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Marking the soap


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Hi. I just tried my first soap carving and it turned out crap.

First, I used the marker (sharpie) to draw lines on the soap but all was rubbed off easy. Also, I tried pencil as many recommended and I couln't make any visible marking, but only made a groove.

What do you guys do to make draw the markings on the soap?

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Either mark it with your knife or with a pencil. That sharpie is crap. On the end of the blade there's a 90 degree edge, or on the old blades there was. Wear gloves that way sweat from your hands doesn't get on the soap and make the shavings stick to it. When you make your initial cuts take things to within ~1mm from the line the do a final trim. When you're first learning to carve you think 1 mm is sooo small but in dental school it's huge you can fail things for being off 0.25 mm - that's why the soap carving is so impt.

 

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Interview books still for sale email me: cdainterviewbook@hotmail.com

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I went through the same process coreascott. The instructions the CDA send are really not how people do it who do well on the soap carving. I took a little class on soap carving which gave me some good tips.

 

Most people I know use a pencil to make their marks, they are more precise. Make sure the pecil is very sharp, and dont press hard, just a fine line is needed (scrapping the soap in doing so). Just get practice doing this. I too used the sharpie at first, after the first line it clogs.

 

Straight lines - laying the soap on the table and setting our pencil on the table and then drag it along. This makes perfectly straight lines.

 

Ruler has 90deg angles - while the new blades they use do not have 90deg angles, the ruler still does. Use this to make them.

 

Practice - it was difficult for me at first, but it is the only way of learning. I am visual and it helped me watch someone else do it. Then it was easy for me to understand how the little 'tricks' help. Try and find someone such as in a predent club that can help, or take the tutorials offered out there. I went from a 14 in carving in my first try to a 24 and I could have done better I beleive if I would have practiced more.

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I went through the same process coreascott. The instructions the CDA send are really not how people do it who do well on the soap carving. I took a little class on soap carving which gave me some good tips.

 

Most people I know use a pencil to make their marks, they are more precise. Make sure the pecil is very sharp, and dont press hard, just a fine line is needed (scrapping the soap in doing so). Just get practice doing this. I too used the sharpie at first, after the first line it clogs.

 

Straight lines - laying the soap on the table and setting our pencil on the table and then drag it along. This makes perfectly straight lines.

 

Ruler has 90deg angles - while the new blades they use do not have 90deg angles, the ruler still does. Use this to make them.

 

Practice - it was difficult for me at first, but it is the only way of learning. I am visual and it helped me watch someone else do it. Then it was easy for me to understand how the little 'tricks' help. Try and find someone such as in a predent club that can help, or take the tutorials offered out there. I went from a 14 in carving in my first try to a 24 and I could have done better I beleive if I would have practiced more.

 

 

Wow. 14 to 24 is quite a jump.. I got 3 more weeks till feb DAT. I guess I gotta start practicing :P

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Good luck. And also, I concurr with CDAInterviewB that wearing gloves helped. When I started I found my hand holdning the soap was sweating because of the stress.

 

I ended up just wearing one glove on the hand that holds the soap to make sure the filings dont stick to it from the sweat. I liked not having a glove on my right hand as I needed the dexterity to carve with it as well as feeling how smooth the soap was. Once I got better at it I also found that I didnt sweat as much, but I still liked the glove because I could grip better and it is also nice to protect from accidentat cuts.

 

Oh and i forgot another major thing even though it may not be related to marking the soap - BLADES - always practicing with sharp blades helped me. It is very different to carve with dull blades than the fresh and sharp ones you get in the DAT. It takes more force and you chip easier with dull ones. They are cheap and can be bought at Lee Valley Tools for $5 for a pack of 3 - (cheaper then buying them anywhere else) - they have the EXACT same ones as the exam.... hmm I wonder where the CDA gets theirs? I simply just took the one sent to me by the CDA in the DAT kit to show them and they found them for me. Thanks Lee Valley!

 

I was curious so I went and found them online: http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=1&p=31095&cat=1,130,43332,44062&ap=1 I believe it is letter F. Hope this helps.

 

Hope your practicing goes well, the worst part is when you start off, I felt inept at doing it, but you catch on and get better with practice.

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Good luck. And also, I concurr with CDAInterviewB that wearing gloves helped. When I started I found my hand holdning the soap was sweating because of the stress.

 

I ended up just wearing one glove on the hand that holds the soap to make sure the filings dont stick to it from the sweat. I liked not having a glove on my right hand as I needed the dexterity to carve with it as well as feeling how smooth the soap was. Once I got better at it I also found that I didnt sweat as much, but I still liked the glove because I could grip better and it is also nice to protect from accidentat cuts.

 

Oh and i forgot another major thing even though it may not be related to marking the soap - BLADES - always practicing with sharp blades helped me. It is very different to carve with dull blades than the fresh and sharp ones you get in the DAT. It takes more force and you chip easier with dull ones. They are cheap and can be bought at Lee Valley Tools for $5 for a pack of 3 - (cheaper then buying them anywhere else) - they have the EXACT same ones as the exam.... hmm I wonder where the CDA gets theirs? I simply just took the one sent to me by the CDA in the DAT kit to show them and they found them for me. Thanks Lee Valley!

 

I was curious so I went and found them online: http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=1&p=31095&cat=1,130,43332,44062&ap=1 I believe it is letter F. Hope this helps.

 

Hope your practicing goes well, the worst part is when you start off, I felt inept at doing it, but you catch on and get better with practice.

 

Thanks for the advice :) too bad I already got my blade from CDA prep kit :P

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Thanks for the advice :) too bad I already got my blade from CDA prep kit :P

 

True, but I think you only get two with it (that's what I got). If you end up (and hopefully not) wanting/needing to take the DAT again - like i did - having fresh blades is nice.

 

I always used the blade to mark, it's the only thing precise enough.

My carving score was 30.

 

Yeah I used my blade for the ends, but a sharp pencil for the rest. Nice score!

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