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I thougth I would post a longer than usual initial post so I hope no one minds. I'm normally short winded. I found this site seven or eight months ago when I was hired to assist in running a candle company. I've been a lurker since November. Unable to find employment for quite a period of time I was up for a challenge. Without going into detail it was more challenge than I had imagined as the owners had a different "retail philosophy" than I had been brought up with. Most of my family is in some form of retail or selling to the public so I have a pretty good idea. I did enjoy making candles however (much less stress than previous positions). I attempted to improve the quality of their candles (less wet spots, cracking, caving ect) and production schedule. To no avail as people kept returning no matter the look of their product. When the owners indicated they wanted to sell I put in an offer. Unfortunately, the offer I put in and they laughed at was eventually the one they accepted from another buyer. So I decided to retool my business plan and begin testing.

I have found that 99.9% of the posters are most knowledgeable and helpful. There has been invaluable tips that I have picked up such as pouring the wax and then wicking for testing purposes. That just seems so obvious but I would not have thought of it.

Well I have begun with 4 oz jars and have moved to 8 oz. Some success and many failures. Having a background in finance and mathematics I find it rather enjoyable trying to isolate the variable that makes something run perfectly.

I do have a few interesting thoughts from answering the phones/working at the old shop and a couple of questions.

  1. Paraffin has nothing to do with Jimmy Buffet. Those are Parrotheads. No mam, trust me on this one.
  2. We are able to put the pillar with the scent you enjoyed in a container. That is a jar candle.
  3. Sending out the holiday scents after Christmas will do the retailer no good.

Questions I hope someone will be willing to comment on.

A flame should be approximately 1 inch high?

The melt pool should grow about an inch/hour? For all containers?

After I have lit the candle I get a variation (depending on secent) in the amount of what appears to be sweating on the unmelted portion of the candle. Is this too much FO?

Will changing the wick change the hot throw? Tough to tell sometimes.

Any thoughts are welcome as I learned a long time ago from a previous superior, "This is not meant to be a criticism but rather a comment from my years of experience."

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These are my opinions: The wick should create a flame a little less than 1 inch depending on size of wick. I know some chandlers measure the melt pool accurately and want an inch per hour. I know the meltpool is important, but I rely a lot more on whether the candle has good scent throw. I try not to let my melt pool get deeper than 1/2 inch. I think a candle should be wicked for the last 1/3 of its burn. That last 1/3 is where you can get in trouble if your wick is too big. Most of what I pour is 6 oz tins and 11 Oz tureens (double-wicked.) I don't care if they start off slow as long as they catch up for last 1/3. I don't think wick effects scent throw except as it relates to meltpool.

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Sorry, forgot about sweating. My candles always do this. As a scented candle gets warm, hot, it releases the scent. This is not a welcome event in the hot Texas summers when the candle is not lit but is sitting on the shelf of a customer who decides to conserve electricity and turns the a/c off in the evening.

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Welcome to the forum. Sounds like you've had an interesting start in the world of candlemaking.

Generally, the wicking will change the hot throw. If your wick is too big you will be burning off FO and it will cause smoking, sooting and the like. If your wick is too small you will not get a favorable meltpool, once again, inhibiting a nice throw.

However, that said, I have had certain FOs that absolutely defy this and have thrown despite a weak MP. Go figure. Candlemaking is an extrememly frustrating, time-consuming process if you want to get things right. :)

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Thanks Sara. Getting pretty good scent throw overall but have yet to find the wick that gives a full melt pool on my apo jars (diam just under 3") using CBL-130. I guess the fun part of teting for me is that you get to enjoy the scents and overcome the challenge of getting all the variables to sync.

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