It all started with 8 ice bags full of beef tallow. It had to be diced and ground. (Trust me, cause I forgot to get a picture of that.)
It was then rendered over a gas burner, in a cast iron kettle. After partially cooled, it was filtered through one of my embroidered tea towels. Yes, my vintage towel.
Here the blacksmith with his safety glasses on is heating the tallow and coconut oil. To that he added pine tar. We have found that pine tar soap helps dry skin and other skin aliments.
The glasses and an open window are necessary as he first mixed distilled water and lye. This mixture is dangerous and can be an accident waiting to happen.
When you add the lye water (after it cools to 93 degrees) you mix with it quickly with the oil mixture using a beater blade and a drill until the mixture starts to set up.
It is then poured into wooden trays he made. As you can see he got 1 and 1/2 trays full of soap. It was then covered it with heavy plastic and several layers of heavy towels. It has to cure over night.
The next day he cut it into 2 inch x 3 inch bars.
We now have 51 bars to cure out. This process will take about 2 to 4 weeks. If we would be stingy and keep it all, it would be enough, we figure, for about 2 years.