February 01, 2004

Mold Techniques

Mold Techniques
It is no secret that the candle market is flooded with container and jar candles. This is a logical progression because these types of candles are easy to make, smell great, and are relatively easy to maintain multiple brands using different labels. Every candle maker is faced with the challenge of creating more revenue for various reasons whether it is at the crafting level to fuel their hobby, or a manufacturer that needs to pay next week’s payroll. One way to bring in new customers and increase sales is to offer new and unique candles that are not offered by you competition. This can easily be achieved by learning how to make freestanding or pillar candles using a variety of mold techniques. According to the National Candle Association, candle users say they most frequently burn candles in the living room (42%), followed by the kitchen (18%) and the bedroom (13%). One may assume that aesthetics are important in the living room and creating beautifully unique pillars that burn cleanly could be a great way to increase sales. The following tips and tricks should help you with increasing your freestanding candle offering.

Aluminum Molds

  • Aluminum molds are heat resistant, durable, and leave no ugly seams in the finished candle. Finished candles are professional looking and have an extremely smooth finish.
  • Pillar Pins are a great way to increase production while maintaining perfectly straight wicks. Once mastered they are a necessity for making pillars efficiently.
  • If you are using rubber plugs to seal the wick hole, place molds on two parallel strips of wood or other material that allows you to keep molds level.
  • Adjust pouring temperature to achieve different effects. If candles are not de-molding easily, try raising pour temperature a bit.

Polyurethane Molds

  • Leave an extra few feet of wick coming from the bottom of the mold. This way fresh wick comes up through the wick hole when you remove the finished candle, thus eliminating the need to push wick through the tiny hole for the next candle.
  • You can carefully trim the mold down the sides or where needed with a sharp razor blade.
  • Rub a very small amount of petrolatum on the seam to help smooth seams. While you are rubbing the petrolatum on the seam, use the opportunity to verify you have the mold correctly lined up.
  • Use picture wire or a D-string from a mandolin to help you wick the mold the same way you would thread a needle.

Polycarbonate Molds

  • Be sure to use the correct wax designed for free standing candles. If you use the wrong wax or incorrect temperature, it can be tricky getting the mold cleaned out.
  • Do not pour wax into the mold if it is over 200 degrees or damage to the mold may occur.
  • A mold rack (part # DSM-100) can be used to hold the polycarbonate molds at different angles to make unique stripes on the finished candle.

CHANDLERS CORNER

Hi! I'm Chandler!
I can help you
learn how to make candles.

From Ancient Rome to Internet at Home.

If you are reading this newsletter, you are already familiar with endless amounts of information that your computer can provide. Many candle makers ask me for tips and tricks that enable them to get more use out of their computer investment. The computer is much more than a desktop appliance to pass funny emails around or to surf the Internet chatting with candle makers far and near. The computer is a powerful tool that can be used to create documents and forms that streamline your operation. Let me know if there are any documents or calculators that you would like me to publish and I will do my best to provide a useful template for you to use for free. This month I have provided a simple candle log that you can download for free which will enable you to take quick and accurate notes on your candle trials and recipe developments. By filling in a few key pieces of information, you can help us to help you when you are presented with a challenge. Please feel free to print out a few copies and leave them laying around your operation.


Beginners!
Don't miss this kit and other great itmes in the Super Sales section on Candlewic.com. There's always something new.


February 2004

PROJECT:
Easter Egg
Chunk Candle.

This month’s project is good for container or pillar candles and you can substitute any wax chunk or embed in place of the Easter egg. It is a simple technique that can be used in so many ways to help you create beautiful candles.

Ingredients
Jars or Molds
Easter Eggs or any wax chunk or embed
Over pour wax or gel
Pre-wick Assembly

Instructions

Step 1
Select, clean, wick, and prepare your jars or molds as you normally do.

Step 2
Insert wax Easter eggs, chunks, or embeds into the mold or jar being careful not to disrupt the wick. You can make your own chunks with scrap wax by pouring the wax into a pan and slice into chunks when soft and pliable before totally hardening.

Step 3
Pour the appropriate type of white or lightly colored wax or gel around the embeds, eggs, or chunks. If using wax, chunks will be suitable. If using gel, eggs or other embeds are the way to go. Remember that gel pillar candles require a special gel that is specially formulated for making pillars.

Step 4
Light the candle and watch as the melt pool changes colors as it melts the various chunks. Take careful note of your pour temperature vs. the melt point of your chunks or embeds and make any adjustments necessary.

 
Hot Off The Press:
You can never have enough books to peruse for new ideas, new techniques, or to use as an aide for educating your employees. This month’s book is titled Beeswax and Wicks written by Jackie Stephens and Linda Lloyd. It has 29 beeswax sheet candle projects with full-color photos. Although geared more for the beginner, the many different types of candles shown in the book will inspire larger manufacturers with new product ideas as well.
 
Quick Facts:

Votive Pins can be used with a variety of molds besides the standard M-63 votive cup. You can use them with all the other votive cups we offer. If you use them with tea light cups, you can pop the cooled wax out of the tea light cup, flip it over, and have a nice smooth top. You can do the same with octagon votives and square votives as well. The pin’s circular part makes a very unique impression that serves as the candle’s top when you pull the wax and pin from these other molds.

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