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Need help from people who KNOW wire Answered

OK, so here it is. I make my own from scratch soap.....yes the kind made with lye (you canNOT have soap without a strong alkaline like LYE....period, but that's for another time)

My DH is VERY handy, and can build a lot of things. I want him to build me a soap cutter that uses strong wire to do the cutting. There are soap cutters for sale on line, but with his talent I refuse to pay WELL over $100 to buy one, when for quite a bit less he can make me one.

My thought is that maybe piano wire would work, guitar strings (or are they covered with something?) or whatever type of wire used in some cheese slicers. I prefer it not be too hard to locate, and not too expensive. I would like to be able to cut a whole "loaf" of soap into bars all at one time, so they are all the exact same size.

Any ideas?

Here is a BIG cutter, but it might give you an idea


Thanks Mary


Did you have any luck? I had considered the same thing as you, for my gal to cut her soaps. My fear was that making the jig to cut the whole "loaf" at one time would require too much pressure and cause something to break. I had also considered a "hot wire cutter" as dan had mentioned. Was you able to find something that was quick and easy?

Voltage is probably as important as wire. I've cut styrofoam with coathanger connected to a welder. For your purpose, a car battery charger might do. If the wire is too thick, you might burn up the battery charger.

Sorry Dan......you've got it all wrong for THIS cutting project! I just want to "string" wire between pieces of wood (probably) to cut some freshly made (about the consistancy of semi soft cheese) soap. I'd like to cut the whole "loaf" of soap all at once giving me uniform bars of soap.

I wanted to know what type of wire would be flexible enough to cut, yet not break too easily.

Thanks anyway ;-)

Ah! Ok, so you aren't talking about a hot wire.

Thanks anyway Dan......have you done an Ible on cutting with a hot wire? I have NOT done a search, but it sounds interesting! I'd like to learn more about electrical things

I haven't done an -ible on that. I suspect that there are a few, tho.

Don't let that hold you back (someone else told me that very thing once when I said I already saw another Ible on something I wanted to do) Everyone explains things a little differently, and something you say may just resonate with a person who had trouble understanding the same thing before!

I say go for it!

Next time I make one, I'll take pics.

By the way Dan.....(if you don't mind me asking) Where in Colorado are you? We lived in Colorado Springs for a long time, then also lived in Boulder County outside of Longmont....we worked in Boulder at the time

Actually, if you scavenge at a music shop, they might even give away broken guitar strings. Check to see if they are made from stainless steel and use the thickest non-wound one. You would have to feel which one might work best. The wound ones are thicker because they are wrapped with an even thinner wire so you may want to use it for a textured raggy cut, Use a hardwood like maple to make the box frame, cut some grooves to align the wires, secure the ends wound around a screw and washer and you are all set. Good luck.

Thanks I think we have a music store left in our tiny town. I'll see what I can find

You can get stainless steel wire are McMaster Carr and a few other places, if the music shop doesn't work out. It's about $8 US for a flat 20ga, 90'ish foot spool, or about $20 for the shiny version if memory serves. I'd imagine 20 gauge would be about right, but you'd have to look into it a bit as I'm not too familiar with how large or how dense and solid the soap is when you cut it up. If you only do it like in that video, then 26 or even 30 gauge might work better, but the price jumps up for some of those tiny gauges.

OK thanks....this is JUST the info I needed. It looks like the music shop is closed, so now I'm investigating the next town over.