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November 01, 2002

Candle Making as a Second Language


"The En-Light-ener"
Candle Making Newsletter

Welcome to the En-light-ener, Candlewic's newsletter for the candle making community.

We wish to thank everyone who has taken the time to provide the positive feedback on our newsletter. As we have stressed, we look to better serve our customers and are always looking for ways to improve our communications. If you have any suggestions we do look forward to any comments you may have.

Candlewic wishes everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving.

In the last issue we started a new feature entitled "Candle Making as a Second Language". We will continue with this theme in this edition. In future issues, this will become a regular feature.

Natural Wax At the present time there has not been a clear-cut definition assigned to this product as it relates to the candle industry. In general this is any wax that is a by-product of a plant, insect or other living creature can be considered a natural wax.

Soy While it is a natural wax it is further defined as a wax that is 100% Soy.

Polymers These products are used to increase the melt point of a wax, increase the vibrancy of the colors, improve opacity, or to "strengthen" the wax. Common polymers include AC-400 and C-15. Many blended waxes will contain polymers.

Needle Penetration This is commonly used to measure the hardness of the wax. While this is important when using waxes on high-speed equipment and hand carved applications it is difficult to access a wax on this merit only.

Melt Pool This term is use to describe the diameter of liquid wax that occurs during the burning of the wick. In a 4-inch diameter glass the ideal situation is to get a melt pool as close as possible to the side of the container.

Fully Refined Wax This is a wax that has been through the maximum refined process. A fully refined wax generally has a melt point of 125 degrees F or better and has a lower oil content. The exact oil content will vary depending on the melt point of the wax. Fully refined waxes are generally used to make pillars, votives and most candles other then container candles.

In future editions of the Englightner we will continue to provide additional definitions that should be helpful in understanding the "World of Candle Making."


Working with Natural F Wax using a 3-wick mold

F wax is a natural pillar wax that displays a feather design when completed. There is no need for any additives because the feather design occurs as a result of the crystallization process.

Please note that because the characteristics of natural waxes are different than paraffin waxes, procedures will change when you determine wick size and the amount of fragrance and color to add.

The mold for this project is Candlewic catalog #AM-16, a 6" X 6½" round aluminum mold with 3 wicks holes.

Melt the desired amount of the F wax to between 140-160 degrees F and add your color and fragrance. This wax will hold between 4% and 6% fragrance. Preheat the desired mold to 140 degrees F. Aluminum molds seem to work best with this wax. Pour the wax into the mold and as the wax begins to solidify re-pour at about 20 degrees F above your initial pouring temperature. It may be necessary to poke a hole on the top surface prior to re-pouring to ensure there are no air pockets in the candle.

For best performance results during burning, it is recommended you use the RRD wicks, HTP wicks or the CD wicks. All of these wicks are available from Candlewic.


November 2002




Story of "Chandler"

For those of you who are not aware, Candlewic recently introduced--or re-introduced--a friend to the candle making community and Candlewic's most senior employee, Chandler. Many of you may recognize Chandler from boxes used for shipping merchandise to seeing Chandler's picture on letterhead or in catalogs.

Chandler now has a new assignment. Promoted to Assistant for Candle Making Education or ASCME, Chandler will be a guide and resource primarily for those new to candle making and those candle makers who may need help from time to time.

Chandler's involvement in candle making dates back to the early seventies when the founders of Candlewic, Betty and Bill Binder, were traveling in California. Attending an art show, they met an unknown artist and cartoonist named Charles Schultz who had more than he could handle with a dog and a bunch of kids. Mr. Schultz suggested to Betty and Bill that they hire Chandler. After giving the suggestion some thought, Betty and Bill agreed because they new they would need help with their new company, Candlewic. Of course it was good for Mr. Schultz also, because it would free up his time so he could pay more attention to his dog and kids.

Chandler wants to hear from you VIA email. He can be reached at Please write: Att: Chandler in the subject line. Please, no phone calls.

Candle Making Kits
For Beginners
Check out the first of our all-new candle making kits for beginners. This one is a kit to make pillars and votives.



Q: How do I conduct my burning test?
A: The most effective way to conduct a burn test is in accordance with how your instructions are written. In general the instructions will be to burn the candle for four hours and then extinguish. Wait one hour, trim the wick and relight. This process should be done until the entire candle is consumed. By conducting the burn test in accordance with your instructions, you can help when problems arise with smoking and sooting. It is always best to start your testing with the smallest intended wick for the application and move up in size until you select the proper wick.

Q: What do you mean when you say burn rate?
A: The burn rate is the amount of wax that is consumed per hour. However, without something to measure this against, the burn rate is not an effective measurement. Where the burn rate can be effective is if you want to change something (such as the type of wick) in the makeup of your candle. For example the 60-44-18 zinc wick has a burn rate of 6.6 grams per hour. If you wanted to switch from zinc to cotton wicks, you would know to start your test burning with something like a 44-32-18 cotton wick, which has a burn rate of 6.4 grams per hour.

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I wish to thank everyone who has sent me emails of encouragement on appointment to the position of Assistant for Candle Making Education (ASCME). My primary goal is to assist Candle Makers of all sizes in learning how to improve the way they make candles. If you look on our website, I have a very large selection to assist beginners to learn everything they need to know about candle making. However, I can also assist the larger manufacturer to improve in any area they desire.

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