My soap mold arrived, purchased on etsy, so I made another batch with some green oxide pigment I'd purchased with the lye.
Poured on 10/23/2014
Freshly poured, and swirled around for design.
The soap is 3.5 inches wide. That is standard for cold process soap molds, but I think it makes soap bars that are too big and unwieldy. When cut in half, they are quite small, so I wanted something in between.
post soap making mess
Here is what rendered beef tallow looks like..in mason jars (which was a bad idea in hindsight. I freeze it in blocks now and wrap in plastic.)
And for my next soap 10/24/2014, I rigged up these 2.5 inch wide cardboard inserts to make a narrower bar that is comparable in size to store bought. (the cardboard was inadequate. I had some leak troubles too...and soon went to home depot and had some legit wood blocks cut for me, which I use for almost all later projects.)
These bars are better sized in my opinion. The only difference was adjusting my soap recipes from 1500 grams of oil to 1200 grams. That swirl effect was made with a clothes hangar--one of those pants ones with a waxy paper tube. I wrapped it in plastic to prevent corrosion on the aluminum. It has long since bit the dust, and I haven't got a good replacement yet.