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Wax with additives

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I was just curious about what types of waxes the majority of the board use. I buy wax with the additives already in it... what do you all buy? I know that certain companies sell pre-blended waxes and the such... do any of you find this to be easier to work with or do you like doing the measuring yourself? I'm about to re-order some wax and am contemplating whether I should buy the pre-set wax, where I don't have to do anything but melt it and pour... or if I should buy the plain paraffin, add the stearic acid, vybar... and so on myself. That would be entirely new to me as I have always bought the wax that was set to melt and I have never added anything to it.

I'm torn here and could really use some opinions. It seems easier to buy the wax that has everything already in it... but it also limits you I would think on what sort of candle you can make. *sighs* ... help? ;)


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I think it depends on what you want to do.

I think a preblend for containers is a blessing. But for pillar (which I am still quite new at) you have to decide if you want candles with the same type of finish all the time or if you want versatility.

For instance,

1343 doesn't have any additives, so depending on what you add, you can get different finishes....stearic for rustic, vybar for smooth, etc.

There are waxes formulated to create mottled candles.

There are waxes formulated to create smooth candles.

Get some of different types and try them out. It can be lots of fun seeing what different waxes will produce.

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I agree that it has a lot to do with what kind of candles you want to make. Also what kind of results you want. Many people like the straight paraffin (like 1343) and for making mottles I do too. But for marbles, draped layers, etc without mottle I prefer the blend. It's much easier to me. :smiley2:

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If you buy a slab of straight paraffin and some stearic, you could experiment. After making a few small rustics, chunkies and mottles, you might decide you like it better. Or you might decide it's not worth the trouble and go back to the preblend, but at least you'll know what you're missing.

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Don't agonize. It's not that big a decision.

I recommend you buy straight paraffin and Universal Additive. Spoon some UA into your wax and voila! You've got you "pre-blend" and it's pretty effortless.

But then maybe one day you'll wake up and decide to make some candles without the additive. With a small amount of FO you find you can get a candle more translucent than what you could make previously. Add more FO and you find you can make mottled candles.

Maybe one day you'll go crazy and buy some Vybar and see what that exactly does.

It's not hard, you'll learn more, and you'll have the flexibility to make more different things.

I think pre-blends will probably be more useful to you for container candles because it's trickier to "roll your own" and get the properties you want. So if you want to do containers maybe that's a good way for now, but for pillars and votives I'd advise you to go the other way.

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I started out using preblends, simply because I found it too confusing to figure out what additives I might want to use in what wax. (let's face it; if you read up on candlemaking before you make them, the plethora of information is mindblowing). After spending a while making candles and understanding their properties, it becomes MUCH easier to understand the use of additives and which applications you want to use them with.

I'd recommend that you stay with your preblend until you feel you really understand everything about your candle. There's plenty of time to play with all the various waxes and use them in different ways.

And hey, you may decide that you like your preblend better than any straight waxes! (even with preblends you can still put additives in them to change their properties- make them harder, hold more FO, etc.)


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