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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Default Votive Candle wick issue

    I'm giving votive candles a try for the first time. Based on research I picked up some metal molds, metal votive pins, wick tabs, and #2 (not 2/0) square braided wicks. Unfortunately it looks like the pins don't allow me to feed this size wick through the candles. I've seen some people hang wicks at the top of a candle as they pour the wax, but that doesn't seem like it will result in a straight wick.

    Can I have some advice on what to do here? Do I just need a #1 square braided wick (I was told that this may be too small)? Is there a good way of anchoring the wick tab so that I can get a straight/centered wick?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Laurens, SC, USA
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    25

    Default Re: Votive Candle wick issue

    Never made a candle in my life, but could you anchor the wick at the bottom with a dab of wax to hold it in place? After it cools and sticks, pour the rest of the candle?

  3. #3
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    Dec 2012
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    Default Re: Votive Candle wick issue

    Great idea, thanks. I was thinking more about this and realized that I could probably make the wick rigid enough by just priming it with wax, centering it with pins over the mold, and then poor around it. Has this worked for anyone else? Could this cause any problems with the flame burning too low?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    Coopersville, Michigan
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    Default Re: Votive Candle wick issue

    I used some of the prefab wicks for votive candles that were prewaxed to stand straight. I can tell you in my experience that the dab of wax does not work well. When you pour in the new wax everything melts and shifts, including the formerly straight wick. I was going to use a stick and some little micro clips I have to hold each wick in place, but the bottom can still shift unless I pour wax super slowly. I found out though that I much prefer tapers and the silicone self releasing taper mold I bought is amazing and burns perfectly without dripping.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
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    Default Re: Votive Candle wick issue

    Ok, #2 square braid cotton wick is best for votives, I make my own wicks with the tabs because I can't find anybody yet who sells the premade #2 cotton square braid wicks. I preprime the wicking by dipping it twice with the tab already attached, don't dip the tab in the wax yet, just the wick part, I make the wicks a little longer than than they need to be at first so that I can pull the wick tight while it hardens after prepriming. Then I dip the tab in the wax and very quickly center it in the bottom of the mold and let the wax harden to attach it. Then I take a large bobby pin and secure the wick to the top of the mold making sure the wick is centered and fairly straight, don't pull on it too hard or you will dislodge the wick tab. Pour about a 1/4" of wax into the mold and stop for a few seconds to let the wax cool slightly to hold the wick tab better, then pour the rest of the wax, but do not pour so high that the wax comes into contact with the bobby pin, stop just a hair short of that. Hope this helps. John
    Last edited by jmgi; 01-15-2013 at 10:28 AM.

  6. #6
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    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
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    Default Re: Votive Candle wick issue

    An after thought, they do make what they call "glue drops" that you can anchor the tab to the bottom of the metal mold with. John

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2002
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    San Mateo, CA
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    Default Re: Votive Candle wick issue

    Hot glue gun?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Cupertino, CA, USA
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    280

    Default Re: Votive Candle wick issue

    I put a thick layer of sculpey modeling clay at the bottom then press a hollow metal tube into it for the mold. I make a hole in the sculpey, put the wick through and press the clay to hold the wick centered at the bottom, then put the metal tube on, then a bobby pin at the top to stretch the wick straight and centered. Works fine for the 8-10" long candles I make.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    fauquier, va, usa
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    33

    Default Re: Votive Candle wick issue

    For Votives, I dip a length of wick in melted wax a few times and roll it straight as the wax hardens. Pour molten wax into the mold, wait until a skin forms on top of the freshly poured wax, Then insert the stiff wax coated wick through the skin into the mold. By this time, the wax will have cooled enough not to melt the stiff wick and it should stay straight

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    Coopersville, Michigan
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    260

    Default Re: Votive Candle wick issue

    Some good ideas to try, thanks everyone I may have to try another batch of votives.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    Outagamie County, Wisconsin USA
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    935

    Default Re: Votive Candle wick issue

    Beeswax votive candles usually don't keep their shape and this is why they should be burned in a glass votive container. One thing I noticed is that the glass can get fairly hot. Using the proper wick size is important.

    I have tested various size wicks in small (short) jelly jars and you would be surprised how the wick size effects the heat issue. Another thing I noticed is that wick size will determine how fast the candle burns. In addition to not wanting to waste wax, you don't want smoking issues. This is true for the jelly jar candles and, to a lesser extent, the votives.

    Do test burns and figure out what works best. I tend to use what Mann Lake advises for the mold size and find that works well. They mention using 2/0 for votives. Note: There is a size difference, for example, in #2 wick vs. 2/0 (pronounced two aught). When I made the jelly jar candles I went bigger and could tell that some wicks were too big. Add in the factor of the glass jar holding heat in and wick size does matter. ** It does matter whether that same candle is in a jar or not. Could probably get away with a smaller wick if candle is in a glass jar/container. If the candle you are burning cannot keep up long term with a melt pool around the wick, then the wick is too large. I say long term because sometimes when initially lighting a thick wick, there is a little lag time in getting the melt pool established.

    Another thing I will mention is that once I made tea lights in the clear cups and while doing a test burn, the cup warped! Don't remember what size wick was in that. I don't like the clear cups and feel they are not as safe as the metal ones especially if they are used in another container.

    I experienced some of the same problems and tried some of the same things mentioned regarding getting wicks to stay put when I made the glass jelly jar candles. I decided I liked making little half size votive/wick plugs that I would set in the jelly jar (seated first with a few drops of melted wax) and then pour the wax.

    My votives are made in the flexible molds. Based on what I read about problems with the metal molds, I don't think I would want them.

    **minor edit

  12. #12
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    Dec 2012
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    DC
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    Default Re: Votive Candle wick issue

    Hi everyone,

    I melted my candle back down and tried a couple of methods described here. It's hared to say which one worked best because I think my wick is too large. I went with a #2 square braided and when placed in a glass holder, the candle basically overflows and then melts into the glass. It's burning a lot faster than another votive I burned without a glass holder. These are also showing carbon build up at the top and a huge flame.

    Any suggestions? Try a square braided #1? That's my guess.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    Outagamie County, Wisconsin USA
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    Default Re: Votive Candle wick issue

    I have #2 wick, 2/0 wick and #1 wick. The #2 wick is too thick for a votive as you noticed.

    The 2/0 and the #1 are close in size with the #1 wick being thinner. You could try and see how that works for you.

    The votives are supposed to melt, overflowing a little and losing their shape. They are supposed to be contained by the votive glass. Put tablespoon or two of water in the glass before burning the candle to make cleaning the glass easier.

    One thing about a candle flame..... If the top of the flame is oval, it is good. If the flame is pointed at the top and/or smoking, it is too long and should be trimmed to 1/4 inch in length. A draft will also cause smoking.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    lee county, fl, usa
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    Default Re: Votive Candle wick issue

    So far all I have made are votives. I picked up a supply of glass votive candle jars at thrift stores. I use the wick tabs and get all my wicks ready, and spring clip clothespins. I use a soup ladle and fill votive about 3/4 and quickly put in wick, center, and clothes pin to lay across top with tip of wick in clothes pin. When it's hardened, I take off the clothes pin and freeze, then they pop right out for any votive holder. Trim the wick down. I think I use 2/0 wick. Or #2, now I"m not sure what I ordered. The jars do get hot so I may have accidently ordered #2.
    I have a brand new mold from Mann Lake I'm going to try with this year's wax.
    Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Prvb 16:24
    March 2010; +/- 30 hives, TF

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
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    Default Re: Votive Candle wick issue

    Hi,
    It sounds like people are using different size wicks for votive inside glass, as opposed to not in glass.
    I have a mann lake bee skep votive mold using 2/0 wick, & am not happy with the way it burns, the fire seems to be to small for the wax.
    We use the 2/0 wick for our hand dipped tappers, & like the way it works.
    Dan

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Merced, California, USA
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    31

    Default Re: Votive Candle wick issue

    Quote Originally Posted by KQ6AR View Post
    Hi,
    It sounds like people are using different size wicks for votive inside glass, as opposed to not in glass.
    I have a mann lake bee skep votive mold using 2/0 wick, & am not happy with the way it burns, the fire seems to be to small for the wax.
    We use the 2/0 wick for our hand dipped tappers, & like the way it works.

    Votives are designed with wire cored or paper cored wicks to keep the wick vertical in a pool of molten wax to be burned inside a votive container. Burning outside a container you basically have a pillar type candle with a votive shape. Not the same thing. So decide if you are burning inside or outside a container and choose the wick accordingly.

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