Bumpy top of candle
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
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    St.Paul, MN
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    Default Bumpy top of candle

    Hello! I'm looking for suggestions as to how to avoid a "bumpy" finish to the top of my candles. See attached photos. This is a fairly new issue for me as my past candles had a smooth surface. What's different?... I previously made my candles in my kitchen but recently moved my workspace into the basement which is much cooler. Wondering if the cooler temp of the basement air is playing a role in this. Thoughts? Thanks!
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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
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    Aylett, Virginia
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    Default Re: Bumpy top of candle

    My limited understanding is that cooling too fast is what causes what you see. That, and moving the mold after the pour. The easiest way to combat this is to make sure the wax is at the proper pouring temperature and to protect the molds from cool air currents. You could also try short filling the mold, and then do a top off pour once the wax is mostly solidified. My molds pour so the bottom is up and the uneveness is removed by rubbing on a hot surface.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
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    St.Paul, MN
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    4

    Default Re: Bumpy top of candle

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    My limited understanding is that cooling too fast is what causes what you see. That, and moving the mold after the pour. The easiest way to combat this is to make sure the wax is at the proper pouring temperature and to protect the molds from cool air currents. You could also try short filling the mold, and then do a top off pour once the wax is mostly solidified. My molds pour so the bottom is up and the uneveness is removed by rubbing on a hot surface.
    Thanks for the insight! I'll try bumping up the temp a bit!

  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Lake County, Illinois
    Posts
    152

    Default Re: Bumpy top of candle

    This is a common problem . I use poly molds and find that if I do not top off I have smoother bottoms. Some candle makers have a hot plate and place the bottom of the candle on it for a brief moment. You could also use a cookie sheet on top of a pan with boiling water. I now use a heat gun. I place the candle on its side apply heat until I see minor melting and then upright the cable on a flat surface and move around until flat. It may stick for a moment but works every time. The heat gun also works great for melting wax from the pouring pitcher.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    May 2002
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    San Mateo, CA
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    6,847

    Default Re: Bumpy top of candle

    >The easiest way to combat this is to make sure the wax is at the proper pouring temperature and to protect the molds

    What is the proper pouring temperature?

    I made more than usual and still learning. A friend gave me two full totes of molds. Where can I buy the metal clips for clamping two sided plastic molds?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGY7A-6YNNs





    Last edited by odfrank; 12-22-2019 at 12:42 PM.
    All of my opinions and suggestions are based on my five decades of actual beekeeping,
    not so much on book learning, watching YouTube videos nor reading internet sites.

  7. #6
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    Apr 2017
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    Default Re: Bumpy top of candle

    Quote Originally Posted by odfrank View Post
    What is the proper pouring temperature?
    I use 150-160F. The hotter it is, the more it expands, so as it cools, there is more shrinkage. I am just starting out with beeswax candles, and it has been many years since I made paraffin candles, so there is much for me to relearn. Temperature though, has always been important.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    May 2019
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    Lake County, Illinois
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    152

    Default Re: Bumpy top of candle

    My unscientific method of determining the correct pouring temperature. After melting (heated crock pot) I pour into ta pouring pitcher. When there are no air bubbles(a few minutes) I pour into the molds.I always use a mold release spray (basically silicone) before pouring.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX, USA
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    2,105

    Default Re: Bumpy top of candle

    neat ideas. I wonder how much wax I've got. I bought a crockpot for this.
    Stuck in Texas. Learning Permaculture in drought, flood and strange weather. The bees are still alive.

  10. #9
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    Apr 2017
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    Aylett, Virginia
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    Default Re: Bumpy top of candle

    Gypsi, I use a crockpot for melting the wax I paint onto my starter strips and plastic foundation. Takes forever to get a small amount of wax hot and then there is no temperature control. Wax eventually gets real hot but since it is going on frames, I dont care if it darkens a little. For now, I use a dedicated saucepan set in a larger pan of water (poor man's double boiler) to melt my pouring wax, and use an inexpensive meat thermometer to monitor temperature. A proper pouring pitcher is on my ML wishlist. Start with votives, tapers, and small decorative candles. The pillar candles take a LOT of wax.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Manning, SC
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    5,219

    Default Re: Bumpy top of candle

    The Presto pot with a spout is great and has an adjustable thermostat. Ive seen them on EBay and I think Mann Lake also carries them.
    I really like the silicone molds. Nothing sticks! Expensive but if you like making perfect candles, you cant beat them.
    http://OxaVap.com Your source for the ProVap 110
    OA Vaporizer. The fastest vaporizer on the market!

  12. #11

    Default Re: Bumpy top of candle

    I know that if you drill and tap the pot. That it works great for Presto pot. Did it in brass fitting with a ball valve. Drill it a little high so that it helps filter the wax. Did in the larger pot.

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Fort Worth, TX, USA
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    2,105

    Default Re: Bumpy top of candle

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    Gypsi, I use a crockpot for melting the wax I paint onto my starter strips and plastic foundation. Takes forever to get a small amount of wax hot and then there is no temperature control. Wax eventually gets real hot but since it is going on frames, I dont care if it darkens a little. For now, I use a dedicated saucepan set in a larger pan of water (poor man's double boiler) to melt my pouring wax, and use an inexpensive meat thermometer to monitor temperature. A proper pouring pitcher is on my ML wishlist. Start with votives, tapers, and small decorative candles. The pillar candles take a LOT of wax.
    Thank you so much for the tip JW.
    I have a double boiler, used it for paraffin candles years ago, and for soap recently, and we have a little pour slot cut in it already, I have both a meat and candy thermometer, but what temperature am I going for?
    I hadn't dug out the little crockpot yet, am beginning to wonder if it is good for anything. Definitely won't cook a pot roast.
    Stuck in Texas. Learning Permaculture in drought, flood and strange weather. The bees are still alive.

  14. #13
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    Apr 2017
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    Default Re: Bumpy top of candle

    The little Rival crockpot I picked up at an auction for $2.50 simply has an on/off switch. Probably holds about 2 quarts, so no pot roast there either. For waxing plastic foundation though, it works great. On my molded wax pours, I turn off the heat when the wax reaches 160. That gives me about a 15 window to get it poured before it starts to harden.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  15. #14
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    Default Re: Bumpy top of candle

    In line with slowburn's original question, I poured two 8 oz 3x3 candles into reused glass containers originally from Yankee Candle. One candle, the wax cracked in half pretty much through and through. The other candle shrunk and pulled away from the sides of the glass container. The remedy was to place the candles in my waterbath canner, insert installed, and remelt the candle in it's container in the boiling water. Then, allow the wax to cool slowly by leaving it in the water until hard. No cracks and no side shrinkage. Top surface of candle pulled in a little but is smooth across the entire candle. I imagine placing the mold in hot water just after pouring , and then allowing everything to cool gradually would acheive the desired results
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

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