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Question about wick tab height?


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Question?? about the wick tab height of my hemp wicks (used for container candles) since it's so important for the candle to self extinguish before burning to close to the bottom of the jar..anyway

I've talked with a couple of wick manufacturers and they tell me that industry standard for wick tab height is 6mm...my first testers (a sampling of other wicks, not hemps) were from Lonestar and they tab almost all of their wicks with 10mm height.

The hemps I've purchased from two different suppliers are tabbed with 3mm tabs and while I've not had any catastrophes in my testing I am curious about others opinions etc...

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Here's what Stimpson, a manufacturer of sustainer bases partnered with Wicks Unlimited, has to say about wick tab heights...

http://www.wicksunlimited.com/wick_clips.php

I use 6mm wick tabs, which is a median size - a little tall for votives, a little short for 4" candles. If I made BIG candles, I would increase the height to 10mm; for tealights, obviously a shorter height would be best. The entire idea there is to prevent the wick from falling over in the candle AND to force the candle to self-extinguish when the wick burns down to the top of the tab. This amount is different for larger and smaller candles, which is why different heights should be employed for different sized candles.

The LARGER issue to me is not so much the HEIGHT of the wicktab so much as that it stays totally sealed to the container at the bottom (and that any hole in the neck of the wicktab from crimping is plugged) so that the candle cannot continue to suck liquid wax into the wick from the bottom, and thus continue burning even after the wick has reached the level of the wick tab. If the wicktab does not stay sealed, the safety features of the sustainer base will fail and the candle can burn until there is virtually no wax left in the bottom of the jar.

IMHO, anything a candlemaker can do to improve the safety of burning their candles is a good thing. Unless one is wicking tealights, the 3mm height is too short for my purposes and goals. HTH :)

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I think the other factor is the jar itself. If using a jar that is convex on the bottom (curves up in the middle) like a mason, a taller wick tab is a waste of wax. If using a flat bottom container like a tin, a taller tab is better. I use RTV sealant (high temperature silicone caulk) to affix my tabs to the bottom of my jars and use enough to really squish the wicktab down. This TOTALLY seals the bottom of the tab to the jar and the most the tube costs is $6 and it can do hundreds of containers. Well worth the cost to KNOW that your tab is gonna work right.

-Kristi

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I use RTV sealant (high temperature silicone caulk) to affix my tabs to the bottom of my jars and use enough to really squish the wicktab down. This TOTALLY seals the bottom of the tab to the jar and the most the tube costs is $6 and it can do hundreds of containers. Well worth the cost to KNOW that your tab is gonna work right.

I have recently switched to RTV. So far, so good... :) As I was cleaning some old containers this weekend, I wondered if the RTV was gonna be more of a buttpain than hot glue to clean off old containers... Have you found it to be terribly difficult to remove, Kristi? :confused:

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I think the other factor is the jar itself. If using a jar that is convex on the bottom (curves up in the middle) like a mason, a taller wick tab is a waste of wax. If using a flat bottom container like a tin, a taller tab is better. I use RTV sealant (high temperature silicone caulk) to affix my tabs to the bottom of my jars and use enough to really squish the wicktab down. This TOTALLY seals the bottom of the tab to the jar and the most the tube costs is $6 and it can do hundreds of containers. Well worth the cost to KNOW that your tab is gonna work right.

-Kristi

That's exactly what my jar does and I've been using the silicone for years. It does last a long time.

Have you found it to be terribly difficult to remove., Kristi? :confused:

Yes, it's a pain but when testing I use the glue dots thingies. I only have to mess with getting chalking off a jar when the candles looks too crappy, or the wick has pulled out of the tab after pouring. Some times I have to get a razor scraper to get it clean.

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I suspected as much. I had already decided that I wasn't gonna use the RTV for test candles (I have plenty of high temp hot glue left), but I don't look forward to having to remove any of the RTV - especially from itty bitty things like votives. Ugh.

Yes, it IS a pain. I heat the jars (seems to help alot), then use an old spoon (like you'd eat with) to pry the edges up on the wicktab. Even then, often the sealant is still glued to the glass and I have to glue the new tab on top of the gunk. It's still worth it!

-Kristi

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Stella is dead on about a sealer of some sort preventing the wick from sucking the wax dry. With no sealer, a wick will continue to 'wick' wax up from underneath the tab until it's bone dry...regardless of your wick tab height. I use stickums, and they seal 100% around the base of the wick tab preventing wax from continuing to feed the wick once the top of the tab is reached.

I do also vary my tab height depending on the curve of the jar bottom. On my large apoth's, there's a pretty good curve and even with the industry standard 6mm, a LOT of wax gets left behind. I re-tab my wicks for those jars with 3mm bases, and it works out perfectly...they self extinguish when they're supposed to.

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Thank you everyone for your replies and help. My jars do raise up in the center bottom and I do use wick stickums and make sure they are very secure. Everything I've tested so far with the 3mm have extinguished when they should have, even on power burns so looks like they will work...thanks again!

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