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Centered wicks


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I am having difficulty getting my wicks centered consistently.  I’ve been testing waxes, wicks and fragrances for the last two years and this is my last remaining hurdle.  I’m using a wick setter, but about half the time the wicks are off center.  What am I doing wrong?

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If you aren't running a production line, this will help.

 

Set your jar on a white piece of cardboard (will last longer) or paper. Draw a circle around the jar and make a vertical and horizontal line. Where they intersect is the middle. 

 

When you are ready to wick your jars, place on the circle and set your wick over the 'X'. This will work for see through vessels only.

 

I have a template for each size jar I make. I made my templates from white tiles purchased at Menards.

Edited by Soy-N-Suds
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10 hours ago, mrsposey said:

I am having difficulty getting my wicks centered consistently.  I’ve been testing waxes, wicks and fragrances for the last two years and this is my last remaining hurdle.  I’m using a wick setter, but about half the time the wicks are off center.  What am I doing wrong?

 

I love the E-Z Wick Setter Tools and they get my wicks centered. I have a single wick tool and one that can do double or triple wicks. The only time my wicks get off center is if they are not very stiff and start to lean in the melt pool. Does the tool have a snug fit on your jars or is there some play? That could do it. You can make custom lid attachments for it if needed. If the plastic jar insert piece doesn't fit a particular jar I'm using then I get a wood lid that fits that jar, drill a hole or holes in the wood lid and then assemble the E-Z Wick Setter pieces with the custom size wooden lid. Works great and my wicks are always centered no matter which jar I use.

https://cart.candlesupply.com/EZ-Wick-Setter-Multi-pr-20003.html

 

https://www.lonestarcandlesupply.com/candle-making-equipment.html

 

 

Edited by Laura C
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4 hours ago, TallTayl said:

Does anyone offset to compensate for curling wicks? 

 

How do you always know which way the wicks will curl? I know some of the curling wicks, maybe not all, have the 2 tone fibers, white & tan (ECO), and form a "V". I read somewhere, could be on here, that the "V" shows you which side will curl down. I can't remember if the "V" pointing down or up is the side that curls. I tested it and it was true for the wicks I was testing. It's been a while and I don't remember where I found the info or which wicks I was testing.

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Hi Laura,  Thanks for your reply.   I am using the e-z wick setting tool.  I thought my wicks were stiff enough.  If I look on the bottom, though, I can clearly see that the bottom isn't centered.  The tool seems snug enough on my jars.

 

 

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22 minutes ago, Laura C said:

 

How do you always know which way the wicks will curl? I know some of the curling wicks, maybe not all, have the 2 tone fibers, white & tan (ECO), and form a "V". I read somewhere, could be on here, that the "V" shows you which side will curl down. I can't remember if the "V" pointing down or up is the side that curls. I tested it and it was true for the wicks I was testing. It's been a while and I don't remember where I found the info or which wicks I was testing.

the wicks curl toward the peak of the upside down V of the braid (^) in flat braids like cd, cdn, csn. 

 

If perfectly centered (especially in narrower jars) the temp of the glass/tin container on the side of the lean can be significantly hotter than the other side.  My IR thermometer hit readings of 200*F+ on the lean side and <100*F on the opposite sides on several glass tester vessels. Obviously those were immediate fails, though many would consider them "perfect burns" given the propensity to believe full melt pools are a good thing.

 

Heat differences like these are especially critical toward the bottom when glass is most vulnerable to shattering.  Twisting does absolutely nothing in soft container waxes since the entire vessel turns the consistency of warm canned frosting when lit. 

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1 hour ago, mrsposey said:

Soy-n-Suds,

This sounds like a great idea.  I'll give it a try.

Thank you!

 

 

You could print one of these bullseye targets and use it. You may have to play around with the way it prints out, look at the printer settings to get it to scale. 

https://www.google.com/search?q=bullseye+target&tbm=isch&source=iu&ictx=1&fir=UXDLf3UeDq7gvM%3A%2C95DFmE86OoBGsM%2C%2Fm%2F0260xx5&vet=1&usg=AI4_-kSDbVMKqUXBy5WTwdXr9etW2NlPkQ&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiPxdzhgdvjAhVDq1kKHUZnCmoQ_h0wF3oECAoQDQ#imgrc=UXDLf3UeDq7gvM:

 

Or do a search on wound targets.

https://www.jmlmed.com/products/copy-of-medirule-wound-measurement-device-4-1-2-x-6-by-briggs

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1 hour ago, TallTayl said:

the wicks curl toward the peak of the upside down V of the braid (^) in flat braids like cd, cdn, csn. 

 

If perfectly centered (especially in narrower jars) the temp of the glass/tin container on the side of the lean can be significantly hotter than the other side.  My IR thermometer hit readings of 200*F+ on the lean side and <100*F on the opposite sides on several glass tester vessels. Obviously those were immediate fails, though many would consider them "perfect burns" given the propensity to believe full melt pools are a good thing.

 

Heat differences like these are especially critical toward the bottom when glass is most vulnerable to shattering.  Twisting does absolutely nothing in soft container waxes since the entire vessel turns the consistency of warm canned frosting when lit. 

 

Yes, the curling/leaning/coreless wicks can be an issue in smaller diameter jars for sure. Ouch, yes, temps at 200F or more is no good at all. I see how a reliable off centering routine could work, may take a little practice to figure it out. That's the thing. I'll find curling wicks that have great performance except for the hot side of the jar, or straight, cored wicks that perform great except for extreme mushrooming and/or sooting. Test, test, test... 😄

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22 hours ago, TallTayl said:

Does anyone offset to compensate for curling wicks? 

The first time I tried that with an HTP I had the direction of the curl wrong, but a quick wickectomy solved that problem and it worked well. More recently I twisted my HTPs by holding then at the base, so that they wouldn’t come out of the tab, and twisting them at the top. That worked very well, except the wick was too big. I went ahead and burned that candle just to see how the wick worked and the other three I made will get a wickectomy.

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15 minutes ago, Forrest said:

The first time I tried that with an HTP I had the direction of the curl wrong, but a quick wickectomy solved that problem and it worked well. More recently I twisted my HTPs by holding then at the base, so that they wouldn’t come out of the tab, and twisting them at the top. That worked very well, except the wick was too big. I went ahead and burned that candle just to see how the wick worked and the other three I made will get a wickectomy.

 

Offsetting by 1/4-1/2” seems to solve the entire melt pool problem.  Many will consider the offset a lazy manufacturing defect, but man it works so well! I’d call it a safety feature. 

 

When I twist tabbed wicks they do so at the bottom, then unravel quickly in soft warm candle wax, leaving the curl to one side anyway. 🤷🏻‍♀️

 

I always twist square braid for beeswax pillars (and palm) since the twist is preserved  throughout the entire candle by hard wax. It is a quick way to ensure plenty of fresh wick for the beeswax which is often really challenging for cotton wicks. 

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9 minutes ago, TallTayl said:

Offsetting by 1/4-1/2” seems to solve the entire melt pool problem.  Many will consider the offset a lazy manufacturing defect, but man it works so well! I’d call it a safety feature. 

 

Gosh, now I'm wanting to make some candles with curling wicks and try this. Certainly at the top of my to do list. Thanks for the info @TallTayl.

Edited by Laura C
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1 hour ago, Laura C said:

 

Gosh, now I'm wanting to make some candles with curling wicks and try this. Certainly at the top of my to do list. Thanks for the info @TallTayl.

I hope your eyesight is better than mine, I had to buy a magnifying glass to see which side was which.

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47 minutes ago, Forrest said:

I hope your eyesight is better than mine, I had to buy a magnifying glass to see which side was which.

 

LOL. I know, with some of the wicks it's hard to see the "V" pattern in the braiding, particularly on the smaller/narrower wicks.

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On 7/28/2019 at 10:15 PM, CandleMaker3D said:

I 3D printed a tool that allows me to center basically any wick in any jar for the most part. If you have a 3D printer available or know anyone that does might want to check that route out.

Do you have a picture for this? I have access to a 3D printer. Thanks

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On 7/29/2019 at 2:46 PM, mrsposey said:

CandleMaker3D,

That sound interesting, but I'm having trouble picturing exactly what you printed!

 

 

22 minutes ago, Peggy T said:

Do you have a picture for this? I have access to a 3D printer. Thanks

 

This is my old design and/or first design I ever finished.

 

container_custom-candle-centering-tool-f

 

I currently have a second design and I use that one currently. Mostly the pins are easier to work with and have grooves in them and are flatter.

 

1. Left - these drop down with the wick inside them.

2. Center piece is for measurements and such.

3. The pins on the right go on the four sides (obviously).

 

I've been working on the pins to make them easier to hold with my hands and I will be making them different sizes. Basically will fit any jar size and/or etc when I'm finished.

Edited by CandleMaker3D
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