Making Taper Candles
Making tapers by hand is one of the oldest forms of making candles. Crafters like tapers due to the simplicity in materials used and the finished product.
Hand dipped tapers are made by repeatedly dipping a wick into melted wax. This process could take an hour or all afternoon. The time involved depends upon the length of the taper desired, the longer the taper the longer the time is involved. The most efficient way to dip tapers is use multiple dipping rings, this will allow the first tapers dipped to be cooled by the time the next turn comes around.
Materials for Dipped Tapers:
Paraffin Wax, 140F to 145F melting point
Flat braided wick 15 or 24 ply
Candle dye or fragrance
Equipment for Dipped Tapers:
Large pan for the bottom of the Double boiler
Cool water bath
Hooks to place candles between dips
1. Setting up dipping vat: Choose the pot you will be using as a bottom for your double boiler setup. Place the dipping vat in the pan and put it on the stove top. Put wax chunks in the dipping vat as deep as your taper's length will be.
2. Melting the wax: Slowly add water to the pan, make sure not to tip the dipping vat. Place the vat on a burner over medium heat, you do not want the water boiling wildly but want it just hot enough to melt the wax, and bring it to the right temperature. When the wax begins to melt, place a candy thermometer in the liquid wax.
3. Preparing the wicks: If you are dipping naked wicks or are using a wick holder, the wicks will be much easier to work with if they are primed at this point.
4. Adjusting the level of the wax: Check on the melting wax. It is likely at this point you will need to add more wax.
5. Set up a cool water bath: At this point it is time to set up your cool water bath. Place the cool water bath nearby, to prevent messy spills.
6. If you are using additives at this point they should be stirred in.
7. Dip the wicks into the liquid wax for three to four seconds, then remove the wicks from the wax. Wait until excess wax has drained off. Then dip them into the cool water bath for 6 to 10 seconds. Then remove and be sure to allow all the water to drain off the taper before dipping again. Repeat this step until tapers are the desired size. It usually take 30 to 40 dips to achieve complete tapers.
8. Final step: To give the tapers a smooth, glossy finish, reheat the wax to 180F. Dip for a final time and then allow to hang and dry for 10 minutes. Then trim the ends to make perfect tapers.