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Centering Wick Tips or Tricks


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Is there a good tip or trick to center wicks? I know it comes with practice but I am getting frustrated after making my second attempt at candles and they are worse than the first attempt. I even took a black marker and put a dot where I wanted the center of the tab to be and it came out offcenter.

So I was wondering...any good tips/tricks to get center wicks from the pros?

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Centering involves the wick tab being centered at the bottom and centered/secured at the top. I find centering at the top is the more critical of the two. I use bow tie wick bars for nearly all of the containers I wick. They can be used upside down and rightside up - whichever fits better.

Below is a target I use to *eyeball* the center for placing the wicktab. You can save it to your computer (click on the image, right click, view image, save image) to print out.

Tip: When placing the wicktab, look directly down into the container. Sit (or stand) in the same position while wicking so your POV will be the same each time.

This is how I do it:

I remove the *guts* from a Bic (or similar) pen and slide the wick assembly in that, place my fingertip over the excess wick to hold it in place, put a dot of Permatex on the hole of the wicktab and hit the target (point with the finger holding the end of the wick). When the glue has set up (about 2-3 hours) and gained some strength (the bond gains strength as it cures), I insert the wicks through bow tie wick bars and secure. Last I give them a few revolutions to twist the wicks. Ready to pour.

More Applied Cajun Engineering...

I found a glass ashtray in which the container I use most often fits exactly. I glued one of the "targets" below underneath. Perfect!

I also have a lap tray with fold out legs (commonly used as a food tray for disabled people). Because the edges are raised (to prevent plates from sliding off easily), I secured a target in the corner so I can sit and wick while watching television. I slap the container into the corner and the lip of the tray aligns it with the target. Perfect!

For other containers, I laminated the target. Once I center one jar, I place mounting squares directly on the target sheet around the bottom of the container so I can quickly center the rest. Perfect!

The wick setters are cool, but don't fit all containers, so I quit messing with them and just use the method above.

Remember: Practice makes perfect. HTH :smiley2:

post-2519-139458494479_thumb.jpg

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I started with a drawn bullseye, but I was still off. Bought the wick centering tool and my first few attempts were off and I couldn't look down into the jar while wicking, so I gave up with that contraption. Third attempt was a charm for me, I fabricated a wooden pattern (wish I'd seen the idea about using mounting squares earlier ;) ) around my jars with a bullseye and just use the bic pen trick that Stella mentioned with a bow tie.

post-14308-139458494482_thumb.jpg

Edited by Paul
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Stella makes the best point that the whole wick assembly has to be straight from top to bottom. I use a small square of 3m mounting square placed directly over the center of the wick assembly and use the same method of a barrel that was a case for a thermometer to stick the wick. The wick goes up through a wide wooden craft stick that has a hole drilled in the middle and then is lined up with the two seams of the glass and secured with a thumb clip. The alignment of the seams almost gurantees a pefectly up and down centered wick that does not require any extra time or effort. I've had these sticks for years and they clean up very nicely and are super cheap and easy to use. I have never had a wick come loose from the jar or allow wax underneath because the wick assembly has been sealed by the piece of 3m mounting square. HTH

Steve

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Wish tins where clear :(

I printed out a copy of the bullseye target above, trimmed it to fit in the inside of the tin, positioned a wicktab in the center, traced around the wicktab, cut it out and then traced the cutout center with a sharpie. That leaves a nice circle in which to place the wicktab. If you use a transparency to print out instead of paper, it lasts forever.

I use popcicle sticks sometimes. The reason I like the bowties is that they have a keyhole type hole which secures the wick snugly. This is important to me because I twist my wicks and it has to stay in place.

Edited by Stella1952
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Wish tins where clear :(
I printed out a copy of the bullseye target above, trimmed it to fit in the inside of the tin, positioned a wicktab in the center, traced around the wicktab, cut it out and then traced the cutout center with a sharpie. That leaves a nice circle in which to place the wicktab. If you use a transparency to print out instead of paper, it lasts forever.

Some suppliers (sks-bottle is one) carry tins that have the wick area already marked for wick placement. http://www.sks-bottle.com/340c/fin7i.html

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Stella, you are an absolute champion!!!!! Thanks!

Chandler and Green, I'm in Aussie. So kinda out of my reach. But will definitely keep an eye out and might even ask the suppliers here if they can get those ones in. Worth a try!

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