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June 03, 2013

Tools of the Trade


Tools of the Trade

Many people have stumbled into the candle market in unique and different ways, including our company. Candlewic was started back in 1972 when a Cub Scout project of pouring wax into a milk carton developed into what it is today: one of the largest candle suppliers in the world.

Like most small businesses, the startup for the Candlewic Company was very modest, and many candle companies started in that same way, either in a kitchen or a basement with nothing more than wax and a milk carton. So the question is: what do you really need to get started with items other than the raw materials?

The most obvious starting point is a means to melt the wax. Most people start with the pouring pot, which generally holds 4 pounds of wax. This pot is placed in a pot with hot water to create a double boiler. When wax is up to the proper temperature, the fragrance and color is added right into this pouring pot, then poured into the container, molds or vessel. There is a smaller pot, which holds 1 pound, making it easier for pouring smaller candles like votives and tarts, but it will not melt as much wax.

However, before pouring you will absolutely need a thermometer. As we have featured in previous issues, pouring temperatures are extremely important, no matter which wax you may be using. Thermometers can be as simple as your basic candle/ candy thermometer or as sophisticated as ones used in scientific applications. The hand held thermometers can be very useful to read surface temperatures when pouring containers. With these 2 essential products you can now determine the other items you need based on the type of candles you wish to make.

One of the advantages of making container candles is that when you have the pouring pot and thermometer you are ready to go and the vessels you pour into can be sold. However, to make the best container candle you may want to look at some additional accessories. The Bow Tie clip M-503 is one of the items we highly recommend and can be used in most containers, tins and other vessels to ensure the wick is centered. These are fairly inexpensive and will last for many pours.

Another product that can help are the glue dots, although I am not sure if they would be considered a raw material or accessory. Either way, they should always be part of the candle making process. Glue dots ensure the wick is centered in the bottom of the container, and they are very easy to use.

Pillars require a little more investment to get started. There are many choices and options with pillar molds, like aluminum, polycarbonate and tin. The shape you wish to make dictates which type of mold to use. Aluminum molds are most effective for your standard shapes and sizes, like round, square and octagon. When making unique types of candles the polycarbonate would be the molds of choice. They tend to run more, but there many unique designs available.

When making round pillars a nice product to help make the process easier are the pillar pins. These are the easiest way to ensure the mold will not leak and the wick is centered the entire length of the candle.

If making some of the other items like tarts, clamshells, tea lights and votives, the pouring pot, thermometer and molds are all you need. However, one of the items that will make your votives a breeze are votive pins, the companion to the pillar pin. These are very easy to use. Be sure to check out this month's project to see how to use them.

As you can see, starting your small business, hobby or passion can be done on a minimal budget.

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


Since we combined the May and June issues together, I have a number of questions that have come up.

Why can't the pouring pot be placed directly on the heat source?

When making candles, no matter how neat you try to pour, some amount of wax will run down the sides of the pouring pot. After this wax hardens and you place the pouring pot directly back on the heat source, the wax on the outside of the pouring pot will run down the sides and into the flame or coils of the heater. Placing the pouring pot in a pot with hot water ensures your wax can be melted safely.

Can any soy wax be used to make pillars, votives?

Unfortunately there is a limited number of Soy waxes suitable for making pillars. Soy waxes generally have a very low melt point and cannot be used to make pillars. The wax will not shrink and is very brittle, in most instances. The ECO-Soya PB wax is very good for making pillars, however.

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We thank all of you who continue to subscribe to our YouTube channel. If you haven't, be sure to check out all of the videos we have up:

Soy-125 Wax Video

Custom Wick Builder Video

Starter Candle Making Kits Video

Beeswax Video

Scents & Fragrances Video

Jars & Glassware Video

Wicks Video

Candle Molds Video

June 2013

Featured Project:
Making Votives with Votive Pins

One of the best products to help make the perfect votive is the votive pin. This item ensures your wick will be centered every time.



Step 1
Insert the votive pin into the votive mold.

Step 2
Heat the wax to 180°F and stir in color.

Step 3
Let the wax cool to the desired pouring temp.

Step 4
Add 4% to 6% fragrance.

Step 5
Fill the mold/pin with wax.

Step 6
Remove the pin by carefully tapping.

Step 7
Insert the wick assembly into candle.


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