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Making Candles in Basement vs. Kitchen? What to consider?


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This may be silly. Might even be redundent. I apologize if this is. I am currently making all of our candles in the kitchen. Which is, as most of you know; is less than ideal.

It dawned on me that I have a basement :confused:

We've lived/owned this house for 5 years...and we never use the basement. All though it isn't finished. The original owner of the house used to be some type of wood worker/craftsman. So, if you can imagine... one large basement and then there is a front room, split into two smaller rooms.

The smaller of the two really isnt usable, as it would need to be cleaned out and I haven't the slightest idea as to what is in there. But the other longer room, has a long counter (higher then waist height but lower then chest height); that he installed right into the wall. Also along the wall, are outlets that were installed, probably every 16 inches or so.

This really sounds like it could be IDEAL for candle making? :shocked2:

No?

Not to mention the built in shelves that are down there already?

Thoughts? Maybe a basement is too damp?

~Holly

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ok I have to ask this .......

You've lived in this house for FIVE years and don't know what's in your basement ??? LOL

And to answer your own question... it sounds like a dream come true and I would move down there as soon as possible.

I would LOVE to have an extra room in my house just for my tart making !!!!

Jo

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Well, I knew it was down there...but...we don't go down there, well.. I don't go down there.

I just wonder what is TOO cool for candles, being as I'm working with soy....IDK... at least it isn't the whole basement, so it shouldn't get too cool down there.

I wonder if I should take some temperature readings down there first or something? I dont want to ruin cases of candles kwim?

I just imagine my prestos all lined up on that counter, radio going, coffee pot in the corner. There is even an antique pepsi machine down there that still works. Hehehe. my own little haven. LOL

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I moved to the basement a long time ago. Mine is not damp or humid. I do have a heat vent that I open in the winter and close in the summer (no point in air conditioning in the cool basement). I have a single burner heat plate with a dollar store pot that I use to heat repours. I don't have water down there, but I have a jug that I keep to fill the pot - double boiler. I do recommend a stress relief mat for standing on and do make sure you have fans for adequate ventilation. Have fun!

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My shop is in the basement too - LOVE IT! It's all mine - no need to put everything away everynight and no one running over you trying to get to the fridge. I don't have running water either, but keep a few gallon jugs right handy. When my Cowboy built 'the shop' for me he made the counters out of metal - which is PERFECT because when (not if) I spill I can easily scrape it up with a paint scraper. Since the heat/air to the house all runs along the 'ceiling' down there he simply cut in a vent to use for heat when I need (I don't need air in summer either). It works perfect perfect perfect. Take advantage of the opportunity you have, you'll be glad you did - even if you need to install a dehumidifier.

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I started off in my kitchen too- LOTS of complaining from the family not to mention I got to where I couldnt stand the "clutter" everywhere.

Our basement is finished but what I did is put the smooth white surfaced plywood board over top of the air hockey table that the kids NEVER use and set up shop there- I set up a table in the storage part of the basement that has cement floors for acutal pouring and curing- It is cool down there and very damp but a dehumidifer runs all the time- as far as the temp being cool I have never had a problem with soy - my tops are perfect and I do not heat my jars- everything is done at the temperature of the room

You will love having your own space...even though my setup is in the middle of the basement it is not in anyones way- I can watch tv, listen to the radio and pour pour pour!

I would love to have a complete room to myself with counter tops, plugs and "built in" shelves....I had to buy some and hope nobody runs them over and topples everything!

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Make sure all your electrical items are on timers. You can buy timers for the wall sockets. There's no fun in waking up only to realize that you left the presto going overnight... or worse ... waking up in the middle of the night to check it and finding out you didn't.

Make sure you have good ventilation. I would also consider a remote phone down there and an intercom or a two way radio (they're cheep these days). If you have a slick cement floor, expect to slip when the wax and FO spill so figure out what you want to do about that.

Edited by EricofAZ
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Make sure all your electrical items are on timers. You can buy timers for the wall sockets. There's no fun in waking up only to realize that you left the presto going overnight... or worse ... waking up in the middle of the night to check it and finding out you didn't...

I have (2) 6-outlet strips. I just make sure both of them are turned off before I turn off the light.

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I am dripping green with envy over basements - yours sounds perfect! It would be a good idea to check the temp & humidity levels down there just to know... If the humidity is real high, perhaps a dehumidifier would be a good idea. Also, how cool does it get in the winter? I hope it works out for you - it sounds wonderful!

Regarding electricity, I have never (thus far) left a Presto on or even plugged in overnight. When I finish, no matter what time it is, I UNPLUG everything. I also use power strips, but if the Presto is unplugged every time, it can't cause a problem. I don't remove the thermostat part of the Presto, but I detach the magnetic power cord and unplug it from the power strip. I don't leave my heat gun, impact sealer or anything with a heating element plugged in EVER. I lost a home to fire in 1993and it's an experience I never want to have again.

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Oh my gosh, can I move in with you? I'll pay rent. That sounds like such a wonderful crafting playground.

I put all of my hot electrical items on a timer. That way if an emergency comes up or some other distraction, I can be reassured that everything has been shut off. It is very simple to reset the timer, and I have never felt annoyed when it clicked "OFF" while it was working because I know of the peace of mind it gives me.

Everyone else gave such good advice already, I can't really add much more. You will have so much fun making it your own space. Good luck!

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I am making candles in my basement, it is great. I would have long ago given up candlemaking if I was still in my kitchen, LOL!!

Even though it is still work in progress just having space to store stuff helps alot. I have a furnace but since I hate heating the entire basement just for me, I purchased a ceramic heater just for the candle room.

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I am nerotic about making sure everything is off too. I actually go one step further than using timers, etc and unplug them when they are not in use. I actually disconnect the magnetic part too like Stella does. Later when I am second guessing myself lying in bed I can think back and visualize/remember actually doing that rather than finding myself running down 2 flights of stairs yet again to check. I use a presto pot without the spigot as my double boiler then have 2 with spigots for small batches then a big water jacketed melter for when I am doing a marathon pouring day. Hubby put those white wire closet shelves floor to ceiling on another wall for me too and I have a metal rolling shelf of similar material (the silver metal ones) that I can move back & forth to use as a cooling rack once the candles have partially set up (and have level tops because the shelves aren't always level) so they can finish setting up in the center and cure somewhere other than my workbench.

Your basement sounds like mine. I moved all my wax stuff down there a long time ago and LOVE my little haven. I have a set of computer speakers that I plug m Ipod into and 2 dehumidifiers than run to keep the humidity at bay and a small ceramic heater that I only use when I am down there in the winter. I love having my own space.

Edited by mparadise
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I love basements, even the old grungy ones. I work in my basement/lower level, half is above ground so I don't think it counts. I have florescent plug in lights fixtures, five of them and they are plugged into 4 strips. Everything is plugged into these strips. When I turn them off, it all goes off. All I have to do is look at a distance and know everything is off. The MicroWave is the only thing plugged into the wall. And my radio that I use for MP3 books, listening to the Hunger Games right now. Just got done with the Help, good book. I think I should get a dehumidifier might help at certain times of the year.

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I'm in the basement and have the day my business started written in pencil on the wall. Def want to get a mat to help with standing on concrete. I have a box fan that blows out the window and sucks out most of the fumes. The house can still get pretty stinky if I'm pouring something stout but my dw only makes choking sounds and opens windows upstairs, lol.

Steve

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Oh, I'd be down there in a flash! Would love to have a basement--as it is, both my kids are out of the house now and I've turned one of their bedrooms into my work room and the other one into my "store" with the finished candles on shelves. I remember back when I used to store candles in boxes and can't imagine how I ever kept up with what I had made! Of course, I would love to have a spare bed, but the candle space is more useful most of the time!

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Make sure all your electrical items are on timers. You can buy timers for the wall sockets. There's no fun in waking up only to realize that you left the presto going overnight... or worse ... waking up in the middle of the night to check it and finding out you didn't.

Make sure you have good ventilation. I would also consider a remote phone down there and an intercom or a two way radio (they're cheep these days). If you have a slick cement floor, expect to slip when the wax and FO spill so figure out what you want to do about that.

That is an excellent idea!

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Here's a question about working in the basement. I'm renting the basement from relatives and there's loads of space. How do you make sure there is sufficient air flow or ventilation if there is no windows. (Yea it's one of those basements that has 3 tiny windows but they aren't even in the main part of the basement where I would make candles.) But I wouldn't want to hurt my family or my lil kittay with the fumes, any suggestions?

Edited by sakuraserra
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We have a finished basement that has also become my husband's "man cave". We moved our production area down to the basement about a year ago and it takes up about a quarter of the basement. Today Scott has the best smelling "man cave" around!! Scott also makes home brew. We laugh and tell our friends that between the candle business and home brew hobby, something can always get "lit". Lol

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Here's a question about working in the basement. I'm renting the basement from relatives and there's loads of space. How do you make sure there is sufficient air flow or ventilation if there is no windows. (Yea it's one of those basements that has 3 tiny windows but they aren't even in the main part of the basement where I would make candles.) But I wouldn't want to hurt my family or my lil kittay with the fumes, any suggestions?

Do the windows open? You can order Broan through the wall exhaust fans from Lowes or Home Depot that you probably could retrofit into one of the window openings.

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Do the windows open? You can order Broan through the wall exhaust fans from Lowes or Home Depot that you probably could retrofit into one of the window openings.

They do but they are in the bedroom not the main portion of the basement that I would be making candles in. Since I am in my experimentation stage anyways maybe I can convince them to let me use the kitchen if I promise to give them candles in return.

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