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mottling in pillars using stearic


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I have these pillars I have made from plain Yaley 147 MP wax. This one is Hyacinth FO @ 6%, 1 TBSP palm stearic per lb, 7 drops Burgundy dye, all into 1.5 lbs of plain paraffin. Poured at ab 185 into pre-heated mold, #3 square braid wick. Click here for pic.

I tried another one with Black Cherry FO @ 5%, no stearic, 5 drops dye. heated and poured the same, #1 square braid. Pic is here. I was very happy with it, but it was very slimy and bled profusely.

Then I remelted the second one, added 3% stearic, reheated and repoured. Pic is here. Not happy it did not mottle the same way but it still is a good looking candle.

Question: Is the stearic causing the uneven mottling? Should I try using more stearic and less FO or just less FO and no stearic? Will it sweat regardless of how much FO or dye I use? Am I going nuts? (You don't have to answer the last question; I already know the answer :wink2:)

your geek

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Alan did some experiments about the effects of stearic on mottleing. He had pics and charts and everything. It's in the archives, if you want to track it down.

The result, as best I can recall was that he got less mottle with no stearic, then at a certain percentag, the mottle increased. After he added more stearic, the mottle decreased again.

Roughly below 1/2 Tablespoon per pound there was a little mottleing, at 1 - 1 1/2 there was a lot more mottle, above 1 1/2 TPP the mottle was markedly decreased.

Those aren't the exact figures, just threw them out to give you an idea.

If memory serves, he was using straight parifin and plain stearic. I'm not sure if palm stearic is different. And not many of us will have any extensive experience with Yaley wax, so you'll have to do some trial and error. Maybe this will give you a starting point.

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With no additives you'll get more sweating and slim-like candles, but if you wrap them in a paper towel for a day or two, it'll stop weeping. The steric works as an absorber, but like anything, too much will kill the effect. There is a 343 vybar you can try at 2%, but using more of it will kill the mottling too. I've yet to find a way to get a predictable mottle except that adding way more FO sometimes becomes a waste.

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Alan did some experiments about the effects of stearic on mottleing. He had pics and charts and everything. It's in the archives, if you want to track it down.
I've done those experiments too. Stearic in the range of 1-2% will stimulate mottling. However, it's not a range you want to be in. It produces a flawed mottle that will often continue to sweat after demolding. The wrong cooling rate can cause that too.

There are many aspects to quality in a mottled candle, but the minimal test for having done it right is that no further droplets should form on the surface after the candle has been demolded and wiped off.

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Is is just the scent evaporating during remelt or the oil actually burning off. I wouldn't think anyone would remelt at a high enough temp to burn off the oil itself. Then again, I may be wrong....
Burning off the scent is a common way of referring to evaporation.

Except in my case, of course, since I'm so fond of FO flambe. My candlemaking motto is, you don't need a wick to get fire!

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I was referring to the comment about the FO possibly burning off enough during the remelt to reduce the mottling. Would enough oil "evaporate" to affect the mottle? I haven't tried remelting a mottle yet.

Yes, it could. That's just one issue. You could have another problem, too. But you have to eliminate each in turn. If you were a bit short on FO to start with, you make it worse with the remelt. Delicate balance and all that.

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