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I recently switched from Nature's Garden Joy Wax to Naturewax C-3 in search of a cleaner burn from a 100% vegetable wax.  I'm struggling with how to get a good pour/burn from this wax and hoping for suggestions from seasoned candles makers. 

I've read many posts and reviews and I've tried several things as a result, however I continue to have issues with tunneling.  I pour in glass containers,  mostly recycled bottles which have been cut, in a variety of sizes.  I've used both CD and ECO wicks.  I do not add color to my candles.  I live in Houston, TX with ambient room temperature inside between 70-80.  Here's what I've tried, all without success:

Heated  to 185, poured at 170 - jars room temp, covered with box after pouring

Heated to 180, poured at 140 - jars heated in oven first, placed on styrofoam for pouring, covered with a plastic tote for cooling

I've poured at other temps between 170-140, none have cooled with smooth tops.  I've successfully used a heat gun to smooth the tops, however upon burn, the candle quickly tunnels at the wick, sometimes even extinguishing it.

I've read that soy wax can be tricky to figure out, which I completely believe!  However, I don't want to give up on it as it's such a clean, soot-free burn. 

I welcome and appreciate your suggestions

 

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If you have tunneling then your wick isn’t large enough. C3 requires larger wicks than other wax. Try HTP wick and pour at 160. You may have to try different pour temp in your locale. If you can figure out pour temp it can pour smooth with nice top however when you burn it looks like typical soy and crunchy top unless you modify the wax. C3 burns with little bubble in it, make sure you eat the wax enough until you see the bubble disappear.

I have not used rrd wicks they may or may not work. 

 

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Thank you both for your responses.  I will try a different wick, however I think I'm getting air pockets underneath the surface and would really like to avoid repouring since I don't make large batches of the same candle.  Any recommendations for a wax that's not as difficult to work with?  Sounds like they all have their quirks!

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13 minutes ago, cjs said:

Thank you both for your responses.  I will try a different wick, however I think I'm getting air pockets underneath the surface and would really like to avoid repouring since I don't make large batches of the same candle.  Any recommendations for a wax that's not as difficult to work with?  Sounds like they all have their quirks!

Despite what many others recommend, I have the best luck eliminating cavities by pouring C3, c1 and most other soy based (including coconut blends) at a low temp. I stir briskly while the pot is in front of a fan until it starts to cloud, then go for it. Problem solved, plus nice enough tops to not need improvements (which takes too much time when in production mode) 

 

for c3 when stirring well I could pour about 105-110*F.  If you don’t stir often enough while cooling the grains will start to form right in the pour pot, causing dull looking candles and it will be nearly impossible to pour. Pouring at the cloudy stage can get you close to perfect with a little touch up needed later. 

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Thank you TallTayl!  I poured yesterday using your advice.  I plan to give it a few days before burning to see how it went.  Fingers crossed!!

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Do poke around when it is all cool to see if the cavities are still there lurking.  You’ll figure out the sweet spot for pouring.

 

rule of thumb for me, the less it has to shrink the lower the chances for cavity formation.  Hot wax shrinks A LOT. When the surface cools before the middle is done air gets sucked along the wick as the wick is the path of least resistance. 

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I agree with @TallTayl on pouring soy and soy blends as cool as possible.  I have not worked specifically with C-3, but I've worked with lots of different soy waxes over the years, and I've found that pouring as cool as possible always works best for me.  Smoother tops, no sinkholes, etc.  Keep an eye on ambient temps in your work area as well.  My workshop varies by as much as 10 degrees summer to winter, and this definitely has an impact on the cooling candles.  You may hit the sweet spot in warm weather, only to find that you need to tweak in wintertime conditions.

 

You can always opt for top-off (2nd) pours or heat gunning the tops, but I try to avoid those because in my  book, there just aren't enough hours in the day to dink around with these.  LOL  

 

Soy is not always easy to work with, but once you figure it out, you'll have the satisfaction of knowing you've done your best work.  :D  Conquer that beast!  Stick with it!  *insert cheerleader emoji here*

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