It's soap. After my frantic efforts to not lose this batch, it's a huge relief to take off the wraps and see that the oils have saponified, i.e., it's soap. Oh, and the burn on my lip healed up just fine, but it hurt to laugh for a couple of days.
Charlie, my able helper, is checking to make sure that after being unmolded, it is soap on all sides.
The next step is to cut the block into strips. For years I used a ham carving knife, but this cutter I got from the Soap Saloon is much better. The cuts aren't diagonal any more. I'm sure wonky cuts add to the charm of hand built soap, but they annoy me.
And this small, almost invisible box on the right has a strip of piano wire screwed into it so that when I slide the block across, it's sliced into bars. This job I also once did with my ham knife, until I ran across this charming device on the Internet. I bought another cutter from yet another vendor to bevel the edges, but find that I'm happier with an old potato peeler from the 1960's for that task. I bought carrot juice on my way home from work tonight. There's more soap in the offing this weekend.
3 hours ago