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which heat gun to get

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  • which heat gun to get

    Hi everyone,

    I'm thinking of getting a heat gun to top off my candles, but I have no idea what sort to get (or what sort not to get). Do you have any recommendations? Would a hairdryer do the job? (I don't have a hairdryer, otherwise I would have just tried it out.)

    On that note, does anybody else have a problem with the wax shrinking a lot on the second pour? I always feel I could easily do a third pour and then I would probably still get craters.

    Thanks

  • #2
    I'm no candle maker so can't comment on the suitability for your projects. However, I own 2 types of heat guns so perhaps can explain the difference between them.

    I have one that is like a tube - great for the basics and has two speed/heat settings but both speeds blow too much for certain projects such as using ultra thick embossing as the particles won't stay where they should. The other one looks more like a hair dryer and is much more gentle but the heat level is about the same, downside is that it was more expensive. I wouldn't have bothered getting the two speed heat gun if I'd bough the hairdryer style version first so it was a bit of a false economy.

    As for using a hairdryer, I can't comment on how it would work on wax but it doesn't work on embossing powders and enamel as it mainly "blow" and not enough heat, if you know what I mean!
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    • #3
      What are you planning to put on your candles?

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      • #4
        I use a Bosch heat gun that I got from B&Q for topping off my candles. A hair dryer works but it takes a long time and tends to splash the wax about a bit.

        Pillar wax is designed so that it shrinks back from the sides of the mould if it is pillar wax you are using so you will always get craters and the need for topping up. Container wax has the tendency to produce dips although not as much as with pillar wax blend so a hot air gun is the ideal solution to finish off your candles with no craters.

        HTH.

        Lisa
        Bowed Over
        Handmade Dog Collar Accessories
        www.bowedover.co.uk

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        • #5
          Thanks StickyTiger and Lisa, that's very helpful. Sounds like the hair-dryer style heat gun is the way to go.

          B's - I don't quite understand your question. I'm not planning to put anything on my candles, I just want to even out the top when they're still in the mold, so that I then have a nice even bottom (on the candle, not on me )

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Juli View Post
            B's - I don't quite understand your question. I'm not planning to put anything on my candles, I just want to even out the top when they're still in the mold, so that I then have a nice even bottom (on the candle, not on me )
            I find the best way to do this is to put a flat baking tray or the likes over a heat source then just melt the bottom flat. It is a lot easier than using a heat gun. I tend to use the heatgun for finishing off containers and flattening the tops of votives.

            HTH.

            Lisa
            Bowed Over
            Handmade Dog Collar Accessories
            www.bowedover.co.uk

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            • #7
              My only problem with that suggestion is, how do you make sure that the base is completely level afterwards? Because if I'm making a tall pillar I want it to stand absolutely straight. I've tried doing it like that once before. The candle base was wonky and holey beforehand, and wonky and smooth afterwards Also, you then have another dish to clean up But I'm intrigued by you saying that it's a lot easier to do it this way than to use a heat gun. Does it take a long time to do with a heat gun? Or is difficult to get it right with a heat gun?
              Thanks

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Juli View Post
                B's - I don't quite understand your question. I'm not planning to put anything on my candles, I just want to even out the top when they're still in the mold, so that I then have a nice even bottom (on the candle, not on me )
                Sorry it was me being dumb I misread your question ignore me

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Juli View Post
                  My only problem with that suggestion is, how do you make sure that the base is completely level afterwards? Because if I'm making a tall pillar I want it to stand absolutely straight. I've tried doing it like that once before. The candle base was wonky and holey beforehand, and wonky and smooth afterwards Also, you then have another dish to clean up But I'm intrigued by you saying that it's a lot easier to do it this way than to use a heat gun. Does it take a long time to do with a heat gun? Or is difficult to get it right with a heat gun?
                  Thanks
                  I would say it would probably be difficult to get the bottom of the candle straight with a heat gun as you don't have control over how the wax will eventually set.

                  Levelling off candles can be tricky but with practice you will get the hang of it. My hubby made up all sort of jigs for me to try to level off but none of them worked particularly well so just had to go back to the drawing board and practice. The only thing I would say is if your candle is longer on one side than the other put slightly more pressure on the longer side when melting. If the bottom is just a bit rough I spin the candle so that the pressure on the candle is even and doesn't cause lopsidedness.

                  HTH.

                  Lisa
                  Bowed Over
                  Handmade Dog Collar Accessories
                  www.bowedover.co.uk

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I have experimented with a heat gun that we already owned to level off the top of my votives and it was a complete disaster. It melted the wax beautifully and then blew it all over the place. Very messy and completely failed to get a nice finish. I have recently bought a mini blowtorch from Robert Dyas for about £10 and so far it has been excellent. I know lots of people get a great result with heat guns, but I just don't have the knack.

                    In the past Lisa had suggested the baking tray method to me for getting a smooth finish on the bottom of my votives. It worked like a dream.

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                    • #11
                      Thanks everyone, you've given me a lot of food for thought. I'd love to try the different methods to see which one is going to work best for me, but I don't want to buy a heatgun or blowtorch and then find they don't work for me. I'm on quite a tight budget and can't really spend money on things that may or may not work for me. So I think I'll have to give the baking tray another go and see if I can make it work that way. Thanks again everyone for your insights

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