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A few issues with carving


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I have read plenty and watched many videos. I have followed all of the instructions that I've gathered. I was wondering if you may be able to give me some advice onto why I am having trouble 😕

 

I use parrafin wax from Michaels. It has worked just fine for making molds, holding scents and color, just not carving 😞

 

I keep the melted wax between 165 and 180. I warm the core for a minute or so. I have the cool water dip a little higher than room temp, although I've tried higher temps as well. A friend gave me a tip to warm the carving tools before use, but that hasn't had any noticable difference 😞 I dip 30 or so times. Just using plain wax to practice, that way I can melt it down everytime until I get steady results. 
 

There hasn't been a single smooth slice. I have I am just wondering if I'm using the wrong wax, or missing something?

I've tried dipping in water after each wax dip, and I've also tried water dip after a few wax dips.

Any help would be greatly appreciated ❤️ 😄 

Thank you!!!!

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14 hours ago, Chronic_Sniffer said:

Carving requires a special wax be used

Actually it doesn't. A straight paraffin pillar wax is ideal for carving. Actually probably the best wax that can be used for the process... 

 

A straight paraffin wax is what @Josh Nexus is using, however, look into getting some Microcrystalline wax as an additive. Use about 1oz per lb of paraffin wax, and that will not only make the pillar wax more pliable (less brittle and easier to carve), it will also keep the layers adhered to each other so they don't separate. Another thing is to up your dipping wax temp to about 190-200°, and make sure you are carving when the layers are still warm. Also keep your water dip at room temp. No need to make it warmer or cooler, all it's really doing is cooling the wax very slightly so the next layer adheres a bit better. 

 

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Thank you for the suggestions!  ❤️ 🙂 

I have a concern about the high temperature though becase of the frgrance oils. I need to figure out a way to have the outside stay intact, while I can put a candlestick in the center. I have created one that can do just that, but it's  larger diamter pillar, not the smallish star mold I'll be using.....which isn't large enough to make a sturdy mold around he hollow center. I assume you can picture what I'm talking about 😛

  I'm surprised I've never seen a single mention anywhere of microcrystalline. That would have save me a lot of time and frustration lol. I have about 50lbs already melted and dyed ready to re-melt and pour or carve. Would I just add the micro to the containers when I'm ready to melt them down again?

Thank you again 😄 

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Most people don't scent carved candles, because they are meant for decoration, purposes, and generally don't burn well anyway, due to the pigments used and the wick size. 

You would have to have your FO at a sustained temp for many hours for it to burn off, and not give off a throw. 

 

Your core candle has to stay warm, as well as your overdip wax, or it will get brittle and break when trying to carve, because it's cooling too fast. 

 

I only add the microcrystalline to the overdip wax, and not the wax I'm making the core candle with. 

 

I see you are near me. I have a whole vat set-up I'm contemplating selling. 

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I know that carved candles aren't really meant to be used, but I want to carve them with a hollow inside......that way you could put any stick in a bunch of times without ruining the art 🙂  For the one below, I simply put the candlestick mold inside of the tall pillar mold. I would just start carving these cylindrical casts......but I kinda have to get down the carving part first 😛 

I was looking up steam tables/double boilers........which I would love to have and would be SO much easier.....but they are very expensive. $400-$1500 0_o 

WIN_20190718_21_41_09_Pro.jpg

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When I carve my core candle is also hollow and I put a tube with liquid paraffin in it to burn. I scent that, not the carving.

Scenting the core candle and the dipping layers, IMO is a waste. With the pigments, and layers the cold throw would be diminished (which also diminishes over time as well, just due to exposure to the atmosphere around it) Plus there is so much extra for the layers, you would end up with only THAT scent for a LOT of candles. 

 

Only scent what you will burn then you won't need to worry about the carving temp. Pour your scented wax into the center after the candle has been carved. 

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My package of Country Lane premium wax just arrived. When I searched on Amazon for microcrystalline wax, this product came up. I could have sworn it said "microcrystalline" in the description, but it doesn't say that on the label.......

I am really hoping for whatever reason I didn't buy the wrong thing 😕 1oz per pound seems like so little to make that much of a difference to go from brittle to smooth carving. 

I will try, hoping for the best. 

Also,  am I adding this to everything....including the core mold? Or just the dipping wax?

Edited by Josh Nexus
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Welp.....that's an absolute nope.

Tried 3 different times with just clear wax, as to not waste any. Used less than an oz, exactly an oz, and more than an oz/lb. Absolutely no difference.  I also used higher temps.

I'm not even getting a solidified drip at the bottom......to cut off and make a mushroom if I wanted. Nothing 😞

I don't know what I am doing wrong but this is extremely frustrating. 

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At this point it really sounds like you are waiting too long to carve, and the candle is too cool to carve. The outside layers have to be warm to the touch. So much so that by pressing in with your finger with very slight pressure you can make a huge dent. If that is not happening, you are carving too cool and will need to up your dip temps, and work faster. 

How many layers are you dipping? For even my small lighthouse candles, I dip at least 20-25 layers. 

 

Otherwise, I have no idea. 

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Definitely not waiting long at all. Dip 30 or so times. I go to carve immediately after. I turned up the temperature to 200 as well.

I also made a mold of the other wax. It worked slightly better, but not anything to be happy about.

Yeah.....no idea here either 😞 

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I am going to take a last effort into learning. I live in Denver.....which is a melting pot of arts, music, people, etc. I have already found a few places that I sent e-mails to, and will call today, to see if I may come check out their shop, observe the work, and possible pick their brain. For free, or to pay.

I do not want to give up one this, because even though I'm new and have failed every single time with carving.......I very much enjoy this art.

So, I guess.....wish me luck ❤️ 😄 

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Candle Carving... oh I remember that stuff!   Good luck. I find pretty much any 140-145 mp "taper dipping wax" works the best.  Adding fragrance oil is like putting butter between the layers and they all separate which is bad, very bad. Your temps are right on par with what I use. 

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I haven't added any fragrance or colors to anything I've tried to carve. All that I've done is simply make a star base mold to dip....let cool......warm the core......then dip in unadulterated wax so that I can practice without wasting anything. All I have to do is just melt it back down everytime.

What I could do is record a video.......if anyone would be willing to watch to see what I'm doing 😕 

I have no issues with jar candles......but that's easy and boring. 

I'll search for some other forums to join as well 🙂 I'm happy that  this one is here at least 😄  ❤️ 

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