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Kevin Fischer

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Kevin Fischer last won the day on March 2 2020

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About Kevin Fischer

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    Reading, technology, business, and candle making


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  1. Burned a tin in 2°F MN weather for fun a few days ago. Takes a LOT more thermal energy to melt wax, and it tunneled like crazy. That's an extreme temperature, but the theory holds up. Warmer environments need less wick, colder environments need more. Balancing the combustion on top of that? That's where things get really interesting. Just cause you can generate the right amount of heat doesn't mean you're making a healthy candle.
  2. The craziest part is how much disruption two reports of high flames and broken glass caused. Not to suggest the other 141,998 were safe, but just how serious candle safety is taken by CPSC.
  3. I find items like insurance, rent, equipment, and anything else that doesn't play well on a per-candle basis are best calculated on an axis of time as a period cost. And I pay for it like this: I'll break down my costs for every unit (like @MilosCandlesdid above)... call these unit costs Estimate the sales for every unit over a period of time - let's use a month for arguments sake... call this revenue Determine the effective monthly costs that aren't unit-based... call these period costs If insurance cost $500/yr, that would be $42 a month. I buy about $50
  4. @TallTayl definitely. It wouldn't hurt to dedicate an entire series to safety. @Marisa11 thank you! I agree - some of the BBW candles I've had were alarmingly hot.
  5. For what it's worth, I've got a blog post about it https://armatagecandlecompany.com/blog/basic-burn-test/ You may also find some of my verbal diarrhea on the tube as well. Safety always trumps performance/hot throw. Great testing sheet! And I feel like we need to encourage others in our industry to build more tracing into their product lines. Freaks me out how easy it is to get into candle making. I'm not a huge proponent of regulation, but I can't for the life of me figure out why these ASTM standards didn't become mandatory. They seem to have died before a
  6. Generally speaking, a week should give you a decent look at whether the wick is going to work. Two weeks is better than one, but C-3 will evolve/harden forever. A few months and the wick that worked at 1-week might be too small at 3 months. Most of that behavior settles in the first two weeks (anecdotally, at least). Also comes down to "when" you're expecting your consumers to use them a bit, but I always wait two weeks. I kill time by pouring candles every day.
  7. I'd pay to see boiling points on the fragrance oils. I mean, I can do it myself but that's so much work. General volatility is tied up to the boiling point. I just don't know how complex fragrance oils are compared to essential oils that potentially contain hundreds of different compounds that evaporate at different rates. Essential oils suffer in the performance category mostly because of their volatility in the presence of candle making temperature ranges, but they also degrade from light and heat. Just go really interested in the EO/FO volatility discussion as thi
  8. The way you use the word "layer" makes me think you're talking about a second pour event, rather than sub-surface cratering, yes? As in, the top dips down like a bowl and you're filling that in to have a flat-topped candle?
  9. For sure. At that point we're probably discussing the effective volumes and a weird level of thermodynamic interpolation. Even if we answered it perfectly, it doesn't matter because flash points are irrelevant for candle making processes. Flashing off aromatic compounds is part of why wick sizing ends up being important (among other reasons) for generating a flame that works in harmony with the melt pool. An entirely different discussion of it's own.
  10. If you took the fragrance oil by itself and just cooked it at the flash point, it would indeed start giving off vapor that would harmlessly become a gas unless you lit it with a match. But, if you took your room temperature FO and mix it with liquid wax (which is much warmer), does the FO behave the same way as if it was by itself? I'm not a chemist, but I think the answer is most certainly no. The FO + wax is a new fluid with properties of its own, including an effective flash point much higher than our candle making range. My question was a dumb-but-honest attempt to have them
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