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How do you level your bottoms?


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I've had somebody ask me for six candles, three of each color and all the same height (4 inches). I did draped layers in a 6.5 inch mold, so it was next to impossible to make them level at 4 inches in the mold. They'll be sitting on a rectangle plate next to each other, so it's imperative that they're exactly the same height. I have problems making level, straight bottoms at the best of times, so any advice would be greatly appreciated! I trimmed the bottoms with a razor blade then tried to level them in a little frying pan on the stove... but they still seem wonky to me. :rolleyes2 If I keep trying to melt them flat, I'm worried I'll go below 4 inches and have to start all over again!

Do most of you level your bottoms by melting, or cutting? Thanks in advance guys! :cheesy2:

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Click on the thread Candle Man has posted & go to the post dated 6.21.2006

Find the post by Everito Bandito & follow the directions given there.

It is the easiest way to achieve smooth bottoms believe me, I've struggled with wonky bottoms for too many years before trying this out.

Sally.

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Click on the thread Candle Man has posted & go to the post dated 6.21.2006

Find the post by Everito Bandito & follow the directions given there.

It is the easiest way to achieve smooth bottoms believe me, I've struggled with wonky bottoms for too many years before trying this out.

Sally.

Thanks Sally, I found Everito's post where he says to level while still in the mold... but unfortunately, they're 4 inch pillars in a 6.5 inch mold! :sad2:

I'll check out the other ideas... thanks for the link Candle Man! :smiley2:

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I tried that technique of leveling pillars while still in the mold. It sounded like a good idea. Then I tried it and my candles stuck in the molds and I couldn't get them out.

I like the idea of leveling them that way but how do you get them out of the molds after you melted the bottom?

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I had never even heard of an angle iron until your post Eugenia, but after much searching through the archives, found all the info I needed. It sounds like the perfect tool! I printed out a picture to take to my local hardware store to see if they have something similar. Thanks so much! :cheesy2:

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I had never even heard of an angle iron until your post Eugenia, but after much searching through the archives, found all the info I needed. It sounds like the perfect tool! I printed out a picture to take to my local hardware store to see if they have something similar. Thanks so much! :cheesy2:

You wont find the angel iron big enough at the hardware store. Try a local welder, you only need a small piece and they can cut it straight, level and grind any burs off for you.

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You wont find the angel iron big enough at the hardware store. Try a local welder, you only need a small piece and they can cut it straight, level and grind any burs off for you.

I wish I had seen this yesterday Candle Man, I could have saved myself alot of heartache and frustration! :rolleyes2 I went to Lowes and tried to describe what I was looking for to one of their workers (couldn't find the pic I printed out) and all he could direct me to were wall brackets. I tried TruValue today and they had nothing similar either, but he did tell me of a welder that isn't too far away. Now that I've discovered that this end to all my levelling problems exists, I am determined to find one! If it's the last thing I do!! :waiting::D

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Thanks Sally, I found Everito's post where he says to level while still in the mold... but unfortunately, they're 4 inch pillars in a 6.5 inch mold! :sad2:

I'll check out the other ideas... thanks for the link Candle Man! :smiley2:

4 inch pillars in a 6.5 inch mold shouldn't make a difference as long as they are not stuck in the molds.

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I tried that technique of leveling pillars while still in the mold. It sounded like a good idea. Then I tried it and my candles stuck in the molds and I couldn't get them out.

I like the idea of leveling them that way but how do you get them out of the molds after you melted the bottom?

If you have the mold sitting on paper towels (I use 2) instead of directly on the melting surface the paper towels absorbs most of the wax so you don't have the problem of the candle staying in the mold. You will get a little residual wax that hangs up on the edge of the melted surface but it brushes right off with out leaving surface blemishes. If you have a candle that you poured way off you may need to change the paper towels out.

HTH

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If you have the mold sitting on paper towels (I use 2) instead of directly on the melting surface the paper towels absorbs most of the wax so you don't have the problem of the candle staying in the mold. You will get a little residual wax that hangs up on the edge of the melted surface but it brushes right off with out leaving surface blemishes. If you have a candle that you poured way off you may need to change the paper towels out.

HTH

Exactly :smiley2:

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4 inch pillars in a 6.5 inch mold shouldn't make a difference as long as they are not stuck in the molds.

I'm sorry Everito, I misunderstood. I thought you meant that you had to pour the wax all the way to the top of the mold, then when set, turn it upside down and melt off the excess. But I think I get it now... you mean only unmold it until the bottom shows and then turn it upside down, right? I thought that would be hard to do, because the candle would be sliding around once unmolded... but I have one that needs leveling now so I'll give it a try with the paper towels. Wish me luck! :smiley2:

I did get the angle iron yesterday... I'm not sure whether it's because I'm trying to level a square pillar, or because the cookie sheet and frying pans I'm using aren't exactly flat... or whether it's just me... but it isn't as easy as it sounds! I am sooooooooooooooo tempted to follow Donita's cue and purchase a professional leveller from Candlewic. $175 seems a little much though considering (except on this occasion) I only make candles for myself! :undecided

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Not exactly sure what you mean when saying "unmold it", but what I am saying is to turn the mold over and let the 4 in candle gently slide to the bottom. Then as long as the candle is in the mold and the mold is at a right angle to the heating surface, the bottom of the candle should melt level. Of course considering that there is no damge to the mold or the heating surface.

I put my folded paper towel under my mold and usually hold the paper towel opposite corners tightly against the mold as I am placing it on my heating surface to prevent the candle from falling out of the mold. Be sure to place the mold flat (perpendicular) onto your heating suface. As the wax melts you can gently move the mold around a bit if you want. Just don't give it any radical spins.

At this point you will have some wax building up in your paper towel/s. I generally take a hold of opposite corners of my paper towel and hold them against the mold as I'm lifting the candle away from the heated surface. I am using the paper towel/s to help keep the candle from sliding out of the mold. Then since you have a 4 inch candle in a 6 inch mold don't turn it all the way back over. Just bring it out at a horizontal angle so as not let the candle slide all the way back down into the mold. As you take it out of the pan you may have some wax drippage from the paper towel, so have something in place to catch that or deal with it according to whatever way you find to be best.

After a bit of practice it's gets easier and you will likely come up with some new and better ideas on how you like to do it. The bottoms of my candles usually have a bit of the imprint from the paper towel molded into them, but I have yet to see anyone turn one of my candles over and spend more than a couple of seconds inspecting it. If they do take the time to gaze at it then they can at least tell that it is a genuine hand poured candle and not a factory press one. :smiley2:

By treating it gently, I generally don't have much surface damage to the sides of the pillar. If I do create any scratches or blemishes, I can usually smooth them out with knee high ladys hosiery than I had my wife get for me. The hosiery makes for a pretty good polishing cloth.

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Everito, you are my hero! :cheesy2: I followed your directions to the letter, and guess what?! It worked!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! You would not believe how close I came to throwing everything in the trash, and telling these people that I simply could not do them, and to find somebody who actually knew what they were doing! You are a life-saver!! :bow:

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There has been a lot of talk about leveling pillar bottoms. If you use the search feature at the top you will find lots of posts.

Here is one search results http://www.candletech.com/forums/search.php?searchid=194273

I have been reading this thread and was interested in what this thread that Candle Man had mentioned but when I clicked on it, it said sorry no matches...I wanted to know what sort of heat source was being used...I just now getting into making pillars and with the holiday season coming up I want to experiment now so I have at least some kind of success in making pillars:embarasse

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along with "Hero's" suggestion, i had a Presto Griddle that i rarely used for cooking that makes a great leveler for pillars

That's amazing, bttrflikiss... I bought the exact same griddle from Wal-Mart yesterday! And it works like a charm!!! :cheesy2: Paid $20 instead of the $175 I almost forked out to Candlewic for their leveler and angle plate! :grin2:

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I use the angle iron idea, but had my son make me one from two pieces of heavy thick wood wood. I make sure I don't have my Presto pot at more than "warm" setting, and use a piece of paper under the piece of wood. It wooks perfectly and I've not had a probelm since. I also have a tiny 3"level I sit on top of the canlde to make sure the candle is level.

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