My Pillar Won't Burn
I made a 2 1/2" by 2 1/2" pillar and used the Betterbee 60 ply wick. Actually, I used an empty yogurt cup as a mold. Then I started burning the candle. After about 4 hours the wick is in a well about 1 1/2" across, leaving a rim about 1/2" around the outside of the pillar. The wick is still burning, but with a very small flame. Does anyone have any advice as to how to get the entire candle to melt/burn? Do 100% beeswax pillars over 2" wide really burn?
Would love to see a picture of your pillar.
Picture of my pillar
I won't guarantee that this will work, but here is a picture:
Nice looking candles. My wife is about ready to make her first batch.
Seen many a candle with the same burn pattern.
Usually one side or the other eventually falls into the center.
What happened when you let it keep burning.
I relit the candle this morning. The cumulative burn time is about 10 hours. The candle continues to burn with a rather small flame. The well has gotten deeper, none of the sides have fallen in, but they are somewhat soft (and warm).
For personal use, this type of burning is okay. I can always remelt the unused wax and pour a new candle. However, what happens when I sell a pillar and it doesn't completely burn? I would hate to have customers complain when they are left with half a candle. As a comparison, I have been making and selling taper candles, which do not have this issue.
I'm glad you liked the picture. As a learning tool, yogurt cups are great.
I don't think you have a big enough wick. What you describe as happening is because your wick is drowning. You will just have to experiment with wick sizes to find the one that works.
You beat me to the punch. Meant to add that to my last post but didn't re-read it before I posted. A hotter (bigger) wick should solve the problem.
Originally Posted by beekeeper_sd
It makes sense to me that I need a bigger wick. However, the wick I used is supposed to work for pillars 3" and larger. So why doesn't it work in a pillar 2 1/2" wide?
I found candlewic.com and see that it lists many more wick types and sizes than I've found in any beekeeping catalogue. I asked candlewic.com a what wick it recommends.
Can't explain that, Candlewic is usually pretty good at recommending the right wick size. Maybe your wax isn't completely clean. I have found that different batches of wax require different wicks cause sometimes the wax has more honey in it than other times.
I know its recommended to burn a 2" candle min 2 hours at a time 3" min 3 hours at a time etc.
So several short burns instead of long burns could cause such a thing.
Most candle wick recommendations are for candles made from parrafin or soy. Beewax, no matter how clean requires a bigger wick due to the higher burn temp.
The cleaner the wax the better
Beware though. Each batch of wax, is different. Different extractions ie 1st or 2nd or the next year, the wax is different and may not use the same size wick. You need to test one candle from each extraction to ensure customer satisfaction.
And finally, you need to burn pillars longer to get them to burn to the outside edge. If you only burn say 1/2hour on a 2", the next time will tunnel. A 2" candle will take almost 2 hours to burn to the egde Right size wick will require less "hugging".
I burn a 3" candle to the edge with no hugging on a #6 wick. Sometimes #5 or a 5.5(i think. halfway between the two) and always squarre braided
Thanks for all the help and advice. I tried to clean my wax as much as possible. I know that parrafin and beeswax require different wicks, I am trying to find the right wick without "reinventing the wheel". I will use your wick advice for my next attempt. The first time I lit the pillar I let it burn for about 6 hours. The sides of the well were slightly warm and soft.
I ran into a woman selling candles today. She said that since beeswax is softer than parrafin, a hardener might help. Any thoughts about a hardener?
never used hardner. I find beeswax just needs trial and error because it is a natural product where as parrafin is man made and nearly always the same. One of the differences between beeswax and parrafin is the pour temp and the burn temp. Thus the difference in wicks (burn temp). Beeswax is also denser i find.
For me votives work with a # 2 and sometimes #1
2" candles use a #3 and so on. It is frustrating in the beginning. But once you get going, write the number down in a book for future reference.
I do not understand the 60 ply
Oh yes do not forget to prime the wick
Honeyshack, I used the 60 ply wick because it is the largest size in the Betterbee category. Thanks for your comments about which size wicks have worked for you. I'm hoping to minimize the trial and error experience! I am going to filter my wax one more time before I try another pillar.
But first, I'm going skiing in VT for a couple of days!
Google Alberta Beeswax or Wicks in Wax in BC. The ship out all over the place and they know their candles and beeswax and have a pile of supplies.
From 1/0 to smaller wick and from #1 to, well I buy up to #7