5 pints lard
1 pint beeswax (You may use up to 50% beeswax)
1 teaspoon alum
1 cake Camphor (just for a pleasant odor)
This will make about 3 dozen candles, depending on long and big you make
them. You may use aromatic oils in place of camphor, but some have an
unpleasant odor while burning so you may wish to test a small amount first.
SALTING THE WICKS
The wicking needs to be soaked in salt and dried. Most people doing this
project will run into the problem that their wick burns out in 10 - 20 minutes.
To match and even out perform commercial wicking, just add salt. Salt prevents
the cotton from charring too early so you can burn your lamp for an hour or
two without any adjustments."
To salt the wicking:
1. Cut your wicking from cotton cloth.
2. Put your wicking in a bowl with a little water.
3. Pour table salt over the wicking.
4. Squeeze the wicking dry and then dry further on a tray. You can bake it dry
in an oven at 200F for 20 minutes or just let it dry overnight. It will be crusty
with salt but that's good and the wicking will still be reasonably flexible.
Measure enough wick for 2 candles and about 4 inches extra, before cutting.
This gives you enough extra to hang the candles between dips, without
touching. Heat fat mixture to 160 degrees F. (71 degrees C.) Turn off the
heat. Fold the wick in half, hold by the middle and dip in fat 1 minute. This
removes moisture and air and makes your candles burn better. Remove wick
and straighten with damp fingers. Hang to cool. A broom handle or dowel
placed across the backs of 2 chairs can be used to hang the wicks and later, the
candles as you dip them. The space keeps wicks and later, candles, from
touching and sticking while cooling.
Have the fat mixture at 160 degrees F in a container at least 2 inches taller than
the length of the finished candle. A large coffee can or juice can makes a
good holder for the fat mixture. Always have a thermometer in the fat
mixture, not the hot water bath surrounding it. A candy thermometer is ideal.
A double boiler is handy for melting the fat mixture, a large pan of water works
well, too. Any container used for candle making will probably be ruined for
any other use. Dip the primed wick about 3 seconds, allowing 1 to 3 minutes
between dips. On the last dip, increase the fat temperature to 180 degrees F
(82 degrees C) for a smoother surface. You can add some color to the last dip,
also. Before the finished candle cools too much, trim the base flat. You may
trim the bottom during dipping and put the trimmings back into the pot, if the
candle requires a pointy bottom.
All work surfaces should be damp, including hands. Wax doesn’t stick to moist
For a fancy effect, before the candle hardens, place on a smooth damp surface,
roll with a damp rolling pin, leaving candle about ½ inch thick, starting about
an inch up from the base and tapering to about ¼ inch thick at the tip.
Immediately hold upside down with one hand by the base and starting at the
flattened section by the base hold with thumb and forefinger of the other
hand. Pull candle slowly upwards, sliding between thumb and forefinger and
turning steadily. Repeat for a more extreme twist to the candle.
Always let candles cool at least one hour before lighting.
Problem - Cause & Repair
Lumpy surface First dip too fast Roll on smooth surface while still warm
Spits while burning Water in candle Pour off melted wax & relight or remelt
Cracks while rolling Uneven temperature Redip until pliable
Excerpted from "Don't Use A Chainsaw In The Kitchen: Cabin Etiquette or Harmony In The Bush (Volume 1)" by Mrs Rosalyn E Stowell. Copyright © 0 by Mrs Rosalyn E Stowell. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.