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Linda P

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  1. Fun seeing what a small label looks like on a tin. I have a tin from Frostbeard Studio "Soy Candles for Booklovers" that uses a full wraparound label. The lid is printed (not labeled) with their brand and the bottom of the tin is printed with the warning info. The wraparound label is mostly graphic design with the candle name and fragrances. So many branding/label options...
  2. Thanks for chiming in, @TallTayl. I knew there was a reason I was doing it this way, and you explained it so much more clearly than I was doing. Yes, to the economics of testing wicks in unscented wax. In the long run, an economy of time in addition to money & supplies. Limit the variables so as to reduce the frustration of troubleshooting. I've yet to do a pan test. On my list of things to do someday, if only to see for myself how a pan test works. I appreciate the discussion. It helps me think through what I'm doing and why, even if I can't articulate it well.
  3. Lyschel has a downloadable wick chart somewhere on the CC website. Close to the top of her chart is the scent name "Base," with NA given as the fragrance amt/lb and CD 8 listed as the wick size for a votive and CD 14 for a 3" diameter jar. I haven't specifically asked about this item on her chart, but have assumed that it refers to an unfragranced candle that they use as a reference point for starting wick tests. When I've chatted with CC staff about recommendations for a wick size, or even in the emails they've sent following an order, they've sometimes advises me to "wick up"—to start with a higher wick size than usual. In the case of Mountain Meadow Honey, I suppose the advice would be to wick down, since her chart says they use CD 10 in a 3" diameter jar instead of the base candle's CD 14. Until recently, when Candle Cocoon started testing wave wicks, they used CD and CDN wick series exclusively. Another assumption on my part is that an aspect of her fragrance development is that if a fragrance doesn't work with either of those series, she sends it back for further refinement. That's pure speculation on my part, though. I can see what you're saying, though. If I find out that an ECO wick, for example, works in my unscented candle, how will I know ECO is still the best series for a scented candle? Good question for which I don't have an answer. But maybe I'll find two or 3 wick series that seem to work well with my unscented candle. At least I'll have a place to start with scented candles. What I do like is that Candle Cocoon limits themselves to 2 wick series. And that's what I want to do too. Find 1 or 2 wick series that work, starting with my base candle, and if a fragrance doesn't work with any sizes in those 2 series, the fragrance gets eliminated. I don't want to have to keep testing wick series. Wick sizes, yes. But I don't want to keep a bazillion wick series on hand. As far as I'm concerned, there are so many fragrances to choose from, it's not worth it to me to keep going to the wall for a stubborn fragrance. It works with my chosen series or out it goes. Starting off as I am, I want to keep things as simple as possible, even if my method seems convoluted right now. Bottom line for me is that I want to avoid trying a bunch of different series with different fragrances. It's probably naive of me to think it's possible. You are definitely making me think! I love it. Here's the link to Candle Cocoon's wick size chart http://www.candlecocoon.com/v/vspfiles/assets/images/Wick_Sizes.docx
  4. Thanks for the question and your point of view about when to test wicks and fragrance. If you're rocking the boat, I'm not feeling it. My rationale for going to wick burning before adding fragrance—and I may be (probably am!) completely off base, is that I'm trying to nail down a wick series before I figure out what size to use in a particular fragrance/container combo. To my way of thinking, and really, without the benefit of years of experience as you and others have, there are so many variables, that I'm trying to limit the number of variables once I really start scaling candle production. If I narrow my options to one or maybe two wick series, then I don't have to have every wick on hand, infinitum. If I'm remembering correctly, someone else on this forum said that once s/he settled on a wax, a container, and a wick series, any fragrance tested that didn't work was abandoned. That seemed like sound reasoning to me. Also, when I've reviewed Candle Cocoon's wick recommendations, Lyschel has a base candle listed with the wick series/size that works without fragrance or dye. When she advises to wick up, I know she means to wick up from the base of whatever your wax/container combo is. At this stage of my candle making adventure, and given my lack of knowledge/experience, it makes sense to me to have a home base from which to start. But that's just me. I love Candle Cocoon's principle not to add many fillers to her scents. I love her "less is more" philosophy. There are a few of her fragrances I'm not crazy about OOB. And her Dragon's Blood that I used with her starter kit, well, let's just say I won't be buying it again. :-) I was waiting to let my test candles cure for about a week because of something Ttayl said about soy changing over time. So I wanted to give it a little time to do its thing, settle down, whatever. I also wondered if waiting a week was necessary, but decided that was compromise between the 2 weeks cure time with fragrance and burning the day after pouring. That's as far as I went with my calculations on that score, i.e. completely gut feeling. Oh, I also have samples of CC's Sweetgrass, Bunchberry and Moss, and Sugar Shanty fragrances. That last one doesn't wow me OOB, but I saw it on your Woolrich list, so I'm going to give it a try. I want to like it, that's for sure.
  5. That's where the rubber hits the road. For the next few days, I'm enjoying the thrill of victory over this first insurmountable hurdle before I put my feet in the blocks for the second heat.
  6. Linda P

    Testing Wicks

    I'm making notes about notes I need to make
  7. Linda P

    Wax melter for palm wax...

    Whether it's this system or another, having a system is something I aspire to. Thanks for a peek into yours.
  8. Linda P

    6006 cure time

    I'm going to tape this to my forehead. A philosophy that applies to more than wicks, I think.
  9. That makes 2 of us!
  10. Figuring out the wick series will be my next step. Hopefully, these 3 80:20 candles will give be sufficient in determining that. And then I'll do another few wicked trial (fragrance-free) candles to zero on my base wick for the containers I'm considering. As for fragrances. I'm almost scared to start going down that path. Nevertheless, I have on hand several FOs from Candle Cocoon: Mountain Meadow Honey, Lavender Lullaby, Sweetgrass, Sun-warmed Sandalwood, Winter Woodlands Whisper, Mulberry and Moonbeams, Neroli de la Luna, Crushed Strawberry & Rhubarb, Vanilla Voodoo, Lemon Blossom, and Lovely Lilac. From NorthWood, I have Lavender 40/42 EO. And from NorthStar, I have Lavender Fields. Oh, and from Flaming Candle, Eucalyptus and Spearmint. I think I could be one of those people who doesn't know when to quit when it comes to buying fragrance samples. The only reason I don't have samples from more vendors is that my many lists of FOs I want to try from different suppliers overwhelms me every time I look at them. But back to your question: I'll start with the fragrances from Candle Cocoon. Mountain Meadow Honey is one of my favorites, so I'll try that one will be first. PS: I'm following your recent post about your new Woolrich line of candles and I'm getting some ideas from that about fragrances I'm adding to my lists.
  11. My original plan didn't include a part 3, but after last week's blending experiments, the C3 / coconut 2 80:20 blend had the most promise in terms of appearance. I decided to see if I could replicate that result, this time using advice and experience from @Trappeur and @TallTayl. Trappeur's best results are pouring C3 at 149, so I decided to start at the temp and work down, as necessary, to TT's pouring temp of 120-125. Also, I also set up a floor fan pointing up at the bottom of my table per TallTaly. My ambient air temp at the time of pouring was about 72 °F. I used 8 oz Libbey status jars this time and poured 2 candles, leaving a little wax in my pour pot to smooth the tops if needed. Still no FO, wicks, or dye. My focus right now is finding a blend and a repeatable/scaleable basic process for turning out a nice looking candle (i.e. smooth tops, minimal frosting/wet spots). Well, I'm happy/thrilled/ecstatic with today's pour. The 2 candles turned out with tops even smoother than last week's 80:20 blend. After the wax had completely melted, I held the heating temp steady while I slowly stirred the wax to make sure the C3 & coco 2 were thoroughly blended. I then slowly heated up the wax and watched the release of air bubbles. Once all the air bubbles had dissipated, I raised the temp to reach the max of 185, then let the wax cool to 145. I wouldn't have needed to do a 2nd pour, the tops of both candles were smooth with no sign of dips or evenness. I poured the leftover amount anyway, because I wanted to see what happened, if there would be a visible line between the two pours or if I'd get rough tops or whatever. Nope. No line showing the 2 pours, and the final tops were just as smooth. So until/unless something changes, I've found my blend—80% C3 & 20% coconut 2—and my basic process. No extraordinary measures required. Later this week, I'll do wick trials in these jars along with last week's 80:20 jar. Below are 3 pics of one of today's jars at different angles so you can get an idea of how smooth the tops are. For the first time since I started this candle making venture, I finally have hope that I can do this. Thanks, Trappeur and TallTayl, for your generous and patient guidance.
  12. Linda P

    Candle nose?

    A good point that I'd never considered. Should be obvious, but DOH!
  13. Northwood also carries 10" ECO wicks.
  14. Ah. Well, I wasn't trying to be fair, really. The opposite, in fact. I wanted to see what would happen in an extreme circumstance. Today's weather presented an opportunity, and I took advantage, just to see. All part of getting to know these waxes, even if I don't know what's going on under the microscope. What you said about the beads being fatty acids with lower melt points... Very cool. I'm not a scientist in real life, dream life, TV, or anyone's dictionary. My eyes blur reading the MSDS sheets when those are available. Nevertheless, the technical, chemical, physics side of candle making intrigues me. Plus, fire! Good point about the addition of fragrance. I can say now with some certainty that I won't be using a blend of more than 50% coconut. Although I'm curious about blending the NW coconut with C3, which I haven't done yet. Yeah, soy. I've got some dyed soy candles I made in December and one I purchased. The way those things frost, grain, whatever, while burning and recooling... well, they look like layered candles. Part of the joy of soy, I guess. Before I got interested in making candles, I didn't pay any attention. Now I'm fascinated by the changing properties of soy wax. I've got more discoveries ahead once I start wicking and burning this batch. Thank you for all your info and explaining what I'm seeing.
  15. Update on these candles under an excessive heat warning. Outdoor temp is 94F, and the candles were outside in the sun for 2-3 hours. The Northwood coconut and the C3/coco 40:60 candles had little beads of sweat on the surface, caused by what I don't know. No dye or FO in either. From the outside, the NW coconut candle looked like it was on the verge of becoming liquid. It's melting point is 112F, so yeah, 8° away from melting. Except it still felt somewhat firm to touch. Firmer than the 40:60 candle, which had pretty much turned to slush on top. The rest of the bunch decreased in sweat and increased in firmness in proportion to soy:coco ratio. As I'd expect. The 80:20 and 70:30 candles didn't suffer much, if at all, from the heat. The weird one was the C3/usa candle, which also had a bit of sweat, and was turning soft on top, to the point that I could move the wax.