Howdy. My wife and I dipped a bunch of nice 6" pure beeswax tapers for christmas presents, using and old crock pot. They're beautiful. We didn't know what we were doing, but didn't let that stop us. They came out OK. Beginner's luck I guess.
Somewhere I heard about floating a few inches of wax on top of hot water to minimize the amount of wax you need to use. I haven't found anything online to support or explain the process. Anyone know anything more about it? I'd like to make some 10" and 12" tapers but don't have enough wax to fill my turkey cooker deep enough.
Also, what's the best temperature for dipping beeswax tapers? At one point I got my wax too hot and the candles got smaller instead of bigger. Any suggestions before I launch into this again on my own? I've already used up my beginner's luck for a while.
Dulcius ex asperis
I dip alot of candles george. I have never used the water method you mention. Never heard of it. I use boiling in melting and cleaning my wax cappings, etc. I know if any moisture is left in the wax after this process, the candles made from it will pop and smoke. Not sure if this water method would be best for quality candles. But I don't know. I sometimes have to remelt the blocks, sometimes in the oven months later, and there will be a small drop of water that forms at the bottom.
I use a hot plate with a dipping vat placed into a very large commercial type pot. I let the water boil until all the wax melts, and then turn the temp down till the water is under the boiling point. Alot of having the candles uniform and having it "grow" evenly, is the speed that you dip. The bottom of the candle stays under the wax alot longer than the top. Speed up the dipping, and alot of wax temp can be accounted for. I know there is an official temp somewhere, but I never actually measured mine.
I use a candle dipper that has the string mounted. But some of my favorite candles are "free hand" dipped. They look old fashion and authentic.
>I dip alot of candles george. I have never used the water method you mention. Never heard of it.
Well thanks Bjorn. I guess I'll give it a try- I've got nothing to lose and not enough wax left to NOT try it [img]smile.gif[/img]
I'll let you know how it goes. I too was wondering about water getting trapped in the candle, which would be a bad thing. I'm still experimenting with the whole process. What I'd really like is a metal container about 14" tall and maybe 4" by 12" or so that I could set in my turkey cooker, surrounded by a hot water bath.
Dulcius ex asperis
It is very important that no water is trapped in the candle and it even more important that the wick does not soak up any water. Water in wick will be evnly distributed and a candle with a wet wick will not burn. So therefore do not attempt the method with a layer of wax on top of water.
In order to minimize the amount of wax in use especially when making longer dipped candles one can revert to a long aluminum or stainless pipe with a plate welded to the bottom. If this plate is large enough it will support the pipe. Use heating coil wire which is also used for wrapping around water pipes to prevent these from freezing and wrap this heating wire around the aluminum pipe. You will have to disable the thermostat which comes with this wire and provide another suitable thermostat. Wrap then everything with insulation and slide it in a larger plastic pipe.
I have dipped candles made this way which are 27 inches long. In order to cool the candle after avery dipping there is another pipe required of the same lenght filled with water. After each dip in the cooling tank, water which adheres to the candle is wiped off. These candles were made by a member of the ETBA in Tyler Texas. He used a pully on the ceiling in order to pull up the candle for an easier dipping.
Such a large candle with the proper candle stand brings a premium price.
>It is very important that no water is trapped in the candle and it even more important that the wick does not soak up any water.
Well you speak with assurance, I'll assume you know what you are talking about!
The idea of making a really loooooong dipped candle is intriguing. I'll think about that. Thanks for the suggestions!
Dulcius ex asperis