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How long do you test burn?


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I just started testing tins. How do you decide what wick to use? I ask this because I had different results each burn. I didn't make any judgements after the first 2 hour burn. After the 2nd burn, a few hours, there seemed to be a clear winner, full melt pool, no mushrooming. For the third burn I let them go for a really long time, like all day, and the winner was no longer the winner. And the wicks that seemed too small initially were fine - full melt pool, no mushrooming. But I'm wondering if that is a realistic way to test. I'm so confused. Because for the first two burns of the smaller wicks - they were definitely too small.

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Start by doing the kind of burn you're designing for. For a 3 inch tin you probably want the burn to stay pretty nice for 3 or 4 hours and get a decent melt pool. Do the same test repeatly to see how it burns down. You might find that you can wick a little more conservatively if the melt pool forms faster farther down in the container.

Beyond that the "what if?" tests are only limited by your imagination. "What if" someone burned it all day is usually a test to ensure that nothing terrible would happen, not to ensure the candle burns ideally. You can pretty much predict that if you designed it according to the paragraph above, the flame will probably get kinda flickery and throw some soot if you burn it in a marathon. You may not be able to avoid that, but it might be good to know that there won't be a steady stream of soot as a prelude to the container exploding.

Other "what if?" tests are up to you. The more the merrier. "What if?" someone only burned it for an hour or two at a time? Would it only last for 3 burns then be hopelessly drowned? Do you want to wick up to make that more difficult to do?

The frustrating thing is that there is no ideal and no absolute right and wrong. A candle that works perfectly when used in one way will work badly when used in another way. It's all a compromise and the agonizing decision of how it should be designed is yours.

Those are my two cents but I hope that others chime in with their perspective on it.

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I agree with top. You'll never know how a customer will burn the candle, except that they won't follow the rules.

For liability sake, pick a standard that you will label your candles for and test to that. For a normal size jar, I'll make sure it will burn all the way down in 4-5 hour increments, and that's what my warning label will say. I picked that time because a lot of my customers burn when guests are over for a dinner party, or some kind of event. And those usually last 4-5 hours. I don't design them for the person who loves candles and lights one at 7AM and puts it out at 5PM.

I'll do a test marathon just to make sure something really horrible won't happen, like glass exploding everywhere..

My mom is one of those short burners - my candles always tunnel when she burns them.

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Ditto with Robin & Top!! I use to rip my hair out in the past because I had some customers telling me one thing and others another. I finally decided to hand out a card with every candle that specifically walks the customer through proper burning procedures. You would be surpised how many loyal candle burners claim they know what their doing and when you get right down to it, "THEY DON'T!" When people have something other than the little round warning label on the bottom of the candle handed to them, they tend to make it a point to actually read it and practise it. :)

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Ditto with Robin & Top!! I use to rip my hair out in the past because I had some customers telling me one thing and others another. I finally decided to hand out a card with every candle that specifically walks the customer through proper burning procedures. You would be surpised how many loyal candle burners claim they know what their doing and when you get right down to it, "THEY DON'T!" When people have something other than the little round warning label on the bottom of the candle handed to them, they tend to make it a point to actually read it and practise it. :)

Yep I do that too, with every candle i give to someone they have a label on them and the person also gets a "tip card" with instructions on how to burn that particular candle. They do tend to read the tip cards rather than the warning labels.

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