Hi everyone. I'm new to the forum and not a beekeeper, but interested in making various products with beeswax. I purchase the wax from a local producer and it's already in bars, so I'm assuming (perhaps foolishly) it's clean. I've used it in lotions and lip balm with no issues.
Anyhow, I want to make beeswax votive candles, and I've been reading (this forum and elsewhere) about the particulars but still have a couple questions.
I'm ordering a rubber (or silicone) mold from betterbee. They recommend using a wick needle (which is 18" long!) to thread the wick. I was wondering two things - can I use the wick pins (that I found at candlewic) with the rubber mold? And should I look for a shorter wick needle elsewhere? It seems a little silly to use an 18" needle to put a wick in a 2" candle. Or is that just how it's done?
Also, I plan to use the straight braid wick (#2 size apparently) and I was planning on purchasing a roll of it from betterbee. I'd like to avoid pretabbed wicks if I can. Do I need wick tabs or do I just press the end of the wick into the wax under the candle?
I have a silicone votive beehive shaped mold. We just used a piece of stiff wire bent in half to get the wicks in. The wick we used was a square braid wick, either from peak candle, or candlechem, don't remember.
A large bobby pin holds the wick nicely on top of the mold. Unless you're burning them in a container like a tee light I don't think you'll need the wick holder in the candle.
Don't get the wick pins they are generally for metal molds, I went to a sewing store and got an assortment of upholstery needles that work great for different length molds for cheap. and the silicone molds will seal around the wick by itself so you don't need mold seal.
A little more on the wick. I also have the little beehive votive mold. Tried 2/0 square braid seems too small, tried #2 square braid nice flame but the candle had a couple runs. Just ordered some #1 square braid hopefully that will be perfect for my votive, & emergency taper they are both about 1-1/2" diameter.
The 2/0 square braid burns perfectly in my hand dipper tapers.
And should I look for a shorter wick needle elsewhere? It seems a little silly to use an 18" needle to put a wick in a 2" candle. Or is that just how it's done?
Thanks for any assistance!
The stock that the needles is made from comes very long. We cut them. The needles are needed to push the wick through the rubber. If you have a 12 inch taper mold, you will need something very long to be able to reach from the hole where the wick enters to where you can handle it with your fingers.
When you push the wick through, leave a roll of wicking outside and then when the candle hardens, pull the wick up through and cut the candle off. Now there is wick threaded, but you did not need the needle again. The size of the roll depends on how many candles you are pouring. In our shop, we leave full half pound rolls on the molds. You might only leave a few candles worth, but it is nice not to have to push the wick through the mold over and over again.
If you wish a shorter needle because you are only doing the votive mold, just put a note on your order or tell the person taking your order on the phone how long you would like it. We can have the shop recut it. That will save you a trip to find an upholstery needle like was suggested in another post.