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At what point during wick testing do you know that a wick will not work / is not the best to use?


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Hi all, 

 

At what point do you determine that a wick will not work for you?  Can you tell in the first burn, second burn, third burn?  

 

What do you look for right away and or at what point does a wick look hopeful to you?    

 

Is there a rule of thumb on how to determine a wick will not work on first burn?

 

And do you test using the 1 hour per 1" inch diameter test burn?

 

Currently I'm testing 464 in 12 oz, 3" diameter, 4" tall Libbey tumblers, shown in the middle in the attached pic.   What would you look for with these dimensions? 

 

I have sample packs of ECO, CD, HTP, Premier 700's, and Cotton Core.  I am learning that certain wicks react differently in certain waxes and that a 1/4" melt pool on the first burn isn't necessarily the best way to test. 

 

I am aware that testing is the way to go, but curious as to what the masters out here determine which ones make the cut.  

 

Thanks 

 

 

Libbey.JPG

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Can you tell in the first burn, second burn, third burn?  

yes yes and yes.

 

It takes from the top to the bottom to really prove a wick. 
 

some wicks look perfect on the first part of a burn, then fizzle out choking a little later. Some look perfect then grow and grow  taller hotter flames later in the jar.  
 

the only way to know your wick choice is working is to test at all stages of the container.  
 

you can tell pretty early if a wick is too big. Or way too small. 
 

at the middle of the jar you know very well which will be too hot or too small.  
 

the last third of the jar proves wick choices.  

multiple wicks are the most difficult, especially if they curl.  Directing the curl can help minimize glass breakage even on appropriately sized wicks.


take temps of the glass as you burn and rely on the ASTM standard or no part of the glass above 170*F to stay on the safe side. 
 

some people fill part way to test the bottoms.  This can help eliminate problems with the end, but omits the impact of those wicks at the top.
 

 

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7 minutes ago, TallTayl said:

 

you can tell pretty early if a wick is too big. Or way too small. 
 

at the middle of the jar you know very well which will be too hot or too small.  
 

the last third of the jar proves wick choices.  

 

Gotcha.  If you were testing multiple wicks, would you pick the "top three" or so?  Then test again once FO is added?

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10 minutes ago, SRez said:

Gotcha.  If you were testing multiple wicks, would you pick the "top three" or so?  Then test again once FO is added?

Generally one or two are stand out winners, so it can be quite simple.

 

i usually pour test jars with no wick.  I poke wicks into skewered holes so I can pull them if they are not performing well. You can cycle through a LOT of wicks with just one container this way. 

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20 minutes ago, TallTayl said:

Generally one or two are stand out winners, so it can be quite simple.

 

i usually pour test jars with no wick.  I poke wicks into skewered holes so I can pull them if they are not performing well. You can cycle through a LOT of wicks with just one container this way. 

Yup.. I've been doing that so far... no wick and skewering.  Going to test in a few hours.  Thank you for your advice @TallTayl!

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I know this will sound studid to mist of you who make candles with glasss and I really do not have intensions of using glass but I must ask.

How to you take the temperature of the glasd jar while it is burning?  A special thurmometer on the outside?

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7 minutes ago, karinz40 said:

I know this will sound studid to mist of you who make candles with glasss and I really do not have intensions of using glass but I must ask.

How to you take the temperature of the glasd jar while it is burning?  A special thurmometer on the outside?

 

Hi. Use an infrared thermometer gun.

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I can usually tell on the first burn if the wick is going to be wrong.  It either burns way too fast, or it tunnels and begins to drown out.  

 

If the first burn is great, I still keep testing until I get to the bottom.  But it's often quite obvious on the first burn if I'm way off.

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20 minutes ago, Crafty1_AJ said:

I can usually tell on the first burn if the wick is going to be wrong.  It either burns way too fast, or it tunnels and begins to drown out.  

 

If the first burn is great, I still keep testing until I get to the bottom.  But it's often quite obvious on the first burn if I'm way off.

Good to know.  Thanks @Crafty1_AJ  

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One last thing I check on is the next size smaller wick or even the larger size once I have my wick choice made. Then I do comparison burns all the way to the bottom of the jar just to be sure I have the right size wick. This information you get from the burn can help you when you start putting in additives like fragrance, color, UVI, etc. Some may require you to wick up or wick down depending on the burn performance.

 

Once you start adding fragrance or other additives it can be a whole new challenge so it helps to know how your preferred wick(s) perform in the wax before additives.

 

PS: once I have my candle system worked out I do a final test burn all the way to the bottom of the jar. Not necessarily a power burn but burning as I would as a customer. A few hours here, a few hours the next time, etc. I keep a log of the starting weight and burn hours of the candle prior to each burn so at the end I can determine the total burn hours of my candle system. Since I sell I want to know the actual burn hours not any guesswork. Customers always ask for the total burn time and if you aren't dead on accurate they come back to complain.

Edited by Candybee
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5 minutes ago, Candybee said:

One last thing I check on is the next size smaller wick or even the larger size once I have my wick choice made. Then I do comparison burns all the way to the bottom of the jar just to be sure I have the right size wick. This information you get from the burn can help you when you start putting in additives like fragrance, color, UVI, etc. Some may require you to wick up or wick down depending on the burn performance.

 

Once you start adding fragrance or other additives it can be a whole new challenge so it helps to know how your preferred wick(s) perform in the wax before additives.

 

PS: once I have my candle system worked out I do a final test burn all the way to the bottom of the jar. Not necessarily a power burn but burning as I would as a customer. A few hours here, a few hours the next time, etc. I keep a log of the starting weight and burn hours of the candle prior to each burn so at the end I can determine the total burn hours of my candle system. Since I sell I want to know the actual burn hours not any guesswork. Customers always ask for the total burn time and if you aren't dead on accurate they come back to complain.

I'm definitely going to do this.  Thanks @Candybee

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On 9/23/2020 at 3:41 PM, karinz40 said:

I know this will sound studid to mist of you who make candles with glasss and I really do not have intensions of using glass but I must ask.

How to you take the temperature of the glasd jar while it is burning?  A special thurmometer on the outside?

My method is crude but effective. If I could pick up my jar with a nearly full melt pool and carry it to the next room, it was not too hot. LOL! And cheap too.

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On 9/24/2020 at 9:05 AM, Candybee said:

One last thing I check on is the next size smaller wick or even the larger size once I have my wick choice made. Then I do comparison burns all the way to the bottom of the jar just to be sure I have the right size wick. This information you get from the burn can help you when you start putting in additives like fragrance, color, UVI, etc. Some may require you to wick up or wick down depending on the burn performance.

 

Once you start adding fragrance or other additives it can be a whole new challenge so it helps to know how your preferred wick(s) perform in the wax before additives.

 

PS: once I have my candle system worked out I do a final test burn all the way to the bottom of the jar. Not necessarily a power burn but burning as I would as a customer. A few hours here, a few hours the next time, etc. I keep a log of the starting weight and burn hours of the candle prior to each burn so at the end I can determine the total burn hours of my candle system. Since I sell I want to know the actual burn hours not any guesswork. Customers always ask for the total burn time and if you aren't dead on accurate they come back to complain.

i'm with Candybee here:  burn that baby all the way to the bottom of the jar.  I say this because I recently burned a jar candle gifted to me by a neighbor (store bought)....OMG, the initial burn and HT was to die for but as the candle burned down to about half way, the wick started to fizzle out and it would not produce any burn from there.  If I had created this candle and gifted to a friend, I would be so embarrased...kwim.

 

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34 minutes ago, Pam W said:

i'm with Candybee here:  burn that baby all the way to the bottom of the jar.  I say this because I recently burned a jar candle gifted to me by a neighbor (store bought)....OMG, the initial burn and HT was to die for but as the candle burned down to about half way, the wick started to fizzle out and it would not produce any burn from there.  If I had created this candle and gifted to a friend, I would be so embarrased...kwim.

 

Doing this now as we speak. What started off pretty good the first half decreased in flame and scent the second half. Going to keep plugging away at it though. 😁

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  • 2 weeks later...

Quick question on the burn test.

I have poked holes or a hole and put in whci I think will work but if not working I pull it and put in my next choice but how long should I wait to burn AND do I heat gun the top sp the candle does not have a memory ring from previous burn and looks fresh or just leave it alone and hope the next wick gives me the fmp I am looking for?

Thanks

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13 hours ago, karinz40 said:

Quick question on the burn test.

I have poked holes or a hole and put in whci I think will work but if not working I pull it and put in my next choice but how long should I wait to burn AND do I heat gun the top sp the candle does not have a memory ring from previous burn and looks fresh or just leave it alone and hope the next wick gives me the fmp I am looking for?

Thanks

I follow the lead of labs and give each wick swap a thorough cooling of at least 5 hours.  
 

If the walls of the too-small melt pool are noticeably deep, then yes flatten with a heat gun to give a better read on the new wick. when I don’t get it back to a flat state I often find a bigger wick can fail if it drowns from excess  the hang up catching up, making the test results questionable. 

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What TallTayl said is good advice, because if you give the wick enough time to settle properly and not just an hour or so then it will start the next burn a lot better, especially if you're relying on it to self-trim. If you re-light them soon after extinguishing, then they can throw a bit of a fit.

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