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About Ramr

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  1. Ramr


    Cr8ive, I hope you find this magic tool you speak of. I haven't. I have also not made a candle in quite a while because other life stuff got in the way. I have burned a few of my many candles and keep coming up against several failures in my home built wicks. Both my crochet cotton wicks and my wooden wicks, fall over. Since my wood wicks have no holders, as the wax melts to the bottom of the holder, the wooden wick bobs to the surface, like a stick in water, plops over and snuffs out. If you're lucky. Sometimes it decides to become a towering inferno belching stinky smoke. One never can tell which way it will go. I tried using glue blobs as anchors on the bottom of the wicks. But hot glue melts in molten wax, and burns. And stinks. And sticks the wax to the holder. Bad plan. My crochet cotton wicks make a nice flame when they burn well. A horrible flame when there is a defect in the cotton, like maybe a piece of cotton seed or a bug. Crochet thread is very wobbly, not stiff at all and the last 1/2 inch of candle, they always wobble over and snuff out. This bugs me because 1/2 and inch should still be a burnable candle. Well not when the wick is on its side, congealed in wax. If you find this teeny wood slicer, please share!
  2. As I understand it, WHAT you burn is not the issue. THAT you burn anything at all, is. Combustion (fire) creates particulate. Particulate is inhaled and this is bad. It doesn't matter if you inhale particulate from soy, paraffin, or fluffy virgin fairies, it's all stuff in your lungs that would be better to not be there. But you also need to take context into consideration. I, for example, heat my home with a wood furnace. The amount of smoke that belches into my house, the particulate, every time I open that door to throw more wood in is OFF THE SCALE! The carpet around the vents is BLACK from circulating particulate! Cooking is a massive source of airborne particulate. So is dusting! (ban all housework!). Stand near a running car and see what is being spewed into the air as particulate. The world is FULL of it and lots of it can't be avoided. God forbid a volcano should erupt somewhere. And yet lighting a wee candle is worthy of this debate? This debate is most often trotted out by people who have an agenda. They have something to gain by claiming that soy is more beneficial than paraffin. Yeah, maybe. But it's the same as saying that drinking unleaded gasoline is better then drinking regular gasoline. Maybe so. But still, it's a bad idea to drink gasoline at all, unleaded or otherwise, so why would anyone split hairs over this? It's missing the big picture and getting hung up on little details that allow you to side step critical thinking. I read somewhere that burning beeswax creates negative (or was it positive?) ions in the air. I have not been able to find one credible source of scientific research to support that statement. If the peer reviewed data for that exists, I have not been able to find it despite searching. In conclusion, light the candle and enjoy it because burning dinner is going to be far worse for your lungs!
  3. Ramr

    Slippery floors

    After I cooked up several batches of candles and did more reading here, I came upon people mentioning wearing respirators. What? You mean all this coughing I've been doing isn't from allergies? I do not even have a rangehood over my stove where I'm melting. Pretty much NO ventilation at all. After reading here at least I crack a few windows as close to where I'm working, which isn't very close. But I do know that I spent a lot of time this summer feeling like I had a sore throat and I suspect it was daily candle making without ventilation. To be clear, I do not believe it is wax that is vaporizing and getting on the floor. Nothing has been spilled on my floor at any point. What I was wondering about was the POLYBAR which is similar to VYBAR, as I understand it. These are polymers. But what is the chemical composition of a polymer? Does it contains silicone? Can it become moisture droplets in the air if it hits boiling water? Silicone is the only thing that has ever made my floor ice slippery. And this was EXACTLY like that. Which made me wonder if silicone and water weren't mixing. Imagine that you have your boiling water and your pot of melted wax and FO and Vybar, and you pour a little of the liquid wax into the boiling water. (DO NOT DO THIS!!) Now you have wax and FO and Vybar all boiling around in your water. Even when you cool and toss the water, the wax and its components stick to the sides of your boiler. So when you fill it with fresh water and boil again, the wax and additives come off the sides of the pot to roll around in your boiling water. I am pretty sure the pot I inherited had wax and other stuff in the water boiler. I have since cleaned it up with solvents and abrasives. However, before cleaning it up, I made lots of candles and developed deadly floors. I still think they are connected. Just can't figure out how!
  4. Ramr

    Slippery floors

    Well. I have not poured a candle for quite a while now. Packed all that stuff up and lugged it to the basement for a break. The kitchen floor continued to be killer slippery until I mopped the beejeebers out of it with Vim (which is an abrasive liquid cleaner that you scrub tubs and toilets with). That removed the slipperiness and possibly the top layer of vinyl too! No matter! I am having my floors throughout the house replaced this Monday (they are 26 years old and after raising a family and several dogs, they are toast). This will be the test! If I get my NEW flooring in (more sheet vinyl, nothing fancy) and it is fine to walk on, and then I make candles and the floor turns deadly, I WILL KNOW it's something in the candle making process that is vaporizing, floating up into the atmosphere of my house and landing with a thud on my kitchen floor. To kill me. In the meantime my house is a disaster as I attempt to lug everything to the basement so the floor layers can get in here to work. Oh the crap I have stuffed in corners and closets!! I am mortified at myself and I can tell you, lots of it is NOT going to be put away again. Goodbye junk! I will post here next time I make candles... if I don't slip and break my arm on the way to the computer.
  5. More stupid questions .... so you are weighing your FO by weight. You set your little cup on the scale and dribble in your FO. Then you pour it into your hot wax. But a portion of it sticks inside the little cup, leaving a thick coating. When you are dealing with such small amounts (if you are making one pound batches at a time) those few drops that do not make it into the wax have to make a difference. Do you spray your measuring spoons and little cups with silicone spray so every last drop of FO slides out? Does this matter?
  6. Ramr

    Candles by accident

    PamW, I do not own an accurate scale. I do have a scale that came with the supplies, but I think it's pretty crappy. If I continue making candles I realize that an accurate scale will be critical. In light of that, I add no more than 15 mls of FO to a pound of wax. Or at least a pound as measured by that wonky scale. What scents do I like so far? I do tend to gravitate towards the sweeter vanilla scents. I did make one I call Lemon Dream, blending lemon and Clarity (a FO sold by BeeCee Wicks and Wax). There is nothing sweet about it and I love the zesty, bright smell. I don't really know what I like. I just know what I hate. And I throw it on the deck.
  7. Ramr

    Candles by accident

    I bought a scent called Fuzzy Peach. It is vile! It literally makes me recoil and feels like someone is ramming a knitting needle dipped in bleach right up my nose. Wow! Super bad! I hurled them outside on the deck. A friend came by and claims she likes them. Good, you can have the evil, stinking things. I used maybe a tablespoon of scent from that FO and no, no thank you, NOT going to happen. I put the bottle with other FOs that were invented by evil, demented souls. Now I'm scared to buy more FOS in case it's like having a knitting needle rammed up my nose.
  8. Ramr


    Echapp77, I wish my adventures had better outcomes. But lately I have been burning my newly minted stash of candles and ... they mostly suck. It really bugs me when a flame flickers and wobbles, or blobs and smokes. The failures of the various wood wicks are not as annoying to me as the failures of the cotton wicks. Or rather, the failures of my candle making. I cannot, for the life of me, figure out why my flames blob and wobble. Stupid flames. I do not think I am over scenting, putting in little more than a Tablespoon (or 3) of FO per pound of wax. About a teaspoon and half of polybar. Little to no colouring. What possible reason do my candles have to have such ugly flames? No reason. They're just being difficult. I think with stir sticks as wood wicks you could test til you're blue in the face and never find out how well they are going to work because there is no consistency or quality control in a package of craft store stir sticks. Sometimes my wood wicks work great. Other times, oh my word, throw that candle out! I can be as precise and exact as I want in my measurements, but it's the quality and species of the wood that I have no control over. And I do think that makes a difference. I was wrong saying that half a stir stick is enough for a votive. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't, it depends on the wood in that particular stir stick and that is not something you can predict or judge. I am thinking wood wicks purchased from a manufacturer who has the same species of wood, the same pitch content and grain, the same moisture content (although that can change in each environment) is a more reasonable bet than craft store sticks.
  9. And here I thought that meant if you were pouring in a vintage containers, then this is the wax you need. If you are pouring in modern containers, use a modern wax, you know, for the right wax look. I am easily confused.
  10. Lots to think about here and I suppose as Laura C has said, if I fill it with candles at least it will smell like candles, and not mothballs. I got the suitcase from an elderly friend. They had all sorts of amazing vintage stuff in pristine condition from back in their youth from the 40s right to the 70s. All of it in perfect condition and all of it stinking to high heaven of mothballs. Some things have literally taken YEARS to air out. Some things never did. I soaked a lot of vintage clothing, often for several days, in a product called OxiClean. Got out the yellow stains and the stank. Obviously cannot use it on a paper lined suitcase. For all I know the suitcase itself is made of cardboard and might disintegrate if wet. I think I might just take the leap and fill it with candles. Right now the candles are in a big, black box that work boots came in. Not very cute.
  11. I have not tried charcoal in the suitcase. I have tried charcoal in other applications and it is very fluffy, very BLACK, very fine stuff. So I would have to find it in some confined form rather than loose. Loose charcoal is a whole other problem! But good thinking!
  12. I have all these votives I've been making and I want to store them in this funky, vintage suitcase I have. However the former owners of the ancient suitcase were big into mothballs. I have tried everything known to man over the last two years to get the stank of mothballs out of this suitcase, but no luck. It is a hard suitcase and the interior is paper, not fabric. I have sprayed it with vinegar. I have sprinkled it with coffee grounds, I have stored it with tea bags, I have left it in the sun, I performed a few magic incantations while dancing and waving tree branches. That smell DOES NOT COME OUT! It has lightened up in the past two years. But still, if it is closed for any length of time and you open it, wow, mothballs! The question is, will my candles smell like that if I store them in the suitcase? Each batch of candles is in plastic bags. I don't think they're great plastic bags as you can smell the candle scent right through them. So the candles are not individually wrapped, but each type wrapped in a bag and all stored with the others. In a big box. That smells like heaven right now! Will the stink of mothballs permeate my votives? IT's bad enough that they are incorrectly wicked and many have no throw, but to also have them smelling like mothballs? That would be too much!
  13. In my box of acquired candle paraphernalia is a bag of white granular stuff the label says Sheen-Tex wax hardener and conditioner. I have Googled and come up empty handed as to what this stuff is. Is it stearic acid? Is it Vybar or Polybar? I did find one article that mentions it, written in 1972 for Mother Earth News and they mention the cost of wax being a whopping 15 - 17 CENTS per pound. Scandalous! This article says it is a wax hardener and that it is very costly and that stearic acid is a more reasonably priced alternative. Has anyone heard of Sheen Tex and what do you know about it?
  14. All excited to make my first candles I watched one lousy Youtube video, melted some wax, tossed in not enough FO, plunked some wicks in the votive molds, poured the wax to the top and went to bed. As you all know the next morning revealed votives with deep sink holes and wicks that were NOT where I had placed them! Who knew that wax could yank a wick around like that?! I tried various things to prop the wicks up but nothing was working the way I wanted. I thought about buying some of those nifty metal ones but nah, I'm too cheap and pretty soon I will no longer be making candles so I didn't really want to amass too much 'stuff'. But I needed something...so this is what I came up with. It is pretty goofy and only practical for one pound pours. I don't see this working on a large scale. So I give you my sad wick holders and maybe someone else on a budget will find this useful. You will need A PIPE CLEANER cut in half, a STIR STICK or pair of small scissors. Now wrap the pipe cleaner around the stir stick or end of the scissor blade. Not super tight, but do get a nice bend in it. Wrap one end one way and one end the other way and I realize that makes no sense. Maybe a picture will help. Slide it off the stir stick or scissors and slip a wick through the opening. Set the wick into your chosen mold, fiddle until it's well centered. Then bend the arms sharply over the mold. Without removing the pipe cleaner from the mold, dab melted wax onto the bent area where it bends over the mold. Dab the top and sides and all around. Saturate the fuzz really well. This makes the bend more rigid, less likely shift out of shape and it makes a grippy notchy that holds the mold and does not slide around when cooling wax puts force on a wick. The next picture is supposed to show the wax on the bent area, but it doesn't show up all that well. This is a batch of holders in use. You have to be careful with them because you can bend them out of shape. But if you take care setting them up, they do a pretty good job of keeping a wick centered. And because you wrapped them around something that has a little width to it, you can wiggle that wick a hair one way or the other in the little slot to get it right in the middle. The one thing to avoid though is pouring wax over them or so full that it touches them because once that fuzz gets waxed on to something, you WILL NOT pull it off! So DO NOT dump wax on them as you pour and DO NOT make your mold so full that the wax touches the holder. I have used mine for many batches and they are doing fine. I know...pretty low tech. But it works for me!
  15. Ramr

    Name suggestions?

    Flannel made me think of things that are soft and cozy. Fall, but you don't want seasonal words. Maybe' Fuzzy Fall' or 'Fuzzy Breeze'. 'Fuzzy Feels' I like odd names. In my own recent blends I have one called Fresh Pony, Fuzz Valley and Lick Me.