October 01, 2006

Prime Time

Prime Time

Candles are used in many different settings including birthday parties, weddings and other significant occasions. As the upcoming holidays approach, the interest and popularity will continue to grow, peaking with the year end holidays.  

The upcoming 6-8 weeks are very critical to candle makers of all sizes.  This time of year can be both fun and stressful now that your product is in demand.  Since many candle makers are not fully automated and are pouring candles after most people have gone to bed, the question is always raised, “Is there a better way?” In some instances there may be better ways to do some of the basic functions. 

One of the areas that can be problematic for many candle makers is keeping the wick centered when pouring votives. This task can be simplified two ways.  The first is to utilize a votive pin (M-63-P). This unique product slides into the votive cup and you pour your wax in. Then when the candle is completely hard, you slide the pin out and slid a Pre-Wick Assembly into the cavity.  An added feature of the pin is that it allows you to widen your selection of wicks to include cotton, flat braided and most other wicks. 

The second way to help ensure the wick is centered is to order the Pre-Wick Assembly with the 33 mm base.  This base fits perfectly into the bottom of the votive cup.  This will help keep your wick centered in the bottom. Be sure to keep this centered in the top of the candle.

These pins are also available for use in pillars.  The only difference is that you will slide the pin into the pillar from the outside.  When you remove the pillar you simply take a waxed wick and slide it through the preformed wick hole. This can eliminate the bottom of your molds from leaking.

Another similar piece of equipment is the Wick Stick, although this does have some limitation to its use.  The Wick Stick takes your Pre-Wick assembly and allows you to slide it into the tube and place, into your jar candle and keeps the wick centered while your wax cools.  Before the wax completely hardens you pull the stick out.  This product cannot be used with Soy waxes and other waxes that you are not topping off. 

One of the most first questions candle makers have to ask is, “How will I melt my wax?” Depending on how many candles you need to make will determine what will work best.  In terms of heaters there are two distinct types of units: water jacketed and direct heat. Each unit has its own particular strength and weakness. 

Water Jacketed

Pro
  •Can be plugged into
    most outlets
  •Replacing heating element
    is an easy process
  •Available in larger sizes
  •160#, 200#, 270# and 540#

Con
  •Can only heat product
    up to 200°F
  •Tank should be insulated
  •Adequate water levels
    must be maintained
  •Ball valve is not heated
 

Direct Heat

Pro
  •Can melt wax a little faster
  •Heats products above 220°F
  •Heated ball valve

Con
  •Requires a hubble plug
    to be installed
  •Replacing heating element will
    require professional assistance
  •Draws more power than
    water jacketed

One of the unique things about candle making is the smallest candle maker can make product that in terms of quality can compete with any large manufacturer.  The key with candle making is always paying attention to the details.

 

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

CHANDLER'S CORNER

One of the things that I always try to stress is the little things in candle making are what makes the difference in producing a quality candle. It can be easy to recommend the right wax, scent and direction in selecting the proper wick, but they mean nothing if proper care is not taken when measuring all of the ingredients. When putting together your formula everything should be calculated by weight.  This is important so that consistent results can be achieved. Teaspoons, cups and other measuring devices can yield different weights on a heaping size versus an undersized. When working with effective additives such as vybar even being off a small percentage can change how the candle performs. Also as your batch sizes increase ensuring the weights go up proportionally can be difficult.  Investing in a small scale can pay dividends in your productions process especially if you are taking your process from kitchen to a small scale operation. 

HOT NEW FRAGRANCES FOR THE FALL HOLIDAYS

  •SUGARED VANILLA SHORTBREAD
  •CARMEL APPLE CIDER
  •CREAMY VANILLA MINT
  •FRESH SPRUCE GARLAND
  •GINGER & FRANKINCENSE
  •CINNAMON STICK

Hard to believe!!
Days Until...

  •Thanksgiving - 36
  •Christmas - 68
  •Hannukah - 59
  •End of the Year - 75

 


October 2006

Featured Project:
Making Tipped Tapers

Ingredients
Coat hanger
Beeswax (or Taper wax)
2/0 wick
Concentrated Color Squares (of your choice)
Large metal pot

Instructions

Step 1
Bend a metal coat hanger into a rectangle with hook centered at top, making sure that the width and height will fit to dip entirely into your large, metal pot.

Step 2
Tie lengths of wick vertically between the top and bottom of the frame. Make sure to space the wicks a few inches apart, so that your candles will not touch as they are dipped.

Step 3
Place wax in a deep pot, such as our melting pot. Place in a pan of water and place on the stove top. Melt the wax in this double boiler and keep the temperature of the wax a steady 160°F (71°C). If the wax is too hot, it will not adhere to your wicks. If the wax is too cool, the surface of your finished candle will be lumpy.

Step 4
If color is desired, add your color squares to the wax once it is completely melted. Make sure the color squares have been dissolved before starting to dip the candles.

Step 5
The dipped tapers are made easily by repeatedly dipping the wick in the wax. Start with dipping the frame all the way down into wax in a slow smooth motion. Slowly pull frame straight up and cool for 3 or 4 minutes. Continue to dip, holding candles in the wax for about 3 seconds and cooling for 3 or 4 minutes between each dip. It is important to move slowly, smoothly and to always dip to the same level. After 6 or 7 dips, you will have a candle about the size of a pencil.

Step 6
As you dip, your frame will also fill up with wax. Periodically push this build-up down the sides of the frame into the pot to re-melt.

Step 7
Continue dipping until you have the candle diameter you desire. Please note that the candle will automatically form into a rounded, taper shape when the candle is dipped fully each time.

Step 8
Using scissors, trim wick at the bottom of each candle. Suspend your frame and let candles hang until completely cool. Then cut wicks at the top of the frame and level the bottom of each candle in a warmed tin pan.

For more great projects like this one, please check out our Candle Basics Book (item BK-8) with more than 50 great projects. You'll find it in the books section of Candlewic.com.

 

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