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MilosCandles

Heat Gun Alternatives?

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There was a post here somewhere about your tools you could not live with out, and about everyone said their heat gun to make the top of their candles look pretty.  I agree.

 

With me having a full time day job and house (life) my time for my candle business is limited.  Add a craft show on the weekend here or there, and now I have far less time.  I am ALWAYS looking for ways to save some time. The amount of time I am spending on re-heating the tops of my candles keeps taking longer the more candles I make.  LOL.   

 

My question is, has anyone explored any alternatives to re-melting the tops of your candles?  Heat Lamps, Ovens, Any failed or successful attempts at something?  

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Sorry I can't help you. Since I don't use soy, my candles come out with very smooth tops, so I never have to heat gun the tops. I use my heat gun mainly for shrink wrapping my votives (when I make them) and my soaps. Rarely for anything else. 

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My strategy, because I loathe using the heat gun, was to figure out how to get smooth tops.  What kind of issues are you having that make using the heat gun necessary? Maybe someone here can help.

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Well, my heat gun broke and  @bfrobertsI'm working at the same thing.  What I didn't like about my heat gun was that the one I had didn't come with different attachments, and it blew air a little stronger than I preferred, sometimes moving wax up to the glass, which I can't stand! 

 

What I've tried so far and will continue to work with here pretty soon is placing my candles in my little convection oven with it not on the convection setting, at about 100 degrees and then turning it off while the candles cool and leaving them in there.  I did a test run and it seemed to work with my soy wax.

 

Edited by birdcharm
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20 hours ago, Jcandleattic said:

Sorry I can't help you. Since I don't use soy, my candles come out with very smooth tops, so I never have to heat gun the tops. I use my heat gun mainly for shrink wrapping my votives (when I make them) and my soaps. Rarely for anything else. 

I like that idea. What type waxes do you use?

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19 hours ago, bfroberts said:

I loathe using the heat gun

I'd rather not have to use valuable time to use the heat gun. Hopefully, I'll get to the point where I won't need to use it, but it's a lot of fun for me.:)

 

18 hours ago, birdcharm said:

Well, my heat gun broke and  @bfrobertsI'm working at the same thing.  What I didn't like about my heat gun was that the one I had didn't come with different attachments, and it blew air a little stronger than I preferred, sometimes moving wax up to the glass, which I can't stand! 

 

What I've tried so far and will continue to work with here pretty soon is placing my candles in my little convection oven with it not on the convection setting, at about 100 degrees and then turning it off while the candles cool and leaving them in there.  I did a test run and it seemed to work with my soy wax.

 

You've been at this a lot longer than I have so I feel a little uncomfortable about giving advice. When I got my heat gun and a long spouted pitcher to pour with, my whole attitude about making candles changed for the better. The heat gun does take quite a bit of practice and I ruined some candles at first. Wax was moving up the sides, just like you said. Then it dawned on me that I was holding it way too close. Mine doesn't have any attachments and I've found no need for any. In case anyone is interested, its a Wagner Model: 2363333. Two temp. settings 750 & 1100 degrees. 750 degrees is all I've needed. I usually use it to fix my mistakes. It's not expensive and most Home Depot stores stock it on a daily basis. As for getting smooth tops, if their really bad, it will make them better but not repair them completely.

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A heat lamp might do the trick. you would need to be careful not to get anything too hot, but if you set it up correctly all you would have to do is set the candle under it until the top wax melted.

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I've done it with the oven before. Using the lowest setting and placing my candles on a sheet cake pan with 2" sides. I was paranoid at first the glass might crack or shatter in the oven. But it didn't. I kept a close on on the jars while they were heating. Worked perfect. I used a pair of oven mitts to handle the heated jars. Don't know if I'd recommend doing this all the time but in a pinch it worked great when I needed to reheat several cases of jars and using the heat gun on all of them would have been extremely time consuming... time I didn't have.

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On 11/7/2018 at 3:00 PM, MilosCandles said:

There was a post here somewhere about your tools you could not live with out, and about everyone said their heat gun to make the top of their candles look pretty.

 

My question is, has anyone explored any alternatives to re-melting the tops of your candles?  Heat Lamps, Ovens, Any failed or successful attempts at something?  

 

@MilosCandles Maybe this is the Equipment post you were looking for?  It contains some really good information.

 

 

Edited by Laura C
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23 hours ago, Candybee said:

I've done it with the oven before. Using the lowest setting and placing my candles on a sheet cake pan with 2" sides. I was paranoid at first the glass might crack or shatter in the oven. But it didn't. I kept a close on on the jars while they were heating. Worked perfect. I used a pair of oven mitts to handle the heated jars. Don't know if I'd recommend doing this all the time but in a pinch it worked great when I needed to reheat several cases of jars and using the heat gun on all of them would have been extremely time consuming... time I didn't have.

 

It does seem to work nicely, I tried it yesterday after reading your post.  I was a bit nervous about the wicks getting singed or something, but all was well, I kept it on very low.  I had to do a 1/8th inch top pour, but put the candles right back, leaving the oven on very low, then turned it off and allowed everything to sit.  I got a nice smooth top.

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On 11/8/2018 at 11:26 AM, Quentin said:

I'd rather not have to use valuable time to use the heat gun. Hopefully, I'll get to the point where I won't need to use it, but it's a lot of fun for me.:)

 

You've been at this a lot longer than I have so I feel a little uncomfortable about giving advice. When I got my heat gun and a long spouted pitcher to pour with, my whole attitude about making candles changed for the better. The heat gun does take quite a bit of practice and I ruined some candles at first. Wax was moving up the sides, just like you said. Then it dawned on me that I was holding it way too close. Mine doesn't have any attachments and I've found no need for any. In case anyone is interested, its a Wagner Model: 2363333. Two temp. settings 750 & 1100 degrees. 750 degrees is all I've needed. I usually use it to fix my mistakes. It's not expensive and most Home Depot stores stock it on a daily basis. As for getting smooth tops, if their really bad, it will make them better but not repair them completely.

 

Thanks ... I may have gotten a bit too close, and, before the gun died, the low setting went out on it, so that might have been part of the problem.  I first got it about 18 years ago, lol, from a Harbor Freight Tools when I was actively making gel candles, so probably today's guns are a bit better. 

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On 11/7/2018 at 2:00 PM, MilosCandles said:

My question is, has anyone explored any alternatives to re-melting the tops of your candles?  Heat Lamps,

That is something I can try. I've got one somewhere around here. Seems like that would be a nice, slow, steady way to do it. 

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21 hours ago, Laura C said:

 

@MilosCandles Maybe this is the Equipment post you were looking for?  It contains some really good information.

 

 

Laura C is always quick on the draw when it comes to locating old posts.:lol:

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On 11/8/2018 at 11:26 AM, Quentin said:

 As for getting smooth tops, if their really bad, it will make them better but not repair them completely.

Should read "they're" NOT "their".  

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I've used low heat oven and also my husband gave me a tiny torch like thing that works great on small candles but I think it's more work than a heat gun.  I probably use the heat gun for 30 seconds and I'm done, I love it.

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2 hours ago, MilosCandles said:

I made a device this weekend to help me out.  Works awesome.

 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IFMPwYg630s

 

 

I added the wood top later.

20181111_190208 (Medium).jpg

 

I'm not even 100% sure what is going on here but this is amazingly cool. I assume you're rotating your candles under the heat to smooth the tops right? Genius!

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1 hour ago, kandlekrazy said:

I've used low heat oven and also my husband gave me a tiny torch like thing that works great on small candles but I think it's more work than a heat gun.  I probably use the heat gun for 30 seconds and I'm done, I love it.

About how high above the candle are you holding your heat gun?

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28 minutes ago, Quentin said:

About how high above the candle are you holding your heat gun?

 

Maybe 3"-4"  The low setting of my $9 Harbor Freight heat gun was plenty.   I just have bungee cords holding it place so I can move it as needed.

 

 

 

 

I made this all for less than $100

 

Rotating platform  $65

Heat Gun  $9

Black Pipe $15

24" Wooden top $8

Old Wooden table laying around - FREE

 

I think I am going to add a 2nd heat gun a little further in so I can do a 2nd row also at the same time.

 

Should only cost me another $20 to do, and I will be able to do between 40-45 candles at once. 

 

Almost like the commercial...   Set it and Forget it.  LOL

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