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Too Much Wick, Wick Pins, Mini 3-wicks

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The problem. I want to make some tapers, find 12 ply is a good size, and end up with a "small order" of over 1000 ft each of 12 ply and 6/0 SB:


Knowing that Well Enough cannot be Left Alone, I decide I'm going to try to put 3 wicks in a 3" candle. Then I can use small wick for a bigger candle, and see if I can make a mess.

I've done this with 4" candles two ways. One, with 1" or so spacing, and then again with all three wicks in the same hole, with their curl-when-burning direction tested and arranged so they splay out from the center. The 3-in-1 arrangement looks great, but too often the wicks stick to themselves and need to be pushed apart. So, maybe I need a jig to make three holes close together.


I'm not predicting this will really work with a 3" one. It's as much a proof-of-concept to try with the 4" mold. I think I'll need a drill press or a steadier hand to get the alignment good enough for a 6.5" tall mold, though. Should be fun to see, though.

FWIW, to do this I sealed the wick hole in the bottom of the mold my usual way with outdoor metal duct tape:


So nice not to have to use mold putty, or ever deal with leaking molds. I am looking at metal supply companies for some smaller wick pins than the standard 1/8" stuff the candle supply stores (and Lowes hardware) sells. 3/32" or 1/16" rod would be more convenient when using smaller than LX-18 sizes of wick. https://www.speedymetals.com/ looks promising. No min order, but $12 to ship even a couple of rods.

Edited by radellaf
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That's interesting. Maybe I'll try a three wick 3" pillar to see what happens. I like to experiment and what's the worst thing that could happen lol. You might be able to find some small metal rod at your local hardware store. My local store has an assortment of various sizes of brass and aluminum. A hobby shop might be a good place to try too. Coat hanger wire might also work.

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I'll check Ace hardware today. I called the hobby shops and they only have brass.

3 12-ply was too much, 30 min or so to imminent overflow. Same technique works for 2 wicks though. I've tried those a lot before. I think it's how many candles were made (twisting 2 wicks) back when they were used for light...and people didn't expect self trimming.

I have CSN-5 and TL-18 I could try with 3 wicks. S330 or 9ply would be good try, but I don't have any. Pretty sure LX-8 would be too big, since it was good with the 4".

With any raw wick I dip it in the wax ( just until the bubbles stop ) before pouring the candle. Otherwise it's hard to push through the wick hole.

Interesting tidbit: unraveling some 5/0 and 6/0 SB I found the 5/0 had 24 plies and the 6/0 had 30. Maybe the threads were finer on the 6/0, was hard to tell. The 12 ply as expected had, well, 12 threads.

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Some pictures of the method I used:

After the first pour has cooled, I remove the wick pins, put the candle on a tealight holder so that the wicks can stick out of the top of the candle, and insert the primed wicks.


The black dots indicate the side the wick will curl towards. Some can tell this from looking at the wick (are the "arrows" pointing up or down), but I usually test burn a piece and mark it with a sharpie. The arrangement here is to have all the wicks splay out from the center. Note, this works great with the LX-8 and LX-10 wicks I was using with 4" 3-wick candles. Flat 12 ply twists a little much when it burns for this to work.

View from the top, showing the "wrecking" holes.


Here the second pour starts with a small amount of hot (190-200F) wax with the intention of filling in the wick pin holes. If the wax is hot enough it runs right through the candle, hence elevating the candle on the tealight holder. Gently pour a few times until the wax in the holes cools enough that they get plugged up.


Finish the second pour:


At this point I use a scissors to clip the wicks below the liquid level of the wax. Or, you can try to cut them to the right length before pouring any wax. In any case, to smooth and flatten out the bottom, I get out the blowtorch. The idea is to get a "full melt pool". Here if you look carefully you can see that I went a bit too far and some wax spilled out the back. Done right, this makes a nice finish and might avoid having to level off the base on a hot surface. Done really well, I think it looks good enough to make the "bottom" of a molded candle the top.


and light:


With 12 ply, 1274 with .25% Micro175 and 3% FO, 3 wicks is too much. 2 wicks is working OK in tests so far, though it smokes for a while upon lighting. I get the same problem with LX-18 or 20 in this size candle. Settles down after 5-15 min.

Here's the look of the wicks in filled in holes:


and one of the lit 2-wicks:


Edited by radellaf
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