Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Making a Soap Cutter

All the wood cut and ready
I have really needed a way to cut my soap bars evenly.  Up til now, I have used a wire stretched between 2 dowels.  Needless to say some of my bars have been terribly uneven, downright crooked even.

Since I have all of the wood I need and it was free, it makes sense to make my own.  After looking at a variety of designs, I have settled on a design that is fairly thin when closed.  This design will be adapted to the type and sizes of wood that I have available.  ( My father gets lots of pallets that his company burns if they can't find a use for them.)  So I have taken apart several pallets to scrounge the wood for this.

My cutter will have 21 wires at 3/4 of an inch with one wire spaced evenly in the remaining opening.  I have re-sized my molds to be 5 inches wide.  This will allow for me to cut each piece in half doubling the number of bars that I can make in each mold.  The wire centered in the remaining space will allow me to cut these blocks into 2 bars.

Using my new toy Thank you Live Laugh Rowe!
I started by making a platform for the cutting frame and the base for the soap to rest on.  This platform will be formed by planks laid across 2 cross planks on both sides.  The base for the soap is raised off of the platform further to facilitate cutting.  There is also a stop bar to keep the soap from sliding out of the cutting area.  There is also the frame to hold the wires for cutting the soap.  This frame is attached to the base with 2 hinges.  These hinges allow the frame to be held stable while cutting the soap.  

While putting the frame together, I found that it needed re-enforcement on the top as well as the corner brackets that I had already planned to use.  So I used my new saw to make some decorative curved corner pieces to mount on the top side of the frame.

Corner detail

For the grooves in the wood to allow the wire to descend below the level of the soap, I used my saw on the stop board, although I had to cut each slit more than once in order to make it wide enough to accommodate the wire.  For the wider boards I used a circular saw set at about an eighth of an inch depth. This was a fairly simple to do, but my back was definitely sore by the time I was done cutting all of the grooves.

The soap cutter closed
For right now, the wire will be stretched between eye screws on either side of the frame.  Hopefully I will be able to tighten them as needed to keep the wire snug.  I may end up using screws on one side and the eye screws on the other.  Only time and use will tell how well my current configuration will work.

With the frame raised for cutting
I will post again to show how it works after I get some bar soap made.  It will be interesting to see what modifications I need to make to the design.

Have a wonderful day, and enjoy.

1/22/14 - Couple of notes - 1. Don't make the frame for the wires out of pine.  It is too soft to support the tension that you need to have on the wire.
 2. You need something more like music string tension devices to keep tension on the wire.  I haven't figured out where to get these yet.  If you find a source for something that might work I would be very grateful if you passed the information along.

I am linking with the following blogs:


  1. Get way to use all of that wood! Can't wait to see pictures of all the soap you cut. Thanks for sharing on the Frugal Crafty Home Blog Hop!

    Katie @ The Casual Craftlete

  2. Yes, I agree with Katie above - would love to see how it works! This is great and I love that you made it yourself with scrapwood! Congrats!

  3. Awesome. Love it. I am going to show this to my husband and hope he will build me one. I hand cut my bars, but this would be lovely.

  4. Wow, very cool! I bet that makes cutting soap much easier!

  5. Very cool! Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop this week!

    Kathy Shea Mormino
    The Chicken Chick

  6. WOW!!! This should making soap cutting much easier.
    Thanks so much for sharing at Back to the Basics for Tuesdays with a Twist!
    Come on over and share your new posts.


  7. This is a great idea and a great reuse for all the wood! Thanks for sharing at the Homeacre Hop!
    Mary :)

  8. Maybe you already found the answer to this, but the keyword you're looking for is "tuning peg." Lots of places have them for sale, for luthiers and guitar techs. Here's an example I found that would work, and they're just about $1 each.


    1. Thank you for the info. To be honest I hadn't gotten around to looking for anything yet. I may end up making my frame out of metal. Wood just doesn't seem to be able to hold the tension. I think that would is just a bit too flexible.

  9. I looed into making my own also vs paying over $200-$300 for one. But now I realize WHY they're soooo expensive. They use stainless steel guitar strings and the tuning pegs which are around $50. for just 6! That was the cheapest the music store carried. So if I wanted 12 wires, I'm already looking at $100. and that was not including the materials for the frame. Of course the guy said you can always find cheaper ones made in China.....um...no thank you. I don't want wires popping all over the place. So I've decided to splurge and avoid the headache and just buy one pre-made! That's hard for me to bite the bullet and do because I am also the very crafty type and like to challenge myself to do it rather than pay for it. But in this case....they win! lol PS....I also looked into commercial cheese cutters but they only go up to 3/4" slice. Good luck : )

  10. I heard the oak wood is better for making a soap cutter. Never heard anyone say the their pine cutter broke though.


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