Beeswax tapers

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Yooper

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Like I don't have enough hobbies already, but I have it in my head that I want to make beeswax candles, and pretty much only tapers for the dining room.

I'm wondering where the best tutorials may be, as well as the best suppliers you've found?

I don't plan on fragrances at all (one reason I want to make my own), or colors. I think this could be yet another hobby that I can get obsessed with!
 

Yooper

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U can save on shipping and help support local beeks by getting the wax from local clubs. If possible, ask for cap wax, it's cleaner and lighter than other wax. It's the wax that "caps" the comb and is the newest,cleanest wax.

http://www.michiganbees.org/about/clubs/
http://upbees.weebly.com/superior-beekeeping-club.html
While I do appreciate that thought- I actually know the two beekeepers within 150 miles of me, and they don't sell beeswax. One is actually a personal friend, and she has one hive and is trying to keep it going. We have a pretty harsh climate. My friends at 200 miles away have lost 2 out of 3 hives two winters in a row. These are definite hobby keepers, and not selling honey nor beeswax.

In any case, I can find beeswax and wicks somewhere, but I was hoping for a guide to know how to select the wicks and to dip the candles.
 

Chefmom

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There is a little here and there about dipping beeswax tapers, but not a whole lot. I started reading about it some years ago and found enough info to get me started and I figured out the rest on my own by just dipping candles. I made my own dipping hooks so that I can dip four at one time and I can do it in small amounts in my kitchen with newspaper on the floor for drips. The downfall with my system is that I am limited to 7-inch tapers. So far I have used my candle pouring pot, but if you can punch the top off a olive oil can then you can probably dip a 9-inch candle.

I bought the tall dipping pot, to be able to dip 10-inch tapers, but haven't used it just because it takes so much wax to fill it up and more to keep it full. My estimate is at least 15 pounds of wax to finish a round of tapers, you don't use all that wax, but need it to keep the dipping container filled.

I would love to buy local beeswax. I found one local keeper who was willing to sell me wax, but "as is", meaning not cleaned, and for the same price that I could ship in cleaned and ready to go wax. I wanted local, but I also have to use what is most economical for me.

I can say don't try practicing with paraffin...I had that idea...practice with cheaper wax. It dips completely differently from beeswax and I ended up with very, um, phallic looking tapers. :(

I use square braid wick, I buy it by the spool from candlewic and I tested several sizes before settling on the size I use. Burning a couple side by side and putting them out half way and lighting again will let you see which sizes work the best. I made my own dipper from coat hangers and I can dip two or four at one time, I made 8 dippers because to let them set a bit between dips you need about 6-8 at minimum. If you dip them too close to the previous dip...then they sometimes just slip off the wick and splat on your floor...

I keep two pots of wax going, my dipping vat and another kept warm to top off as needed. I think 160-164*F is optimal for dipping and keeping it smooth, and about a third way through I pull them off the hooks and give them a roll on some wax paper to make sure they are straight. I use little screws or washers tied on the bottom for weights until they are about a third through, then I just snip off the bottom and continue.

I let my candles hang for a good day or so, to be sure they are completely hardened up before trimming the bottoms slightly and storing away. I haven't come up with a really good way to shape the bottom just so to fit the taper candle holders, so I still trim them with my paring knife. I also have a few silicone loaf molds to pour the extra wax in for using next time, it's easier that way and I can quickly just pop it back into the melter etc.

Good Luck!! It's actually a wonderful meditative process, and I really enjoy it. I do want to get a larger set up to make candles for more than just myself. I would like to have an outside set up, maybe with two wheels for holding the hooks to make more candles in the same amount of time.http://www.soapmakingforum.com//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/extension/

IMG_20150202_142200900.jpg
 
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Yooper

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That is so helpful- thank you so much for the great write-up and explanation.

I really am going to do this, but not until spring. We go away in the winter, and we'll be leaving our home soon. But we'll be back in late March, and I'll be itching to get back to brewing and soaping and starting on candle making as well.

Again, thank you so much- I am saving this as reference.
 

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