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HURRICANE..what am I doing wrong??


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Well, I am new to this, but when it wasn't working, I read posts in the archives for the last two years. What stood out to me was the temp of the wax. Sharyl has helped me and others agree 200 degrees is best. I agree. When I heated it up just a bit it made all the difference in the world. Are you using just plain hurricane wax with no additives? Can you post a pic then we can see it better. Donita

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I did notice that temperature is very important. For me, 180-185 turned out to be the magic number., but the ideal temperature might vary depending on your wax plus any additives and your technique. Just go by your results and adjust in the appropriate direction to find it.

My initial problem was actually too high a pouring temp. Made it hard to stick the photo and keep it stuck for long enough to get into the water bath. I could have just waited a few minutes and maybe had success, but in the heat of the moment (so to speak) you don't always do the right thing.

One more thought in case it helps. I think it's a good idea to print the photo well in advance so that it has plenty of drying time. Prevents getting moisture in the wax and seems to cut down on bubbles a lot. Also give it ample time to become saturated with wax.

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And remember, it doesn't matter what your pouring temp is if you still have wax between the mold and the picture. You have to work out all the wax and air bubbles between the picture and the mold or you won't have a clear picture. I use a few skewers to "press" the wax and air bubbles out, just run my skewer from the center out, both ways till I see no more bubbles releasing from the side. Don't give up, it will turn out.

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Top....you are right about that. I did two candles the other night (don't worry, I won't post the pictures LOL) and the pics weren't dry. I noticed zillions of air bubbles......I tried to get them out for what seemed an eternity. Finally I just went for it and luckily they came out ok. Next time I will print early... let dry....you know, follow instructions." If at first you don't succeed, try looking in the wastebasket for the directions." quote from the Wallstreet Journal I clipped out in 1962. Yes I am American Grafitti. Donita

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And remember, it doesn't matter what your pouring temp is if you still have wax between the mold and the picture. You have to work out all the wax and air bubbles between the picture and the mold or you won't have a clear picture. I use a few skewers to "press" the wax and air bubbles out, just run my skewer from the center out, both ways till I see no more bubbles releasing from the side. Don't give up, it will turn out.
It's helpful to have an effective implement. I went to Bed Bath & Beyond to see what looked promising for the purpose and came out with a rubber spatula. I use the edge of it.
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I have yet to get this technique down. But I did found something that helped with the bubbles from the paper.

I pealed off a photo from a 'cane that did not turn out and used it for another test. Since it was already coated with wax it did not cause bubbles or as many because of the coating of wax. So now I alwaws dip the photo in the pot of wax till the bubbles are gone then I lay it on wax paper to dry. Then I use that photo in the 'cane.

How do you get the photo to stay stuck to the side of the mold before you put it in the water bath?

I find if I'm doing a double sided 'cane I get the first side stuck then by the time I get the second side stuck the heat of the wax causes the first to come un-stuck. I've tried cold wet rag and ice cubes both.

Hope others have some tips for these 'canes. These 'canes are a PITA.

Any other great tips from successful 'cane makers?

I could sell lots of these if I could get this down.

Thanks for any help Candle Man

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Sticking the photo to the side is definitely temporary -- it's only a matter of time before it comes loose. The only technique I've used involves getting it into the water bath pretty quickly after the photo is stuck.

If you want to do a second photo, you'll need to keep cooling the part with the first photo to prevent it from coming loose. I haven't tried that but it seems possible to me, with some practice. All it needs is a quick cold wipe to keep the wax congealed against the side. I admit a third arm would be really useful but maybe not essential.

I think the one key thing you can focus on that might be helpful for the 2 sided 'canes is pour temperature. If you need more time to stick photos you'll want to explore the lower end of the temp range, otherwise it will be futile. The lower the wax temp the longer the pic sticks. I don't really know how low you can go and still get good results, but you should maybe explore that.

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I admit a third arm would be really useful but maybe not essential.

That third arm would be a blessing for sure.

I have done a picture on both sides and it took me about 6 times to get it right. It was actually done in a pillar for my daughters wedding, I will never try it again, way to much work. But I did do about 15 hurricanes with pictures on both sides for centerpieces for her wedding, but I cheated. I put both pictures on one piece of paper, had to get a large sheet of paper to make sure it went all the way around, and where both ends of the paper meet on the hurricane it wasn't even evident. It did take me awhile to make sure when I printed it out that the pictures were evenly spaced.

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I did one with two pictures, but it wasn't perfect. I haven't tried again. Maybe someone on this board can help with this. I think that two people could do it, but only if you want that person in your face....LOL..... I think I will experiment again. After the first side is "stuck" put a big cold wet towel against the outside and then place in the second photo??????????I would heat the outside with a heat gun before trying to place the second photo as I am sure the wax will have cooled. I put the photo in my melting pot while I am getting ready to pour. The air bubbles are gone by then. I tried to coat it and let it dry and then embed, but there were some hard wax layers that didn't want to stick to the sides. Does that make sense? This will be so much more fun when we really get it down. Donita

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