February 01, 2007

All About Molds

All About Molds

Do you remember the first time you thought about making candles?  Probably like most people, your thought process was how hard can it be? You melt wax, add the color and fragrance, insert the wick, and then you have a finished candle. After you poured your first candle, it became obvious that there is definitely much more involved in the process.  

You have to choose the right wax, correct wick, select from more than 300 fragrances, pick a type of dye (check our past issues for assistance on any of these subjects) and again, like most people, figure you just take all of those components and simply pour into your mold only to discover there is yet another choice to be made. Which type of mold do I use? You quickly learn again there is a myriad of shapes, designs and types. 

From the design/creative perspective, this comes as great news with so many choices. The potential for new types of candles is endless. As the home décor trends continue to accent candles, designers and home owners are always looking for new shapes, sizes and textures for candles.

Aluminum moldsAluminum
The first type of mold, and is probably the most popular type, is aluminum. These molds are available in a wide range of standard shapes, diameters and sizes. The most popular shape is round and is available in diameters ranging from 2” up to 6” and lengths up to 9 ½”. In addition to round aluminum molds, other popular shapes like squares, ovals and octagons, are available. 

Aluminum molds are great to work with because they are seamless. Most waxes release easy from the mold, they generally do not rust and aluminum allows the wax to set up smoothly on the surface. The one drawback to using aluminum molds is they are not generally available for unique shapes or sizes, unless you wish to have a tool built.

Ploycarbonate egg mold Plastic
Plastic molds, specifically polycarbonate, continue to grow in popularity as candle makers look for new shapes and designs that are offered. While plastic molds have been used for many years polycarbonate is much newer on the candle scene. The polycarbonate molds have been developed to accept higher pouring temperatures, better resistance to fragrances, and the molds have some flexibility to help get the candle out of the mold.  

These molds have been developed to make very unique shaped candles which include balls, pyramids, cones, cross and many more unique shapes. Depending on the type of mold, polycarbonate can be one or two piece molds.

Polyurethane rose moldRubber Molds
The next type of material used in molds are rubber, and they encompass silicone, polyurethane, and what we are introducing as Miracle Mold Material (M3). The polyurethane molds are great for making tapers, figurines and custom types of molds. These materials are very flexible and will allow candles to be made that have a number of undercuts (extended arms, wings) and detail that most plastic molds will not pick up. 
Polyurethane molds are also very popular for making beeswax candles, because the flexibility of the mold allows it to be peeled and the candle pulls out, which is sometimes necessary due to the tacky nature of beeswax.  

Molds commonly found using polyurethane are tapers, figurines, (rabbits, owls) fruit and hearts.

Custom Molds
What could be a very exciting product for many candle makers is the ability to make your own custom molds. Yes, this possibility existed before, but it was two part material, which was somewhat difficult to use. Now there is a brand new product available, which we are calling Miracle Mold Material (M3). It allows you to take two putties and to mix them together by hand. Then form around any of your favorite objects, and in 20-30 minutes, you have your own custom candle and/or soap mold. Now, any candle maker can make their own custom molds and at a very reasonable price. Think about the potential, wedding showers, baby showers, embeds, pie shells and many, many other possibilities. Be the first to try this new and exciting product and really let your creative abilities be launched into the candle industry.

If you have only made containers to date, it is definitely worthwhile putting together a pillar line to extend your product offering. Pillar candles offer extremely vibrant colors due to the fact there is no glass blocking the true color of the candle as seen with the naked eye. The profit margin on pillar candles may be higher as well because the price of the glass is removed from the cost of raw materials.

What is even more exciting is the growing interest in Palm waxes,which have the added element of unique designs on the surface. The potential for new and interesting candles can be endless when making pillars.
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CHANDLER'S CORNER

What is the easiest way to wick a pillar mold?

As we have covered in this issue, there are several different types of materials used to make pillars; each of these actually use a different type of wicking system. One of the best ways for the round aluminum molds is to use the pillar pin.  The other option is securing the bottom of the mold with a rubber plug and then securing the top with a wick bar M-321.  

The polyurethane molds do not need any type of sealing at the bottom because the material and wick offer a snug fit. One trick I always tell my readers is when you wick this mold for the first time, leave a great deal of extra wick at the bottom. That way, when you pull the candle out, it will automatically wick the mold for the next pour.

For the polycarbonate, the best way to secure the bottom is to tie a knot in the wick and gently pull the wick through the chamber at the bottom.



February 2007

Featured Project:
Custom Molds
Using Our NEW Miracle Mold Material (M3)

M# mold and product

Have you noticed an item in your home that you thought would make a unique candle and/or soap mold? But, then you realized that making the mold was a difficult and costly endeavor? This was truly the case until Miracle Mold Material (M3) came along.

We have selected a flower to use for this project, but you can use any similar object. The best project to get started with should be simple, until you learn how to work with the material.

The first step is to take equal part of the material (again, start with something small and only use a small portion of the material). One is an ivory color and the other is yellow. Mix them together thoroughly by hand. You will know they are mixed together thoroughly when the material is a consistent yellow with no streaks. You will have to work fast because the material will start to set in about 5 minutes.

The next step is to take the material and form around the flower. Make sure you apply pressure throughout the object and have some level of thickness of the material around the object.  Depending on what the object is, leave the bottom of the object open so you can pour the wax/soap base into the complete mold. The thicker the molding material is, the more durable the mold will be in the future. 

Once you have the material uniformly covered (leaving the bottom open) take the bottom of the mold/top of the candle and gently flatten out so the mold will rest flat. 

Let the product set, which is generally 30-40 minutes, and then remove your object from the material.  You now have your finished mold, and you can take the wax and pour into the mold. 

FEATURES

  • Make all of your own custom candle and soap molds that are great for weddings, baby showers and other special events.
  • Make your own embeds.
  • Easy to mix by hand.
  • No waste of materials - only mold to the level of the desired thickness of the mold.
  • Very fast set-up time; no need to wait over night to use.
Can be used with wax, soap, candy chocolate.

 

FAST FACT
According to the wedding industry, this July 7, (70707) is expected to be the largest single number of marriage ceremonies.
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