How to Use Aluminum Molds
Aluminum molds are inexpensive and thus a great investment for making homemade candles. Aluminum molds create freestanding candles without glass blocking a view of the candle color and cutting out the cost of the container. Aluminum molds also do not rust making them a good long-term investment.
There are two wicking techniques that are most commonly employed when using aluminum molds. You can use the traditional method or the pillar pin method. Both techniques work well depending on the volume of candles produced or the amount of labor available.
The traditional method involves the mold, raw wicking on a spool, a wick bar, and a rubber plug. This method is best for lower volume production, or in the instance when you want to leave a little length of wick on the candle to attach a bead or a tag. You simply thread the wick through the mold and place a rubber plug into the small hole to hold the wick in place. Place a wick bar across the large opening of the mold and wrap the wick around the bar and pour the wax. After the wax has cooled, the finished product will have the wick nicely centered down the middle of the candle.
The pillar pin method involves a round mold, a pillar pin, and a pre-wick assembly. This method is better suited for the small to large production run. Basically, you are making a candle with no wick and inserting a wick after it cools. There are 2 ways to use the pin. You can either stick the disc part of the pin down into the mold or stick the pin up through the mold from the outside bottom. Pour the wax and let cool. When you are done, you will have a candle with a hole through the center core and no wick. Take a wick assembly and insert up through the hole and you are done. The wick will be perfectly centered.
When using aluminum molds, there are a few tips and techniques that will help you regardless of the method you use.
- Take good care of your molds. Do not use them for any other use such as a penholder or thermometer holder because you may scratch the inside, which will be apparent on the finished candle.
- By heating or cooling the mold, you can achieve different aesthetic qualities to the finished mold. Cold molds give a primitive appearance, while warm molds may give a good gloss.
- Keep molds level unless a desired layered appearance is trying to be obtained. By resting the mold on various angles, some neat stripes can be achieved.
- Take careful note on the pour temperatures. By adjusting the temperature, you can control the shrinkage. Pouring too hot produces more shrinkage and may involve more “topping off”, while pouring too cool may not give you enough shrinkage therefore making it difficult to de-mold.
- For making perfect bottoms on your pillars, we highly recommends using a heated base leveler and angle plate for perfectly level pillars every time.
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