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  • Unblended Paraffin Wax

    Hi All

    I have been given 5kgs of unblended paraffin wax and I'm unsure what to do with it. I would like to make some pillar candles but do I need to add Stearin or Vybar if I am to colour and fragrance the candles?

    Thanks

  • #2
    Originally posted by Auds120 View Post
    Hi All

    I have been given 5kgs of unblended paraffin wax and I'm unsure what to do with it. I would like to make some pillar candles but do I need to add Stearin or Vybar if I am to colour and fragrance the candles?

    Thanks
    Hi Auds
    I asked the same question a few weeks ago and the lovely Spencer said tea light pillars and votive were best. Not sure about the Stearin but I think the vybar will only harden the wax and allow you to increase your FO %. I don't think you need to add Stearin I certainly didn't and the votives turned out fine.
    I'm making some votives today, a friend has asked me to make some chocolate scented ones-yeuch!
    I've put it off long enough so better get started.

    Isabel

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi Isabel,

      thanks for coming back to me, will give it a go and attempt to make some pillars so. Am fed up trying to make votive candles, can't get the melt pool right any time I try them. Good luck with the chocolate scented votives.

      Audrey

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Auds120 View Post
        Hi Isabel,

        thanks for coming back to me, will give it a go and attempt to make some pillars so. Am fed up trying to make votive candles, can't get the melt pool right any time I try them. Good luck with the chocolate scented votives.

        Audrey
        Hi Audrey
        They're cooling as we speak. The smell is awful, I hate vanilla and chocolate scented candles even more now!
        If they don't work, tough, no way am I remaking them!
        What size/kind of wick are you using? I use 3x6c for my votives and they're usually ok.


        Ix

        Comment


        • #5
          Hi Audrey, (apologies in advance, I know this is going to be a long post...)

          Glad to see someone considering taking the plunge into pillar candles
          The wax you've been given is ideal for it, but you may wish to think about an additive or two. More on that in a moment.

          The beauty of pillar candles is the control you have over them which in turn takes control away from those pesky wicks
          (Marion's ears have just pricked up I can just tell!)

          In a container candle you're always trying to avoid wetspots (air bubbles between the wax and the glass) and striving for the perfect melt pool and a non-mushrooming, non-sooting wick. Which as I'm sure you've read on this very forum, is a complete pain in the posterior. In order to avoid those wet spots, your wax needs to be very soft. You can make it softer (add some petrolatum) but it's almost impossible to make it harder without increasing the likelihood of wetspots.

          Move over container blend, it's time to road test some pillar blend!
          I say pillar blend, but what you have is straight paraffin, so not a blend as such. But you will easily turn it into a pillar blend all of your very own.

          First off, back to that little matter of who has control. In containers, the wick is in control because you cannot amend the wax formula too much without it all going pear shaped. But in pillars, you're not worried about wetspots so your wax doesn't need to be soft so you can tinker to your heart's content.

          If say you start with a 3" / 75mm round mould (always a good place to start) and you make a candle from your straight paraffin wax, no dye, no fragrance and no other additives, and use an LX18 wick (which is an often recommended for just this size of candle) it burn away nicely until the melt pool reaches the sides, melts a hole through the candle wall and pours wax all down the side of the candle and all over your mantle piece.

          However, add 10% (by weight) stearin to the wax as you're melting it, and pour into the same mould (no dye, no fragrance), the chances are the candle will burn perfectly well from top to bottom. A wall will contain the melt pool, but this wall will lean in and be melted as the candle goes, so you're not wasting anything.

          All sounds simple enough right? And it is, but it gets more complicated when you introduce dyes and fragrances, but this is good news because THIS is where you'll realise the control you have. If you make a scented pillar and the particular FO/EO you use raises the melting point slightly, you may end up with a wall of wax that just doesn't want to melt and a whole lot of wasted candle because it will stop burning if it tunnels too deep. In a container candle you'd up the wick size a little or lower the melt point of the wax. In a pillar candle you just add a little less stearin to lower the melt point, yet use the same wick.

          It takes a little testing, but you don't have to pour a 10" tall pillar to test how the melt pool works. You just need to pour a 2" tall candle for testing that as the melt pool will never get anywhere near that (well shouldn't do anyway!)

          So, I would suggest buying yourself some stearin (I just got a fresh 5kg batch ), perhaps some Vybar, a few metres of LX wicks to match your mould sizes and start tinkering.

          You can make shiny ones, rustic ones, layered ones, chunk ones, embellished ones, painted ones, picture ones... the list goes on and they're great fun to make. Plus, far less of that headache induced by wick problems, and that can't be a bad thing!!!

          Always happy to help further as and when you're ready to give it a go.

          S.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Spencer101 View Post
            Hi Audrey, (apologies in advance, I know this is going to be a long post...)

            Glad to see someone considering taking the plunge into pillar candles
            The wax you've been given is ideal for it, but you may wish to think about an additive or two. More on that in a moment.

            The beauty of pillar candles is the control you have over them which in turn takes control away from those pesky wicks
            (Marion's ears have just pricked up I can just tell!)

            In a container candle you're always trying to avoid wetspots (air bubbles between the wax and the glass) and striving for the perfect melt pool and a non-mushrooming, non-sooting wick. Which as I'm sure you've read on this very forum, is a complete pain in the posterior. In order to avoid those wet spots, your wax needs to be very soft. You can make it softer (add some petrolatum) but it's almost impossible to make it harder without increasing the likelihood of wetspots.

            Move over container blend, it's time to road test some pillar blend!
            I say pillar blend, but what you have is straight paraffin, so not a blend as such. But you will easily turn it into a pillar blend all of your very own.

            First off, back to that little matter of who has control. In containers, the wick is in control because you cannot amend the wax formula too much without it all going pear shaped. But in pillars, you're not worried about wetspots so your wax doesn't need to be soft so you can tinker to your heart's content.

            If say you start with a 3" / 75mm round mould (always a good place to start) and you make a candle from your straight paraffin wax, no dye, no fragrance and no other additives, and use an LX18 wick (which is an often recommended for just this size of candle) it burn away nicely until the melt pool reaches the sides, melts a hole through the candle wall and pours wax all down the side of the candle and all over your mantle piece.

            However, add 10% (by weight) stearin to the wax as you're melting it, and pour into the same mould (no dye, no fragrance), the chances are the candle will burn perfectly well from top to bottom. A wall will contain the melt pool, but this wall will lean in and be melted as the candle goes, so you're not wasting anything.

            All sounds simple enough right? And it is, but it gets more complicated when you introduce dyes and fragrances, but this is good news because THIS is where you'll realise the control you have. If you make a scented pillar and the particular FO/EO you use raises the melting point slightly, you may end up with a wall of wax that just doesn't want to melt and a whole lot of wasted candle because it will stop burning if it tunnels too deep. In a container candle you'd up the wick size a little or lower the melt point of the wax. In a pillar candle you just add a little less stearin to lower the melt point, yet use the same wick.

            It takes a little testing, but you don't have to pour a 10" tall pillar to test how the melt pool works. You just need to pour a 2" tall candle for testing that as the melt pool will never get anywhere near that (well shouldn't do anyway!)

            So, I would suggest buying yourself some stearin (I just got a fresh 5kg batch ), perhaps some Vybar, a few metres of LX wicks to match your mould sizes and start tinkering.

            You can make shiny ones, rustic ones, layered ones, chunk ones, embellished ones, painted ones, picture ones... the list goes on and they're great fun to make. Plus, far less of that headache induced by wick problems, and that can't be a bad thing!!!

            Always happy to help further as and when you're ready to give it a go.

            S.

            Can I just say: WOW. What a great reply!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by DaCosta View Post
              Can I just say: WOW. What a great reply!
              Thank you!

              As you can tell, I'm quite keen on making pillar candles, and have a stack of info to share on the subject.

              Been making a few today to include as tutorials in my ebook. Decided I need a better camera!!

              Comment


              • #8
                Spencer, having priced up those ears, you NEARLY had me convinced. Then you mentioned that magic word, designed to make my blood run cold: TESTING!!!!!

                Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa (Marion heading for the hills)


                Originally posted by Spencer101 View Post
                Thank you!

                As you can tell, I'm quite keen on making pillar candles, and have a stack of info to share on the subject.

                Been making a few today to include as tutorials in my ebook. Decided I need a better camera!!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Ermmmm might be able to help there? :-)

                  great reply spence my olde son, though I suspect it's taken from your up coming book?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Ps ... Spencer's post is just a sample of the knowledge, skills and experience which he shares so willingly with everyone here. He really should be Head of the World. Thanks again, Spencer.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      @Marion - Head of the World might be a little too much responsibility for me, but it's a nice idea! (Insert evil laugh here)

                      Testing is far less arduous in pillar candles I promise!

                      @RWR - I'm sure you could help out on the camera front. Are you going to provide your photographic expertise too? The bloke I sit next to at work is a sports photographer and a little more local than Bolton!

                      The reply wasn't taken from my upcoming book, well not directly, although all of that information is in there in some way.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hold on a minute ... I get a row for calling RWR RWR and you get away with it??? (I suppose you really ARE HotW then ...)

                        And I don't believe you re testing. It's been a "testing" week-end in every possible way!

                        Marion

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Well RWR hasn't replied yet. I'm sure I'll get an earbashing for it before long!

                          Part of the reason I decided to concentrate on pillars was far less testing than containers. Get yourself a mould or two and give it a go.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Spencer101 View Post
                            Well RWR hasn't replied yet. I'm sure I'll get an earbashing for it before long!

                            Part of the reason I decided to concentrate on pillars was far less testing than containers. Get yourself a mould or two and give it a go.
                            But as RWR (I don't care now!) has pointed out, we've all spent industrial quantities of money on testing so can we REALLY justify new types of wax, moulds, stearin, vybar etc etc? Or can someone out there convince me Soy Pillars are a doddle?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Oh I hear ya, don't worry about that. I've lost count of the money I've invested in this...
                              I'm not saying drop what you've done so far and do something different. Merely, give it a try as and when you get the chance

                              Comment

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