Jump to content

My first palm pillar


Recommended Posts

I was thinking of buying some CBX to try out, but the idea of just another soy flake bored me, so I decided to join up with the palm wax newbies and get some tortoise shell palm from CandleScience instead.

Dark colors can emphasize the shimmer in the crystal effect of some palm waxes, but clearly it doesn't work with tortoise. Thus it's a bit dreary for a first attempt, but it looks reasonably sophisticated in person.

The candle contains 5% fragrance oil and no additives. It was poured at 185 into a warm aluminum mold and cooled directly on a benchtop at about 72 ambient. I used no insulation but took measures to protect it from drafts. The candle dropped out of the mold with no problems.

The wicking is a wild-ass guess. I wanted to try a wick that's chemically treated for acidic waxes and went with LX NST 2 because I have it spooled in a lot sizes and was curious how it would work. This candle is wicked with LX 22 NST 2. That could be way off for all I know. I'll try to follow up with some burn photos.

I took a bit of a risk and decided to use a new fragrance oil with unknown burn properties. That's not generally the best idea because you can't know how much the FO might be contributing to any problems you encounter. But whatever--this is just for fun.

post-710-139458464141_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I decided to join up with the palm wax newbies

I for one would like to welcome you to the dark side:smiley2:

Thus it's a bit dreary for a first attempt, but it looks reasonably sophisticated in person.

It looks very nice
This candle is wicked with LX 22 NST 2

I just made 3 last night with lx wicking . I used 22 for my 3inch pillars and 24 for a 4inch . Can't wait to try them.What does the NST 2 Mean and when do you plan on testing yours?

Good luck!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I for one would like to welcome you to the dark side:smiley2:

Thanks--I feel the power.

I just made 3 last night with lx wicking . I used 22 for my 3inch pillars and 24 for a 4inch . Can't wait to try them.What does the NST 2 Mean and when do you plan on testing yours?

LX and LX NST2 is pretty much like Stabilo (CD) and Stabilo KST (CDN).

I'm going to light it up shortly. Unless I get too pressed for time, I'm hoping to make this one of those testing threads with pictures.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So here is the real hassle part of it.

None of my newest candle designs require wick trimming. You just light them--no fuss. I'm pretty determined to get a palm pillar working the same way. It may complicate things, but that's the goal.

Problem is, I've always found NST 2 wicks to be reluctant to curl and reluctant to trim. The difference from regular LX is all due to the chemical treatment. Here I see exactly the same thing I've noticed in the past: minimal curl and some globbiness at the tip of the wick. Plus, of course, the flame is too tall.

So now one gets to thinking about more than a convenient number of possiblities. A smaller LX NST 2? Regular LX? Or ditch LX entirely and try CD or CDN? I have some of those spooled but need to check the sizes.

It would be good to know if you even need a special chemical treatment for tortoise shell wax. Maybe for the next go-round I'll compare with regular LX 22. But some day I want to titrate these palm waxes and see how acidic they really are.

post-710-139458464165_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The result of the first burn with LX 22 NST 2 wasn't surprising based on how it started out. I ended the test after 2 hours because the heat of the mushroom was making the melt pool lopsided. If not for the mushrooming, it could have gone 3 hours without anything bad happening. But the flame was definitely too big.

I think Sabrina (cybersix) mentioned getting cracks in the melt pool with tortoise palm. As you can see, I have replicated that result.

To conserve time and wax for this little project, I will abandon and recycle this tester rather than continuing to burn it. The next round will be two candles, one with LX 20 NST2 and the other with regular LX 20. That way we can see the effect of wicking down and also compare the differently-treated wicks.

post-710-139458464167_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Top, I love your tests threads, you're always so precise.

I'l tell you, in palm pillars I tried some of the wicks specific for palm waxes and they didn't make me happy at all.

I stick with flat braid, and the flames are never too high and I rarely get mushrooms.

Just a thought for you. I'd try a simple LX with no treatment, even thou I find LXs always have a tendency to make high flames.

The cracks I was talking about are exactly the ones you shot in the pic.

Tortoise palm wax is very fascinating but I don't know if I like cracks in cooled candle. Still thinking about this.

I never use additives too, and the % of FO is always 5 for me.

I like to keep things simple.

Good job, and keep us posted.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very pretty candle, Top! I haven't tried the tortoise, but love mixing the feather and starburst together. When I get a chance, I want to do the glass glow and feather, see what I can come up with. I use the csn wicks, I really like the way my candle burns with these. The flame does very well with the palm pillar waxes. Not so good with the container, flame gets too big, IMO.

Nice to have you aboard the palm wax train!! :yay:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'l tell you, in palm pillars I tried some of the wicks specific for palm waxes and they didn't make me happy at all.

I stick with flat braid, and the flames are never too high and I rarely get mushrooms.

Thanks, that's good to know. Plain flat braid is super-useful stuff. If I heard that comment earlier I might have started with it. However, I was remembering that Henryk couldn't seem to get it to work. And so many people say that RRD works, which is another one with the NST2 treatment.

I swear one day I will test these waxes and see how much acid is actually in them. It's just that I have one scale with too much precision and not enough capacity and another with not enough precision and too much capacity. All I need is the right scale and bottle of 190 proof Everclear (that's for dissolving wax and getting hammered at the same time). I have all the other chemicals.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As we all often say, it most depends on what you're looking for.

I found what gives me a nice pleasant burn, but sure when I'll have the time to do it I will test other wicks just to compare results.

I use flat braid for every pillar, palm or paraffin, and I'm always satisfied.

Let us know about your test and don't get too mad with all your chemicals!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Top,

A Tortoise Shell pillar was the first pillar I ever made and Like Debbie I use the CSN wicks for palm wax and am happy (so far) with them.

I have noticed that Tortoise Shell needs a smaller (typically one size) than Starburst, or Feather palm.

I am just ending a test burn with my first Crystal Palm pillar and am thinking that I may need to wick it like Tortoise with a CSN 7 instead of the suggested CSN 9 (2" pillar).

Steve

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very COOL, Top! :D I have to agree that while I intend to test CBXL, I can't get real excited about it. I think you will find palm wax to not only be challenging, but very interesting with all the different effects possible by varying pour temp, etc. It's fun stuff!!

One of the things I like about palm wax is that after it's allowed to harden for a few days, it can be buffed to a high hard shine, just like carnauba wax on a car. The big crystal starburst isn't as good for this 'cause you lose the sparklies, but tortoise shell is "flatter" and really looks cool when shined up.

The tortoise shell seems a little softer than the feathering, starburst or container palm waxes I've used. This seems to make a slight difference in wicking, especially when burned within a day or two after pouring before the wax hardens up.

I like the CDs & CDNs with it. Haven't had any 'shrooming problems to speak of with them even when powerburned with no wick trimming. I use square braid in many of my novelty molds and it works well also, but I prefer the Stabilos whenever I can use them.

Question: Did you stir the wax as it was setting up to prevent the formation of voids inside?

Welcome to the Sparkly Side! Hope you have as much fun with this wax as I have had! :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Did you stir the wax as it was setting up to prevent the formation of voids inside?

I'm pretty familiar with the "wrecking" procedure or whatever one might like to call it, because I used to do the same thing with a few paraffins that liked to curve inwards at the very top of the mold. The big moat or crater around the wick served as a general relief hole and solved that specific problem as well.

I'm not keen on fussy pillar-making procedures anymore, so I plan to settle on an approach that entails much less mayhem. For now, I used the classic procedure on the first one of breaking decently sized holes through the crust a few times as it was cooling and filling in at the end. For the ones currently in the molds, I'm doing a single pour and nothing else--just to see what develops.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

for the ones in the molds now , how did you decide to wick them? I am trying to give mine ( the three I made with LX)time to harden before I test but I am real anxious to see if the LX wicking helps with my issues

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I love the look of the tortoise shell palm. Nice job. If it were green it would look something like alligator skin. Very cool.

Will be waiting to hear more about how the different wicks you try work out as I would love to try this wax sometime when I get a chance.

I have been using crystal pillar and container and of course the glow palm for containers and am hooked on palm. So welcome to the palm addiction!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Okay, wanna check out something weird and cool?

I made the next two testers with a single pour because I wanted to see how the voids would form. I figured I'd either burn down to them or, if the candles weren't worth burning that far, just open them up later to have a look.

But I was curious and started to tap around the wick a bit. As I broke through the crust, I found a void that became a circle around the edge of the candle. So I tapped some more and broke through another layer into another void. I kept tapping and tapping through these layers until I realized the they weren't layers at all--it was all one big spiral void, winding down a third of the way into the candle, getting smaller and smaller. Excavated, the pattern is like a strip mine.

Gives new meaning to spiraling into the void.

post-710-139458464176_thumb.jpg

post-710-139458464179_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just wicked them normally. What issues are you working on?

I want to be able to burn a pillar without too much care and worries. I want to be able to keep a shell( cause I like the look ) . I want the wick to able to stay centered, maybe straight is the right word . the curl causes me too much uneven burning .I have not been able to burn a pillar to the end without getting a slit in the sides and all the wax pour outs. I made 2with LX instead of CDN to see if that makes any difference.I have not tested them yet. The 3 inch pillars I have tried in the past were with CDN 12 and 14 . now I am trying LX22. For giggles I made a 4 inch and wicked it with a LX 24.That I just finished my first burn for 3.5 hours. huge mushroom and the flame very large. so I am thinking this was wrong too. But as I said I still have not tested the 3inch with the LX 22 so I don't know :confused:

When I asked you how you wicked them I meant what did you wick them with. Sorry I wasn't clear . But no more leaking when i pour thanks for that tip.

post-11200-139458464181_thumb.jpg

post-11200-139458464184_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gives new meaning to spiraling into the void

Inner space is lookin' much scarier than outer space!!:shocked2: I think that's the biggest void I've ever seen in a palm pillar!!*faint* How uber strange that it is a spiral... The geometry of this wax is absolutely fascinating.

We need Mr. Wizard... but I think he died... :undecided

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Inner space is lookin' much scarier than outer space!!:shocked2: I think that's the biggest void I've ever seen in a palm pillar!!*faint* How uber strange that it is a spiral...

Wild, huh? The wax that's stuck on the wick is just like a corkscrew.

Observing the tortoise palm, it seems pretty apparent that it shrinks a lot as it cools. Hence the easy-peasy mold release and the cracks that form as the melt pool sets up. It also explains the crazy spiral void. The wax tries to form a crust within the candle as it cools from the top, but the wax level keeps dropping steadily as it cools from below, and the spiral gets narrower as the liquid wax diminishes.

Truth be told, a hard and brittle wax with a sharp congealing point and a lot of shrinkage is bound to be a problem in this regard. Whether you cool it fast or slow, it's gonna be the farthest thing from a one-pour.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wild, huh? The wax that's stuck on the wick is just like a corkscrew.
That is amazing... While I have noted that the location of the voids is somewhat predictable, I never realized, if undisturbed they would form a spiral! Truly bizarre!:wink2:
Observing the tortoise palm, it seems pretty apparent that it shrinks a lot as it cools. Hence the easy-peasy mold release and the cracks that form as the melt pool sets up. It also explains the crazy spiral void. The wax tries to form a crust within the candle as it cools from the top, but the wax level keeps dropping steadily as it cools from below, and the spiral gets narrower as the liquid wax diminishes.
Manufacturer's handling information is hard to come by for palm wax. This link to Lipidchem is the best I have been able to come up with (leaves something slightly adrift in the translation...) that addresses the air pocket issue. Note that for all of their products, they remark:
Needs constant stirring to remove air trap during crystallization.
Truth be told, a hard and brittle wax with a sharp congealing point and a lot of shrinkage is bound to be a problem in this regard. Whether you cool it fast or slow, it's gonna be the farthest thing from a one-pour.
Cooling slowly & evenly aids in the best formation of crystals. When larger crystals are formed, more & larger voids occur. Pouring at cooler temps and cooling more quickly so large crystallization patterns do not occur yields fewer/smaller voids for obvious reasons. When palm wax cools quickly and doesn't form crystals, it tends to be much denser and more brittle, "crazing" and cracking a lot. Sometimes this can be an interesting effect, but other times, the cracks become a structural fault that cause the candle to shear along the internal "fault" lines. That's a pisser when it happens.

If you stir during crystallization ("wrecking"), this is a one-pour wax. I do not second pour any of my pillars. A second pour on these is difficult because the wax contracts so much from the mold. It's very tedious to prevent the wax from running between the pillar and the mold. More importantly, I also found I could not be sure that the wax would completely fill the voids deep in the candle (especially on taller pillars) because it congeals so quickly - it often doesn't get all the way down there. I reasoned the best idea was to follow Lipidchem's comments and prevent the formation of internal voids by stirring (or "wrecking"). I found it was much easier and more efficient to level the bottom with heat. The mess left behind by stirring can be easily rough trimmed then smoothed off by spinning the base of the pillar on a hot surface (to keep the melting even and the pillar level). Very quick & easy.

While this may sound very labor intensive when making one pillar at a time, when pouring a dozen or so of them at once, by the time you finish "wrecking" all the candles, it's time to begin again. Keeps one in constant motion, so there is little finger drumming time.

I have not noticed any cracking in the melt pool, but I add 1 tablespoonful per pound of triple-pressed palm stearic acid to all the pillar palm waxes I pour, so I may have missed this event.

I sure would like to know what additive is used to change the crystallization properties of this strange wax. I know the addition of soy produces a pattern somewhat like the tortoise shell (looked like snakeskin to me), but have no idea what is used to create the other effects. Any ideas? :confused:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...