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Creating A Shave Stick

The Methods

There are various methods discussed here that can or cannot work for you, depending on the shave soap that you are using and the container that will host the soap. Keep in mind, YMMV!

Biscuit-Cutter Method

You can use a hard plastic container to package up many soaps: no tools needed. These pictures use an empty Brut deodorant package and a puck of Charismata barbershop, a hard soap. This approach can also be used with Tabac, MWF, and most other soaps.

Tips: The label peels off easily, and the remaining deodorant is water-soluble. You can also apply a very thin coat of mineral oil, so that the stick can slide easily. If you forgot to do this and the soap gets stuck, try freezing it for an hour to shrink the soap a little. If you use oil, use only a little - and do not use an oil that could go rancid.

Dimensions: The Brut deo round has an inside diameter of 37-mm, much larger than Palmolive or Speick but a bit smaller than Tabac. The plastic base weighs about 6-g and the sleeve weighs about 17-g. So if you remove the cap and the stick weighs in at 100-g, you have about 77-g of soap.

1. Clean the package, if needed. This stick started out as a three-piece push-up deodorant container.
2. The first cut is to the center, so that we can preserve any imprint or logo on the puck. This one is plain, but the photo shows the technique anyway. Push down firmly: even hard soaps are fairly soft.
3. The outside may crumble a bit, but that is fine.
4. Now we have a core sample, with any imprint on the other side.
5. If you want to preserve any imprint, pop out that donut hole and set it aside.
6. Next put the plastic bottom piece back into the tube, and kept going around the donut.
7. You should try to grab large chucks of soap with each cut, but these sections will not be perfectly round.
8. No worries: the soap will form into place inside the plastic tube.
9. All done: we now have a stick. If you have the center cut with an imprint, place it on top. The paper bag is disposable and compostable, so there is no cleanup to do. If you want the soap to have ventilation, punch or drill a few holes in the lid. If you want a label, make one.

Remilling Method

This technique will work with most soaps and is better for harder soaps. Softer soaps such as Provence Sante can be formed without grating or with the Biscuit Cutter method. The soap puck is Muhle Sea Buckthorn and the twist up stick is from West Coast Shaving (about $2).

1. Soap and stick
2. Knife and Grater.
3. Cut soap into chunks as needed.
4. Grate the Soap.
5. Twist the container all the way up.
6. Pack the soap. Chunks are okay. If the soap doesn't crush and stick together, add a couple of drops of water. After packing about a half inch of soap, back the container down and push the soap down.
7. Completed shave stick. If you want to smooth out the top, wet your finger and form the soap.

Remilling Method Revisited

After several years of using shave sticks, it's too much work to grate most soaps and is usually unnecessary. If the container will allow (doesn't have a center screw shaft), use the biscuit cutter method. Otherwise one can often cut the soap into slices or chunks and just press into the container.
1. Shaving soap refill puck
2. This puck is a little over 60g
3. Cut puck into slices or chunks. Note that this shave stick container has a bit of another soap at the bottom to not waste any of the Haslinger
4. Press into container. Don't worry about small voids as they will smooth out with use.

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