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September 2012
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Lorrie [userpic]
Today, I Learned about Pouring Candles

Some days, you can't get the Catholic out of the girl...because dangit, if you want me to sling mojo/fling woo/etc at someone (or ones...) for an extended period of time, I'm lighting a candle, so that every time I go by I remember and send another packet of Good Thoughts.

But what gnaws at me are these perfectly good classes I'm leaving in a trail behind me, and the fact that I was using paraffin candles--when I'm trying to pull away both from non-durable plastics and reduce my waste.

So, what would happen if I refilled these with molten wax and new wicks?

And what did we learn today?

The experiment: what is the correct proportion of beeswax to soy wax that will make a candle that will not burn so hot as to crack the glass?

Things I Learned Today:

  1. Yes, you can safely combine 1/3 soft soy wax with 2/3 beeswax.

  2. The beeswax will throw off some kind of brown spoodge. I'm guessing bee parts some sort of proteinous remains. This can be safely skimmed away.

  3. Yes, I should have a vessel underneath whatever I'm pouring into. This should not be the kitchen sink without some intermediate catchbasin.

  4. Because otherwise, I will clog the disposal.

  5. However in the event that I fail my WIS check, I can make my save vs Wrathful Husband throw: candle wax is naught but an elaboration of bacon grease, and Drano works great here. Drano is clearly a path of the Way-Opening Power of Your Choice.

  6. That tacky wax that holds the metal plate at the bottom of the glass is great!

  7. Until you actually pour the wax, then it, too, melts. Use it anyway, it helps you know how long to make the wick, and then you can just maneuver the chopstick back to center.

  8. 1/3 soft soy + 2/3 bee - brown gunk = a pleasant cream color when cooled.

  9. This mix does make a "sinkhole": a crust of wax forms at your ideal pouring height while wax contracts beneath, leaving a hole. While, yes, I could mash this down with my thumb, in the future, a second pour is the recommended course.

I have one filled seven-day glass (yer bog-standard church candle), a half-height but otherwise identical-seeming glass, and a third glass that looks like some sort of double shot/on the rocks/etc glass. All have previously held candles (two paraffin, one soft soy, respectively). We'll see how they do on this blend, provided by the fine folks at Juniper Tree here in Berkeley. I've lit the seven-day and will see how that goes.

No marriage were harmed in the making of these candles--remember, kids, Drano can help you make your saving throw!

-- Lorrie

Current Mood: creativecreative


Beware, you are starting down the dreaded road to a new hobby!

As far as something under what you are pouring, you can use a disposable pie tin, or even a formed piece of tinfoil. Heavy tinfoil is cool because if you spill, you can wait for the wax to cool and then peel it up and remelt it. I don't know about the soy/beesawax blend, though - I work with beeswax or beeswax and bayberry.

Do be careful to check the material composition of your wicks. Many commercial wicks have zinc in them, which you may not want.

Mm. Maybe. I spent $12 on wax that was supposed to be enough for two seven-day glasses, but wasn't quite, hence the one large and two small. I'll keep in mind what you said about the aluminum foil, though, should I start doing this more regularly--if I continue with beeswax, for instance, I'll probably switch to wax from the crazy-enough-to-be-holy Yemeni Bee Guy, but at that point I'll also have to work out some way to hack "giant brick of wax" into "useful chunks" that doesn't render my kitchen unlivable (see: save vs. wrathful husband).

Got any pointers there?

I picked soy for mixing with bee because it's one of the lowest melters and because they had it in bulk at Juniper Tree ($5.50/lb). The beeswax, I'm told, was being sold at the going rate, even accounting for online ($7.50/lb), but Khaled at Bee Healthy may have a better price.

-- Lorrie

Giant hammer! It's my answer to most craft dilemmas... maybe this is why I'm not a crafter.

I've only rolled beeswax candles, not melted them. But that's cool!

Eee! Giant hammer + chisel ftw!

I've rolled candles in the past, and it just seemed terribly inefficient and resulted in candles that lasted not terribly long. Contrariwise, the double boiler on the wax was about as difficult as melting chocolate: you need to mind it, but it's not as tricksy as even a roux, let alone caramel, as kitchen napalms go. 8-)

-- Lorrie

I admit, I get mine in bulk on eBay. My price point is $4 - $5 per pound, shipped. This is a good price, for example.

Cutting the big blocks is a PITA. I have a Modified Presto Pot melting pot that I use to melt the big blocks, and pour them into little blocks. A bit of a pain to clean, but you can be creative.

I want to get a hot knife to try and see if that works. You'd still have to watch the temperature so that it didn't set a fire, and have a drip catcher underneath, but...

That sounds rather more complicated than I can deal with at the moment. 8-/

-- Lorrie

Interesting:) Candles and wicks are an issue for eco aware pagans and others who like lighting candles. I am still working through a big bag of tea lights purchased a long time ago.

the only wicks I have ever seen sold were cotton and NOT organic cotton, which leaves me avoiding them because I try to not buy non organic cotton:(

The local soap and candle shop had all-cotton wick by the yard. I figured it was worth it for an experiment, but the experiment was not as complete a success as I would have liked. 8-/

-- Lorrie

if you need or want assitance i have a small library on candle making (not dipped, i simply dont have a set up for that but i have a huge knowledge from pouring candles for money in my own kitchen. .
i have learned how to clean/process raw beeswax sucessefuly. i cannot get teh pure white wax but i can tell you why and how to do it cheaply and effectively. and i can reccomend b tools, books that are "Good" and websites that are really good and have useful informaiton. ie here is a SUPER sight filled wiht good information. http://www.candletech.com. it has caluclators and tells you how to make a do it yourself wax melter for cheap like about $30.00 in materials and your time. same melter sells on the internet for $65-$95.00. i have used it again and again and again.

dont use your sink you will hate supporting a plumber to his next vacation home. but dealing with hot wax is easy peasy.

yes it is an enthralling hobby. a bit on the expensive side in the beginning but entrhalling nonethe less.

this is me shutting up now.

The wax melter she's referring to is the modified Presto Pot, a Do it yourself wax melter. If you are or have handy people around, it's cheaper than buying the one on eBay. The ones on eBay don't have an elbow, they are straight through (which is probably better if you ever need to manually unclog it.)

Oh, and do get a thermometer. I've found that you don't really want beeswax too hot when pouring it because it develops more voids, but too cool tends to stripe.

Yes, I blather lots... and I love the smell of pure beeswax.

Thermometers I have a-plenty. *grin*

-- Lorrie

Hey, thanks for the input! I'll be sure to keep this handy if I go much further in this...

-- Lorrie