Guerrilla Soap Mold 12

Dirk, one of our web programmers, wrote this excellent tutorial on making a simple soap mold. This tutorial allows anyone to make a mold just with lumber scraps!


Making your own handmade soap is a great example of chemistry in practical use. You are mixing fats with a solution of lye to convert the fat to soap. Pretty easy isn’t it? I think that once you get over the fear of soap being chemistry, the entire process is a wonderful creative outlet.

One of the things that first time soap makers stress way too much about is what they should pour their soap into while it hardens. Here is the secret. It doesn’t matter. When I was first learning to make soap with my wife, we poured the soap into a 8.5 x 11 inch cardboard box lined with a plastic trash bag. We would pour the soap to a depth of about 2.5 inches. Once the soap setup, we would then cut the slab into individual bars. A soap mold can be as simple as a cardboard box. A soap mold should help you make the bar size you want. Until you know how big your bar is, you won’t know how big your mold should be.

I want to show how you can make a simple wood soap mold with minimal amounts of fancy wood working tools or techniques. The tools you will need are:

  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Saw
  • Drill
  • Screw driver

The materials you will need are:

  • Counter sink wood screws
  • Wood (I found some 1′ x 6′ pieces in some pallet scraps)
  • Wood dowels, steel pin or large nails
  • Wood glue or white glue

The mold that I am showing is sized the way it is because of the size of the materials that I found. There is no other rhyme or reason to it other than that. My mold has 2 long sides, 2 short sides, 1 bottom, and 4 wings. The cut list is:

  • 2 – long sides (20″ x 5.5″)
  • 2 – short sides (5.5″ x 5.5″)
  • 1 – bottom (14.25″ x 5.5″)
  • 4 – wings (2″ x 5.5″)
1. Using a saw, cut all of the pieces. The holes and blemishes in the wood will not make much of a difference when the mold is in use.
2. Sand off slivers and rough edges. You want to knock off the rough edges so you don’t mess up your hands when you are using the mold. I wouldn’t try for smooth perfection.



3. Drill pilot holes to attach the wings to the short sides. The screws will come from the inside of the mold, through the side and into the wing. The pilot holes help to keep the wood from splitting and it keeps the screws where you want them.

Marking Drill Holes

Marking the wing to match

3. Using the glue and screws, attach the wings to the short sides. The glue is not really needed, but it is like a little insurance.


4. Center the bottom along the long side. Mark your location for pins, dowels or nails to hold the bottom board in place. For this mold my pins are 3.5″ from the center line, or 7″ apart.
5. Drill holes for bottom board pins. The pins should friction fit well enough so the bottom board doesn’t float in the mold. They should be loose enough so the mold can be assembled without any tools.
6. Assemble mold and clamp together with binder clips or alligator clamps.
7. Line with plastic bag and use.

Since I found the wood and already had the clamps in my shop, the only thing that I bought for this mold were the wood screws. Not too bad for a dollar and a little time in the garage.

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