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GKlose

ivory soap

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In another thread, there is talk about Whittlin' Chip and first knives for Cubs.

 

I discovered something I thought I'd share, since it might have practical use for Bear dens working on Whittlin' Chip.

 

For eons, Ivory soap (it's cheap, and you can always keep the "shavings" to reuse in your household) has been a common first medium.

 

When I taught a den, I'd grabbed a couple of really old bars of Ivory we had in the back of a closet, to go with another half-dozen I'd bought.

 

The discovery I made is that the older soap had dried out, while the newer stuff was very soft, kind of moist actually, and fell apart easily. The older soap was far better for whittling -- you could make controlled cuts much more easily.

 

So I checked with one of my oldest friends (an Eagle from my old troop). He said, "right -- that's exactly why my mom would unwrap bars of new soap and let them sit for a few weeks before we'd use them. Otherwise, she said, the soap disappeared too quickly."

 

Guy

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WOW! Glad to know that! I went and bought three- 3packs of ivory soap yesterday( for a grand total of $3.75). He's whittled three of them down already. Made an arrow head, a Camaro ( I think!) and the 3rd one he just shaved into oblivion.

 

I thought the soap kinda crumbled away too easily, but we also just opened them up and started carving away....cough,cough...I mean whittling away!

 

Thanks for the info. I'm gonna open all the packages and let them dry out.

 

Incidentally, my 9 year old son spent more time around soap yesterday than he has in his entire life! LOL!(This message has been edited by scoutfish)

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I suppose the funny thing was is that I took the old dried-out bar myself and couldn't figure out why everyone else had a crumbly time, but mine was easy to carve. Then I figured it out. :-) The call to my friend confirmed it.

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I had some one donate several bars of cheap soap to the cause. (Cleaned out family's closet) I also bought Ivory since there weren't enough for our den. The cheap soap was hard and not very easy to work with. My son asked for another bar because he messed up. He cut his finger because it was like going from wood to butter.

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Irishspring works well too. It's a bit firmer out of the wrapper. That's what our summer camp uses. I prefer the scent of ivory though.

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Thanks for the tip. I've always had problems with the bars crumbling. I'll have to go to Sam's and buy a big package and stick it in the closet for a while. Who would think that soap goes stale, and that it might be better for something in that state?

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WOW! To me, the scent is the worst part. If it wasn't so expensive, I might go buy a few french vanilla candles for him to carve up! LOL!

 

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"Moist" soap probably has two advantages, only one of which is for the consumer -- the "lathery-ness" and feel of it. Creamy, sort of.

 

But the other is that "moist" soap gets used up faster, an advantage to the soap manufacturer.

 

I noticed that a long time ago, when the Safeguard brand advertised that it was always "the smallest soap in the house." I had noticed that it feels different, and gets used up more quickly than other brands. It has the feel of sort of being whipped soap.

 

If you're interested -- try it with one of your regular soaps sometime. Unwrap a bar and let it sit in a closet or in a vanity for several weeks. Then try using it and comparing it to a newly-unwrapped bar. I think you'll find that the "dried-out" bar lasts longer.

 

Guy

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