brush, the top of the cake is almost an inch from the top of the mug. I'll post a couple of pics later, it's considerably easier than using the wooden bowl the soap came in. The good thing with the mug is I can put a little hot water on the top of the soap cake to soften it before attacking it with the brush - this wasn't possible with the wooden bowl.

The only downside, my girlfriend has stolen the wooden bowl to keep her earrings in! :thumbdown :biggrin1:

GeeQue
09-15-2006, 07:30 AM
Any of the above mentioned techniques will work to melt a soap. But one thing that has not been mentioned is that when you melt a soap that contains fragrance oils, the fragrance oils do evaporate some. The final product will be a weaker smelling soap. When fragrance oils are added to soaps, they are usually added at the extreme final stage of the melt. Once mixed quickly, it is remoed from the heat to avoid evaporation of the volatile fragrance oils.
Your lavender soap will melt. However, the final product will have a much weaker fragrance.

With The Grain
09-15-2006, 11:55 AM
...

Steelforge
09-16-2006, 07:33 AM
I probably worded that wrong, I don't build up the lather on the soap - just load the brush up then make the lather in a bowl or my new scuttle.

Problem is with really hard water you need to use a lot of soap, and to load up enough on the brush makes a real mess using the shallow wooden bowl. The mug makes a much better soap holder, i can load my brush with no mess at all now. :thumbup1:

Here's the mug, with the AOS Lavender cake I carved to fit inside. :smile:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v496/Iwan_P1/mug1.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v496/Iwan_P1/mug2.jpg

Austin
09-16-2006, 07:52 AM
Very nice mug. I have had my eyes on a few of those.