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  1. #1
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    Aug 2009
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    Question candlemaking question and need recommendations on candlemaking books

    My duaghter (13) has gotten interested in candlemaking and I would like to get her a good candle-making book. Recommendations appreciated - everything from beginner to advanced (may get multiple books).

    Seperaste question - we made our first molded candles over the weekend. Bought a mold that is 2" dameter by 4" tall.

    I had wax culled from my hives over the past year sorted into white (cappings) and yellow (brood comb, etc...).

    We made a white and a yellow candle using wicks from the local art store (not sure of the wick size, but I would guestimate about 1/16" diameter).

    The yellow candle burns perfectly - about 1/2" flame and the wick height remains about 3/8" above the surface of the wax.

    The white candle is not wicking properly - the wick has burned down to a nub about 1/8" above the wax surface and the flame eventually goes out. I have inserted a new wick (melted in a hole from above and inserted it down) from exacly the same wick string as the yellow candle and the same thing has happened (so differences in the specific wick cannot be the explanation).

    Is there a difference in the way white beeswax and yellow beeswax from the same beehive burn? If the wick is burining down and out, what does that mean - that the wax is wicking more slowly? Should I use a larger diameter wick with the white wax candle?

    thanks,

    -fafrd

    p.s. I guess it's clear why we need a book now

  2. #2
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    Mar 2007
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    Oregon City, Oregon
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    986

    Default Re: candlemaking question and need recommendations on candlemaking books

    Hello, first off the wicks sold at almost all hobby shops are for paraffin wax, beeswax is much harder wax and takes a different type wick. With beeswax cleanliness is close to godliness you cant filter your wax enough, once melted strain it through an old t-shirt or the like even if it looks clean. Usually the flame slowly getting smaller then going out is either too small a wick or pollutants in the wax plugging the uptake of wax by the wick fibers. Try this site for lots of supplies http://www.candlewic.com just remember to always get wick and stuff for beeswax not paraffin , hope this helps
    Honeydew

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Moss Beach, CA
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: candlemaking question and need recommendations on candlemaking books

    Hello! Welcome to fab world of candlemaking. I've several books (Basic Candle Making, Begginer's Guide to Candlemaking,) While many of them have great basic instructions which can apply to all kinds of wax, the more specific instructions tend to be for paraffin wax. The best book I've come across written by a master candle maker specifically for beeswax is A Guide to Beeswax Candle Making by Ian Fraser. Contact www.busybeecandlesupply.ca 613/867-9041 (a Canadian company) to purhase. I don't think it's sold on Amazon. Also, I ran acorss a book titled Super Formulas Arts and Crafts: How to make more than 360 useful products that contain honey and beeswa. I haven't tried the recipes yet, but they look great. Purchased this on Amazon.
    Have Fun!

  4. #4
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    Jun 2010
    Location
    Outagamie County, Wisconsin USA
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    Default Re: candlemaking question and need recommendations on candlemaking books

    Honeydew is right on. You must have clean wax and the wick must be correct for the candle diameter.

    One thing, before burning beeswax candles, trim the wick to 1/4 inch. If during burning, the wick is pointed at the top and not rounded, that means the wick is too long. Extinguish the wick in the wax pool and trim to 1/4 inch, then relight. A flickering flame is either in a draft or again, the wick is too long. Flickering flames tend to smoke, even beeswax will.

    I never bought a book on candlemaking. Got all my info here on Beesource! Can't preach safety enough! Try Mann Lake or Betterbee (website or catalog) for candle supplies. Mann Lake gives beeswax wick sizes for all the molds they sell.
    Last edited by Bee Bliss; 02-28-2011 at 08:41 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    4,077

    Default Re: candlemaking question and need recommendations on candlemaking books

    Hi,
    I think you needed a #2 square braid wick. We got some stuff from candlechem, & some from peak candle. I learned the hard way I needed mold sealer for the hole in the bottom of metal molds.
    Dipped some tapers this winter, I think it was #2/0 square braid wick for the smaller diameter candles.

    Can't really brag about any of the candle books we've bought.
    Dan

  6. #6
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    Aug 2009
    Location
    Berkeley,California, USA
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    Default Re: candlemaking question and need recommendations on candlemaking books

    Quote Originally Posted by HONEYDEW View Post

    Hello, first off the wicks sold at almost all hobby shops are for paraffin wax, beeswax is much harder wax and takes a different type wick. Try this site for lots of supplies http://www.candlewic.com just remember to always get wick and stuff for beeswax not paraffin
    Thanks - I did not realize that. In general, are beeswax wicks bigger and/or softer than paraffin wicks? Next time I'll try to get wicks specifically for beeswax to see if that solves the problem...

    Quote Originally Posted by HONEYDEW View Post

    Usually the flame slowly getting smaller then going out is either too small a wick or pollutants in the wax plugging the uptake of wax by the wick fibers.
    Well, we filtered all of the beeswax (both white/capping and yellow/brood comb) through a fine strainer and cheesecloth and if anything, I would have to say that the white wax where I had the problem was the cleaner of the two, so I would be suprised if it was pollutants causing the problem.

    I like your other suggestion better - if beeswax is in general harder than paraffin then I would suppose that white/capping beeswax is probably more pure (and hence even harder) than the yellow/broodcomb beeswax.

    Will report back when I have tracked down and tried a 'beeswax' wick in the same candle.

    Are there different recipes to follow when making wicks for paraffin and/or beeswax? If you make a wick using beswax, does that make it a beeswax wick?

    Thanks for the help,

    -fafrd

  7. #7
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    Aug 2009
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    Berkeley,California, USA
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    Default Re: candlemaking question and need recommendations on candlemaking books

    Quote Originally Posted by Beemom View Post

    The best book I've come across written by a master candle maker specifically for beeswax is A Guide to Beeswax Candle Making by Ian Fraser. Contact www.busybeecandlesupply.ca 613/867-9041 (a Canadian company) to purhase.
    Beemon - thanks for this reference. I think I'll try to track down Fraser's book.

    -fafrd

  8. #8
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    Default Re: candlemaking question and need recommendations on candlemaking books

    Quote Originally Posted by Bee Bliss View Post

    Extinguish the wick in the wax pool and trim to 1/4 inch, then relight. A flickering flame is either in a draft or again, the wick is too long.

    The wick was originally trimmed to 1/4" long but it burned down to a small black nub about 1/8" long. I think the problem may have something to do with the paraffin versus beeswax issue...


    Quote Originally Posted by Bee Bliss View Post

    Mann Lake gives beeswax wick sizes for all the molds they sell.
    Didn'r realize that - thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bee Bliss View Post

    I never bought a book on candlemaking. Got all my info here on Beesource!
    Beeource is great, isn't it? My daughter wanted a book to read on candlemaking and if I had bought the book I found at Mann-Lake, I would have ended up with a book on paraffin candle-making. Now I will hopefully end up with a much better book for making candles with beeswax

    Thanks everyone!

    -fafrd

  9. #9
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    Berkeley,California, USA
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    Default Re: candlemaking question and need recommendations on candlemaking books

    Quote Originally Posted by KQ6AR View Post
    Hi,
    I think you needed a #2 square braid wick. We got some stuff from candlechem, & some from peak candle. Can't really brag about any of the candle books we've bought.
    Dan,

    didn't realize you were a candle-maker, too Something else I can now pick your brain on!

    These candles are about 2" diameter and wick was about 1/16" diameter and it looks like it was twisted, not braided. Have you ever made your own wicks? And have you made (seperate) candles with both white and yellow wax? Curious on a differences you have noticed between the two types of wax (this difference in the same candles with the same wicks has caught me by suprise).

    -fafrd

  10. #10
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    Jun 2010
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    Outagamie County, Wisconsin USA
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    Default Re: candlemaking question and need recommendations on candlemaking books

    fafrd,

    You misunderstood me. I was giving directions on how to properly burn beeswax candles. This advice was not aimed at how to burn the problem candle as how do you trim a wick that is already too short? That candle needs to be redone. You could add it to other wax you are cleaning. A thin wick will clog faster than a thick wick will when the wax is dirty. A wick that is too short or too long is also a problem.

    Here's a guideline I got from somewhere:

    Wick.... Recommended Candle Diameter

    4/0 ...for... tea light/votive/birthday candle
    3/0 ...for... taper/tea light/votive
    2/0 ...for... 0.8" taper
    1/0 ...for... 0.9" taper
    #1 ...for... 1" to 1.5"
    #2 ...for... 1.5" to 2"
    #3 ...for... 2" to 2.5"
    #4 ...for... 2.5" to 2.8"
    #6 ...for... 2.8 to 3.2"
    #7 ...for... 3.2" to 3.5"

  11. #11
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    Default Re: candlemaking question and need recommendations on candlemaking books

    Thanks for this info, bee bliss.

    For my 2" diameter candle, sounds like I need a #2 or a #3 wick - no idea what 'size' the wicks I bought at the local art store are - they are about 1/16" in diameter.

    The original wick was trimmed to 1/4" and burned down to a 1/8" nub. I inserted a second wick 1/2" long and it alo burned down to 1/8". These same wicks in yellow wax are burning fine.

    Eventually, I may get around to remelting this candle, refiltering it, and trying again with the same wick, but I think I first want to try the candle as is with a different wick (which should be easier).

    -fafrd

  12. #12
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    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oregon City, Oregon
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    986

    Default Re: candlemaking question and need recommendations on candlemaking books

    Also if you get discouraged at making candles with metal molds, buy just one Flex Mold from Mann Lake and you'll never go back to metal....
    Honeydew

  13. #13
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    Jun 2010
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    Outagamie County, Wisconsin USA
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    881

    Default Re: candlemaking question and need recommendations on candlemaking books

    I was checking the Mann Lake catalog I have and most of their molds that run about 2 inches (plus or minus) in diameter actually suggest a 2/0 wick. And, I know that I use a 2/0 wick for the Mann Lake molds (around 2" dia.) I have and they are perfect. This does differ from the table I gave you. Sorry, and I hope it doesn't confuse you. Sometimes you just have to experiment and also your wax will effect which wick works better.

    My experience is that the 2/0 for a 2" diameter candle using clean beewax works well. I also use the 2/0 for the tapers I make.

  14. #14
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    Aug 2009
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    Berkeley,California, USA
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    483

    Default Re: candlemaking question and need recommendations on candlemaking books

    Thanks Bee Bliss. I'm a big experimenter, so no problem there. I'll track down some 2/0 wicks and see how they work...

    And thanks Honeydew for the flex-mold pointer. I think I want to get this wick thing figured out before I invest any more inmolds, though.

    -fafrd

  15. #15
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    May 2008
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    Concord, CA
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    Default Re: candlemaking question and need recommendations on candlemaking books

    duplicate
    Dan

  16. #16
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    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
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    Default Re: candlemaking question and need recommendations on candlemaking books

    Hi,
    Don't think I'd try to make my own wick. Its too important. Stick with square braid wick for beeswax.
    The two companies I mentioned have websites, & descent pricing.

    If the wax has particles in it, they can clog up a wick also.

    I think 2/0 is what my 3" pillars used also.
    Dan

  17. #17
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    Aug 2009
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    Berkeley,California, USA
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    Default Re: candlemaking question and need recommendations on candlemaking books

    Thanks KQ6AR.

    I'll pick up some square braid 2/0 wick from one of the places you have recommended and see if that solves the problem. I don't think it is particles in the wax and want to try the proper wick before I solve other problems I may not have...

    -fafrd

    p.s. picked up my first swarm of the season today - suprising with the cold and wet we have been having...

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Faulkner Manitoba, Canada
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    Default Re: candlemaking question and need recommendations on candlemaking books

    Beeswax is so regional and each year a bit different. Test test test.
    I say regional because if i went by this chart my wicks would be too small for the smaller candles.

    I would remelt the wax in water and let it boil for a few minutes and then cool in the water. Keep the water warm not boiling for about 2 hours to let the water settle out any pollen and honey left in your wax. You would be surprised at what is actually left in the wax which you can not see

    Another sure fire way to see if there is honey in your wax is to split the wax with a knife or axe. Look at the grain. Shiny or matt finish? Shiny...honey, matt...clean of honey.

    best of luck

  19. #19
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    Aug 2009
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    Berkeley,California, USA
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    Default Re: candlemaking question and need recommendations on candlemaking books

    Honeyshack,

    thanks for the advice.

    I did exactly this with the brood wax (which is yellor-colored). Not sure if I left it for a full two hours or not and not sure if the water was fully boiling or not, but this is the wax I cleaned in exactly the way you suggest, the candle smells of honey, and the candle is burning well.

    The white wax is primarily from burr comb culled over the past year+ (which did not have any honey in it) as well as some capping wax which would have had some honey in it. I did not boil this wax as I did the first brood wax because it was so much cleaner to start with - it was melted and strained. This is the candle that is not burning well and it has no honey smell at all.

    Once I track down the appropriate size wick, if that does not help the problem, I will follow your advice and first cut the candle to check for evidence of honey (matte, shiney) and then remelt it in boiling water and see if the candle resulting from this more carefully cleaned wax burns well with the same wick...

    -fafrd

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Arde, Ontario , Canada
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    17

    Default Re: candlemaking question and need recommendations on candlemaking books

    Ian Fraser has started a new company and
    written a new book with updated info.
    It can be purchased at www.busybeebeeswax.ca

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