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I’m lookin at turning the back end of my garage into my little candle making workshop, so I’m looking for opinions!

I’m stuck on heating sources though. Should I just buy an electric hot plate or two, or should I go ahead and buy that Coleman gas camping stove and hook up a propane tank?

What do people like to use as a heat source? Is one any better than the other?

 

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If you’re starting small, presto pots are much safer than either of those alternatives. You don’t want open flames around wax, so the propane is out. Hot plates will scorch wax if not carefully tended to. 

 

if going bigger, a water jacket melter will serve you well. 

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@TallTayl

I had looked into the Presto pots a little, but, frankly, they seem like more trouble than they’re worth.

I didn’t even think about having a naked flame around the wax; probably best to stay away from that.

I’ve never heard of a water jacket heater, but that sounds similar to using a Crockpot filled with water, or something along those lines.

I highly doubt I’m ever going to go bigger than a couple of pour pots at a time, so maybe I’ll just stick with a hot plate.

Thanks!

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Presto pots are the simplest, really. And with some safety safeguards built in they are worth the small amount of money. In my shop all 6 of them multitask. When making a couple dozen candles they’re quick and efficient. 

This big one is what I use most: https://www.walmart.com/ip/Presto-Big-Kettle-multi-cooker-steamer-06008/38468981?wmlspartner=wlpa&selectedSellerId=0&wl13=1211&adid=22222222227026951385&wl0=&wl1=g&wl2=t&wl3=43324636952&wl4=pla-82771732832&wl5=9021446&wl6=&wl7=&wl8=&wl9=pla&wl10=8175035&wl11=local&wl12=38468981&wl13=1211&veh=

 

 

When ready to move up with production, Water jacket melters are not like crock pots at all. No water gets accidentally introduced to the wax. Check out places like candlewic.com for examples. Mine is rectangular and holds 50 lbs+. Can keep wax at temp for days with minimal effort. I use it for every wax and candle type, including melts. It’s indispensable. 

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Oh yeah, the water jacket heater is way beyond what I’m looking at for now, lol. 

It’s a nice enough piece of equipment, but I’m definitely staying small for the foreseeable future.

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I would get that Presto Pot, Mr. Dan, much easier than the double boiler method (ask me how I know!). I think they run about $25 at WalMart. Once I get some more wick testing done, I'll go ahead and get one myself. 

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Maybe I’m just not understanding how you can pour cleanly with a Presto Pot. Is this pot being physically lifted to pour the wax, or is it being scooped into something else to be poured? Are the dyes and fragrances mixed in there as well?

I looked at the pots and I can see where it could be really useful, but I also noticed the lowest setting was for 200 degrees on most of these pots. Isn’t there a good chance I’d just scorch the wax?

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I use the smaller presto pots.  My husband added a spigot, and it's super fast and easy.  Just heat the wax, dispense into a pour pot, weigh, scent and pour.  Wipe out the pot for the next scent, dispense more wax (which is already heated to the right temp), weigh, scent and pour.  Without a spigot you can pour from the presto directly into your pour pot, or ladle it or whatever, but I find the spigot much easier.  

200 isn't the lowest setting...there is a "warm" setting on the dial, and my sweet spot is at the high end of warm.  It does a really good job of maintaining temp.  No danger of scorching as long as you have your dial set correctly.

I've bought a bunch of the single burner Waring hot plates.  They are good quality, and I've never had one fail.  They heat up quickly and are relatively easy to clean, but the whole thing gets hot if you use it for long.  They aren't nearly as safe as a presto.  An induction model would be safer, but I've never used one so don't know how well they work.

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@bfroberts  Seeing it explain like that, it makes a little more sense. I’ll admit it, I was trying to find video tutorials of people using the Presto pots and coming up empty! I can see the advantages in something like that. And the small size pot is plenty big for my needs, and pretty inexpensive too!

Thanks!

 

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I have three of the small and three of the larger size prestos. I have used them as dipping tanks for short candles, for a hot water bath for making lip balms/lotion, etc. They are so versatile!

 

I have mastered the pour right from the presto. Pick up, tip, done.  I've used ladles too, but the pour is pretty easy once you get the knack.  I have melters with spouts and hate how junked up they get. Plus sometimes wax settles out debris which goes right out the spout into your pot. Takes more time to clean them out than it does to melt the whole pot sometimes.

 

I use a pouring pot as a big ladle in my biggg melters. Super quick and efficient versus manipulating a heat gun in one hand and a pot in the other to keep the spigots open enough to pour. My big water jacket melter has exploded hot beewax onto me from waist to toes from the pouring spout enough times to make me not want to use it.

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7 hours ago, MrDan said:

I’ll admit it, I was trying to find video tutorials of people using the Presto pots and coming up empty!

 

A little crude and not really a tutorial, but this is how I use my Presto. When I'm doing more than 1-2 lbs, at a time, I melt more wax and pour in a bigger pour pot that is on a tared scale and weigh the wax as it's coming out of the presto. 

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41 minutes ago, Jcandleattic said:

 

A little crude and not really a tutorial, but this is how I use my Presto. When I'm doing more than 1-2 lbs, at a time, I melt more wax and pour in a bigger pour pot that is on a tared scale and weigh the wax as it's coming out of the presto. 

 

Hardly crude, and a perfect example of what I was looking for! Thank you @Jcandleattic !

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16 hours ago, MrDan said:

 

Hardly crude, and a perfect example of what I was looking for! Thank you @Jcandleattic !

Well, as you can see, in the blue one I think? (haven't watched in a while) I didn't stir the color in well enough, and you can see a blob of colorant at the bottom of my pour pot. 

Just goes to show that even those of us who have been doing this for years, are not perfect!! :) 

 

The former board owner asked me to put one together for her so I put that together at the spur of the moment, and was too busy worrying about the video than actually making the candles. LOL 

They still burned great, and my hairdresser (who I made them for in the first place, just filmed them for Vicky) loved them. 

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10 hours ago, Hopie said:

Nice video, and I can't wait until I NEED the Presto Pot! 

I got my presto before I made my second candle ever. The first one I tried literally ended up sailing across the room because I was so frustrated. There were no boards or forums like this when I stared out. I mean there were but they were very archaic, hard to follow because of the way they were set up, so almost everything I learned early on was either self taught, or from old outdated books (by today's standards they were outdated anyway) 

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9 hours ago, Jcandleattic said:

I got my presto before I made my second candle ever. The first one I tried literally ended up sailing across the room because I was so frustrated. There were no boards or forums like this when I stared out. I mean there were but they were very archaic, hard to follow because of the way they were set up, so almost everything I learned early on was either self taught, or from old outdated books (by today's standards they were outdated anyway) 

 

I remember way back when testing a lot of the C3 soy over a double boiler, so it's not that big a deal to use it while I test wicks, etc. It will be fun to get a new toy when I do get the Presto :)

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just wanted to update. I was able to purchase a Presto pot from Amazon on Prime Day ($25!). It was delivered late so I got a $10 credit that I bought some molds with! 

Then I went and got my griddle and fire extinguisher, and now I’m making candles in the garage! 

I think my neighbors think I’m making meth, though 🤔

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3 minutes ago, kandlekrazy said:

Surprise them with a candle, and tell them you need feedback. 

 

I’m more afraid they’ll ask me if they can buy some meth, and then there will be that very awkward pause...

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LOL! Hey, can you imagine doing this in an RV?? They probably think I'm "Breaking Bad" in here! :lol:  I did give a few of my prototypes to the office manager here at the RV park, and she's loving test burning some of them for me! Even though I have at least one burning in here 14 hours a day, I do need help with all the scents I'm messing with. She and her husband went CRAZY with the pyramid and owl candles, lol!

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