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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Yucaipa, CA
    Posts
    3

    Exclamation PLEASE HELP!! My beeswax container candles keep CRACKING!! GRRR

    Hey everyone,

    First, please allow me to give thanks to the admin for allowing me to join!

    Second, let's get down to the nitty-gritty!

    I'm new to candle making but I have been attempting to do all of my research & I've run a few test batches. There are things I'm feeling pretty confident with & things I'm not...

    (Backstory - My family has been in the commercial beekeeping business since 1978!! We've been dedicated all of the time to caring for our bees so that they can help us harvest the sweetest raw honey around & the purest beeswax you can find! However, until a few months ago we've always packaged up & shipped everything off in mass quantities - honey in 55gallon drums & beeswax capping byproducts from the extraction process have been melted down, coarse filtered & poured into 30lb blocks. Well, enough was enough for me, since becoming a mother I've been more & more interested in living a healthy, ALL NATURAL lifestyle as much as I can & if I can't do it from the bare roots at home with our own company... then... where? I'm sick of seeing our product shipped off & being ruined by being treated with excessive heat (honey) & mixed with toxins (wax). SO - blah, blah, blah - long & short of it, my goal is to make an ALL NATURAL 100% BEESWAX CANDLE!)

    So, I'm having the most difficulty with any glass containers that are larger than 4 oz. Specifically I'm attempting to use the 8oz Tureen Jar (honey pot) & the 8oz Square Mason Jars from Peak Candle.

    Here's my process:

    First, I get my double boiler going with my beeswax. Then as it's beginning to melt I get to work on my containers. I make sure they're clean & dry, then I glue my wicks in (C-85) & I pop them in the oven on the lowest setting so they that can be preheated. Once my wax hits 170 & is melted through I pull it off of the double boiler. I pull the containers out of the oven & I begin to pour (temp. starts at 170 & will end up about 160 by the time I'm through). While pouring I try to make sure I'm doing a slow, even pour, to prevent air bubbles. After I'm finished pouring I set the containers 3-4" apart on baking racks & I let them begin to cool. My first pour fills the container approximately 75-80% of my desired fill line. After about 10 minutes I begin to poke relief holes around the wick. After another 10 minutes I start my wax again for my second pour. By 30-45 minutes after my first pour I pour my second at 185 to help the pours adhere & prevent pour lines between 1 & 2.

    After this I let the candles cool the rest of the way, room temp between 70-74, I do not move them, I do not do anything & within a few minutes (around the hour mark from the first pour) CRACKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! UUUUGH!! STOOOOOOOOPPP IT!!

    Please, help me, help me, help MEEEE before I go complete nut house over these darn things!


    Thanks so much & please, remember that I really want to stick with all natural, so, if possible, any & all advice should be in accordance with natural remedies.

    =D
    Amanda McWilliams-Gomez
    Owner (Queen Bee) The Hometown Hive

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Coventry, West Midlands, UK
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: PLEASE HELP!! My beeswax container candles keep CRACKING!! GRRR

    Amanda
    I'm no expert (one will be along in a minute) but I'd bet they were being cooled too fast. The cracks occur because of the difference between the outside of the jar/room temperature and the hot core of the, still melted, wax. I've had the same thing happen with moulded candles. Try insulating them somehow. Perhaps pack the jars with bubble wrap or polystyrene insulation. Anything to allow the cooling to be as slow as possible. I'm thinking of making a rack I can suspend in a warm water bath that will cool very slowly.
    Tell us if you solve it.
    fatshark

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,901

    Default Re: PLEASE HELP!! My beeswax container candles keep CRACKING!! GRRR

    Large container candles will crack much easier than small ones, as you already know. You need to pour at a much lower temperature than 170 on your first pour to reduce the amount of shrinkage, I would try around 150 or so, just barely above the temperature where the wax starts skinning on the top of the pour pot. Let the first pour solidify good, I think waiting 30-45 minutes as you do is about right. The second pour of about 185 is about right also. Here's the thing, make the first pour within 1/4" of your final depth line, and do the second pour the rest of the way, which would be about 1/4". Doing it this way for me eliminates the cracking and shrinkage dimples or sucker holes that occur.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    4,177

    Default Re: PLEASE HELP!! My beeswax container candles keep CRACKING!! GRRR

    Try letting a batch cool slower in the oven with the door shut.
    Please report back with you're findings, I haven't tried large containers yet.
    Dan

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Yucaipa, CA
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: PLEASE HELP!! My beeswax container candles keep CRACKING!! GRRR

    Quote Originally Posted by fatshark View Post
    Amanda
    I'm no expert (one will be along in a minute) but I'd bet they were being cooled too fast. The cracks occur because of the difference between the outside of the jar/room temperature and the hot core of the, still melted, wax. I've had the same thing happen with moulded candles. Try insulating them somehow. Perhaps pack the jars with bubble wrap or polystyrene insulation. Anything to allow the cooling to be as slow as possible. I'm thinking of making a rack I can suspend in a warm water bath that will cool very slowly.
    Tell us if you solve it.
    fatshark
    The warm water bath sounds like an excellent idea! My Dad had an idea pretty much along those same lines, which was - get something like a big turkey pan & fill it an inch or two with the jars in there, then pour & let the whole thing cool in the oven (as someone else mentioned).

    Also, regarding my pour temperature. I did actually try to pour around 150, but then I got all of these weird little lines along the side of the glass & my candle still cracked!! Would there be a way to prevent those?

    I'm thinking a combination of the things that have been suggested is what I may try for this next go round!

    I'm going to decrease the temperature of my first pour, make sure my containers are nice & warm & then maybe try to let them cool on a cookie sheet in the oven?

    I'll definitely report back with my findings - thank you all so much!




    PS - How do you reply to a thread without a quote?
    Amanda McWilliams-Gomez
    Owner (Queen Bee) The Hometown Hive

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,559

    Default Re: PLEASE HELP!! My beeswax container candles keep CRACKING!! GRRR

    > PS - How do you reply to a thread without a quote?

    To the left of the "Reply With Quote" button is another button that is simply "Reply". Use that one.

    Alternatively, in the Reply compose message window, the quote itself is visible between [QUOTE] .. and .... [/QUOTE] tags. You can simply delete everything including both the quote tags to reply without quoting.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Outagamie County, Wisconsin USA
    Posts
    935

    Default Re: PLEASE HELP!! My beeswax container candles keep CRACKING!! GRRR

    Your candles are cooling too fast (as others have said). That said, if you get them to cool uncracked from your pour, they will crack when being used when they are extinguished and cool down. I have had this with pillars and container candles. They do look nicer for personal use, gifts or selling if they don't have cracks.

    My opinion is smaller container candles burn better............shorter and wider helps feed oxygen to the flame. There is a fine line between wicks, container size and heat build up.

    After they are poured, group them together and have a few towels bunched around them or place a cardboard box upside down over them to help insulate. Room temperature matters.

    I reduced the sinking by putting votives with a proper wick for that container size candle in the middle of the container and then pouring the wax around it and over it.

    I suggest if you do more than one pour to not exceed the initial height of the first pour.

    Timing is everything if you do a second pour. You want layers to adhere, but I feel container candles are more forgiving in this regard. If you wait too long for a second pour and the candles sides are solid and pulled away from the container, a second pour with a taller height will allow hot wax to go between the glass sides and the candle side resulting in a messy look (especially if your remelt is a slightly different color).

    I prefer to top up the candles while they are still fairly liquid on top and try to keep it this way for the purpose of topping it up.

    What is C-85?

    ~ Bee Bliss

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Yucaipa, CA
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: PLEASE HELP!! My beeswax container candles keep CRACKING!! GRRR

    I order from Peak Candle & the wick I'm using is their thickest, cotton core, pre tabbed wick. You can see them here (http://www.peakcandle.com/products/6...ks__W1053.aspx)

    Thank you again for all of your help!

    I didn't get a chance to do another batch this weekend as planned because my little one wasn't feeling good, BUT when I do I'm going to report my findings... I'm still confident that I CAN do this! LOL Especially with everyone's help!
    Amanda McWilliams-Gomez
    Owner (Queen Bee) The Hometown Hive

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    4,177

    Default Re: PLEASE HELP!! My beeswax container candles keep CRACKING!! GRRR

    You could take the batch that's cracked put them in the oven at 175, after they melt just turn the oven off.
    Make sure too hold the wick centered so you don't loose it, we use big bobby pins.
    Dan

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Outagamie County, Wisconsin USA
    Posts
    935

    Default Re: PLEASE HELP!! My beeswax container candles keep CRACKING!! GRRR

    May I suggest you do a test burn of your container candles with the wick you mentioned before you make too many more of them. It is important to match the correct wick to the candle.

    Beeswax candles need a hefty wick. I can't tell from the picture if they are good wicks. If you test burn, please let us know how it goes.

    Another suggestion is to take notes. I write wick size on my molds and have notes on pour temperatures and candle test burn performance, etc.

    Edit: Age candles for a few days before burning.

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