Results 1 to 19 of 19

Thread: TGQ "Just for FUN"

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    West Virginia
    Posts
    163

    Default TGQ "Just for FUN"

    Good Morning Gentlemen,

    I hope everyone had a joyous and Happy New Year! Now I'm one of those folks who like to look back on the past year and think about where I'd like to see things improve in my life.....not just in business, but "me" as a person. One thing I decided right off the bat is that I do not spend enough "fun" time over here.

    And while in the end this is about soap.....but I thought it might be interesting for you to see the process. OK.....I see I can only upload five photographs at a time, so we'll do this in segments....like a mini series

    First let me say that I no longer make soap from my home basement, after 4 years the business had taken over our home, and when the little house next door came up for sale, my sweet Husband made the downpayment ( cuz he was tired at looking at our home decor of Black and Decker shelving )

    These pictures are from the "Little House" which is right next door. And I love it! I can walk right over with my cup of coffee, and its nice and quiet...and far more organzied than how it was here at our home.

    Photograph One:

    • These are the wooden molds I use to pour the soap into. Each has a lid and after the soap is poured a lid is placed on top and then the molds go under an insulating blanket for 24 to 48 hours.



    Photograph Two:

    • Gathering up all the supplies to make my lye solution



    Photograph Three:

    • Melting the oils on the stovetop under gentle heat. My preferred formula is soybean oil, food grade A Olive oil, Coconut oil, Castor and Palm oil.


    Photograph Four:

    • Mixing the lye INTO the distilled water "and NEVER the other way around"....the solution becomes immediately hot....up to the boiling point, but doesn't boil which is kinda cool, if you look close you can see the condensation from the heat on the glass. When first mixed I have on goggles, and rubber gloves because the lye solution is caustic and gives a nasty burn, especially if it gets on your face


    Photograph Five:

    Because my method of soapmaking is known as "Cold Process" the oils are heated under gentle heat ( no smoking oil here! ) just until melted. Then that boiling hot lye solution is placed into a cold water bath to lower the temperature down to my preferred range.

    If anyone has any questions, please feel free to ask or make any comments.


    Soapmistress
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Get the molds ready.jpg   Getting Ready Lye.jpg   Melting the oils.jpg   Lye boiling hot.jpg   Lye Cold Water Bath.jpg  


  2. #2

    Default

    Nice pictorial! Looking forward to seeing more posts detailing your entire process -- it's fascinating stuff!

    I noticed the bottles of your EO scents (?) in the background. What does the "11/1|07" and "APAS" mean?
    --Jason

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    West Virginia
    Posts
    163
    Thread Starter

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Baloosh View Post
    Nice pictorial! Looking forward to seeing more posts detailing your entire process -- it's fascinating stuff!

    I noticed the bottles of your EO scents (?) in the background. What does the "11/1|07" and "APAS" mean?
    WoW! you have good eyesight. 11-1-07 and APAS.....stands for "All purpose After Shave" bottled Nov. 1st 07. I've been making AS's just not selling them. Because they like all the other things I do, I am completely OCD, Type A personality and I keep experimenting and tweaking. There are several decent recipes on the internet available to the home business person, but I'm trying pretty hard to develop my own formulation.

    That particular batch you see in the photograph, is only for anyone who prefers a high menthol content. I've had a few gentlemen who said it was "too much" for them, then a few others who tried....and said they didn't like it at first, but now they really like it and request it.

    I suppose if anyone here likes high test menthol this would be for you

    Later this evening I'll post part two.

    Soapmistress

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Soapmistress View Post
    That particular batch you see in the photograph, is only for anyone who prefers a high menthol content. I've had a few gentlemen who said it was "too much" for them, then a few others who tried....and said they didn't like it at first, but now they really like it and request it.

    I suppose if anyone here likes high test menthol this would be for you
    You're speaking my language, sister. I didn't even know you were dabbling in Aftershaves. And a high Menthol content Aftershave?

    Please do let me know when you begin offering these. Do you plan on offering them in all your scents?
    --Jason

  5. #5

    Default

    Collen also does her scents in colognes but you have to ask. I like the Ironwood but it is strong so I have to be light with it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    NYC & Free America
    Posts
    38,675
    Images
    2176

    Default

    Very Nice post Colleen, if you upload the photos to the B&B gallery there is no limit how many photos you can use.Pm me for help if you need to.

  7. Default

    Colleen - good to see you posting and hope to see you 'round here more often.
    Chris.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    West Virginia
    Posts
    163
    Thread Starter

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Baloosh View Post
    You're speaking my language, sister. I didn't even know you were dabbling in Aftershaves. And a high Menthol content Aftershave?

    Please do let me know when you begin offering these. Do you plan on offering them in all your scents?
    This is pretty high test and not for the faint of heart.

    Some initial remarks were "it burns".... "coughs" and then oddly enough....they wrote back to say that after they used a time or two they decided that they liked it...

    I'd be happy to send you a sample on the house ( you cover shipping ) and you can run point.....see what you think. As far as the things I make.....why Gentlemen....I make ALLLL kinds of things, but it goes back to that fanatical OCD behaviour where I hate to put something on the table for sale that I'm not quite sure it's where it needs to be.

    This is why every few months I always have samples of something for test. I do have enough various Aftershaves ( which are really more like a milk or a balm) to send out say......5 samples. Just send me a PM if you're interested. If you're interested in the High Test Menthol, be sure to specify that. OK. Oh....and their all essential oil based. I've been pretty stubborn about that which leads to longer trial periods while I've been trying to come up with some new blends and specifically trying to use EO's that I think not only smell good, but are good for your skin too.

    I think I love to do samples almost more than anything, because this is how I develop and tweak my product. I can certainly say that the shaving soaps have come a looooooonnngggg way from their original beginning and here lately I'm getting some very nice compliments on the shaving cream; which is not to say that I didn't have nice compliments before, but I have an understanding that I can do better with the cream...if that makes sense. So with the shaving cream I continue to make adjustments and the comments of late have been very positive.

    The "soap opera" part two

    1) almost ready:

    At this particular stage of soapmaking both the oils/butters and the lye solution are at the same temperature. Some soapmakers go for a higher temp, say around 125 F or 130 F but I prefer a lower temp....below 100. And at this stage of the process things will begin to happen very quickly, so the name of the game is to have "Everything" ready. Which is why I showed you the molds in the first set of pictures. LMAO....ask me how many times I got to this stage and realized I hadn't lined my molds

    2) 1st stage of pour. If you look back in the earlier photographs you'll see that the oils are clear. When you pour the lye solution into the oils and you are stirring like crazy, the oils "immediately" begin to "saponify" or make soap. ( it really is just the coolest thing ) You will also see some bubbles....

    3)2nd stage of pour - you can see that the liquid is much thicker now, and the color is changing. This is natural and the color of the soap can vary based on the initial oils used in the soapmaking process.

    4) measuring out the oils to scent the soap - It takes almost 6 oz. of essential oil or fragrance oil to scent the size batch I'm making in these photographs. This particular batch is for "Cavendish Black".

    5) Scent into the soap - When I pour the fragrance oil ( and it would be the same if it were EO ) because the soap is already thickening the oil sits on top, and now must quickly be stirred in before the soap begins to set up any more. Or hits what is called a heavy trace.

    annnddd on that note. Dinner is late, so I gotta run. Be back in the morning over coffee.

    Nite y'all.
    Soapmistress

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    West Virginia
    Posts
    163
    Thread Starter

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Soapmistress View Post
    This is pretty high test and not for the faint of heart.

    Some initial remarks were "it burns".... "coughs" and then oddly enough....they wrote back to say that after they used a time or two they decided that they liked it...

    I'd be happy to send you a sample on the house ( you cover shipping ) and you can run point.....see what you think. As far as the things I make.....why Gentlemen....I make ALLLL kinds of things, but it goes back to that fanatical OCD behaviour where I hate to put something on the table for sale that I'm not quite sure it's where it needs to be.

    This is why every few months I always have samples of something for test. I do have enough various Aftershaves ( which are really more like a milk or a balm) to send out say......5 samples. Just send me a PM if you're interested. If you're interested in the High Test Menthol, be sure to specify that. OK. Oh....and their all essential oil based. I've been pretty stubborn about that which leads to longer trial periods while I've been trying to come up with some new blends and specifically trying to use EO's that I think not only smell good, but are good for your skin too.

    I think I love to do samples almost more than anything, because this is how I develop and tweak my product. I can certainly say that the shaving soaps have come a looooooonnngggg way from their original beginning and here lately I'm getting some very nice compliments on the shaving cream; which is not to say that I didn't have nice compliments before, but I have an understanding that I can do better with the cream...if that makes sense. So with the shaving cream I continue to make adjustments and the comments of late have been very positive.

    The "soap opera" part two

    1) almost ready:

    At this particular stage of soapmaking both the oils/butters and the lye solution are at the same temperature. Some soapmakers go for a higher temp, say around 125 F or 130 F but I prefer a lower temp....below 100. And at this stage of the process things will begin to happen very quickly, so the name of the game is to have "Everything" ready. Which is why I showed you the molds in the first set of pictures. LMAO....ask me how many times I got to this stage and realized I hadn't lined my molds

    2) 1st stage of pour. If you look back in the earlier photographs you'll see that the oils are clear. When you pour the lye solution into the oils and you are stirring like crazy, the oils "immediately" begin to "saponify" or make soap. ( it really is just the coolest thing ) You will also see some bubbles....

    3)2nd stage of pour - you can see that the liquid is much thicker now, and the color is changing. This is natural and the color of the soap can vary based on the initial oils used in the soapmaking process.

    4) measuring out the oils to scent the soap - It takes almost 6 oz. of essential oil or fragrance oil to scent the size batch I'm making in these photographs. This particular batch is for "Cavendish Black".

    5) Scent into the soap - When I pour the fragrance oil ( and it would be the same if it were EO ) because the soap is already thickening the oil sits on top, and now must quickly be stirred in before the soap begins to set up any more. Or hits what is called a heavy trace.

    annnddd on that note. Dinner is late, so I gotta run. Be back in the morning over coffee.

    Nite y'all.
    Soapmistress
    WHERE are my pictures .....LOL... sorry fellas, I'll have to post them again in the morning. gotta run.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    West Virginia
    Posts
    163
    Thread Starter

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Soapmistress View Post
    This is pretty high test and not for the faint of heart.

    Some initial remarks were "it burns".... "coughs" and then oddly enough....they wrote back to say that after they used a time or two they decided that they liked it...

    I'd be happy to send you a sample on the house ( you cover shipping ) and you can run point.....see what you think. As far as the things I make.....why Gentlemen....I make ALLLL kinds of things, but it goes back to that fanatical OCD behaviour where I hate to put something on the table for sale that I'm not quite sure it's where it needs to be.

    This is why every few months I always have samples of something for test. I do have enough various Aftershaves ( which are really more like a milk or a balm) to send out say......5 samples. Just send me a PM if you're interested. If you're interested in the High Test Menthol, be sure to specify that. OK. Oh....and their all essential oil based. I've been pretty stubborn about that which leads to longer trial periods while I've been trying to come up with some new blends and specifically trying to use EO's that I think not only smell good, but are good for your skin too.

    I think I love to do samples almost more than anything, because this is how I develop and tweak my product. I can certainly say that the shaving soaps have come a looooooonnngggg way from their original beginning and here lately I'm getting some very nice compliments on the shaving cream; which is not to say that I didn't have nice compliments before, but I have an understanding that I can do better with the cream...if that makes sense. So with the shaving cream I continue to make adjustments and the comments of late have been very positive.

    The "soap opera" part two

    1) almost ready:

    At this particular stage of soapmaking both the oils/butters and the lye solution are at the same temperature. Some soapmakers go for a higher temp, say around 125 F or 130 F but I prefer a lower temp....below 100. And at this stage of the process things will begin to happen very quickly, so the name of the game is to have "Everything" ready. Which is why I showed you the molds in the first set of pictures. LMAO....ask me how many times I got to this stage and realized I hadn't lined my molds

    2) 1st stage of pour. If you look back in the earlier photographs you'll see that the oils are clear. When you pour the lye solution into the oils and you are stirring like crazy, the oils "immediately" begin to "saponify" or make soap. ( it really is just the coolest thing ) You will also see some bubbles....

    3)2nd stage of pour - you can see that the liquid is much thicker now, and the color is changing. This is natural and the color of the soap can vary based on the initial oils used in the soapmaking process.

    4) measuring out the oils to scent the soap - It takes almost 6 oz. of essential oil or fragrance oil to scent the size batch I'm making in these photographs. This particular batch is for "Cavendish Black".

    5) Scent into the soap - When I pour the fragrance oil ( and it would be the same if it were EO ) because the soap is already thickening the oil sits on top, and now must quickly be stirred in before the soap begins to set up any more. Or hits what is called a heavy trace.

    annnddd on that note. Dinner is late, so I gotta run. Be back in the morning over coffee.

    Nite y'all.
    Soapmistress
    Mornin OK....lets see if I did this correctly this time
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Almost time for Soap.jpg   1st stage pour.jpg   2nd stage pour.jpg   CB Oils.jpg   Fragrance oil into the soap.jpg  


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    3,865
    Images
    9

    Default

    Real interesting, are there more to come? I think pictures of your packaging would be good for anyone who has never seen the beautiful way Colleen packages her soaps.
    Jim

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    West Virginia
    Posts
    163
    Thread Starter

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by crankymoose View Post
    Real interesting, are there more to come? I think pictures of your packaging would be good for anyone who has never seen the beautiful way Colleen packages her soaps.
    Good Morning Gentlemen!

    crankymoose, thank you for the compliments on the packaging. I know it takes me longer to come out with new products due to my obsession with the packaging and design factor.

    And this obsession began when I "juried" for the Tamarack http://www.tamarackwv.com they stated in our first seminar, that our packaging was important....because we ( the maker of the product ) would not be around to talk to potential customers about our product. In other words, "You're product must be good enough to sell itself". So packaging and design became my new obsession, it must grab the customer's eye, just so they would "PICK IT UP", if they don't pick it up, they are going to smell it, and if they don't smell it, they're not going to buy it. My product sits amongnst several other soapmakers and my edge, was to spend some time designing packaging that would "catch" the customer's eye. I felt like if I could just get a person to "pick up" my product and "smell it"....then they would buy it, and they do

    I continue to sell wholesale for the Tamarack and truly it is expected of me....to put forth "my best effort"....my very best. This is the basis of the Tamarack, housing some of the most Talented Artists in WV.

    It's a high benchmark sometimes, just because it takes ALOT of TIME and effort and thought has to go into this, but still is so very important to me because if my sales fall too low at the Tamarack I can be replaced and on an important note the Tamarack played a very large hand in helping me to get a website built thru the "Artisan's Resource Center".....so I do try to put forth my best effort in putting out a quality product first, and then really nice packaging because I want my customer to know that you're about to get something special.

    Next weekend I will be attending my first trade show for buyers at http://www.pipestemresort.com/ which is also part of the reason I'm closed over the next week. Lots of inventory to catch up on and I have to get ready for the show too.....Holy Cow! lol.....

    Soap Opera Continues......part three

    1) right before I added Cavendish Black fragrance blend, the soap thickens to a point in blending called " trace "....(you have trace, light trace and heavy trace.) Rather than being liquidy ( < new word ) the soap becomes more like pancake batter and then more like pudding. You know you've reached trace when you can pull your stirring utensil up out of the pot and what falls off the spoon, back into the pot..."lays" on top....it doesn't sink back in. This is when it's time to pour. If you look closely at the difference in the photos when 1st poured and now this photograph you can see that the soap is much thicker.

    2)The soap is poured over into these large wood molds, each mold has a 5 pound capacity. When I make soap, I make it 10 pounds at a time, and if you ever hear me refer to a "Batch" of soap....this is what I mean. The exception is when I make specialty soaps, those I usually do in a smaller 3.5 pound mold.

    3) This is one of the differences in Cold Process soap making, because no external heat is applied after the oil and lye have been mixed together. In the beginning photographs you saw that the oils were barely melted, and the lye solution cooled. When the two elements of an Alkali and Acid are poured together, they create their own heat, the cp soapmaker wants to capture this heat to allow the saponification process to continue. So you place your soap molds close together.

    4) then you cover them with a heavy blanket (wool is best ) and you allow them to stay covered for 24 to 48 hours.

    But there's still another step or two, and this is gettin kinda long. Maybe I can come back and visit this evening.

    Soapmistress
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Last stage.jpg   Poured into Molds CB07.jpg   stuck in the middle with you.jpg   Insulated soap.jpg  

  13. Thumbs up Piks

    Nice pik's ....its good to be the soap goddess
    michael m

  14. #14

    Default

    I'm a little confused and ignorant about the big molds. How do you later portion the soap in those molds out into individual bars/cakes? Is it just a matter of melting it and pouring it into individual molds?
    -Jay

  15. #15

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MooingLizard View Post
    I'm a little confused and ignorant about the big molds. How do you later portion the soap in those molds out into individual bars/cakes? Is it just a matter of melting it and pouring it into individual molds?
    I suspect it's a big ol' knife that does that :) It's a bath soap, isn't it?

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    West Virginia
    Posts
    163
    Thread Starter

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MooingLizard View Post
    I'm a little confused and ignorant about the big molds. How do you later portion the soap in those molds out into individual bars/cakes? Is it just a matter of melting it and pouring it into individual molds?

    Good Morning Gentlemen,

    Yes....these molds are for Bath soap, after the insulation process the soap is removed from the mold. Now I like to like to let mine air for a day or two before cutting. Each bar is hand cut, that's why the weight of the soap can vary just a bit, but each one is cut and then weighed to make sure it will cure out around 4 oz. and most cure out around 4.2 oz. Bars that weigh less than that end up being samples.

    Then the soap must "cure".....the curing process has to do with the excess amount of water used at the beginning of the process. ( lye solution ) When the soap is taken out of the molds right after insulating......it's not exactly "hard"......hmmm....sorda like a stick of butter when you take it out of the refridgerator, which feels hard....but if you pressed your finger into it, it would leave an indentation.

    This excess water must evaporate to harden up the soap. The interesting thing is that while a longer process......the end result is a bar that is hard, but with a very fine texture and a beautiful, rich, lather.

    This next picture is of two batches of soap, with a roll of glad wrap on the table for a little size comparison.

    and the next picture is of soap that has been cut and is now curing.... Oh, oh....and just for fun. You've now seen the Cavendish Black bath soap from the very beginning....and this is what it looks like now....

    The pipe in the photograph belongs to my Husband; a Meersham carved into a buffalo head. And thats where the idea came from for the Cavendish Black and the Buffalo Head on the label.....

    Making shaving soap is a different process, and the shaving cream is a "really different" process.

    Soapmistress
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Pumpkin & BBS logs.jpg   Curing soap.jpg   Cavendish Black Bath Soap.jpg  
    Last edited by Soapmistress; 01-28-2008 at 06:33 AM. Reason: my OCD behavior

  17. #17

    Default

    That's alot of soap in the second picture. I have that same storage rack in my garage.
    Brad

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    West Virginia
    Posts
    163
    Thread Starter

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BD1970 View Post
    That's alot of soap in the second picture. I have that same storage rack in my garage.
    Up until 6 months ago, our whole house was decorated in "Black & Decker" shelving

  19. #19

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Soapmistress View Post
    2) 1st stage of pour. If you look back in the earlier photographs you'll see that the oils are clear. When you pour the lye solution into the oils and you are stirring like crazy, the oils "immediately" begin to "saponify" or make soap. ( it really is just the coolest thing ) You will also see some bubbles....
    I can attest to how cool saponification is. Back in organic chemistry in high school we learned the basic soap making process with good old Sodium Hydroxide (lye) and straight cottonseed oil. We all got to take little lye soap cakes home which we were assured due to their high lye content was really good for poison ivy (this turned out to be true).

    In any case...this thread is FASCINATING. Making soap was probably one of the coolest labs I've ever done and getting into wet shaving has had me fascinated with the glycerin soap process...I <3 this thread

Similar Threads

  1. FS: Double Duck Satinedge - "B", "E", "A", "Utiful"
    By doc_paul in forum Shaving Mall - Buy/Sell/Trade
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 06-30-2008, 05:26 AM
  2. Replies: 23
    Last Post: 11-15-2007, 07:57 AM
  3. Replies: 9
    Last Post: 06-20-2007, 04:09 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
By accessing Badger & Blade, you agree to abide by the Terms of Usage. You can find our Privacy Policy here.
Once submitted, any posts, images, or content become the property of Badger & Blade.
Powered by vBulletin® - Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.