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Tips or secrets on using a heat gun to smooth candle surfaces?


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I made my first batch of candles last week, using 464 soy wax. They came out great - nice smooth, creamy tops and no "wet spots" on the glass.

However, I noticed that there was some cracking of the wax around the wicks, so I decided to use a heat gun on a low setting to try and fix the cracks.

Big mistake. :(

Now, the tops of the candles are all marbled, rough, with pock marks in them. It fixed the cracking wax around the wicks issue, but it made the rest of the candle tops look terrible.

I don't get it - I thought using a heat gun on the surface of candles was supposed to help make them look smooth and creamy. What did I do wrong? Any tips or secrets to using a heat gun on candle tops?

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Do you have a pic? I pour in soy, and when I have a little bit of wax hang up or such around the wick, I leave it be. (never used a heat gun). Generally it is just where you may have splashed wax around the wick and is not an issue; trim the wick and it should be ok. Pics would help...I still haven't figured out how to post one here, though:sad2:.

Best,

Brandy

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I kind of wave my heat gun like a wand and try to stay away from the wick. It takes a patient touch to not make matters worse. I never use my heat gun for small or minor imperfections. A little crack or dip around the wick is no big whoop and most customers never even notice wet spots or stuff like that. They just want it to smell good. HTH.

Steve

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Posting a picture is simple. Hit new reply and in the pop up window you'll see a menu across the top.

Click the "paperclip" icon (see the menu pic).

Click the "browse" icon (see the file location pic).

Once you've located the picture click the the "upload" button (see the browse window pic) You may have to expand the "browse" window to see the upload button.

Once it uploaded close the window and the pictures will show in the "attached files" box below your post (see the attached files pic).

Hope this helps.

post-11507-139458474463_thumb.jpg

post-11507-139458474466_thumb.jpg

post-11507-139458474469_thumb.jpg

post-11507-139458474473_thumb.jpg

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I hate using heat guns on veggie wax candles. The surface left is never as wonderful as a candle that doesn't require heatgunning. I DO use mine, don't get me wrong, but it just ain't the same... Less is best, so wave as Steve suggested and don't stay on any one area too long. It's best reserved for MINOR blemishes. If the whole top sux, you are better off to remelt the top or do a second pour.

Let's have a show of hands... how many of you have heatgunned a top with ONE little bubble, which continued bubbling, which got bigger and bigger, which uncovered 3 more, which all started bubbling, then 7 more appeared, now the whole top is liquid, oh hell, it's cooling wavy, hit it again... and again and again.... let it cool and pray a lot! ARGH!! Still one little bubble...:laugh2::laugh2::laugh2::laugh2:

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LOL..... GUILTY :)

I try to use the heat gun as little as possible on both my soy and palm jars. I think more from laziness than anything else, probably the same reason why I will not dounle wick anything.

If I have one or a couple of small bubbles I tend to just leave them now. The customers are not concerned at all I have found, neither are they too concerned about frosting and wet spots etc etc the list goes on.

They want a candle that burns really well and throws really well. Lets face it, an hour after it has been lit the top of the candle is catus anyways.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Stella! Were you hiding in my workroom last week??? :laugh2:

The bubbles and wet spots make me insane. I have noticed the waving motion with the heat gun, held high above the wax, is better. It's so hard to just look at a funky spot and not want to "fix" it. But...my daughter used to work in a flower shop that sold Archipelago, and they were riddled with wet spots. Didn't stop people from plunking down $25+ per candle!

Obviously we all see things others don't! I don't remember ever noticing frosting or wet spots in the hundreds of candles I bought before I started making my own. I just feel like if I'm selling it, it should look *perfect*. I'll end up in the loony bin if I don't relax about that! (Or at least, broke from wasting all that wax and fo....)

Edited by Catlover
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I haven't been making candles long, but out of a dozen candles I made yesterday 2 of them had cracking around the wick, the others were perfectly smooth and creamy tops. The combination I am working with now, throws well and burns well, I don't think I want to mess with what is working for me and try to fix little imperfections.

These are handmade so they won't be perfect every time and each one won't look the same as the last one. That's what's so great about candles being made by hand, they aren't like the manufactured kind.

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