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Im ready to take the plunge and I have some questions


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I have been studying up and hanging around the forums for a month or so now.. and Im finally ready to take the plunge. I am in the process of buying supplies for the first time and I need some advice. Some of these questions have probably been asked a million times, but honestly I just couldnt find them in the search function. I usually ended up with 7 pages of posts that were made by people who know far more then I do, and used abbreviations for things I dont know. So I would appreciate it if you guys could answer these, or point me towards a source:o

I am going to focus entirely on beeswax and soy candles, specifically starting with votive and container candles. I plan to purchase eco soya (container blend to start out with) from peaks, and I already have 1lb of beeswax (leftover from my bath and body projects)

I purchased an alluminum pouring pot at the craft store. It seems a bit thin is this ok? Also I have seen two different versions of the double boiler method, one using a real double boiler (two pots) and another using the pouring pot sitting directly in the pot with water. Doesnt this make it more of a direct heat method? The bottom of the pouring pot touches the pot thats on the stove? I picked up a cookie cutter to put in between, but I still have some silly newbie worries of the pouring pot/cookie cutter melting somehow.

I also purchased two knitting needles to stir with, hopefully the color on the metal wont bleed.

As for dyes and fragrances I will leave that for when I have the basics down. I did however pick up two boxes of crayola crayons (.15cents each) with the intention of adding a small amount to give the candles a "tint". I remember reading about doing that in a few places, but I would like to know if its safe, works, and would affect the burning. I am not worried about getting a deep color to start out with, but a little bit of difference would be nice.

The most difficult part of all this has been trying to figure out the wicking process. I understand that beeswax/soy will need a different kind then parrafin, I have read that square wicks are best (for pillars). I tried to figure it out based on peaks site, but there is just too much candle jargon!=) I plan on buying some wick pins to make the process of wicking votives easier.

Which is better for soy/beeswax? (votives/containers/small pillars) Zinc core, HTP coreless wicks, cotton core and what in the world are LX wicks?? Its pretty overwhelming! I also have read in several places that soy/beeswax needs a larger wick then parrafin.

Does this mean (for example) that instead of the Hp -41 for votives I should use the HTP -31 for small containers and just snip off the extra length? Or should I just use the HTP -41 instead of the smallest HTP -31? In other words, should I look at whatever the reccommended use for the wick is and move one up? I know that I will need to test everything I make, but it would help to have a basic starting point.

Also they seem to come already primed with a high mp wax, if I am trying to stick to soy/beeswax because paraffin gives me a headache, will havinig the wick primed in it matter? Or should I buy unprimed wicks and do it myself?

I have read up on safe containers for candles, but after a trip to the craft store now Im not so sure. I saw several adorable tins but I have no idea what they are really made out of and worry that the paint would bleed into the candle and possibly catch fire? Also my bfs mother gave me an entire set of beautiful glassware that her neighbor was going to toss, included were some adorable tea/coffee cups. I am pretty sure they are thick enough, but they feel kinda plasticy. Almost like they are mostly glass and a little plastic, could there be lead in it?

also, I am a bit nervous about the safety hazards of making candles. I will do everything in my power to be carefull, but I just want to know how often do accidents happen for most people? How many times have you had wax accidentally catch on fire (not from forgetting about it on the stove) or had a candle explode?? I know Im being silly and paranoid but I just want to be extra carefull.

Once again Im sorry if these are questions that have been asked a million times, but I just couldnt find a source that could walk me through it. Especially since Im using soy/beeswax.

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"I purchased an alluminum pouring pot at the craft store. It seems a bit thin is this ok? Also I have seen two different versions of the double boiler method, one using a real double boiler (two pots) and another using the pouring pot sitting directly in the pot with water. Doesnt this make it more of a direct heat method? The bottom of the pouring pot touches the pot thats on the stove? I picked up a cookie cutter to put in between, but I still have some silly newbie worries of the pouring pot/cookie cutter melting somehow."

I use a rim from a mason jar lid in a pot for my double boiler. Been working well for 3 and half months...

I'm still playing with getting the right wicks myself. I tried the HTPs in my soy conatiners and I don't like the way it bends, leaves a lot of hangup on one side of the jar and it doesn't catch up until halfway down. I also hate zinc, but I know a LOT of people use and love them. Not sure if CDs are made for soy, but I like them. I don't care about being all natural (I use paraffin for tealights and votives) I just like the ease of use (flakes) and the easy clean up with soy.

As for safety, seems like you're off to a great start with the research and you're worry about it...lol. I made some pretty dumb newbie mistakes as far as wicking goes and though I know now the candles weren't completely safe I didn't have any accidents with them. I even fell asleep one night with one burning and it was fine when I woke up (I am NOT making excuses, NEVER leave a candle burning all night, obviously - it was not on purpose!). All I can say is test, test, test.

Good luck with everything! And if all else fails, make tarts! LOL

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If I were you before setting sight on one particular wax buy some sample packs of different brands. Not all soys are the same. If you notice a lot people who buy the case of wax and then end up not liking it and are stuck with it unless someone buys it off of them or they stick it out and use it. Or ask for the starter kits from various suppliers you can test the wax and receive some supplies such as the melting pot at the same time. As for the crayola crayons. I don't think you read that on this board. Maybe for B&B but not vege wax. Crayon wax clogs the wick and causes more smoke in your candle. It definetly isn't cheaper by any means. You can buy each color for about $3.00 a color and get several candles out of that plus be able to blend you own colors. Wicks have sample packs too so if you are confused about wicking order some samples of various wicks and test out the ones you like best. Just make sure they are suited for vegetable wax. Don't bother priming yourself you have to attach the clips then and that is extra work. Unfortunately everyone has different experiences with wicks so they can't guide you as to what wick works for what container because it is all based on your waxes and you environment.

Safety. Don't be nervous just be careful. Keep you wax under 200 degrees and you won't have to worry about fires. For basic soy the melting point is usually 125 degrees anyway. Just don't walk away and leave it unattened.

The key is to just be patient and start out slowly. Make a few candles then work your way up. You will find nobody starts a business with soy candles overnight. There is too much testing to do. But most of all enjoy it.

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