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I'm going to make hand dipped tapers this fall. I have a fair amount of wax and I plan on getting a dipping rack setup to start with. I have questions!

1) What type / size wick? I read somewhere that a square wick is used for tapers but I don't know about the size or type.

2) Any hints for melting and keeping the wax hot? I was going to initially melt the wax in a double boiler and then pour it into the dipping container. Should I be keeping the container in a double boiler as well and checking it with a thermometer from time to time?

3) Does it make sense to use more than one dipping rack to speed the process up...letting one set of tapers cool while dipping another?

4) What seems to be a popular size for tapers? I had been buying 6" tapers to use as gifts and they seemed to work well but I don't know if there is a preference among people who go out and buy them.

Any other thoughts, hints and suggestions would be appreciated!

18 Posts
I started making hand-dipped tapers about 4 years ago.

1. I use Betterbee 2/0 square braid wicking. So far I've had no problems with my candles.

2. I melt my wax in a Presto Pot and pour it into the dipping tank. It takes too long for the wax to melt if I put it directly into the dipping tank. Actually, melting the wax in any double boiler will work. I got the dipping tank from Betterbee but when I looked in their most recent catalogue, I don't see it listed. I probably should monitor the temperature, but I haven't up to now.

3. I bought 3 candle dippers from Betterbee (which also are not listed individually in my catalogue). Each dipper makes 6 candles (or 3 pairs). After each dip you need to let the wax cool a bit before you dip it again. I think 3 is the minimum number of dippers to use at one time - I've even thought about buying 2 more.

4. I make tapers between 9" and 10", but the dippers are adjustable and can make tapers up to 12".

Hope this helps,

1,683 Posts
If you plan to make a fair amount of dipped you can make yourself a dipping tank. You will need...
...a 45 gall drum
some plywood 3/4"
some insulation and duct tape
4 pepsi fount cans
heating element like one from a hot water tank and wire to make a power cord

-Take the barrel and cut the top third off. Then cut the plywood to fit the 1/3 of the barrel you just cut off...makes the stand
-Place the 2/3 barrel on top
-Cut out a hole for the element and attach in
-put bricks in the bottom
-get the fount cans, cut off the top and clean out
-place in the barrel. Make a pattern of the barrel and the fount cans
-Cut out a piece of plywood to cover the barrel (actually fit just inside because where you cut the barrel off, it will be flared out
-Cut out holes for the fount cans
-wrap barrel in insulation and double bubble foil to retain heat

There you have it a dipping tank

You will need a candy thermoter to check the wax tem
There is two different temps for dipping, one to build the wax and one that is hotter to smooth out the finish
have at 'er!

1,214 Posts
Check this website out for a pictorial on how they make their tapers.

Don't bump the frames on the bottom or side of the container or the tapers will wrinkle. Don't jar the frames either. If the temperature isn't right, you will get wrinkles. Use smooth motion. If you dip too fast, your candle is getting too hot and will lose diameter. An occasional dip in a cool water bath helps to cool it a bit. A final dip in water will give the taper a nice finish.

A double boiler method will keep the wax temperature constant and is safer. Depending on your production, you will have to add more wax to replace that used. Make sure to keep enough space in the container so you don't overflow when you dip the frame.

Some people use molds for their tapers and then just give it a hand dip or two for the homemade look or to put colored beeswax coating on just the outside. To do this, I float about 3 inches of colored beeswax in distilled water in a cylinder floral vase in a stock pot filled with water. If you have enough colored wax, then skip the water. Don't forget to put a grate, metal canning "plate" or something to keep the glass vase from direct contact with the stock pot. Leave a little more wick at the top and use a needle nose pliers to dip one candle. (The floral vase is 3-1/4 inches wide) This is low production, but I like to just color the exterior of the candle.

Have fun. Love that golden halo around the flame of a beeswax candle! And, the light from beeswax is sooo much better.
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