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Hi Everyone

I used to belong to this site under the name of Dee. Haven't made candles for a few years but got inspired again over Christmas. Had real difficultty getting back onto the site. Tried everything suggested but no luck. So I reregistered on a second e-mail I have. Anyway its great to be back. :yay:Now for the question.

Trying to dust off my brain regarding candle wicks. I just tested a 4 inch candle that I put three wicks in (used 1240 with 1/2 tsp vybar pp and no scent. I went to Peaks web site where they suggested 18 flt ply wick for one of their 4 inch molds. After 1 1/2 hours of burning my melt pool was out to the edges. Very shortly after it overflowed. So I take it the wax was not burning up at a fast enought rate. Would I go to a larger wick to get a hotter flame? Would smaller wick sizes drown? Would like to stay with flt ply as its readily available where I live.

I have tried a single 42 flat ply and it was ok. 36 was not.

Edited by deanne
Triple wick question
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Hey Dee, Welcome back.

Not knowing what fragrance you are dealing with or not dealing with, try one with a size larger and another with a size smaller and see what your thoughts on it. Larger just might consume enough, but it might also create more overflow because of the area it's going to spread out to. Smaller, I'm going to doubt going one size under will be enough to keep a wall, so you might also want to try two sizes smaller, but I wouldn't go lower than that (just a gut feeling, but I think two sizes smaller would be my last choice before I would opt to switch wicks.

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Thanks for the replies.

I'm not using fragrance. I did try 24 flat ply as its all I have lesft in flat ply. No luck even faster burn out to the sides.

Will try a lower size when I get some more wick. Probably will try some square braid as well. Such fun!!

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I got to thinking about this. It makes sense to increase ROC but the problem is that you can't really increase ROC without increasing flame height. Flame height increase generally = heat output. Flame height info is also available for your wicks.

Increase the heat and you are increasing the melted wax that the wick is required to consume. Increase the consumption rate and the heat increases. Never ending circle.

So decreasing ROC may seem counter intuitive, but it comes with a corresponding decrease in heat output and therefore smaller melt pool to draw from.

There will be a happy medium where the consumption matches the pool creation rate and both match the size of your pillar.

That is the wick you are looking for.

It has occurred to me that ROC and flame height are not all the data we need in "guessing" where to start. A small flame that has a large base diameter will make a larger pool than a tall flame with a thin base diameter. At least, at first. The taller / thinner might tunnel for a while then catch up nicely. The fatter /shorter may just take the sides down as it goes. Some chandlers prefer to tunnel and then catch up for safety reasons.

So flame height info is not necessarily the best info on that issue.

I have noticed that different websites have different ROC's for a given wick. I suspect that if the numbers are accurate from a test, then the next question is what wax was used for the test? Was the wick saturated with primer or just coated on the outside with wax? Yada, yada.

I rather suspect that wax selection and FO/dye/additive have a huge effect on this.

This is, unfortunately, more art than science. A chandler's choice in how the candle burns is as distinct as a fingerprint. Hence, test...test...test.

Reminds me of tracking and balancing helicopter rotors. Yeah, $50K of equipment will give some data but years of knowing what to do with that data will make the difference between a good tracker who gets the job done in a flight or two and a novice who burns hours on the machine and gets stumped when there is an anomaly. But I digress again.... Oh Einstein? Where be thou?

Edited by EricofAZ
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