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Question about Hurricanes

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Not sure if this question belongs in the wickless section or here... I'm itching to try making a hurricane shell. I bought some hurricane wax today (blend of parrafins with mp of 160) and was advised to add 1 tbls of paraflint to improve glow through quality.

I am assuming my first shell will be far from perfect... So my question is -- can I melt my practice shells down to reuse the wax so I am not wasting wax? Or do I need to use new wax each time? I will only add the paraflint (no dyes, FOs or imbeds). If I can keep using the same wax to practice with, is there a limit to how many times I can melt it without degrading it? Would you recommend I don't use any additives while practicing?

Thanks for the insight!

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You can melt it over and over as long as you apply heat reasonably carefully (don't crank up a Presto pot to maximum to hurry it up) and as long as you don't keep it at a very high temperature for hours on end. The worst you can do is yellow the wax, but that is pretty unlikely with paraffin unless you really abuse it. You should be able to recycle the wax several times with no problem whatsoever.

Honestly, I don't know about the Paraflint. The problem I always had with that stuff is that it has a very high cloud point. So maybe you decide one day to embed a photo and you can't see what in the world you're doing because the wax is still perfectly melted but the additive is clouding it up. If you do use it, it's best to melt it with direct heat along with a small amount of wax, then add the rest of the wax.

I would be inclined to suggest that you start without any additive, both to practice and to learn how your particular wax behaves.

However, an additive is not a bad idea for hurricane shells to harden the wax a bit and prevent any imperfections such as snow spots from appearing. Paraflint can have the problem I mentioned. Some people use microcrystalline wax, but be careful if you are using IGI 1260 because the micro always made that one stick in the mold for me. Don't go over half a percent. The thing I was going to try but never did is a small amount of Universal Additive. I think it would harden the wax and help mold release without increasing opacity very much as long as you don't go over 1%. I know that other people use it for hurricanes with good results.

Edited by topofmurrayhill
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