This wax changed my candle making game for the absolute best. Also, using this wax is way less intimidating than I initially expected it to be. My end results are now vibrantly colored, richly scented, somewhat translucent candles that burn evenly and for many hours. I'm offering a few tips that may be redundant to some but may be helpful to others.
- Breaking the slabs: I found it plenty easy to break these up into hand-sized bits by laying them on a contractor bag on my front sidewalk, and chipping away using a chisel and rubber mallet. Took me about 40 minutes to break down 6 slabs (60lbs).
- Melting: if you don't have a melting pot, I highly recommend getting one. I have a SoyLite melter that holds 8lbs, though I've never done that much at once. I use 6 to 8 hand-sized blocks, which once melted fills the pot about 1/4 to a 1/3 full, which is more than enough to fill my 4 cup Pyrex measuring jug. I set it at 300 while I prepare my molds and jars, and once it's mostly melted I turn it to 200, then to warm when I'm almost ready to pour. Temp is always around 180 when pouring
- Color: I've found the dye chips CandleScience sells works the best. While I can get more custom colors out of gel/liquid dyes, they're so messy, and the colors aren't quite as vibrant. The easiest way is to use a pocket knife to create shavings to put in the Pyrex jug beforehand, then pour the melt directly onto the shavings, being sure to give it a few stirs to make sure they're well dissolved. The one issue I'm having, which is not a materials issue, is that I have rarely been able to create an exactly color match on my final/over pour to fill up the "well". Something to work on!
- Fragrance: I admit I am the least precise with this. After reading the tutorials and Q&As on this topic, I've decided that for myself, that's OK. So, for my 4 cup Pyrex, full, I add what appears to be maybe 2 teaspoons worth, but I don't know what that comes to in ounces. I also primarily use the scents that CandleScience sells. An 8 oz bottle will give me a dozen to 14 candles ranging from 4oz to 20 oz.
- Pillars/Jars/Wicking: for some, I use hard plastic molds that have a snug fitting bottom, and candles with this wax pop out with no effort after 24 hours. I use pretabbed wicks, usually LX18, and stick it right over the hole, then wrap the bottom in foil just in case, but I've never had a leak. I also use the bottom half of heavy cardboard containers that scotch bottles come in - I did it as an experiment to see if they could hold up to the heat (they do) and not leak at the seams (they don't), now I use them whenever I can get hold of them. Once they're cured I just tear away the cardboard, so it still ends up as trash, but at least it served another purpose! I also use the wick centering bars from CandleScience and like them best. For wider pieces though, I use my own - two 8" dowels rubber banded at each end, not so tight that I can't move the two dowels away from each other but tight enough that they clamp on to the wick top. As for jars, all my friends are always saving their brand name candle jars once they've burned through. I also save certain jam jars. Also, going back to the scotch boxes - I now always opt for the gift packs at the liquor store (the bottle plus 2 or 4 rocks glasses), which are usually the same price as the plain bottle. I sure don't need more rocks glasses, but they make perfect Christmas gifts or just-because gifts for friends! For all of these examples I use LX18.
Happy candle making!