Hurricane candles are hard shells, made from wax, which house a smaller tea light candle inside. The tea light candle shines through the shell creating a wonderful atmosphere with it's muted light. The hard shell protects the tea light from breezes, making it very useful for evenings in the garden, lighting pathways, teaming up with citronella infused tea lights to see off the bugs etc.
The shell itself needs to be made from a high melt-point wax, to make sure the heat from the tea light doesn't melt the sides and leave you with one horrible mess! If there's any doubt at all, use one of the LED tea lights inside. You get all the benefits of a flickering flame, without the heat - so you can just set it going and forget it. Especially useful if there are any children in the area:)
To make the shell, I like to use a pure paraffin wax, because of the translucency. For extra strength and to raise the melt-point, I add PE22. PE22 is a polymer hardener which bonds with the wax, it produces a hard, but brittle wax, but the downside is it does make the wax a little more opaque. Still, you can't have everything.
You can use any regular shaped mould, but it needs to be large enough to house a tea light with enough room to spare to keep the flame away from the walls.
The Hurricane shell itself doesn't use vast quantities of wax, but your mould is going to be filled to the top initially, so you need to melt the same amount as you would if you were making a solid candle in the same mould.
You will Need:
A double boiler
Paraffin wax (Straight)
PE22 Polymer hardener @ 4%
Mould seal - if needed
A small metal cup or tin for melting the PE22
Paper towel for cleaning up
1. Melt the appropriate amount of wax using a double boiler method
2. Whilst the wax is melting, seal any wick holes you have in your mould with mould seal or blue tack
3. Once the wax has fully melted, add any dye (if you're using it) try not to make the shade too dark, because you want the light to shine through. Check the shade regularly by dripping some wax on to a cold white saucer. this way you can see the cooled colour and add more dye if necessary.
4. Leave your wax on a very low heat, or put to one side if you need to use the hotplate for the PE225.
5. The PE22 melts at a very high temperature and needs to be done on direct heat instead of using the double boiler method.
6. Pop the PE22 into a small metal container and very carefully apply direct heat. Stir continuously until the PE22 melts. You'll know you're there when it has the consistency of liquid glucose.
7. Once it's nice and runny, bring your main wax back up to heat quickly and add the melted PE22. Stir, stir and stir again! Keep everything moving until the PE22 if FULLY combined with the wax. Get it wrong and it'll sit like a lump of gel in the bottom of your pot.
8. When everything is combined nicely, pour the wax into your mould, to whatever height you want the finished shell to be.
9. Now comes the patience game....You need to keep an eye on your mould and allow the wax to harden on the outside edges to a depth of approx 5mm. The top will have started to skin too, but that's not a problem.
10. This part is quite critical and I needed a couple of runs before I got it right. Once the outer surface has solidified to about 5mm thick, cut the top skin carefully around the inside perimeter of your hardened shell. Remove the skin and carefully pour out the liquid wax back into your jug.
11. If you got the timing right, the inside edges will be quite smooth and only slight ripples on the base. If you let the wax cool too far, then the edges will have gone like soft jelly and you'll have rough walls. I tried smoothing mine with a hot palette knife, but I wasn't happy with it so it went back into the melting pot and I started over. The good thing if it happens to you, is that re-melting the wax/PE22 blend is very straightforward and it doesn't take long:)
12. If you got it right and you have a nice tidy shell - just allow it to harden completely then turn-out as you would any other
13. Level off the top if you need to, with a hot baking tray.
14. Sit back and enjoy your creation - it will give you many years good service as long as the children don't play football with it:)
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