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Beeswax candlemaking

 
pioneer
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Location: Sydney, Australia. Subtropics
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Once you make a beeswax candle you can never use a store bought one again. They look nice and smell like honey, give off lots of light, burn clean and have that nice home made feel to them. I find that when I have one lit in my room I'm less likely to use my computer or phone, as the screen ruins the nice soft light. Instead I end up playing guitar, read a book or draw next to it. It's a simple process but I'd like to share some tips that have made it easier for me.

Materials:
Large block of beeswax (I buy mine from the local market)
Cotton square braided wicks #3 (2.75mm)
Coconut oil
Container, eg: salsa jar, tea cup, clay vessel

Tools:
Hammer
Screwdriver
Pryrex jug and cooking pot, or non stick cooking pot
Wooden clothes peg
Rubber bands
paddle pop sticks (popsicle sticks)
Scissors


Steps:

1: Break up the beeswax block into small chunks by chiseling it with a hammer and screwdriver. This is by far the quickest way.
2: Place the wax in a pyrex container. Put the pyrex container in a pot of boiling water on the stove and stir occasionally until all is melted. Alternatively you can put the wax straight into a non stick pot, which melts it much quicker. I found a pot that is non stick and has a pourer tip!
3: While wax is melting, cut your wicks to a little longer than necessary, dip into any wax that is already melted, hold it up and pull down the wick with your fingers repeatedly. This will straighten it and distribute wax evenly. Place in freezer to harden.
4: Once hardened, dip the end in wax, fray it and stick it to the bottom of your candle vessel. I find that 3 wicks is best for an even burn of wax.
5: Use whatever you have to sit on the vessel and make the wicks stay upright. I made a contraption out of paddle pop sticks and rubber bands.
6: Once wax is melted, add a scoop of coconut oil and mix until melted.
7: Pour a small amount of wax into the candle vessel and wait for it to cool. This will create a foundation to hold the bottom of the wicks down.
8: Pour the rest to the top.
9: When the wax has cooled just enough to turn solid on the top, place the candle in the oven
10: Put the oven on low, heat for a very small amount of time and turn off. This will allow the candles to cool slowly over a few hours and avoid the top layer collapsing.

pro tip: blowing out such large wicks will smoke out your room. Instead put them out by pinching the flame with a wooden clothes peg.

Hope this information is helpful. Let me know if you make candles and have any tips :)

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steward
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Thanks for the post Ben! I hope to have bees in a year or two, and I've bookmarked this thread so when the time comes I can revisit this and make candles.
 
gardener & hugelmaster
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Nice candles Ben. I make a few but they are much cruder. They are for starting campfires in heavy rain & work very well for that purpose. When I want nice looking candles like yours I give the wax to crafty people. Sometimes they make luminarios.

Ever heard of encaustic painting?? For someone with art talent it gives very cool results.
 
Joseph hackett
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Mike Barkley wrote:

Ever heard of encaustic painting?? For someone with art talent it gives very cool results.



Cooooool, I forage and make my own natural inks. So keen to try them mixed with beeswax!!
 
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