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Meet Mr. Sinkhole


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So my wife asked me to make a pint jar candle for my mother in law.  I made a few for testing and went to burn them this morning, which is when I met my first sinkhole.  The top looked fine but I lit the candle and two minutes later it was like someone flushed the toilet.  WHOOSH then all the wax disappeared from the center of the candle.

 

Thats a neat trick.

IMG_20190701_111938710.jpg

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Poke allll the way to the bottom.  I find most way at the base. Some are huge. It has to do with the table being colder when making candles so it sucks the heat out too fast. Then the tops seal over and air gets dragged down the wick as the middle shrinks. 

 

Ive tried heat sinks like hot slate tiles to slow the bot cool. Thinking a heated tabletop like for greenhouses will be a good idea in cold months. A string of Christmas lights under a sheet of plywood would work. 

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5 hours ago, NightLight said:

WHAt Wax are you working with and what was pour temp. And what diameter of jar. I found if you find the sweet spot with pout Enos sinkholes go away.

6006, 185/170.  This particular one is a square pint jar with a Max measurement of 3" corner to corner. 

 

After not really seeing any issues since starting this II had 4/5 test candles on two different containers  go this way today.  The only thing I did differently on these was setting the wick.  I've had an issue with wicks pulling out of the wick tab when I try to put my wick centering thingie (I've got both bowtie and straight bar) on right after pouring, which I had decided was a combination of me pulling them too tight while the wax was still that hot.

 

This time around instead of immediately centering the tops I waiting on the candles to cool a bit then centered them.  My thought at the moment, since I had several with this issue which were all made in the same day with me centering the wick in the same manner, is that I waited too long to center the wick.  Possibly my moving it around along with the cooling issues Tayl is talking about just created the great candle black hole.  What ya think?

 

@TallTayl. How do you decide which candles need to be poked or do you just Norman Bates them all?

Edited by xxxAlpha71xxx
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I used to just to excavate and pinpoint the locations to figure out solutions.  

 

Now, one wide deep poke down 2 sides of the wick usually are enough. I make them look like little smiles so they release air easily as hot wax fills the cavities. (And I see little smiles as i work. )

 

I pour wax into one hole and wait for it to fill both holes. This is a trick I learned for pillars (especially beeswax which ALWAYS develops massive cavities. Heat gunning around the top of the containers also fills the holes easily if they are wide, like smiles. 

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Those containers are more prone to the holes. Shorter, wider containers are less prone, but they can still be there if you aren't careful.  I poke holes and do the smiley thing, just like TT suggested, and then do repours.  It's the only way for me to know with certainty that there are no holes lurking under the surface.  It seems like a pain until you get used to doing it, but then it's just old hat.

They can be prevented if you are super careful and meticulous with pour temps and rate of cooling, but because they can be so well hidden, you'll never know for sure without poking around.  I consider it just a little bit of work for a whole lot of peace of mind.

 

As an aside, I stopped using those jars several years ago for this very reason. I used tumblers, straight sided jars and status jars for a while, going a more upscale look that seems to be the rage lately.  I brought back the 16oz square masons this year, and my candle sales have doubled, probably tripled previous years.  It's blown my mind.  I guess this look better suits my market.  Lesson learned.

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45 minutes ago, xxxAlpha71xxx said:

@bfroberts

 

What wick series are you using in those pint jars?  If it's CD are you finding yourself up in the 16-18 range?


No, sorry, I don't use CD's.  I think Flicker, who is a long time 6006 user, recommends CD 18 for this jar so it sounds feasible to me.  I've tried them more times than I can count, but they just aren't for me.

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On 7/2/2019 at 9:03 AM, bfroberts said:

Those containers are more prone to the holes. Shorter, wider containers are less prone, but they can still be there if you aren't careful.  I poke holes and do the smiley thing, just like TT suggested, and then do repours.  It's the only way for me to know with certainty that there are no holes lurking under the surface.  It seems like a pain until you get used to doing it, but then it's just old hat.

They can be prevented if you are super careful and meticulous with pour temps and rate of cooling, but because they can be so well hidden, you'll never know for sure without poking around.  I consider it just a little bit of work for a whole lot of peace of mind.

 

As an aside, I stopped using those jars several years ago for this very reason. I used tumblers, straight sided jars and status jars for a while, going a more upscale look that seems to be the rage lately.  I brought back the 16oz square masons this year, and my candle sales have doubled, probably tripled previous years.  It's blown my mind.  I guess this look better suits my market.  Lesson learned.

 

^^^ This! Pint jars nearly killed my love of candle making, they were the worst to work with! Square masons are only slightly better for me. Straight jars FTW, every time! 😁

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1 hour ago, Belinda said:

I've only made a few candles and I seem to get sink holes when I use this wax too.

@bfroberts and @TallTayl What do y'all use to poke holes?

I'm not selling candles right now but maybe would like to one day.

Anything within reach that is long, slender and somewhat sharp.  Screwdrivers, skewers, etc. 

 

58 minutes ago, Sebleo said:

When do you poke after pouring? Is there a certain time frame that’s best? Or will you get the same results a day or more later?

When it’s pretty much completely set up/cooled off. You can wait days no problem. just not while still warm, otherwise, as I learned the hard way, you get to repeat the process 🙄 

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1 hour ago, TallTayl said:

Anything within reach that is long, slender and somewhat sharp.  Screwdrivers, skewers, etc. 

 

When it’s pretty much completely set up/cooled off. You can wait days no problem. just not while still warm, otherwise, as I learned the hard way, you get to repeat the process 🙄 

So after it's set up, you poke a skewer or something down in it a couple of times to check for sink holes and then do a re-pour or smooth it out with a heat gun? Just trying to get a mental picture so I won't do it wrong when I have to do it.

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If the holes are small a heat gun. If huge a repour to top out. 

 

Beeswax ALWAYS a second pour. Tge cavities inside are enormous. 

 

Soy and soy blends usually a heat gun. Though with soy (unless containing any 444) a cooler usually pour eliminates sink holes altogether. 

 

Coconut wax containing any 444 needs sometimes two pokes and fills. 

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I've only really had bad sinkholes in 6006, the other waxes are minor heat gun fixes usually. I let them set on some cardboard or in a box away from A/C and I don't have that problem often anymore apart from with wooden wicks, they are the worst for this type of thing. If I was selling them though, I'd totally be stabbing every candle with a kebob skewer all the way down around the wick just because my OCD would be tripping.

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13 hours ago, ErronB said:

I've only really had bad sinkholes in 6006, the other waxes are minor heat gun fixes usually. I let them set on some cardboard or in a box away from A/C and I don't have that problem often anymore apart from with wooden wicks, they are the worst for this type of thing. If I was selling them though, I'd totally be stabbing every candle with a kebob skewer all the way down around the wick just because my OCD would be tripping.

So the sink holes usually just occur around the wick? That seems to be where I've had them happen with 6006 but I haven't made that many candles and thought it was just me not knowing what I was doing LOL! Which I'm sure is part of my problem.

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7 hours ago, Belinda said:

So the sink holes usually just occur around the wick? That seems to be where I've had them happen with 6006 but I haven't made that many candles and thought it was just me not knowing what I was doing LOL! Which I'm sure is part of my problem.

 

Right, around the wick is the norm with 6006. Your containers also play a part in it, if you're using glass and you heat it first then you get better glass adhesion and less holes providing you also let them cool slowly. 

 

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