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stiff wicks


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I've been using square braid wicks in my pillars, and have been trying to think of a way to keep them upright when burning. I find that even though the square braid does not curl, it still wants to lean a little bit and burn off-center slightly.

I know that one can prime raw wicking with the same paraffin used in the candle, but then it melts away in the MP and then it can lean or fall over. Tell me your opinions on this, or if anyone has tried it: priming raw wicking with white microcrystalline.

I did that yesterday with #2 Sq and pulled it through the hole of a wick tab to squeeze away the excess, pulled taut for long enough to set up. It is very stiff and does not bend easily. I tabbed a piece of it and have tested it in one of my little mottled pillars. So far, it works fine.

After the first four hour burn, I dipped the wick to extinguish, and noticed that it took an extra effort to bend the wick down into the MP. Iwas afraid it would be too stiff and break the wick off, but it did not.

Any thoughts on this, or thoughts on a custom blended wick priming wax using normal plain paraffin and white micro?

geek

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Well you already tried priming with the micro and seem to like the results. If you notice that your melt pool is no longer mottling when it sets up, that would be the micro. You could also just use some regular 160 MP paraffin. It might even work better.

It seems like a lot of fuss though. Personally I love flat braids, but if you have a preference for super straight pillar wicks it might be sensible to experiment with the cored ones.

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I dont know if there would be enough micro in the wick to make it stiff while you burn it.... maybe way down in the melt pool it would keep it from leaning, but I would think the micro (mp of around 180F right?) would melt and not help any at all.

You are exactly right, it behaved that way, and is what I was trying to achieve. My only problem with this is melting the stuff. Can't do it in double boiler. Top's idea of using 160 MP paraffin or cored wicks is probably the most practical idea. Good thing we have someone who is the Voice of Reason around here :)

Mad Scientist geek

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Top's idea of using 160 MP paraffin or cored wicks is probably the most practical idea.
I'm a mad scientist too but I usually come around to the most practical approach. I won't swear to it, but you might find that some coats of the normal high MP paraffin actually keep the wick more rigid than the micro. You probably noticed when you were melting it that micro doesn't have a distinct melting point. It turns to goo long before that temperature and remains pretty viscous well past it. The number they give you is just a convention called the "drop melting point". Normal paraffin typically has a more distinct melting point and if it's relatively close cut it will maintain it's hardness better as it heats up. Adding micro to the normal wax will make it more pliable.
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