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PROs:

more intriguing

Better and quick full melt pools (without being overwicked)

crackling.... not consistent though.

Easier to get a good wick size (and less choices. testing is easier)

 

CONS:

More expensive

I think the wick tabs are a huge pain in the A$$

Inconsistent crackling

Limited suppliers and limited quality

Generally more soot which freaks some people out

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I'm dabbling with wooden wicks now, just in one container.  I ordered from The Wooden Wick Company (woodenwick.com).  I ordered their sample pack for $29.95-they don't charge shipping on this item.  As a side note, their website is extremely informative (including videos and lots of wick charts) and their packaging is gorgeous.  I'm going to use some of the recommended wicks in my container this weekend and see what happens.  The wooden wicks I've tried before have a tendency to turn my white wax brown (I don't use dye).    I can update when I do a test burn.

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Wooden wicks can be beautiful, yet the most frustrating to learn. 

 

The wooden wick company holds the patents on all wood wicks, so even though you may buy from a retailer, you’re still buying from that one provider. Retailers don’t offer the full range of options, typically only 10% or so of the ones they feel are the most popular. Without being able to compare the actual sizes of retailer options against the full pack available directly from TWWC you have no way to know the thickness of the ones offered. Meaning... if you see 1/2” wide (for instance) wood wicks from several retailers they may be completely different wicks since TWWC offers three thicknesses in each of the materials (smooth, original, dual, booster). You can’t just assume a sub from one retailer to the next.

 

When buying direct from the wooden wick company they little tabs are super inexpensive at only a few pennies more than the typical tabs.

 

What i I love most about wooden wicks is:

1) those wicks stay upright, no leaning or slumping as they burn

2) the flame is really pretty when it’s wicked right

3) the sound is mesmerizing when wicked right.

4) pulling to replace wicks during tests is about as easy as it gets. 

 

dislikes:

1) very challenging to find the right size, and material for my waxes. 

2) I’ve had some that just won’t burn in the same package as those tested successfully. Hard to retail those when it’s a crapshoot if they will even light and stay lit. 

3) it’s super easy to over wick. The candle fire in my house years ago was a wooden wick candle that got out of control in a flash. Scared me beyond measure. 

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I've been fooling around making my own wooden wicks. Have learned a lot.  Since I am totally new to making candles I don't know that I'm qualified to say much, but here goes.

 

I have tried to burn, as a wood wick:  the wood ends of match sticks (no), bamboo BBQ skewers (no) soaked the skewers in olive oil (still no) dried pine needles I found on the lawn and twisted together (BAD IDEA!) a thick chunk of cedar kindling I meticulously shaved with an axe that was too big (no, cannot make thin enough strips with that ridiculous monster sized axe) toothpicks, both flat style and round style (no and no) bristles I yanked out of the corn broom I sweep the steps with (no) little round sticks I got at the dollar store which looked really promising but failed utterly.

 

What I have had some success with:  wooden stir sticks you get at the dollar store. Soaking them in oil is not necessary. The trick, for me, has been taking an exacto knife (utility knife) and scoring a thin line the length of the stick. This miniscule groove helps wick melted wax up towards the flame, or so I have convinced myself. But I do burn candles with wicks of this design.

 

I make votives and find a whole stir stick is too much wick for a votive. Even though they are narrow to begin with, cut them down to half their width is plenty for a votive. A full width stir stick can easily work in a 3 inch diameter candle. (at least with the wax I am using, IGI # 1245). I did some experimenting with splitting a stir stick in half and laying them on top of each other as a two layer wick, so wax could wick up the space between. This is fiddly to do, doesn't work unless your stir sticks are perfectly flat and often they are not, there are lots of deformed stir sticks in a dollar store package. I abandoned the double idea, don't need to double up.  

 

I also bought a package of craft sticks that are the size of the tongue depressor your doctor uses. Have made wicks with these. They make HUGE wicks! Scored a few times to improve wax uptake.  Did test burn tonight in a 3x3 square candle, on a pie plate, full tongue depressor wick, melt pool to edge in about 30 minutes. If this candle was in an enclosed holder it would have melted even faster. I could have cut this tongue depressor in half (long way) and it still would have been plenty of wick for this 3x3 square. 

 

I have no wick holders for these. Improvised. Squirted hot glue blobs onto tinfoil and then stuck a stir stick (split long ways) in. When it was cool, peeled it off the tinfoil and there you have a wooden wick with a flat bottomed blob at the end. Do not know yet what will happen when everything melts down and flame hits glue glob. I have also glue gunned a wooden wick to a penny and used that in the candle. OR... I just stick the wick down into cooling wax, no bottom, and when it is burned down to 1/2 inch or so, the wick drops over, goes out and I like to think of it as a safety feature that it self extinguishes before you burn the candle dry. I may be wrong about that - time will tell I guess, but so far my untabbed wood wicks have all fallen over eventually in the last bit of wax and snuffed out.

 

Wood is a varied material and some burn well, others not so much. Some make a sputtering noise that I find hilarious. Also some send up tiny little embers, like a mini campfire. They also need to be carefully trimmed. Too long and they don't perform well. I clip mine with a fingernail clipper, taking off just a hair at a time.

 

 

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@Ramr you are a fellow tinker. You’ll get along just fine here! 

 

Between you and @Sponiebr I get a lot of great reads. 

 

Thanjs fir sharing your experiments.  

 

Wooden wicks are are my new mountain to climb. Even when “perfect”, they can be inconsistent in the package. Love them thought so climbing I go. 

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On 9/3/2018 at 2:38 AM, Ramr said:

I've been fooling around making my own wooden wicks. Have learned a lot.  Since I am totally new to making candles I don't know that I'm qualified to say much, but here goes.

 

I have tried to burn, as a wood wick:  the wood ends of match sticks (no), bamboo BBQ skewers (no) soaked the skewers in olive oil (still no) dried pine needles I found on the lawn and twisted together (BAD IDEA!) a thick chunk of cedar kindling I meticulously shaved with an axe that was too big (no, cannot make thin enough strips with that ridiculous monster sized axe) toothpicks, both flat style and round style (no and no) bristles I yanked out of the corn broom I sweep the steps with (no) little round sticks I got at the dollar store which looked really promising but failed utterly.

 

What I have had some success with:  wooden stir sticks you get at the dollar store. Soaking them in oil is not necessary. The trick, for me, has been taking an exacto knife (utility knife) and scoring a thin line the length of the stick. This miniscule groove helps wick melted wax up towards the flame, or so I have convinced myself. But I do burn candles with wicks of this design.

 

I make votives and find a whole stir stick is too much wick for a votive. Even though they are narrow to begin with, cut them down to half their width is plenty for a votive. A full width stir stick can easily work in a 3 inch diameter candle. (at least with the wax I am using, IGI # 1245). I did some experimenting with splitting a stir stick in half and laying them on top of each other as a two layer wick, so wax could wick up the space between. This is fiddly to do, doesn't work unless your stir sticks are perfectly flat and often they are not, there are lots of deformed stir sticks in a dollar store package. I abandoned the double idea, don't need to double up.  

 

I also bought a package of craft sticks that are the size of the tongue depressor your doctor uses. Have made wicks with these. They make HUGE wicks! Scored a few times to improve wax uptake.  Did test burn tonight in a 3x3 square candle, on a pie plate, full tongue depressor wick, melt pool to edge in about 30 minutes. If this candle was in an enclosed holder it would have melted even faster. I could have cut this tongue depressor in half (long way) and it still would have been plenty of wick for this 3x3 square. 

 

I have no wick holders for these. Improvised. Squirted hot glue blobs onto tinfoil and then stuck a stir stick (split long ways) in. When it was cool, peeled it off the tinfoil and there you have a wooden wick with a flat bottomed blob at the end. Do not know yet what will happen when everything melts down and flame hits glue glob. I have also glue gunned a wooden wick to a penny and used that in the candle. OR... I just stick the wick down into cooling wax, no bottom, and when it is burned down to 1/2 inch or so, the wick drops over, goes out and I like to think of it as a safety feature that it self extinguishes before you burn the candle dry. I may be wrong about that - time will tell I guess, but so far my untabbed wood wicks have all fallen over eventually in the last bit of wax and snuffed out.

 

Wood is a varied material and some burn well, others not so much. Some make a sputtering noise that I find hilarious. Also some send up tiny little embers, like a mini campfire. They also need to be carefully trimmed. Too long and they don't perform well. I clip mine with a fingernail clipper, taking off just a hair at a time.

 

 

OH! KEWL!!!! 

Okay so, I'm NOT a chandler BUT, I AM a total pyro! Quite literally actually, as my whole family is in professional pyrotechnics. NOT THE POINT! 

So, as you have correctly deduced the surface tension thing is rather important to getting the wicking action down. ALL of the above will work fine as wood wicks but for one tiny, teeny-weeny, super easy, modification.  You ready? I'm fiddna give you the SECRET MODIFICATION! 

You sitting down? 

Wait for it... 

(Oh this is gonna be) 

LEGENDARY!!! 

Here it is!!! 

(Drum roll please!!!) 

HAMMER TIME! 


(ta-da! ) 

Are you as impressed with me as I am? 
Good! 

Seriously, the popsicle sticks or the bamboo skewers or ANY of these will work it you take a hammer and pound them so that you spread out the wood fibers. Even just a twig out of the yard will work. I found the bamboo skewers (3mm-4mm diameter) to be actually TOO GOOD of a wick. I got HUGE FLAMES off of those things. Next comes the dehydration bit and it's rather important. After you've knocked the fiber out of them, basically you've gotta deep fat fry them in wax of some ilk. I just used paraffin as that was one I could get REALLY hot, but you could use clear mineral oil as well... Hell, you can use any oil or fat you want, as long as you can get the temperature up to the point that when you put the stick into the hot oil/fat/wax it begins to bubble. After you get the oil up to that temperature just fry them in that until you get no more bubbles. If you used mineral oil then take them out and dry them out on a bed of paper towels and (if you REALLY wanted to get'm clean), Soak in a bath of naphtha and blot dry a few times. Or just blot them dry and soak in some hot wax of your choice. They'll come clean with that naphtha pretty quick and then you will have pristine wood wicks to dip with your scented wax of your choice. Make no mistake about it though, a priming with a wax is necessary for the wood wicks to burn reliably later on. 

The real trick here is to get a uniform fiber density and a uniform width. You may only need to smack them once or twice, some you may want to pound the living bejesus out of. Ideally you would have a mangle or other roller type arraignment set up that would roll and break up the wood fibers under a specific weight every time. Another handy wood that works VERY well with minimal effort and is usually pre-cut to specific widths and has a very uniform fiber density is balsa wood. Like 1/16 in thick light density balsa strips are sometimes good to go with no modification. 

Base tabs are just TOO easy. I tried making tabs out of soda cans and blah, blah, blah too damned much WORK! I get a baggie of those micro sized binder clips and put one of those at the bottom and then just remove the little wire bail handles (just a pinch in the middle near the base (clip side) of the wire bail and they come right out. You can then put a dab of silicone caulking at the bottom of the clip and glue it inside your jar. 

Cost wise: Well, you tell me... $1 for 100 popsicle sticks and $1 for 10-12 binder clips (sometimes there are more in a pack I haven't bought any in a LONG time) 

The bamboo skewers are VERY promising if you can get the burn rate dialed in.

As for me, I've got soap to make... 


giphy.gif
   



   
HTH! 

Slainte, 
Sponiebr
The Executor of Bad Ideas and Sundry Services 

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I do love bashing things with hammers.

 

I have reservations about your idea only in one area. The bamboo. Bamboo is not wood. It's grass. Still a cellulose structure I suppose, but different than wood for combustion, maybe? I was so excited for those skewers to burn and when they would not hold a flame at all, I was totally bummed out. Stupid skewers! But then it occurred to me that bamboo skewers are meant to hold food on your BBQ and NOT CATCH FIRE, so perhaps there is a reason BBQ skewers are made of bamboo and not pine or spruce : low combustibility. This is speculation. I have no scientific data to back it up. In which case your bashing seems worth trying. Open up those fibres. Get some oxygen in there.

 

As for priming the wood wicks, I've burned mine so far without priming. Mind you, the first light can go out immediately and you have to light a second time. And they are inconsistent. With a regular wick you pretty much know what to expect with that wick. Not so with a stir stick. It can be tall and fluttery or short and barely alive. No way to know which way it will go.

 

As for soaking in accelerants, I'm all about the diesel fuel. Got a jug of that outside the basement door. I bet that would help light up a few wooden wicks!!

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Updated to say that my enthusiasm over stir stick wicks has gone down the toilet.

 

I made a few candles with stir sticks, split in half long wise, and they worked great (votives).

 

Now this batch of candles with split stir stick wicks are completely crapping out. I am unimpressed.

 

It could be the F.O.  OR it could be that wooden stir sticks you find in dollar stores are of inconsistent quality and maybe even mixed species wood some of which burn better than others.  I am mortified because I was giving candles away as gifts, so proud of my newfound candle crafting skill. I have accidentally become the giver of crappy gifts.  (hanging head and shuffling off stage left in dejected silence)  

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Not to be the proverbial party pooper here.....I love a good experiment as much as the next guy.....the more hair-brained the better, I always say.  BUT it might be prudent to reconsider gifting candles made with non-candlemaking stuffs (i.e. stir sticks and assorted flammable whatnots).  People, even friends and family (or maybe especially friends and family) tend to get a bit peevish when the curtains catch afire.

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Bfroberts, you are completely correct. Not a party pooper. I want the candles I give to WORK - and so far I am having a bit of an issue with that.

 

However, after my above post moaning over the fact that two votives I was burning last night with split stir stick wicks were crapping out .. this morning I made some adjustments and things seem to be improved.

 

I have read elsewhere and think it bears repeating that the TRIM of a wooden wick is crucial. CRITICAL AND IMPORTANT, to how well it performs.  If the wick gets the least bit jagged or pointed, flame is affected. Both my votives last night developed a pointed tip. They burned horribly. Burning, but almost not visible to the naked eye. (they smoke when they are truly out, if no smoke has risen, the candle is not out, even though it looks like it is).

 

This morning, with a nail clipper, I trimmed a HAIR off the top, making the wick level. Better burn!  Wow! All it took was knocking off those jagged, uneven edges.

 

Now ..... does the average candle burner want a wick that requires this much upkeep and attention? I doubt it. Before I started reading about candle making I was one of those Light And Forget people. So it may turn out that I can wood wick for my own use, but better to stick to regular wicks for gift giving.

 

It must also be noted that I prefer a smaller flame in my votives. I have only experiences two types of wick so far in my life, I think both paper core (not entirely certain) and find one produces a reasonable flame, the other quite a large flame for my taste. These split stir sticks produce a very small flame, and that is what I was going for. In that regard, a smaller flame, they are 100% successful. And hope thusly would set no one's curtains ablaze!  But they might be a litte UNDER wicked to get a melt pool all the way across the top of the votive.

 

TO that end I am going to go stare at a candle. A lot like watching paint dry or waiting for water to boil.....  THe moral of the story, it's all in the trim, folks.

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5 minutes ago, Ramr said:

Yet another update. I think I am defeated by wooden wicks. Even after bashing them with a hammer as per suggested by Mr. Sponiebr.  Nothing is working as planned. Sigh.

Did you boil them in wax or oil? The wood fibers being spread out is not to get air into the burn (well, it sorta does, but not really... let's not bother with surface area just yet) it's to in crease capillary attraction of the wood fibers so that they pull fuel from the melt pool into the combustion... Without the "pre-loading" they won't wick liquid wax worth a damn because the small amount of the flame that you initially light is just the wood burning and it uses up what would otherwise be the combustion surface that the wax is vaporizing off of...

Effectively the smashing of these wicks (done before the boiling in wax, or soaking in mineral oil), is to get even strands of wood fibers running unbroken in effectively the same manner that we would see in a string or braided wick. I mean, you can USE a bit of stainless steel braid as a wick and it will work (DON'T DO THIS the wick heats up and can catch the whole container on fire). My point is that it's not really so much the material as it is the mechanics of why and how a wick works that accomplishes the work here. Back when I was a kid there were the cutesy glass candles that weird kitschy  stores used to sell down at the mall where it had a little tear drop shaped bulb with a fiberglass wick and they burned scented lamp oil. In such cases a fiberglass wick is fine because the fuel source is fixed but in a candle we like consumable wicks because they follow the melt pool of the candle as it goes and don't have to be trimmed back while they are on fire every few minutes. Combustible consumable wicks also insulate the heat from the rest of the fuel source, (fiberglass would do this too but it won't follow the melt pool, steel braid will conduct the heat into the fuel (e.g. wax) and heat the whole mess up until YAY! FIREBALL IN MY BEDROOM!!! (not GOOD...) 

On my experiments, I was burning 100% pure stearic acid (ok NOT PURE there was a drop or 2 of FO in there...) Finding fuels and getting them to burn isn't really the issue, the main issue is balancing the burn rate with the feed rate. If your wicks are too wide they will use up more fuel than they can deliver and go out. If they are too high above the melt pool they will burn more than they can deliver and they will go out. If they are smaller than what they can burn it's fine you will just have a dinky little flame and they will continue to burn unless they aren't burning with enough flame to maintain a melt pool,  in which case they will not be able to feed fuel and, GUESS WHAT... Yeah, they will snuff out. Each time a wood wick snuffs itself due to lack of fuel it will get shorter until you DON'T have enough of the wick to use anymore above the candle surface... Then you can't light them to watch them burn out... 

BTW I believe you mentioned earlier about using an accelerant? That's not what I was talking about. The naphtha was only to rinse the oil or paraffin out of the wood so that you could replace it after it was dry with your normal pouring wax... NO ACCELERANTS in candles! Bad IDEA... Terrible idea that I wouldn't even do. even though I lay claim to being Mr. Bad Ideas  99.9% of my "bad ideas" work really, really well... 

Anywho, don't give up... There's a delicate balance to be found here, you just gotta find it. 

281900157_Doublebalance.thumb.jpg.60e13c4d7a7a905f3cd080947c66f5f9.jpg

Cheers, 

Sponiebr
The Executor of Bad Ideas and Sundry Services 
 

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5 hours ago, Ramr said:

Thank you. I won't give up just yet. Will try your bash and soak suggestion.  Will report what I find.

That's the SPIRIT! Git in there and give them sticks HELL!!!
GET MAD!
YEAH!
I don't want your damned LEMONS!
YEAH!!! 
What am I supposed to do with these!?  (Oh, sorry... I got a little excited there.)  

I might have mentioned this but, if I didn't, the concept of BOILING all of the molecular water out of the wicks is important... You will be a happier camper if you deep fat fry the water out of the smashed up wood... Just a suggestion.

lemons_by_levi88-d3igck6.thumb.png.f52667b371cb651bbd1df3cfb362eae1.png

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So, are you suggesting that I need to, in effect, kiln dry my lumber? I am skeptical. How much water can be contained in that thin, thin wood? It's GOT to be popcorn dry by virtue of how thin it is. Me thinks.

 

So later today when I pound sticks with a hammer, then lay them on a cookie sheet in the oven and bake them Hub will think  a) I have lost my mind  b) dinner is going to be tough and dry and consist mostly of fibre? He has had several such dinners over our life together so he won't be surprised, but is always fearful.

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8 hours ago, Ramr said:

So, are you suggesting that I need to, in effect, kiln dry my lumber? I am skeptical. How much water can be contained in that thin, thin wood? It's GOT to be popcorn dry by virtue of how thin it is. Me thinks.

 

So later today when I pound sticks with a hammer, then lay them on a cookie sheet in the oven and bake them Hub will think  a) I have lost my mind  b) dinner is going to be tough and dry and consist mostly of fibre? He has had several such dinners over our life together so he won't be surprised, but is always fearful.

Hmmm. No, you don't want to kiln dry the wood... You want to deep fat fry the wicks in oil or wax.
Now just what precisely do I mean by that?
I mean heat up some mineral oil or wax and treat the wicks as though they were food and fry them until you get no more bubbles out of the wicks... The deep fat fry method also gets the oil or wax soaked into the wood so that moisture doesn't get back in there... 

WHY would I suggest that because wood is like DRY right?  You know that lovely snap, crackle, pop you get out of your camp fire? Well that same effect can be had out of your baked, or kiln dried, or non-deep fat fried wood wicks also! However, in the wood wicks it will likely occur without the lovely extra fire to relight your wick and in very close proximity to molten wax. These lovely snap, crackle, pops do a lovely job of decorating everything around them with wax spatter. ETA: So, yeah the wood IS popcorn dry and it WILL behave just like popcorn.  

I'm not tell'n... I'm just say'n...

YMWV... 

Edited by Sponiebr
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Okay then. Time to fry up some sticks.  Considering that all winter I split wood and light fires every day you'd think  I could get a candle wick  to burn.  But no. I am defeated by tiny wood. But as per suggestions here, have more stuff to try.

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Here's the mystery. I just spent the last two hours with a burning votive. Wood wick. Stir stick. Not boiled in oil, not wiped with oil. Scored a groove in it with a knife, stuck it in the candle and it was, for the past two hours, a perfect, small, low key little flame. Just the way I like them.

 

Now why did this one work out and the others, not?

 

THIS MAKES NO SENSE!!!

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1 hour ago, Ramr said:

Here's the mystery. I just spent the last two hours with a burning votive. Wood wick. Stir stick. Not boiled in oil, not wiped with oil. Scored a groove in it with a knife, stuck it in the candle and it was, for the past two hours, a perfect, small, low key little flame. Just the way I like them.

 

Now why did this one work out and the others, not?

 

THIS MAKES NO SENSE!!!

I don't know... Make more exactly the same and see if they work. 

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Ha, Siri corrected my spelling.  Wooden wicks.. not Olsen wicks. Ha!

 

they are super frustrating. About to do a pan test to figure out exactly what those sizes and wood varieties in the sample pack equate to.

 

one thing I learned, and dislike intensely is this: 

 

one is burning in a jar and looks too small

i replace it with a size bigger - but i is too big

put the original back in

the original no longer burns and snuffs itself out

 

something about the disturbance of the wood fibers make it snuff out.

 

 

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9 hours ago, Ramr said:

Here's the mystery. I just spent the last two hours with a burning votive. Wood wick. Stir stick. Not boiled in oil, not wiped with oil. Scored a groove in it with a knife, stuck it in the candle and it was, for the past two hours, a perfect, small, low key little flame. Just the way I like them.

 

Now why did this one work out and the others, not?

 

THIS MAKES NO SENSE!!!

The wood that the stir sticks are cut from is going to have variations. Some are going to be harder than others even though they were cut from the same board. You would also find some variation in any given stick.

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I can see that I am going to have to build a teeny, tiny saw mill and source only clear or tight knot lumber, which I will kiln dry, soak in beezel nut oil, then saw into itty bitty boards called wicks.  This is completely out of control.

 

Also, I have been burning a votive on the kitchen table (wood stir stick wick) and while putzing in the kitchen I could not smell the candle. I made a note in my candle book, "do not make this again, no throw" (note my use of the word 'throw', as if I know what I'm doing!). I wondered if the wood wick, despite burning, was not burning hot enough to release the aroma. But now here I am, at the far end of the house from the burning candle, and WOW, can I ever smell it !  In my house at least, indoor air currents, which have a very weird travel pattern, determine how well a candle throws. In this location it smells quite nice. In the kitchen you can't smell it at all !

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 9/3/2018 at 2:38 AM, Ramr said:

I've been fooling around making my own wooden wicks. Have learned a lot.  Since I am totally new to making candles I don't know that I'm qualified to say much, but here goes.

 

I have tried to burn, as a wood wick:  the wood ends of match sticks (no), bamboo BBQ skewers (no) soaked the skewers in olive oil (still no) dried pine needles I found on the lawn and twisted together (BAD IDEA!) a thick chunk of cedar kindling I meticulously shaved with an axe that was too big (no, cannot make thin enough strips with that ridiculous monster sized axe) toothpicks, both flat style and round style (no and no) bristles I yanked out of the corn broom I sweep the steps with (no) little round sticks I got at the dollar store which looked really promising but failed utterly.

 

What I have had some success with:  wooden stir sticks you get at the dollar store. Soaking them in oil is not necessary. The trick, for me, has been taking an exacto knife (utility knife) and scoring a thin line the length of the stick. This miniscule groove helps wick melted wax up towards the flame, or so I have convinced myself. But I do burn candles with wicks of this design.

 

I make votives and find a whole stir stick is too much wick for a votive. Even though they are narrow to begin with, cut them down to half their width is plenty for a votive. A full width stir stick can easily work in a 3 inch diameter candle. (at least with the wax I am using, IGI # 1245). I did some experimenting with splitting a stir stick in half and laying them on top of each other as a two layer wick, so wax could wick up the space between. This is fiddly to do, doesn't work unless your stir sticks are perfectly flat and often they are not, there are lots of deformed stir sticks in a dollar store package. I abandoned the double idea, don't need to double up.  

 

I also bought a package of craft sticks that are the size of the tongue depressor your doctor uses. Have made wicks with these. They make HUGE wicks! Scored a few times to improve wax uptake.  Did test burn tonight in a 3x3 square candle, on a pie plate, full tongue depressor wick, melt pool to edge in about 30 minutes. If this candle was in an enclosed holder it would have melted even faster. I could have cut this tongue depressor in half (long way) and it still would have been plenty of wick for this 3x3 square. 

 

I have no wick holders for these. Improvised. Squirted hot glue blobs onto tinfoil and then stuck a stir stick (split long ways) in. When it was cool, peeled it off the tinfoil and there you have a wooden wick with a flat bottomed blob at the end. Do not know yet what will happen when everything melts down and flame hits glue glob. I have also glue gunned a wooden wick to a penny and used that in the candle. OR... I just stick the wick down into cooling wax, no bottom, and when it is burned down to 1/2 inch or so, the wick drops over, goes out and I like to think of it as a safety feature that it self extinguishes before you burn the candle dry. I may be wrong about that - time will tell I guess, but so far my untabbed wood wicks have all fallen over eventually in the last bit of wax and snuffed out.

 

Wood is a varied material and some burn well, others not so much. Some make a sputtering noise that I find hilarious. Also some send up tiny little embers, like a mini campfire. They also need to be carefully trimmed. Too long and they don't perform well. I clip mine with a fingernail clipper, taking off just a hair at a time.

 

 

I'm enjoying following your adventures!

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