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Kawboy888

Greetings from a new forum member

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Hello folks. This is a great little forum here. My name is Rich Leathers, inventor of the original, "Mandles". I have been a professional gel candle maker for over 15 years. I have been looking through many of these gel candle posts and I can't believe how many bad tips I am seeing people give. I am going to go through the posts and offer up as much info as i can. If you have any questions about how to make a certain type of candle, feel free to ask.

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Wow, you've got some nice products there! I especially like the beer mug; it looks so real, I want a sip!

Do you have a website? I have never tried gel candles, but i'm sure many members here who do make them will appreciate your input.

Welcome!

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Welcome, Rich. Been reading your posts and your expertise is quite refreshing. So do you still make gel candles, or Mandles? Are gel candles the only type that you make?

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The market on gel candles fell out about 7 years ago. At that time I had the biggest gel candle store on Ebay. I do not use a website and I don't make very many gel candles anymore. I actually joined this forum to offer advice and sell of my supplies.

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I don't make very many gel candles anymore. I actually joined this forum to offer advice and sell of my supplies.

What a shame! But demand does change unfortunately... Hopefully it will swing back in your direction. So if you aren't making many gel candles these days, have you gotten into something else?

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Rich, if you still enjoy gel candles and would like to share your knowledge about them, have you considered offering classes in your neck of the woods, or perhaps an e-book?

Also, I have a question... what, in your opinion, is the most common error beginners make? Keep it simple, please; I know Nothing about gel candles, lol - except that someone told me they can be dangerous; it is true? Thanks!

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Stella I have been a designer craftsman for the last 7 years, the last years woodworking has been my full time job. Ravens, I had always thought about putting out a DVD on how to make gel candles, but never got around to it. I was motivated by how much horrible advice there is out here on the web. When I learned how to make gel candles back in the early to mid 90's I searched online for instructions, then followed them. I can't tell you how many times my pot of meting gel caught on fire, or how many times I improved my processes for doing certain things.

The most common error that people make when making gel candles is using cheap supplies. People seem to think they can buy a kit from someone on ebay or go to a craft store like Michael's and buy some gel. Gel candles are something that can be very dangerous to make, it's an item that people will put in their homes and light on fire. Too many people are simply to cheap and too uneducated to be trying to make gel candles. 75% of the gel candles you see are what I would call garbage. This is not a hobby that someone should just jump into, especially if they don't have the money to spend on the high quality gel and fragrance oils that have high flash points and are officially deemed "gel safe" by testing.

The second most common error that beginners make is believing what they read online. So many people post "how to" instructions and offer advice in these forums when they have very little experience and generally have no clue what they are talking about. For the last hour I have been flabbergasted and the poor advice that I have been reading in this forum.

Gel candles can be life ending dangerous. The danger is in heating the gel, and adding the fragrance oil. The gel is a hydrocrabon polymer designed to hold one ounce of fragrance oil per one pound of high density gel. You will see people selling candles try and use the term, "tripple scented". If you ever see that, avoid that seller, they have no clue what they are doing. There is no such thing as "tripple scenting" a candle of any type. Whether it's gel, soy, paraffin or beeswax. Gel and the waxes will only hold X amount of fragrance oil before the material breaks down and becomes gooey. So either a person adds the most amount of fragrance oil that their material will allow, or they skimp. Gel is a clear and looks like translucent rubber. You pull it apart and put it into your melting pot. This is the first time that gel candle makers get into trouble People think that they can crank up the heat to melt the gel faster, so they don't have to wait an hour to start making candles. Gel will ignite inside the pot at a certain temperature, when you add fragrance oil that flash point is greatly reduced, so there is less heat required to make the pot of gel catch on fire. Gel candle makers need to be patient and understand the importance of watching the temperature of their melting pot. Can a gel candle itself catch on fire from sitting on a mantle burning, yes. If the gel candle is made with cheap gel and has too much fragrance oil in it, along with the wrong size wick, the small flame on the wick can ignite the top surface of the gel candle. This has happened before which is why people have heard that gel candles can, "explode".

I have burned up three melting pots from catching my pot of gel on fire over the years. Every gel candle maker should have an old sweat shirt on stand by to set over the pot if it ignites, This is the cleanest and quickest way to snuff out the fire. Putting a thick sweat shirt over the pot suffocates the fire and it goes out.

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Rich, thank you so much for this information. As I said, I heard some say that gel candles can be dangerous; just had no idea how dangerous they can be until I read your post.

I'm glad you decided to join and share your experiences and knowledge. I will be reading your posts, that's for sure - not because I want to get into gel candles, but to avail myself of some good information. Again, thank you. (You could still make that DVD, you know.... wink wink)

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No!!! Salt&pepper or white actually will give you more of a distinguished look, Rich. Generally speaking, it is women who suffer because of grey hair; somehow it does not impart that "distinguished" look, lol.

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Hello folks. This is a great little forum here. My name is Rich Leathers, inventor of the original, "Mandles". I have been a professional gel candle maker for over 15 years. I have been looking through many of these gel candle posts and I can't believe how many bad tips I am seeing people give. I am going to go through the posts and offer up as much info as i can. If you have any questions about how to make a certain type of candle, feel free to ask.

Welcome Rich....How generous of you to offer your expertise in the gel making aspect of candle making and your products look wonderful.

I am working with a member here who is trying every which way to get a 5" candle pie to burn without either running over the sides or burning up the top edge of the crust. We have tried using (3) of the 44 series Z, 51z (1) 60z...none of which are producing results acceptable yet.

Any advice on 5" candle pies and how to wick them? When I did them I used (3) 44z but this is not working for her.

TIA

Jeanne

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Thank you....she is currently using 44-36-18z x3. Those are taking some of the crust with it. If I remember right with zincs, the middle number is the rate of consumption making the 44-36 consume less than the 44-24? We had been re-thinking possibly a higher rate of consumption will help rather than hinder the crust melting more than she would like.

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I actually got into candle making because I like the look of gel candles and had a bunch of ideas. I only made one and never finished the test burn. I went to soy then to paraffin and have not gotten back to gel. I think at some level, I have to agree that gel candles are far less forgiving and I wanted to understand the other waxes first.

Now that you have told us what's wrong with our forum, perhaps you will see some that are right and some posts that help people in the right direction. I know I have.

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There's one of you in every crowd. When it comes to safety I don't worry too much about sugar coating. Neither should you. The biggest thing that I like about gel candles versus any of the waxes is the level of creativity you can explore with gel. Most of the artistic gel candles are pieces of art, only in 3d.And I liked how much cleaner the process is over the waxes.

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Richard, you are not a good communicator. If you want people to listen, try not to start out insulting them. People listen better when they think they are respected and being constructively criticized. There are some very well meaning people here, some intelligent people here, some chemists, and some PhD's in here. There are also some wonderful folks who know little about candles and are supporting their loved ones who want to learn.

This web site has grappled with the ones that want to sell after their first day with a kit. Bad idea, I agree, however, insulting doesn't go as far as constructive criticism.

So I'm the one in the crowd, eh? What is that going to accomplish, Richard? What does insulting me get you? What does insulting me do for candle technique or safety? What does insulting anyone do for the furtherance of this science? Please don't answer with more insults. Try being constructive.

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Yes, you're the one in the crowd, and yes I'm a chemist. If you feel insulted, don't talk to me. Yes, you're that "one" that feels like everything that people say is directed towards you, you're that one that always has to respond to hear the sound of your own voice. I never asked you for your opinion. You replied to my thread. If you feel insulted, don't read or respond to my threads, it's really that simple. I have no desire to hear from you.

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Yep Kawboy it is your thread but this forum has been here a long time and something you need to know is it is a friendly forum where criticism and smart remarks are rare and not taken well. You did answer a couple of my questions very nicely but at the same time it is disturbing to see animosity started with other members.

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I don't see where he started anything... he's entitled to his opinions, has earned his stripes in the craft, and no one has to read them or comment if they don't like his style.

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Stella, I have been using forums for a long time, I appreciate you defending me but there's no need for it. People form clicks in this forums so if you step on someones toes indirectly, they wage war and their little friends get involved. If I hurt someones feelings by stating my opinions that were never directed towards anyone specific, then so be it. That's their problem, not mine. So when they complain, I don't worry too much about it. In fact I guess that they feel better about complaining, so if i can be an outlet of stress for those individuals, then i am all for it. I will gladly take the brunt of someones desire to lash out online if it makes them feel better about themselves. I have thick skin and am glad to be of service. But thanks again Stella for your kind words.

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